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If you are interested in the opportunity to begin a well-paid and rewarding career, you should consider becoming a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI).  CWI certification is recognized in the U.S. and internationally by companies that require the highest quality of workmanship.  Providing you with an in-depth understanding of welding technology, flaw evaluation, testing and analysis, CWI training prepares you to immediately apply employable skills.  CWI certification requires a high level of demonstrated skills and CWI training opens doors to engaging work at jobs that are currently in high demand.

For More Information About CWI Training Programs.

CWI Certification Opportunities

The American Institute of Nondestructive Testing (AINDT) offers a comprehensive and accessible CWI training program.  We cover the fundamentals online, offer hands-on training seminars, as well as options for CWI 9-Year Recertification.  Quality CWI training is essential to understand the required details of thorough weld inspection.  

AINDT provides the most convenient and affordable CWI exam prep available. AINDT’s blended learning program offers you the convenience of online training from wherever you may live.  Online training is followed by 40 hours of hands-on training at our facility in Baxter, Minnesota. The combination of online CWI curriculum and hands-on training gives you experience with the most up-to-date inspection techniques. This CWI preparation program gives you the skills needed to enter into a rewarding career. Our CWI training offers flexibility with start dates 6 times per year.

We offer the most convenient and affordable CWI training program available.

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CWI Classes

AINDT has developed a series of online and hands-on CWI training classes to help you obtain your CWI certification:

  1. CWI Part A Fundamentals
  2. CWI Part B Hands-on Training
  3. CWI Prep Course with Code Book

Once you finish the CWI training program, you will be provided with the opportunity to take the AWS CWI exam at the AINDT facility to complete your CWI certification.  

The CWI 9-Year Recertification options provide a number of opportunities to renew your CWI certification:

  1. Examination: Retake Part B of the AWS CWI exam.
  2. Continuing Education: Accumulate 80 Professional Development Hours via classroom or distance learning.
  3. Acquire an Endorsement: Achieve one or more AWS endorsements prior to your CWI 9-year recertification deadline.  AINDT offers two CWI certification endorsement courses: AWS D1.1 CWI Endorsement Prep Course and API 1104 CWI Endorsement Prep Course.

Let us customize a training program that meets your requirements.

CWI Online Classes

The majority of the CWI certification training program at AINDT is designed to be taken online.  Convenience and 24-hour accessibility to materials is a top priority to meet students’ needs where they are in life.  Individuals may be looking to complete their CWI certification while transitioning from another job or career field.  CWI online classes offer flexibility and maintain a high standard of quality in terms of instruction and materials.  The goal of online classes at AINDT is to best prepare you for CWI certification. 

CWI Part A Fundamentals Online Course

This in depth 40-hour course covers the fundamentals of Welding Technology as established by the American Welding Society. This coincides with Part A of the CWI Exam in the CWI certification process.  Each module includes PowerPoint presentations with in depth discussion by an instructor, ‘flashcard reviews’ and graded quizzes so you can evaluate your progress throughout the course.

All of AINDT’s practice quizzes are pulled from our extensive exam bank consisting of several hundred questions. This online portion of the CWI Exam Prep Course provides in-depth training on the following critical topics:

Topics covered in this portion of the course are as follows:

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CWI Exam Breakdown

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Roles and Responsibilities

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Welding & Cutting Processes (over 10 processes covered)

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Weld Joint Geometry

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Welding Symbology

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Steel Making

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Welding Metallurgy

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Distortion Control

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Neutron Radiography

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Material Property Modification

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Destructive Testing

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Overview of Various Industry Welding Codes

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Welder Qualifications

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Welding Procedure Specifications

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Visual Inspections methods and equipment

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Welding Defects and Discontinuities

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Introduction to Nondestructive Examination

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Magnetic Particle Testing

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Liquid Penetrant Testing

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Ultrasonic Testing

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Radiographic Testing

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Electromagnetic Testing

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Acoustic Emission Testing

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Magnetic Flux Leakage

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Thermal/Infrared Testing

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Vibration Analysis

Practice Exams

Upon completion of each part of the online CWI training, students will be provided a timed exam replicating the Parts A and C of the CWI exam. This exam will be graded the same way as the AWS CWI exam and may be taken as many times as the student wants. All of our exam questions are pulled from an exam bank ensuring that you will receive a combination of different exam questions each time, best preparing you for CWI certification.

For More Information About CWI Training Programs At AINDT.

