Grow Your Career as a Certified Welding Engineer
Every industry that depends on welding employs a large number of welding engineers who are in charge of entire welding teams.
Welding engineers have a leading role in designing safe and high-quality welds, monitoring the welding process, and inspecting their integrity and safety throughout the project. As such, they need extensive knowledge of welding procedures, metallurgy, structural engineering, as well as physics and all the relevant codes and standards.
Welding engineering is a profession that demands more education than any other role in welding. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in welding engineering is the bare minimum for entry-level welding engineer jobs in any industry.
If you’d like to build your career in welding engineering, let’s cover the essentials of this profession and go over some of the key steps you need to take to succeed.
What Is a Welding Engineer? (Roles and Responsibilities)
A trained and certified weld engineer is involved in the welding process from start to finish, and in charge of the most important decisions for the project. They use their knowledge and skills to design safe welding processes and to make sure the end product is structurally sound and of top-notch quality.
In weld engineering, you can also expect to oversee the work done by welders and to provide assistance in improving the overall productivity and safety of the project.
- Design and implement optimal welding processes based on project requirements, working closely with the entire welding team to ensure a smooth operation.
- In certain welding engineering manager jobs, engineers take the lead on all process standardisation, controlling and optimising all technologies and processes included in welding.
- Conduct detailed assessments and lab-based tests if necessary to determine the most optimal equipment and protocols for the project and for the team.
- Operate welding equipment and optimise for better performance.
- Create detailed reports and analyse any relevant data obtained from welding tests.
- Oversee the entire welding process and work with welders and other team members.
- Conduct ongoing evaluations during the welding process to offer more efficient solutions.
- Ensure that all the welding is conducted in accordance with the necessary codes and standards.
- Analyse welds to make sure there are no flaws and defects, or work with the welding team to perform the necessary repairs.
- Coordinate entire welding projects and provide the needed guidance and direction to the team.
- Design and choose the best testing systems for each project.
- Detect any issues and their root causes.
- Work with the supplier as well to make sure the chosen material is of the right quality.
- Engineers also often conduct welding engineering inspection services to make sure the site, equipment, technology, machines, and teams meet all the requirements.
- Weld engineers also need to have in-depth knowledge of all the key types of welding mechanical engineering: GMAW, GTAW, SMAW, and FCAW.
Weld engineer jobs are exceptionally demanding and require continuous professional growth. To become one, you need to obtain the right education, but also brace yourself for mastering new technologies and processes to retain your credibility and skills, no matter your industry.
How to Become a Certified Welding Engineer?
To successfully become a welding engineer, you need the right education and experience. A bachelor’s degree in welding engineering is the first prerequisite you need, paired with ample welding experience.
Most accredited welding engineer schools offer a blend of technical and theoretical training and education to prepare you for the job. In some schools, you can even choose your pre-professional focus to specialise in a specific field. You can expect to cover a range of skills such as trigonometry, physics, chemistry, and calculus before you can get to applied welding engineering.
You can also find distance-learning programs that will let you obtain your welding engineering degree online, but practical experience is mandatory to qualify for jobs.
If you’ve already obtained a welding engineering degree, you can then move on to choosing the best type of certification. Keep in mind that some employers require location-specific certifications, whereas others accept all the internationally-recognized certifications.
Welding Engineer Certification in the US
The American Welding Society (AWS) has developed a dedicated education and training program for aspiring welding engineers. On par with the role requirements, the CWEng program has high expectations for those who would like to earn the certification.
In fact, the program is designed in such a way that those with the highest level of pre-existing academic education have lower work experience requirements.
Without any academic degree to back up your welding skills, you need at least 15 years of relevant work experience to qualify for the CWEng welding engineer certification. The experience in question should come from construction, manufacturing, fabrication, training, research and development.
AWS also recognises engineers with the International Welding Engineer (IIW) certificate, or the European Welding Engineer (EWF) certificate paired with at least one year of experience.
The CWEng exam is divided into four parts, where Parts 1&2, and Parts 3&4 are taken at the same time.
Price for members: for Parts 1&2, it’s $585 and for Parts 3&4, it’s $625
Price for non-members: for Parts 1&2, it’s $675 and for Parts 3&4, it’s $715
You need to renew your CWEng certification every 5 years, and you need to prove that you have continued your education during those years, in addition to working in the field.
