So, you want to find work as a welder.
However, there’s a problem. Most employers want a welder who is certified. You don’t have a welding certification, so what are you going to do?
How hard is it to become a certified welder, and what does being certified even mean?
Which welding certification is the easiest to get?
3G/4G Combination Certification is the easiest welding certification to get. Furthermore, this article tells about the different types of certification, how to become certified, and how much it costs.
When it comes to finding work as a welder, it can prove to be difficult if you do not have the proper certification.
Don’t worry, though. Today, we will be going over all types of welding certifications and narrowing it down to which one is the easiest to get.
So, which certificate to choose
If you are certified as a welder, that means you have shown that you have the necessary skills to do a specific type of weld.
There are many different types of welds used, and there is a certification for each of them.
Four basic types of welding levels:
Who Determines Welding Certification Guidelines?
To get hired as a welder for any of these types of welds, you will need to prove that you are certified.
Welding certification is monitored by several organizations that cover a variety or welding types and disciplines.
The American Welding Society monitors building structures.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers monitors pressurized vessels. The American Petroleum Institute monitors oil-based interests.
Types of Welding Certifications
Welding certifications are based on the type of weld and the angle of the weld. The angles are 1, 2, 3, and 4. 1 means that you are welding on a flat surface.
2 means you are welding on a horizontal surface. 3 means you’re welding on a vertical surface. 4 means you’re welding something above you.
Plate welding is the most basic form of welding and will have the most accessible certifications to pass. There are also 5 different levels to the plate welding certification.
Levels of Plate Welding Certification:
- 1G level certification
- 2G level certification
- 3G level certification
- 4G level certification
- Combination 3G/4G level certification
1G Level Certification
The first and easiest welding certification to take and pass is a 1G level certification.
To pass this certification, you need to be able to weld a plate in a beveled flat position.
This is the easiest certification to get, and it’s also the most useless (other than being able to say you can do it).
Most employers won’t hire someone with only this certification because it is the most basic of the welding certifications and any welder they would consider hiring would know how to do this.
If you choose to become certified as a welder, make sure to get at least one other certification to improve your chances of becoming hired.
2G Level Certification
If you want to bypass the easiest test and improve your chances of getting hired by a potential employer at the same time, the next level certification you can apply for is 2G.
Like 1G, you are welding a single plate. However, this weld needs to be horizontal and beveled.
Doing this certification will show potential employers that you know how to do both 1G and 2G type welds and will improve your chances of being hired.
3G Level Certification
3G welding certification is the next certification that, if acquired, will make you a certified welder in 1G, 2G, and 3G.
This weld certification requires you to weld a single plate in a vertical position with beveling.
4G Level Certification
4G welding certification will get your certification 1G, 2G, and 4G welds.
A 4G welding certification requires you to weld a single plate in an overhead position.
Combined 3G/4G Level Certification
There is a combination certification you can take that will give you the 4G and 3G certification.
With this welding certification, you would be qualified to do all levels of the G plate welds.
These certification welds are just like the ones mentioned before, the only difference is you do them simultaneously using two plates instead of one.
Out of the five options listed, I would say that the combination 3G/4G welding certification is the easiest and the best.
While it does require the highest skill level, it is also the most useful.
If you passed the 1G certification, all you would be certified to work on are 1G welds, which any certified welder will be able to do.
With the combination welding certification, you will be able to display a well-rounded skill set. This will improve your chances of finding work as a welder.
How Do You Get A Welding Certification
Most employers require their welders to have certification.
They expect certifications for a variety of reasons ranging from a better quality of work to protecting the company in case of legal suits.
Therefore, if you want to have a career as a welder, you need your certification.
Steps to become a certified welder:
- Enroll in and Complete a Welding Training Program
- Select Your Certification Exam
- Practice, Practice, Practice
- Take Exam
- Submit Your Recertification Papers Every Six Months
To begin, you need to complete a welder’s training program. Most community colleges and trade schools will have a program.
Be sure to research the program you’re considering before investing your time and money. Once you finish your necessary course work, begin studying for your certification exam.
Remember there are multiple certification exams for different levels, so you want to make sure you’ve selected the right one for you.
All welding certifications are practical exams. Once you know which certification you want, practice those types of welds religiously.
On the day of the certification, you will be told by the inspector if you passed or not. If you didn’t pass, don’t worry.
Typically the inspectors will give you feedback, so you know where to improve. Work on the areas you need to improve and retake the certification on the next available date.
Once you pass your certification, remember to resubmit your certification paperwork every six months, or you can lose your certification.
On the recertification paperwork, make sure that your current employer’s name and signature are present, proving that you are still welding and maintaining your skills
How Much Does A Welding Certification Usually Cost?
When looking into how much it costs to become a certified welder, there are a lot of factors to consider.
What kind of training program are you in? Is your employer willing to compensate you for the costs? What type of certification are you applying for?
Elements that impact welding certification costs:
- Type of Program
- Type of Certification
- Where You are Getting the Certification?
- Are You Retaking the Certification?
- Is There Assistance from the Employer?
A community college’s associate degree in welding can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $18,000.
The price only includes tuition and does vary from state to state. Books, depending on where you purchase them, can have a wide range of prices.
If your chosen program only grants a certificate and not a degree, it will take less time and money.
Depending on what you are looking for this shorter program can be ideal for you.
Consider what your potential employers want before deciding between getting an associate degree or going through a certificate program.
For the purposes of this section, I’m going to use the G type welding certification as the specific exam. Remember that this is the most basic type of welding certification.
Check for your specific certification if you want to know how much just your exam will cost. On average, a 4G certification costs $450.
Retaking the exam can be as low as $35 or as expensive as $125.
If you are currently employed or are looking to become employed as a welder, you may be compensated for some if not all the costs.
Many employers want to have the highest tier of employees.
If they find employees willing to go the extra mile for their education to become better than their job, they are more than willing to shoulder the financial burden.
Be sure to ask any potential or current employer if a stipend or support is possible, the worse they can say is no.
Remember these prices can vary greatly depending on where you live, what kind of program you’re in what kind of certification you are getting, and who you are getting the certification from.