Why You Should Hire a Certified and Licensed Welder

What is welding and why is it important?

Before asking yourself why you should hire a certified and licensed welder, you may be asking why would you need to hire a welder in the first place? Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials together such as metals and thermoplastics. Low and high heat methods are performed to connect two different areas of the material. A filler material is sometimes added to make a center molten material to better hold the materials together. It is important to remember about pressure and shield when welding, as this may affect the form and accuracy of the weld.

Do you ever think about who made the car you are driving or why you have cell phone service in one spot and not the other? A welder was involved in both very important aspects of our daily lives. These necessities require a skilled, educated and most importantly licensed workforce of professional welders. By choosing to hire a certified and licensed welder you are ensuring the welder is a professional and prepared for the job. It is important to our economy that we keep employing welders in local and national arenas to keep our infrastructures secure and efficient. Welding is a trade field that should be considered highly professional and necessary for many important projects. 

Why You Should Hire a Certified and Licensed Welder

You may need to hire a certified and licensed welder for a variety of reasons. Maybe, you have a commercial business that needs some metal work or maybe you’re a contractor and need to hire a new welder for an upcoming project. Whatever the reason may be, make sure you have your bases covered with these tips and guidelines on hiring a licensed welder. Here are a few major projects that you may need a welder for:

  1. Industrial Pipeline Welders
  2. Underwater Welders
  3. Military Support Welders
  4. Nuclear Industry Welders
  5. Aerospace Welders
  6. Construction Welders
  7. Welding Inspectors
  8. Solar Panel Installation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders are needed in many industries. Welders are needed to shore up aging infrastructure across the country, work on oil and gas pipelines, and build new energy extraction facilities. Without licensed welders we would not be able to complete these projects. Choosing to hire a certified and licensed welder gives us the opportunity to advance in many aspects.

There are several different energy sources that are used for welding. The processes include:

  1. Gas Flame– The welder can adjust the oxy-acetylene flame to be carbonizing, neutral, or oxidizing. Adjustment is made by adding more or less oxygen to the acetylene flame. The neutral flame is usually used when welding or cutting.
  2. Electric Arc– A process that is used to join metal to metal by using electricity to create enough heat to melt metal, and the melted metals when cool result in a binding of the metals.
  3. Laser- weldingtechnique used to join pieces of metal or thermoplastics through the use of a laser. The beam provides a concentrated heat source, allowing for narrow, deep welds and high welding rates.
  4. Electron Beam– is a fusion weldingprocess in which a beam of high-velocity electrons is applied to two materials to be joined. 
  5. Ultrasonic– an industrialtechnique whereby high-frequency ultrasonic acoustic vibrations are locally applied to workpieces being held together under pressure to create a solid-state weld. Commonly used for plastics.

What is AWS?

The American Welding Society is a trade group that sets standards of competency and certifies welders that meet those standards across various welding disciplines and specialties. If you want your welding job performed safely, timely, and efficiently, not just any welder will do- hire a certified and licensed welder. A welder who is certified by the American Welding Society has taken their career to the next step beyond trade schools and on-the-job experience and has proven themselves to have a high level of competence. American Welding Society welders comply with industry standards in welding related functions. Another important reason to hire a certified and licensed welder.

The American Welding Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1919, with a mission to advance the science and technology associated with welding and cutting processes. The American Welding Society offers a variety of certifications to welders. To achieve an American Welding Society certification, welders must execute multiple weld types successfully at a testing facility and must also pass inspection by a certified welding inspector. There are many advantages to hiring an American Welding Society certified welder. Hiring a welder without experience or one that doesn’t know welding procedure specifications could be a liability. Certified welders have passed comprehensive examinations, demonstrated their skills, and proven their abilities to official inspectors. They are tested for their ability to adhere to welding procedure specifications and selections from QC7 supplements.

The American Welding Society offers several certification types.

  • Certified Welder: There are no required prerequisite educational courses to take the Certified Welder performance-based test. Applicants are tested on their ability to perform according to all aspects of a selected Welding Procedure Specification.
  • Certified Welding Inspector: To become a Certified Welding Inspector, a welder must complete educational prerequisite courses and obtain a certain number of years’ experience welding. There are provisions that enable applicants to substitute practical experience for coursework. The test is both written and performance based.
  • Certified Robotic Arc Welding: Many requirements must be met to be eligible for this exam, which includes a performance test in which applicants are required to demonstrate their skills.

A certified welder recognized by the American Welding Society will get the job done right and in accordance with federal and state regulations, understand the welding procedure specifications and apply them to the job, complete the job in a timely and safe manner, and minimize your risk and liability.

The American Welding Society offers the most prominently recognized certification in welding, but other welding licenses also exist. Some states have licensing requirements for welders in addition to American Welding Society certification. For example, New York requires welders to be certified by both the American Welding Society and the New York State Department of Transportation. Welders must apply to the state for a license. Some cities also have their own certification and licensing processes for welders who wish to be employed by the city. For example, Los Angeles has its own testing procedure for certifying and licensing someone to become a Los Angeles City Certified Welder. Applicants are required to bring an applicable codebook published by the American Welding Society to the certification exam. These tests prove that choosing to hire a certified and licensed welder is the smart decision.

What To Look for When Hiring a Welder Besides a License:

  1. Proper metal technique (the post-heat and pre-heat components and as to when to heat the metal).
  2. Know the welding processes, different machine types and applications.
  3. Code savvy. Staying up to date with codes is very important!
  4. Industry knowledge. New techniques and processes to make the job more efficient.
  5. Communication skills with foreman and site managers.

Certifications Available from Other Industries

Welding certifications can be obtained from other industries depending on the type of welding required for the job. A few examples include:

  1. API (American Petroleum Institute): Welders can be certified to work within the gas and oil industries following certain applicable codes. Welders will be certified depending on what job they will be performing.
  2. ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers): This society specifically offers certifications for welders for working with boilers and vessel codes.

If you have a specific need for welding outside of the societal codes offered, then a great place to reference or contact is https://www.aws.org/standards/.

Now that we covered welding techniques, processes, certifications and codes you should be all set to hire a certified and licensed welder. Remember the most important aspect of hiring a welder is to make sure they are licensed by an accredited organization. Do your research and ask the right questions and you should be good to go!

Advocate for Licensing

PHCEid.org is an advocate for the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical contractor to properly identify their licensed status for public awareness. Professional Contractors have the license or certification to work in homes and businesses. Without the proper certification and licensing to become a skilled trades professional, it compromises the integrity the trade industry. The contractors listed on the PHCEid.org website are licensed or certified according to the codes and laws set forth by each governing state and/or entity. Licensed Contractors work in compliance with local and state codes set forth by their governing trade industry board.  Get more information at PHCEid.org or call 844-954-2367 today!