Renewal price for members: $515
Renewal price for non-members: $780
Welding Engineer Certification in the UK (and in Europe)
The European Welding Federation (EWF) is the main organisation in charge of developing and managing the unified system for educating and certifying the members of the welding industry.
To become a European Federation Welding Engineer, you need to find an accredited training and education facility that can certify welding engineers. In the UK, that is The Welding Institute (TWI).
According to TWI standards, you can obtain a TWI Diploma in Welding Engineering that serves as a recognized alternative to the EWF/IIWDiploma. To qualify for the diploma, you need to complete each of the three modules for:
- Specialist Level - 6 modules
- Technologist Level - 4 modules
- Engineer Level - 4 modules
This certification is recognized in Europe as well as internationally, and the courses are organised by accredited educational institutions in various locations across the world.
Welding Engineer Certification in Canada
The Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) is another institution in addition to the IIW that is accepted for providing welding engineer certification in Canada.
There are numerous CWB-approved and accredited educational facilities in Canada that offer training leading to CWB certification.
To take the course and qualify for the CWB welding engineer certification, you first need to be a registered professional engineer, which means you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree and 5 years of relevant work experience.
There are currently two CWBi Modular Learning Packages:
- W47.1: Procedures Engineer Module Package - Covering everything from health and safety in welding, metallurgy basics, to general design in welding. The price is $805.
- W47.2: Aluminium Welding Module Package - Covering a total of 6 modules with a focus on aluminium welding, design, quality issues, and the like. The price is $340.
Of course, as a CWB certified welding engineer, you need to have the knowledge of all the relevant standards and codes, included in the exams after completing the two rounds of modules above.
Welding Engineer Certification in Australia
Weld Australia is the representative body of IIW, making their certifications internationally recognized and valued by employees both in Australia and around the globe.
For starters, you need to have a bachelor’s degree, be a professional engineer, or have an equivalent qualification obtained overseas, recognised by Weld Australia.
The IWE course is a mix of theoretical sessions that are based on live lectures, pre-recorded material, and additional learning material, as well as a week of practical, hands-on learning. Once you go through the entire course and pass the needed exam, you will get the IIW IWE Diploma.
However, you can become a certified welding engineer only after accumulating three years of experience. That diploma combined with the years you spend honing your skills on projects leads to you becoming an IIW Certified International Welding Engineer (CIWE) in Australia.
The course itself covers a wide array of subject matter that will help you master the welding engineering role. You will get the needed knowledge of the different welding materials and welding procedures, as well as fabrication in engineering. But you will also focus on all the supervisory, quality verification, and managerial aspects of this role.
The qualification, and later on, certification, makes all the difference in searching for the best welding engineer jobs, both in Australia and abroad.
The price of the entire course for members of Weld Australia is $18,850, and $19,200 for non-members.
How Much Do Welding Engineers Make?
If you’ve been in the welding industry for any amount of time, you know that more experience and more credibility through certification means more money, better opportunities, and more variety. Employers value well-trained engineers in welding, so the more you prove yourself worthy, the better your welding engineer salary will be.
Your pay also varies from your location, so well-developed markets will offer higher salaries, better bonuses, and benefits to match.
Average Welding Engineer Salary in the US
In the US, the hourly rate for welding engineers is $27.50, or $78,149 per year.
Average Welding Engineer Salary in the UK
On an hourly basis, a welding engineer in the UK can charge around £11.15, or take £37,391 annually.
Average Welding Engineer Salary in Canada
Welding engineers in Canada normally charge around C$37.88 per hour, and their annual salary is around C$76,047.
Average Welding Engineer Salary in Australia
Australian welding engineers typically charge AU$27.55 per hour, and have a take-home annual pay of AU$97,181.
Prepare Your Welding Engineer CV for Job Application
Career opportunities for welding engineers abound in many sectors, from construction, manufacturing, oil rigs, on-shore, as well as offshore. Once you get that initial experience through internships or apprenticeships, applying for jobs will depend on a few factors.
On one hand, your education and experience will speak for themselves when you apply for welding engineer jobs in your industry. But on the other hand, there is a wealth of candidates who are competing for the same position, so employers will take your resume into account when making their decision.
A strong welding engineer resume should cover all your strengths that you bring to the table and the formatting needs to be clean and straightforward. Our BuildStream experts can help you design your resume for free, and prepare you for all the welding engineering jobs you want to land.