Become a CWS and Have Your Pick of the Best Welding Supervisor Jobs

Welding processes are crucial for a multitude of industries and are critical in ensuring  the structural integrity of the end product and the safety of those around it. As skilled and experienced as certified welders on the project might be, they still need supervision. 

This is where a certified welding supervisor steps in. Typical welding supervisor duties and responsibilities have some overlap with those of a certified welding inspector, but also a few key differences that make it a role in steadily growing demand.

Be it in construction, manufacturing, shipbuilding, or the automotive sector, a certified welding supervisor is a blend of managerial duties with extensive knowledge of the latest welding procedures. 

Becoming a certified welding supervisor is a promising career option for many experienced welders. Having a competent certified welding supervisor on site allows the client to elevate the overall productivity and profitability of each project. To earn the distinction, however, you need different certifications depending on where you wish to work.

Let’s see what the role of a welding supervisor entails and what it takes to become one in order to apply for the most sought-after welding supervisor jobs in the market today.

Welding Supervisor Roles and Responsibilities

The unique mix of management abilities and welding knowledge creates a specific set of welding supervisor responsibilities for each project. This role mainly serves to oversee the work conducted in all welding sectors, to make sure all codes and regulations are followed, and that everyone is performing their duties in a timely and efficient manner.

As a certified welding supervisor, your day-to-day duties will vary from one job to another. But, there are certain key welding supervisor responsibilities that come with every project:

  • Make sure that welders know and understand the job requirements, and work closely with them to ensure that they have everything they need to perform their duties safely and accurately.
  • Coordinate all welding, oversight, and inspection processes with other welding personnel, including welders, welding inspectors, and engineers.
  • Monitor the safety levels in the workplace to make sure the conditions are in line with the project requirements, the client’s preferences, and the team’s safety prerequisites.
  • Enforce the necessary protocols and processes for accurate, safe, and high-quality welding.
  • Check and make sure the materials in use meet the right safety, integrity, and quality standards for the project and the staff.
  • Make sure the welding processes are in line with all the necessary regulations and requirements prior to inspection.
  • Work closely with all parties involved, including the entire welding team, the client, the design team, as well as any other stakeholders to elevate performance and productivity across the board. 
  • Make sure that the deadlines and the budget are considered with every decision during the project.

Additional welding supervisor duties and responsibilities will depend on the project, the client, and the industry itself. 

How to Become a Certified Welding Supervisor?

Before you start looking into all the training courses you can take, check if you meet the most fundamental welding supervisor requirements to apply for certifications. What you need first:

  • Have a high school diploma (or GDE), or the military/state equivalent of it in your country of residence.
  • At least 3 years of practical and relevant welding experience.

OR

  • At least 2 years of welding experience as well as 3 years of teaching experience.


In Canada, however, and more specifically, for entering the CWB program, there are no welding supervisor requirements in terms of previous education or experience. You can enrol in their course immediately and obtain the needed welding supervisor training to get certified.

Once you have met the initial requirements, you can find an accredited welding supervisor training course and become a certified welding supervisor. 

Source: https://www.aws.org/certification/page/certified-welding-supervisor-cws-program 

A screenshot of a banner from the AWS website saying "Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS)"

Welding Supervisor Certifications in the US

Just like certified welders and inspectors rely on AWS to obtain their certification, so do welding supervisors. If you already have your high-school diploma and several years of relevant welding experience, you can apply for the AWS certified welding supervisor seminar and the exam.

The seminar lasts 5 days and it prepares you for the essentials of your future supervisory role as well as the exam you need to pass in order to be certified by the AWS

The seminar fee is $1025 for members, and $1367 for non-members, and it includes all the training and the accompanying materials, but also breaks and lunches.

The exam has two parts (both written), where Part A covers the basics of supervision, and Part B deals with welding practices and economics.

You can renew the certification twice, each time after 3 years. After earning 9 years of working as an AWS certified welding supervisor, you need to go through the recertification process. 


The price of renewal: $360 USD for members and $448 USD for non-members.

The price of recertification: $545 USD for members and $633 USD for non-members.


Source: https://www.cswip.com/certification/welding-supervision 

A CSWIP page screenshot that says "Welding Supervision"

Welding Supervisor Certifications in the UK

In the UK, you can find an approved CSWIP welding supervisor course provided by an accredited organisation in the region, and the certification process covers the requirements of ISO 3834 and EN 1090.

To qualify, you need to already be certified as a CSWIP welding inspector, or a welding specialist, a welding instructor, or have 3 years of relevant experience with welding coordination. 

The exam itself is in the written format and consists of multiple-choice questions. You can renew the certificate after 5 years, whereas you need to recertify after 10.

The fees are determined by the organisation responsible for the courses and exams.


Source: https://www.cwbgroup.org/

A screenshot from the CWB Group homepage.

Welding Supervisor Certifications in Canada

The Canadian Welding Bureau Group, or CWB for short, is an accredited organisation within the private sector offering a range of education and training courses in the welding industry. It is also the Authorised National Body (ANB) for the International Institute of Welding (IIW), and the certification provided under the CWB welding supervisor course is internationally recognized.

Many welding-based projects in Canada require a CWB welding supervisor. Such a credential can help you stand out among other candidates and win the best paid CWB welding supervisor jobs in the region. 