CWI Part B Hands-on Training

The AWS CWI NEW Part B portion of the exam has elevated the difficulty of flaw evaluation and specification interpretation. AINDT offers an onsite 40-hour prep course to help you prepare for CWI certification.  This CWI training is specifically devoted to the Part B hands-on evaluation of practical weld specimens, WPS/PQR evaluation and interpretation to Part B specific documents used in the CWI Exam.

A walkthrough of an example “Book of Specifications” is included with the CWI training to ensure that students have a full understanding of the purpose and usage of this “mock” specification and how it is utilized for the hands-on Part B. Additionally, AINDT has developed a customized version of the Book of Exhibits and Weld Replicas which aligns with the CWI certification process and CWI Exam.

CWI training addresses how the Part B exam is structured.  Our instructors provide ample time to examine the weld replicas using the same tools that will be provided by AWS during the exam for CWI certification. Our primary focus will be on measuring and evaluating the weld replicas, however we will also continuously review both Fundamentals and Code requirements. Our instructors work to ensure that all required parts CWI certification is fresh in your head on exam day.

Following the onsite training, you will be provided the opportunity to take the AWS CWI exam at our facility the Saturday immediately following our CWI Exam Prep Course.

Learn More About CWI Hands-on Training Seminar Dates.

CWI Part C Code Book Online

CWI certification requires navigating and understanding technical welding standards.  Without the right resources this can be a daunting task.  The AINDT code book includes an in-depth review of each clause with insight from an experienced instructor who has worked to these standards.  These resources will better help you understand the meaning and reason behind various requirements for CWI certification. 

The code book online training will include a walkthrough of the welding code of your choice. Included in this CWI training will be a review of how best to become proficient at code navigation, with tips on tabbing, highlighting and notes to include in your code. Currently our Part C training consists of either AWS D1.1-2020 or API 1104-21st edition.  (Students are responsible for purchasing their code book.)

Each CWI certification module includes PowerPoint presentations with in depth discussion by an instructor, ‘flashcard reviews’ and graded quizzes so you can evaluate your progress throughout the course. All of AINDT’s practice quizzes are pulled from our vast exam bank consisting of several hundred questions.

Practice Exams

Upon completion of each part of the online training, students will be provided a timed exam replicating the Parts A and C of the CWI exam. All of our exam questions are pulled from an exam bank ensuring that you will receive a combination of different exam questions each time.

CWI Course

The best value CWI certification preparation option at AINDT is the Complete CWI Prep Course Training package.  To efficiently complete the training components required, this package includes 6 days of housing accommodations at our private Digital Interactive Students Housing, at no extra cost with the CWI Prep Course Training.  This is an industry first in CWI certification.  AINDT values putting students first and saving you hundreds of dollars.  

Complete CWI Prep Course Training

Part A 40 Hour Fundamentals Online Course

This in depth 40-hour course covers the fundamentals of Welding Technology as established by the American Welding Society. This coincides with Part A of the CWI Exam.

Part B 40 Hour Hands-On Training Seminar

This onsite 40-hour prep course is specifically devoted to the Part B hands-on evaluation of practical weld specimens, WPS/PQR evaluation and interpretation to Part B specific documents used in the CWI Exam.

As a Certified Welding Inspector, it is important to have the right tools for the job.  AINDT will provide each student who attends the onsite Part B practical portion of our CWI Prep Course with a full set of inspection tools to use during their training period.

Part C 20 Hour Code Book Online Course

This step in CWI certification includes an in-depth review of CWI certification welding standards with insight from an experienced instructor who has worked to these standards. The code book online training will include a walkthrough of the welding code of your choice. Included in this CWI training will be a review of how best to become proficient at code navigation. Currently our Part C training consists of either AWS D1.1-2020 or API 1104-21st edition.

Following the onsite training, you can register to take the AWS CWI exam the Saturday immediately following our CWI Exam Prep Course at our facility in Baxter, MN to pursue your CWI certification.

Only 7 months! High demand career

1) Take Classroom Training Online 2) Complete Practical Training 3) Start Earning!

CWI Training and Recertification

AWS QC-1 Specification for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors outlines a number of different ways to complete your CWI 9-Year Recertification. These options are designed to simplify the process to renew your CWI certification.  It can be challenging to decide how to recertify since each path has its own set of requirements.

