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Thread: Staying certified

  1. #1
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    Staying certified

    If one is a self employed certified welder doing jobs here and there how do you renew your certification? I understand if you work construction or pipeline then a supervisor or foreman signs off on the fact you've been welding in your certified process. But what if you're self employed and do work for farmers, or scrap yards repairing equipment. Or fabricate something for John Q. Public or a local business (like me, I repair pontoons on boats for a local boat marina). I understand one dosen't "have" to certified to do some jobs like these but it only seems professional for a self employed welder to be certified. Do you have to retest every 6 months or what?

  2. #2
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    Re: Staying certified

    If one is a self employed welder doing odd jobs here and there is there any reason why you need to be certified with one specific procedure?
    If your reparing aluminum boats or pontoons, one certainly doesn't need a structural carbon steel plate welding ticket or a pipe welding ticket. One also doesn't need any tickets to weld farm equipment.
    Obvoiusly if you have any welding ticket/certification it does show that you have some ability. But, is it going to get you more work? More than likely not.
    Obtaining a certification is as simple as booking a specific test with the agency that regulates the test/field you want to certify for. Pay the fees, then do the test.
    Jason
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  3. #3
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    Re: Staying certified

    As a start you'll need to know exactly what code the welder in question is certified under. The codes address the subject of how a welder maintains their cert. I'm not sure this is easily done for an indepenent.

    In my experience, an employer arranges for the welder to be tested and certified to the code and particular welding procedures it requires for it's work load at the time. This original employer will submit evidence that the welder has welded with the process within the time limit of the code, and the welder will maintain their cert. under that employer. Another employer may not recognize that particualr welder certification and the welding procedure specification and testing done to attain the cert.

    It seem logical that documentation by an American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) would be sufficient maintain a welder's certs. and provide a means for employers to accept the weld certs of individuals from one job to another. I think that a case could be made, based on very solid testing evidence by a certified testing agency, that an idiividual could maintain their certs, but it is up to the potential customer/employer whether they will accept the evidence or not.

  4. #4
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    Re: Staying certified

    maybe I can explain it this way better. 1st lets say there's a person or small business that needs something fabricated. So they contact a welder. Now having the choise (I would think) this customer would chose a certified welder. Only seems logical right? Someone advertising as certified would be more professional and competent over some guy that says "I know how to weld." Now lets turn our focus to this certified welder. Being a professional and the best business owner he can it only makes sense to be certified. He know s that every job he takes on won't require his certification. But being certified sells his business better and being certified in a few areas gives him a better understanding of processes he's not certified in (better than the other guy anyway). Let's say he's got an AWS 3G and 4G plate cert. Now he may not always be doing structural work. Maybe the "odd jobs" are steady work for him. And maybe only welds in his certified areas from time to time. This welder wants to keep his certs current. Not only to get jobs that require them should they arrise but also because it keeps his business that much more professional in the eyes of customers that don't "require" a certified welder. Soooo if he dosen't work jobs that help mantain his certification does he have to retest every 6 months? Or are there other ways to stay current without paying $ to retest twice a year?

  5. #5
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    Re: Staying certified

    I suggest you post this question on the American Welding Society (AWS) forum at www.aws.org
    There seems to be more expertise in code welding there.

    I know that you will need documentation of your original certification, such as a copy of welding procedure specification (WPS) that describes the details of welding process, and a copy of the procedure qualification record (PQR) that describes the testing that was done to certify the welder. Then, you'll need a document that shows the welder has used the process within the last 6 months (typical for AWS). Now the question of who must sign these documents to verify the validity per the code? Can any CWI sign off, or a professional engineer (PE)? I don't know, maybe this is covered in the code, it may also depend on what prooff and sign off the customer will accecpt.

    Let us know if you fiqure this out. It's a good question.

  6. #6
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    Re: Staying certified

    If your are certified to ASME in the 6G pipe position on P1 material (carbon steel) that means you can weld on P1-P7 and P11 materials. The 6G qualifies you to weld pipe in any position and any and all fillet welds in any position providing you are welding on the P number of material shown above or in the qualified grouping of materials. You being a self employed welder you must have and maintain a welder continuity log that must be updated every 90 days. The continuity log is for each process of welding that you are qualified to weld (SMAW, GMAW, GTAW FCAW etc.).

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    Re: Staying certified

    Who verifies this continuity log? Does fixing Farmer Brown's tractor or combine or repairing Joe Blow's Escavating Service dozer count toward maintaining ones certification? I mean if you're certified for 3G/4G you're gonna use that repairing things in the field like this right. You can't flip a tractor over just because you'd rather weld flat. You're gonna have to weld vertical, overhead, horizontal, how ever you can to get the job done. Am I making my question easier to understand or making it worse? Pulser, maybe I will submit this question to AWS thanks for that suggestion.