CWB Welding Supervisor Requirements

To apply for the program for the CWB welding supervisor certification, you don’t need any pre-existing education or knowledge, as they offer all the training you need to qualify. 

The CWB welding supervisor course range includes a number of useful and industry-accepted courses that will prepare you for the job. 

For instance, some essential courses can introduce you to the industry if you don’t have any prior experience, such as:

  • Introduction to Welding Processes
  • Health and Safety
  • Drawing Interpretation, Joint Design, Metal Preparation and Symbols for Welding


You can also apply for courses that cover the most vital inspection and supervision skills and knowledge: 

  • Basic Inspection Methods
  • B31.3 For Welding Supervisors and Inspectors
  • Z662 For Welding Supervisors and Inspectors
  • Welding Supervisor Aluminium
  • W59 Workshop for Supervisors and Inspectors
  • Welding Supervisor Steel
  • Hydrostatic Testing


While there is no CWB welding supervisor practice exam for you to do a trial run, you can get plenty of study material in addition to the courses to reinforce your knowledge. 

The CWB welding supervisor exam consists of a written test with multiple-choice questions. The prices for each course vary from one location to another and they do not include the price of the course materials. The price you can expect can be in the $1,467-$1,525 range.


Source: https://weldaustralia.com.au/ 

A screenshot from the Weld Australia homepage.

Welding Supervisor Certifications in Australia

The Australian market has its own set of certification requirements for welding supervisors to apply for local jobs. Some Australian welding projects accept internationally recognized certificates in addition to their own, so it’s best to check with each individual employer how you can qualify for the job at hand.

The AS2214 Certification

What was once known as the WTIA welding supervisor course in Australia is now given under a new name - Weld Australia. This organisation is the Australian member of the International Institute of Welding (IIW), and as such, it has international relevance for the welding profession.

To become an AS2214 welding supervisor in Australia, you need to have prior welding experience and knowledge as well as the accompanying welding certification. 

Welding Supervisor Certificate 10 (or AS1796 Pressure Vessel Supervisor)

This certification covers the requirements of the AS 1210 and AS/NZS 1554.1 standards, qualifying you for the supervision of structural steel welding and pressure vessels. 

To obtain both the AS2214 Certification and the Certificate 10, you take an all-encompassing course. The course lasts 6 months and includes three 5-week-long modules as well as two 3-hour-long lectures. 

The first two modules are focused on the basics of welding processes, safety, metallurgy, inspection and testing, while the final module is focused on the implementation of the standards.

The prices for the courses vary depending on the organisation providing them, and keep in mind that taking the exam is charged separately. 

Renewal is necessary every 5 years, which means that you need to stay in the trade and actively work on advancing your skills to prove your competency. 

How Much Does a Welding Supervisor Make?

The typical certified welding supervisor salary can vary from one region to another, as well as your experience and the industry you choose to enter. 

It also depends on the type of work you choose. Steady, long-term jobs often provide more stability, but a slightly lower salary, while project and contract work comes with a higher pay. 

Average Welding Supervisor Salary in the US

US-based welding supervisors can earn $24.02 on an hourly basis, or $64,369 yearly. 

Average Welding Supervisor Salary in the UK

The average hourly rate for UK supervisors in welding can be about £13.93, with an annual salary of £30,000.

Average Welding Supervisor Salary in Canada

The average hourly rate is $29.27, with the annual salary being C$65,414.

Average Welding Supervisor Salary in Australia

In Australia, welding supervisors make approximately AU$37.66 per hour, or AU$89,948 per year. 

Prepare for Your Welding Supervisor Job Interview

Getting certified for this job is one of the main requirements to get the attention of the best employers offering work nowadays. But since the market is fairly competitive, and the job comes with plenty of responsibility, employers also look for supervisors with great communication skills and the ability to convey their worth.

Your best chance to convince your potential employer to hire you? Your resume and your interview. Here’s how you can get better at both. 

Common Welding Supervisor Interview Questions and Answers

Employers will check your credentials and certifications to get a clear idea of your knowledge and experience in the industry. They might ask for references to make sure you’d be a good fit for their company. However, they will also ask certain questions to gauge your judgement and ability to cope with specific situations. Here are a few common examples you can expect:

What would you do if you caught a colleague doing something illegal or unethical?

  • Make sure you share your ethics in the response and let them know that you are a person they can trust to report any violations and protect the integrity of the project.

Can you give an example of how you resolved an issue in your previous job?

  • It’s best to choose a real example of, for instance, an inefficient colleague or a subpar process that you managed to overcome with your excellent management skills.

How would you define success in the supervisory role?

  • Make sure your answer incorporates both your own job performance, project success, and the satisfaction of your colleagues who appreciate and thrive under your leadership.

Is Your Welding Supervisor Resume Spot on?

Cookie-cutter resumes are no longer the best way to approach potential employers. You need to update and refine your resume based on the specific job and industry you wish to work in.

The BuildStream team offers free resume checks and we can help you improve your resume when you wish to apply for welding supervisor jobs.


A screenshot from the BuildStream page for creating a free account.

Find the Best Welding Supervisor Jobs on BuildStream 

With a clear understanding of what the role encompasses and how you can qualify for it, you can now focus on the hunt. Leverage our platform and create a free account on BuildStream to get access to the latest welding supervisor jobs in your industry of choice.

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