National Credential
Credential: Certified Welder (CW)  In-Demand resource  GI Bill resource
Credentialing Agency: American Welding Society (AWS)

The American Welding Society (AWS), Certified Welder (CW) is a performance-based certification with no prerequisite courses or certifications required. The CW program tests welders on procedures used in the structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal and chemical refinery welding industries. There is a provision to test to a company-supplied or non-code welding specification. Tests for CW are performed at AWS Accredited Testing Facilities located throughout the world and are performance based. Final certification will provide candidates with a "transferrable" credential.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 6 months

Certified Welder (CW)

The following Navy Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Navy$ Gap Analysis LaDR
Enlisted AM-Aviation Structural Mechanic Rating some  Navy Bucks    E4 Pay Grade
Enlisted HT-Hull Maintenance Technician Rating some  Navy Bucks    E2 Pay Grade
Enlisted ND-Navy Diver Rating other      
Enlisted SW-Steelworker Rating some  Navy Bucks    E4 Pay Grade
Enlisted LCAC - Landing Craft Air Cushion Deck Engineer Out of Rate Assignment most  Navy Bucks    
Enlisted MUSE - Mobile Utilities Support Equipment Technician Out of Rate Assignment other      
Officer 720X - Diving Officer CWO Designator other      

Navy Occupations Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of three ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will most likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Navy$ Navy Bucks icon

This Credential has been approved for payment through the Navy's Credential Program Office. Note that to be eligible for Navy funded credentials, you must have demonstrated competency and experience towards the credential being sought. This credential may require additional work to fully meet competency and experience requirements.

To get a voucher request form, click "Complete Voucher and Apply" at the top of any page.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

LaDR LaDR Pay Grade E5 icon

LaDR (Learning and Development Roadmap) icons call out credentials that are "highly recommended" (but not mandatory) for a particular pay grade because they complement the training, experience, and competency of that paygrade. You are NOT restricted from attempting credentials recommended for senior & junior pay grades (as long as you meet all eligibility requirements).

Coming Soon – view the civilian occupations related to this certification!

Civilian Occupations Table Legend


Bright Outlook Bright Outlook icon

The Bright Outlook icon indicates that new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job.

Registered Apprenticeship Apprenticeship icon

The Registered Apprenticeship icon indicates that this job has an apprenticeship program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Local Salary Information

Click the links in this column to go to the My Next Move for Veterans web site to view salary and employment information for the job.

Certified Welder (CW)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 6 months

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

American Welding Society (AWS)
8669 NW 36 Street
# 130
Miami, FL  33166-6672
Phone: (800) 443-9353
Contact Page

Certified Welder (CW)

The Certified Welder (CW) credential has the following other requirements:

  • The CW program is open to anyone with a talent for welding. The CW test is strictly performance-based and there are no prerequisite courses or certifications required prior to testing.

Certified Welder (CW)

A performance assessment will be administered. The candidate will deposit a sound weld that will be inspected by an AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI). The candidate will be evaluated according to their ability to properly adhere to the Welding Procedure Specification, selected from available QC7 Supplements, which includes fit-up, assembly, and positioning.

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Welder (CW) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Certified Welder (CW)

Renewal Period: 6 months

The Certified Welder (CW) credential has the following recertification information:

  • CW certification is renewed every six months by paying a renewal fee and submitting a certification maintenance form, as required by the Code of Acceptance that governed the certification holder's test. The certification holder's employer must sign the certification maintenance form to verify that the certification holder is still performing the same welding originally tested for.

    Note: Most codes require maintenance every six months. Certification holders should check the requirements of the standard that governs their certification to assure that maintenance is received by AWS at the proper intervals.