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Old 02-25-2011, 02:54 PM
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Default AWS Certification Test Questions

Going to take a welding course this spring, then this coming fall I will be taking a test to become certified. Never been around anyone that is certified, what have I gotten myself into?

Maybe I should back up a little and explain. My welding class built the Termite log splitting truck a couple of years back. I have taught welding in the Ag shop for over 24 years. Teaching is becoming a career that might not last til retirement. I am trying to cover my ass and create a workable situation to my job being eliminated. I own my small farm, thinking of running a welding shop from there. Anyway, what can I expect from the experience and the test itself?

(Cutter, if this is in the wrong area/section, feel free to move it to the appropriate place.)

Last edited by JWS; 02-27-2011 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:39 PM
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Around here the test runs $500, pass or fail. All the places I have worked and had to certify for owned the paperwork. When I got laid off and took another job the certifications didn't transfer. I have been certified to military, AWS and German standards.

If you are going to have your own business, take the AWS tests. You will probably need several. Aluminum, stainless and steel. You also need to look at the different strengths of steel. The tests at the higher strengths usually cover you for the lesser metals. You may also run into thickness limitations.

Clear as mud.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:51 AM
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what is the up side being certified for a shop run out of your garage? just curious, i have thought of hiring out my welding, but the liability thing scares me a little.
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpertruck View Post
Around here the test runs $500, pass or fail. All the places I have worked and had to certify for owned the paperwork. When I got laid off and took another job the certifications didn't transfer. I have been certified to military, AWS and German standards.

If you are going to have your own business, take the AWS tests. You will probably need several. Aluminum, stainless and steel. You also need to look at the different strengths of steel. The tests at the higher strengths usually cover you for the lesser metals. You may also run into thickness limitations.

Clear as mud.

As a welding instructor, I signed up for a class for instructors that gives a "shotgun" approach to introducing the material and offering time in a shop/at welders to learn the appropriate techniques. I have signed up and been accepted in a program that will pay $1,500.00 of the $2,000.00 cost of the test. It is an AWS test, provides a three day test preperation course beforehand and is in August in IL. Regardless it cannot be bad things for me to take, great experience that my students will reap the benefits of. In the event of catastrophic job failure, I will at least have a greater pool of experience to draw from.
Pumper, I greatly appreciate your comments/suggestions. Have always found you to be a wealth of information that is solid and based on real world experiences.

Certification, I was always under the impression you got "certified" for each welded joint you needed for that specific job, then when the job was over and you went to a new job with new plans and specs you ran test welds to get certification/approval to work on that jobsite and specific joints. Am I missing something here?
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:34 AM
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what is the up side being certified for a shop run out of your garage? just curious, i have thought of hiring out my welding, but the liability thing scares me a little.
Well Bull, if I were looking for someone to weld my stock trailer together, I had two people to choose from, one is in his garage and the other has a semblance of putting a shop together due to a recent job loss and has years of experience under his belt and a recent AWS certification on his wall, I think I would choose the second guy/gal. What about you? This isn't a jab at you, this is just a serious look from another perspective. This isn't a jab at anyone running a shop from their garage without certification, this is a conversation in a forum for welding and me wanting to pick people's brains that over the years I have appreciated reading comments and projects from with whom I have great respect for.

My whole situation in a nutshell, I went to Purdue in '83 to become a Vocational Ag teacher. Since then, ag went the route of Industrial Arts. Shine up the high achieving student, prepare them and brainwash them to go to Purdue, in essence, become a feeder program for Purdue University. I stood up and said this when they were considering the change. I was told then as a three year teacher, "you are a dinosaur, get with it". Well I wasn't trained as or had interest in becoming a "science teacher/classroom teacher". Don't get me wrong, I do plenty of introductory work, safety work in a classroom setting. But my belief is the real understanding/education takes place when the helmets are down and the rod is arcing. Our governor is wanting to overhaul education as we are all stupid and can't teach according to him. I hope the handwriting on the wall I perceive is wrong, but even though I wasn't in the boyscouts, a lifetime of riding green horses has created the need to be prepared beforehand in me.
AWS certified, nope, don't believe you "need" to be. But sure will give me piece of mind. I have an opportunity before me due to needing to renew my teaching license every five years and in the past three years some new rules allowing less "education" courses and more relevant "hands on" courses. So putting the opportunity with the job fail mode, Vincennes University is offering an instructor's course on MIG, TIG, AWS certification prep for your students. I thought to myself, that sounds excellent. In talking with them while getting my administrator's approval, the lady at Vincennes tells me about a grant another lady received for funding towards a certification test. She transferred me, I talked with that lady, she sent me some paperwork, I sent it back, we talked again, next thing I know, I get an acceptance letter in the mail saying I am approved for and signed up for her grant participation and am taking a certification prep course and following that the certification test in August of this coming year.
Thinking outloud, if my job comes to an end, with my farm and the farming community I live in, creating a welding shop might be the best thing for me. I have greatly enjoyed each and every day in my school shop with my students. I have had a few jerk students. All in all, I have run a hands on shop with required work and time for individual projects. Students learn fast which class they can loaf in and pass and which one requires effort. I have been blessed. But am trying to prepare myself for paying bills after my job loss if it happens. And in the 26 years I have taught in public education, I have become more hermit like daily. Once I am done driving my school bus and teaching my classes, there is nothing more I prefer to do than stay on my little farm with my wife and animals. I don't want to go job hunting and beg for a job. That is not in my DNA. Sorry for the long rambling story.