AINDT provides several avenues to help you achieve your recertification goals. We offer a wide variety of online Nondestructive Testing courses that meet the AWS QC-1 requirements for Continuing Education to accumulate 80 PDHs (Professional Development Hours).  The most common approach to renewing your CWI certification is participating in classroom, correspondence, or distance learning.

AINDT also provides online CWI endorsement training courses to help you pass your CWI endorsement exam. Achieving one or more AWS endorsements prior to your CWI 9-year recertification deadline will meet the requirements for renewing your CWI certification without further examination, professional development hours, or seminar requirements.  AINDT offers the following endorsements eligible for 9-Year Recertification Credit:

As an AWS Certified Welding Inspector or Senior Certified Welding Inspector, you must renew your CWI certification every three years. Every nine years, you must recertify, either by examination, obtaining approved endorsements, by recertification course, or by demonstrating 80 hours of continuing education, along with other requirements. Neglecting to recertify prior to your expiration will result in the loss of your CWI certification status and will require you to retest on all parts of the original exam to regain your certification.

Our staff at AINDT would be happy to discuss your options to renew your CWI certification. 

CWI Certification and CWI Careers

Once you have passed your exams and received your CWI certification, a variety of career options await.  Certified welding inspectors spend their time ensuring that weldments and welding activities comply with quality and safety standards.  Inspectors are critical to the safety and structural integrity of machinery, vehicles, buildings, and consumer products with required welds.  You may find a job in the one of the following manufacturing, construction or fabrication industries: 

  • Aerospace
  • Shipbuilding
  • Automotive
  • Railroad
  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Precision instruments
  • Medical Products
  • Oil/gas
  • Nuclear energy

With your CWI certification, you can earn a potential median annual, full-time salary of $73,395.  Inspectors with experience may become interested in supervisor or administrator positions, pairing their CWI training with high level organizational skills and a strong knowledge of welding operations.  Having CWI certification and a few years of job experience could provide opportunities to pivot into sales or services positions in welding.  Other roles include welding instructors and CWI trainers.  

Overall, gaining your CWI certification provides exciting career choices with potential for growth.  At AINDT, we strive to offer the most accessible training opportunity to enter the CWI field with a strong set of skills as well as your CWI certification. 

For More Information About CWI Training Programs.

CWI Training FAQs

What is welding inspection?

The purpose of welding inspection is to determine if a weldment meets the acceptance criteria of a specific code, standard, or other document.

What is a Welding Inspector?

A Welding Inspector’s responsibility is to determine if a weldment meets the acceptance criteria of a specific code, standard, or other specification and to oversee non-destructive testing and ensure proper materials are available during testing.

What is a Certified Welding Inspector?

Certified Welding Inspectors (CWI) must demonstrate a keen attention to detail along with other requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities, and are often considered the safety nets that catch potentially catastrophic mistakes.

It’s the CWI’s responsibility not only to determine if a weldment meets the acceptance criteria of a specific code, standard, or other specification, but also to handle qualification records, oversee non-destructive testing and ensure proper materials are available during testing.

Therefore, it is important that the CWI is familiar with welding processes, welding procedures, welder qualifications, materials, and weld testing limitations, as well as how to read blueprint drawings, prepare and keep records, prepare and make reports, and make responsible judgments.

What is the Certified Welding Inspector program?

The AWS Certified Welding Inspector credential is one of the welding industry’s most recognized certifications. Many industry professionals who earn their CWI credential are highly regarded and sought-after throughout the welding industry. Becoming a CWI means that you have demonstrated the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to earn this prestigious credential.

A CWI should align with the technical and ethical principles required of their position as outlined in AWS B5.1:2013-AMD1 Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors.

By employing or contracting CWI’s, hiring organizations can improve safety, reduce risk, and meet the technical criteria and standards developed and updated by AWS industry experts.

The CWI credential can serve as the foundation on which welding industry professionals can build lucrative and rewarding careers.

Additionally, because the Certified Welding Educator (CWE) Certification exams are identical to Parts A and B of the CWI exams, CWI candidates can choose to pursue a CWE credential and earn both credentials at the same time.

A CWI candidate or a current CWI can choose to enhance their credential by adding one or more of the AWS endorsements*. These endorsements also count toward recertification requirements.

AWS offers three additional certification programs (SCWI, CAWI and CWE) to match the needs of professionals who have either more or less related experience than that required to become a CWI.

*Endorsements are supplemental inspection credentials available to all CWI’s and Senior SCWI’s to enhance an individual’s skills and career opportunities.

