A welding inspector is in charge of investigating the structural soundness, safety, and legitimacy of buildings, machinery, vehicles, and structures that require secure welds.
As an expert welding inspector, your work will be to apply your extensive knowledge of test methods, discontinuities, qualifications, standards, and welding processes to ensure compliance and observation of relevant safety standards.
The Main Responsibilities
- As a welding inspector, your primary responsibilities will be the following:
- To review, decline or approve welding procedures
- Verify welding procedure qualification and welder compliance
- Verify and confirm the safety regulations compliance
- Provide NDE inspection scheduling and develop procedures for visual inspection
- Review the contractor or vendor compliance
- Review and confirm the contractual obligations and requirements.
- Oversee, implement and develop quality control measures and programs
Education and Training
Education Level – High school diploma, post-secondary education will aid you in advancing to a welding inspector position, associate degree in welding, engineering technology, or metal fabrication.
Degree Field – Engineering technology, engineering, material science, welding engineering, and bachelor` degree in welding.
Certification- certificate in welding, underwater welding, robotic welding, machining, metals fabrication, AWS Certified Associate Welding Inspector (CAWI), AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI),
Advanced Certification- Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI)
Advanced Training- Apprenticeship program in a busy work environment
What are the Must-have Skills to work as a Welding Inspector?
Proficient in basic and technical computer skills, you will need to go through blueprints and investigate concepts both in theory and practically.
Attention to the tiniest of details
As the welding inspector, your work is to deny substantial structures from getting approval. To do so, you must be attentive to the tiniest of details to ensure that nothing gets past you. It is important to understand welding terminologies and how architectural blueprints are actualized on the ground. Such knowledge will help you to conduct proper investigations.
Vast Knowledge of Weld Processes, Filler Metals, Materials, and Weld Discontinues
To secure employment as a welding inspector, you must be well informed and skilled in everything welding. Having adequate information on basic welding and technical welding will allow you to make proper inspections.
Good at Written and Verbal Communication.
As a welding inspector, you will have to provide feedback based on your interpretations and analysis. You will need to write feedback and provide notes on why structural welds are rejected or approved. You might also need to forward certain reports or make presentations every once in a while, so having great verbal and written communication is compulsory.
Interpret Engineering Documents, Blueprints, and Drawings
You must be well skilled in analyzing documents from architects and engineers. After all, your work will be to examine the structures on the ground and compare them to the blueprints and welding symbol diagrams provided. You must have an eye for interpreting designs.
You will have bad days when you feel strained on the progress and the application, but you must remain motivated to maintain your high work standards and never settle for less. You must also be a leader and direct subordinates and senior welders on the exact areas that need improvement or redoing.
The Work Environment for a Welding Inspector
Welding inspectors work in several environments, both outside and inside the office. Some of the common work areas include training centers, manufacturing facilities, active construction sites, and even fabrication shops. Depending on the nature of the work, you can travel minimally or extensively.
Welding Inspectors employ their vast knowledge in various welding processes, materials to ensure that weldments and welding activities are in full compliance with quality and safety regulations. The entry-level salary stands at an average of $51,000, while the National Median Pay salary for experienced Welders is around $62,000 and $95,000.
How to Become a Welding Inspector
Postsecondary education is crucial if you want to land a gig as a welding inspector. You can enroll in a technical program for a 1-2 year course where you can learn about blueprint reading, arc welding, fabrication, metallurgy, among other places. Taking up a 2-year associated degree course in welding technology can also improve your chances of securing good welding inspector jobs.
To stand out from the competition, you can bolster your coursework by undertaking several courses like drafting, metal shop, and mathematics. As a welding inspector, you must use mathematics to calculate and determine weld strength.
Gain Work Experience
Welders work in several industries like aerospace, construction as well as machinery manufacturing. You might have to perform entry-level work before ascending to the prominent role of inspector. Some entry-level work that you might do at some point is degreasing parts, cleaning, checking angles, inspecting equipment, and the application of protective coatings.
Once you gain experience, you can advance to the reading of blueprints as well as using your skills in welding and metallurgy to bind, join, and fuse several metals together. You will advance into the position depending on your skills. Promotion to the position of welding inspector will include duties such as inspecting the compliance of welding, testing, and engineering standards while also inspecting reports.
Take Inspector Certification Exams
Professional welders who have postsecondary certification, a diploma or degree, and around three years of documented experience can apply to be Certified Welding Inspectors (CWIs). The American Welding Society (AWS) offers CWI certification where students cover three areas welding fundamentals, welding code application, and practical applications. You will get certified within a minimum of three years.
The role of a welding inspector is among the best-ranked jobs in the welding industry. You have the potential to rake in a substantial amount of cash as your experience increases. However, it is essential to note that the welding inspector role is highly demanding in terms of performance. Your work will be to examine blueprints and ensure that everything is okay.
Be prepared to start at entry-level positions as you work your way up. Getting certified by the AWS will have you well on your way to making great earnings as a welding inspector.
Should you consider working as a welding inspector? If you have passion for all things welding, then you should give this lucrative career a shot. While you might need adequate experience to land the best jobs in the market, welding inspector jobs have a lot of room for growth. Provided you take your time to learn and gain your certificates, you will be well placed to secure lucrative welding inspector jobs.