Liablity is something that should cause concern for all of us in any field creating something that used incorrectly could cause harm or death. We live in a society that doesn't take blame for its actions, they pay people to find blame. My brother used to sell insurance and they would not insure a welding shop under any circumstances. It is my plan to be able to show I have educated myself to the point that I know what I can and cannot do safely and will follow that motto. With a field truck set up to weld, during planting and harvest I would assume I will become very busy very quickly as long as I learn to drop what I am doing and go to the job on a minute's notice. I am also looking into purchasing a cnc plasma of some kind to make gates, shooting sillouhettes, name plates and parts for a local business.

Well, you kind of asked, that is my current situation and reason for asking for people's experiences taking this certification test and their reactions to it.
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:25 AM
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I see, you are trying to give yourself a fall back position if your teaching job falls through for some as yet unkown reason. I see you plan on more than just the ocassional welding/fab job. Sounds like you plan on a full shop and mobil unit. I was only asking because you got me curious if it made any sense for ME to look into getting certified. But I can tell you now that will never happen, $2K! ROI would be way too long. Besides I only pick up 2 or 3 jobs a year, and even then only when I feel like it. Not only that I would most likely have to take a formal course or two to begin with, only adding to the price tag. I am way to cheap for that.

Good luck with your test!
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:03 PM
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A friend of mine started out working in his garage evenings after we got done making stuff to kill large quantities of people. Management was changing and he just got sick of how things were going and decided to go on his own full time.

When he started bidding on certain jobs one of the first questions that came up was are you certified. He wasn't and lost a lot of business. He got the AWS D1.1 first. The post office was looking for someone to repair sorting carts. Aluminum tig, just like free money. That took a different certification.

If I remember right, if you test overhead it qualifies you for flat, vertical and horiintal. For the military horizontal certification covered flat, vertical and horizontal. 6G pipe would qualify you for all position but there is a diameter restriction so several tests. Keep in mind that most of my certification experience has been military related and there never seemed to be any method to their madness. Aluminum on the MK45 deck gun was mil-cert, aluminum on the VLS system was AWS. Both went on the same ship.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:03 PM
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Smile Thanks for sharing

JWS and Pumpertruck, thanks for sharing this information. The thought has crossed my mind several times in the last couple of years to get certified. My boss keeps bringing it up too, but nothing ever seems to progress. I think if I do get certified, it will be of my own doing. I just have to figure out what certs would be the best suited for the job I do, and will be doing. Then again, I still sometimes think "What do I want to be when I grow up?"
Anyways, I appreciate the questions and feedback from others.

Brian
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:05 PM
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I can't remember where I got this link from, maybe from here. But its a good read on certification.

http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/...ification.html

I took a 3G certification test for a company about 5 or 6 years ago. Took the test in their shop, then they sent it to a testing lab. I pretty sure they said the test cost $800. Needed it to weld structural steel on a local government building. With that paper, I worked on state, federal, and gas company jobs. Welding I beams or course.

I know from reading the above page that its basically void now. After all those jobs, yeah, that makes perfect sense... Not because of lag time between welding jobs. But because odds are it isn't transferable.

But I still keep it anyway, at least is shows that I have passed a certification test before, and I should be able to do it again. Better than nothing I guess.
I will take another test as soon as I can though. Its just something you have to do, if you ever plan on making any money in the industry. For someone running their own business its importance is even greater.

And do yourself a favor, if someone asks you to weld on a trailer for them, tell them you don't have time or something. Waaay to much liability.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:37 PM
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I have been told by a pipeline/rig welder that during the 80s oil field slowdown, he would on ocassion go to a pipeline co. to take a pipeline welding test to be accepted and available if needed.

If he passed the test, he was paid for 10 hours work. If he busted [failed] the test, he did not get paid. I think that the test were good for 6 months.

The test certification was good only with that company and for the whatever the test was for.

So he took a lot of welding tests.
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