  8. #8
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    Re: Staying certified

    i was under the impression that if you had a structural plate cert in stick for instance.
    You get a simple form on the AWS website called a maintenance form.

    to keep your cert you have to have a customer sign the form that sats you performed that process or him.
    you need a form every six months or your cert expires.

    Not sure if you have a pipe cert in stick and welded plate every six months does that count or would you have to weld pipe?

    ...but i could be wrong..
    G

  9. #9
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    Re: Staying certified

    G

  10. #10
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    Re: Staying certified

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry C View Post
    If your are certified to ASME in the 6G pipe position on P1 material (carbon steel) that means you can weld on P1-P7 and P11 materials. The 6G qualifies you to weld pipe in any position and any and all fillet welds in any position providing you are welding on the P number of material shown above or in the qualified grouping of materials. You being a self employed welder you must have and maintain a welder continuity log that must be updated every 90 days. The continuity log is for each process of welding that you are qualified to weld (SMAW, GMAW, GTAW FCAW etc.).
    AWS and ASME codes state you must have used the process within 6 months, not 3 months.

    And as far as records, the independent contractor can record his own continuity log.

  11. #11
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    Re: Staying certified

    Most independent rig welders want to advertise that they are certified welders, whether they need to be or not. It shows to the public that this welder has passed a qualification test to some code, usually AWS D1.1 if the job is structural in nature, and ASME if the job is piping systems.

    He can get certified and them maintain his own continuity log. No code states how this is recorded. It is up to the Client to accept or not accept his WPQ or log.

  12. #12
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    Re: Staying certified

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry C View Post
    If your are certified to ASME in the 6G pipe position on P1 material (carbon steel) that means you can weld on P1-P7 and P11 materials.
    Larry, See QW-423.1:

    QW-423.1 Base metal used for welder qualification
    may be substituted for the metal specified in the WPS in
    accordance with the following table. When a base metal
    shown in the left column is used for welder qualification,
    the welder is qualified to weld all combinations of base
    metals shown in the right column, including unassigned
    metals of similar chemical composition to these metals.

    Base metal used for welder qualification
    P-No. 1 thru P-No. 15F,
    P-No. 34, and P-No. 41 thru P-No. 49

    Qualified production base metals
    P-No. 1 thru P-No. 15F,
    P-No. 34, and P-No. 41 thru P-No. 49

  13. #13
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    Re: Staying certified

    Quote Originally Posted by SJC View Post
    Who verifies this continuity log? Does fixing Farmer Brown's tractor or combine or repairing Joe Blow's Escavating Service dozer count toward maintaining ones certification? I mean if you're certified for 3G/4G you're gonna use that repairing things in the field like this right. You can't flip a tractor over just because you'd rather weld flat. You're gonna have to weld vertical, overhead, horizontal, how ever you can to get the job done. Am I making my question easier to understand or making it worse? Pulser, maybe I will submit this question to AWS thanks for that suggestion.
    SJC,

    As an AWS CWI since 1992, I believe I can answer your question.

    If the welder is certified for 3G & 4G positions he/she is qualified to weld in all positions. The most common AWS D1.1 Structural Steel welding code prequalified complete joint penetration groove weld joint is Fig 3.4, the B-U2a joint designation (see 3.13 and uses SMAW with backing.

    If said welder passes the welder performance qualification test (WPQ), he can keep his certs indefinitely as long as they are recorded that he used the SMAW process within the past 6 months. He can use any of these non code jobs to record this use for continuity. and he can record these himself.

    Fyi, anyone with knowledge of the code may administer the test and sign the WPQ and WPS.

    Hope this clears up you questions.

    Robert P.
    QA Manager, Pressure Vessel Facility
    AWS CWI
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  14. #14
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    Re: Staying certified

    Quote Originally Posted by SJC View Post
    Who verifies this continuity log? Does fixing Farmer Brown's tractor or combine or repairing Joe Blow's Escavating Service dozer count toward maintaining ones certification? I mean if you're certified for 3G/4G you're gonna use that repairing things in the field like this right. You can't flip a tractor over just because you'd rather weld flat. You're gonna have to weld vertical, overhead, horizontal, how ever you can to get the job done. Am I making my question easier to understand or making it worse? Pulser, maybe I will submit this question to AWS thanks for that suggestion.
    Think of the continuity log as an sworn affidavit (sp) just like you would give in a court.

    I use my invoices and inspection reports as backup to the log. I test my self to qualify in the first place, and I keep my own continuity log.

    All this is based on the AWS system. Other places might have other systems.

  15. #15
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    Re: Staying certified

    ASME has 6 months maximum on the continuity log as well.

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