Welding Engineer vs. Certified Welder: Know the Difference to Find Out Which Professional Suits Your Needs

26 March 2021

Welding engineer and certified welder are titles often interchanged by those who don’t know much about the industry. What discernible qualities separate the two engineering titles? Well, a welding engineer possesses an extra set of engineering skills, such as the ability to scientifically assess the structural integrity of a particular project. Certified welders, while intimately familiar with many weld techniques, are not formally trained engineers.

Certified Welders Have the Necessary Training to Undertake Weld Works

Make no mistake, the performance-based certification program does use a competency-based approach to prepare welders for a career in this challenging industry. The qualified professional gains an understanding of the many principles and practices that are currently required to procedurally produce any metallurgical formed weld join. They’re exhaustively trained in regulatory compliance issues, then expected to wield the right jointing solution in any imaginable situation, be it a chemical processing plant, an oil rig, or a massive civil engineering project. In short, certified welders are tested to ensure they meet and even exceed a demonstrated skill level.

Welding Engineers Often Direct the Job and Take On Inspection Duties

This is next level engineering knowledge, a skill set that goes beyond welding. The engineer in question demonstrates more knowledge and more experience than the Certified Welder (CW). Capable of carrying out a metallurgical assessment, a CWEng is an experienced welder, but this professional individual is also trained in the ways of structural technology and metallurgical science. This person has all the wherewithal to direct and manage a complex weld-centric operation so that every structural element is certain to comply with all relevant engineering regulations. This advanced supervisory position includes but is not limited to knowledge of material characteristics, the principles that determine structural laws, and the mechanical workings of a comprehensive range of architectural components. Essentially, there are 4 challenging tests that must be passed in order to gain this title. They’re composed of theoretical modules and hands-on examinations.

Employed as key personnel in any welding operation, certified welders are tested and accredited. They’re trained to work in every conceivable industrial and commercial domain, and that training also includes key weld equipment types, so every arc welding procedure will match a required weld specification. However, when sourcing an advanced operative, someone who has the wherewithal to competently direct the work, only a welding engineer can fill that role adequately. That professionally vetted technologist is a welder, a hands-on worker, but he’s much more besides. Capable of assessing the structural and material requirements of any situation on a case-by-case basis, an engineering welder can essentially run the whole operation, from beginning to end.

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