Do I register to take the CWI exam through AINDT?

No, the CWI program and exam is owned by the American Welding Society, AINDT provides preparatory training for taking the exam.  In addition, AINDT contracts with AWS to provide the Part B portion of the exam at its facility in Baxter, MN.  Candidates must register with AWS to take the exam as well as registering with AINDT to take the preparatory training.

Has the CWI application/registration process changed?

The American Welding Society offers all applicants the opportunity to use the online Certification Application Portal to register for seminars, courses and make payment.

Before beginning the online application, please review the submission process, required documents, and the education and work experience requirements that must be met to become a CWI.

AWS administers the CWI Part A and Part C Exams via Prometric. Candidates will receive a Confirmation Letter from AWS via email once all application requirements are completed and approved. A candidate will require the eligibility code contained in the Confirmation Letter before being permitted to schedule CWI Part A and Part C Exams with Prometric.

Prometric offers over 450 Exam Centers across the globe and has over 100 Exams Centers across the United States. For more information, please visit the AWS page on Prometric’s website.

AINDT contracts with AWS to administer the CWI Part B (Practical) exam at our facility in Baxter, MN.

What are the application deadlines to take the CWI exams?

CWI Part B Practical Exam

For CWI examinations that include the Part B Practical exam, application deadlines will remain the same as they currently are published.

In the US, the deadline is 6 weeks prior to the Part B exam date.

Please plan for potential travel time depending on the exam location you select.

CWI Part A and Part C Exams

CWI (Exam Parts A and C) exams, application deadlines are flexible, depending on your scheduling preferences and availability to take the selected certification program exams at Prometric.

Candidates will find the best availability at Prometric sites when scheduling as soon as they receive their Confirmation Letter.

What are the applicant deadlines to take AINDT's training courses?

There are no deadlines to sign up for any of AINDT’s training courses; however, once a class is full, we can no longer accept students, so it is advantageous to sign up as soon as possible.

Can I submit an incomplete CWI application to AWS via the application portal online?

AWS’s online Certification Application Portal currently does not save incomplete applications. A candidate would need to start the process from the beginning if a current/previous submission was not completed.

Can I used my nickname on my CWI application?

The name on your government-issued ID needs to exactly match the name you provide on your application.

The Prometric Staff will require the name on the ID that candidates present at the Exam Center to exactly match the name on the application.

Can I pick the start time of my exam?

CWI (Exam Parts A and C) CBT Exams

Prometric schedules exams in windows, typically a morning window and an afternoon window, and you may select one or the other depending on availability.

You will not be able to choose a specific start time (e.g., 10:30am), but you will be able to select an available time slot in either the morning or the afternoon.

CWI Part B Exam

Exam dates and times are paired with AINDT’s hands-on preparatory course.  If a student does not wish to take the Part B exam at AINDT they must schedule it with AWS at a different location.

Can I schedule my exam by walking into the local Prometric exam center and talking to a staff person there?

A candidate must receive a Confirmation Letter from AWS before scheduling exams with Prometric.

The Confirmation Letter, which includes an eligibility code, will be sent via email after initial, renewal or recertification applications and all required documentation are reviewed, processed and approved by the AWS Certification Department.

A candidate will require the eligibility code contained in the Confirmation Letter sent by AWS before being permitted to schedule.

Why can't I take the CWI exams all in one weekend?

Prometric administers CWI Part A and Part C Exams via Computer Based Testing.

AWS directly administers CWI Part B Practical Exam at AINDT’s facility.

Parts A and C Exams will be held at a Prometric Exam Center and Part B Exam will be held at a different time, day and location.

If I take CWI Par B practical exam but do not think I scored high enough to keep my overall average up, can I retake CWI Par B again before taking Part A and Part C?

CWI candidates must complete all three parts of the CWI exams (Part A, Part B Practical and Part C) before retaking any of the exam parts.

Can I take CWI Part A and Part C before I take Part B?

All candidates are required to take the Part B Practical portion of the CWI Exams before Parts A and C.

Candidates may choose whether to take Part A before Part C or vice versa, but both must be after Part B has been completed and within – days of Part B Practical.

Why is there a gap between CWI Part A and Part C exams?

Prometric treats CWI Part A and Part C as two separate exams, and thus they are scheduled separately.

Although they may be on the same day, they may be some hours apart, depending on the availability of various exam seats at the local Prometric Center.