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the Science and Art of



 Are you a "Certified Welder?" The answer to this question is complicated, complex and most often needs to actually be deciphered. A simple answer of "Yes," or "No," can not accurately define a welder's competency, capabilities or qualifications in performing any given welding task / operation.

In fact the question can not be accurately answered without the explination or definition of "Welder Certification." Basiclly a welder certification is an instrument to ensure the integrity and favorable outcome of any particular welding operation (this is usually driven by an array or matrix of written documentation.)

My focus is not on who or what is a certified welder. My focus is on the question itself: " Are you a certified welder?" This question is problematic; who asks this question and why? who needs to know this information and why?

Any welder Certification must be examined on a case by case basis. A welder certification is not a universial document; each has to be deciphered; Welder certifications usually starts with and is limited to a specific set of " welding process variables"designed to meet a distinct and /or unique application.

These limitations or variables are based on an array or matrix of specifics (specifications) and may include information such as: The welding process, the material to be welded, the size and shape of the material, the type and size of the filler material if needed, the type and amount of shielding if applied, the weld type, joint geometry and weld position *, weld preparation, pre and post treatment, operator technique, how and to what extent or method the weld is inspected, tested or examined. These are just some of the factors included in the "weld / welder" certification process.

Another primary factor is the documentation or validation of a weld / welder certification. This is most often conducted under the authority of a responsible, cognizant entity such as a company, organization, Institution or independant testing agency. These entities usually accept, rely on, or depend upon proven scientific and engineering data developed in their own laboratories or data collected and provided by nationally recognized organizations and institutions that deals with "The Science and Art of Welding and is cognazant of the manufacture, construction, production or repair of welded objects and products.

There is no certificate w foiled seal, embossed or laminated wallet ID card w photo nor stamped credentials that can begin to simplify or identify the ramafications of certified welding. At best any referenced papers or documentation may only serve to identify a set of given specifics or process variables that the particular weldor was tested to . They may include or illustrate which cognizant authority and/or documentation was used, who conducted the testing and how; information about the maintenance and expieration of the operator qualification; this is all designed to meet and insure the integrity of a distinct or unique welding application.

basically, an individual that can produce valid, creditable documentation of having passed a welding competency test of some kind.

A clear and relative question might be, " Do you currently hold or have you ever held any valid Welder Certification? " "What are the specifics of that certification"

Good Luck,



To my knowledge, the term or title " master welder" is in no way an official title. There is no universally recognized organization, authority or agency that justifies or bestows this title. There in no universally accepted definition or description of a "master welder." The title is not something that is earned over a period of time, through a concrete or specific set of tasks, competencies or skill-set completion. The term is most often just a matter of who calls himself or is referred to as a "master welder" and why? and who recognizes the title and why?

The term "master" should not be confused or assimilated with " Certified - Registered - Licensed - Insured or Qualified. These terms can usually be validated by: Organizations - Agencies - Professional Societies - Unions - Companies - Institutions, Local, State & Federal Governments and so forth, wherein the individual usually is tested, examined or trained to meet critical, specified criteria that in some cases may even possess legal ramifications.

However, some employers may advertise for the position of " master welder," each with their own version or job description of what they believe a master welder should be. The job description is probably written by a human resources person with limited or no knowledge of the welding industry, so the description is probably fabricated or fantasized to the employers imagination.

Also, there are more and more welder training schools that now offer a master welder's certificate, usually a 30 credit semseter hour certificate program, titled "master welder". I am not sure if the syllabi or curricula is consistent across these schools. However, the training is less than a year to complete. *

As illustrated above, it is ambiguous as to who can be declared a "master welder" and why; even someone with less than a year of training and no experience can be declared a "certified master welder.

Now, after saying all of this, there is now a new term saturating the internet & cyber space; something called a "certified! master welder." with claims that they can easily earn over "One hundred thousand US dollars per year!" or "more than doctors" with little or easy training.

After well over fifty years of direct welding experience, I would declare this information highly deceptive, misleading, if not even a hoax, in that it raises more questions than can be reasonably or sensibly answered.

Certified Master Welder

Someone that may know how to use a piece of welding apperatus but at heart admires or envies the real welder / weldor; usually has more education in some other field than in welding but likes and uses the title: certified master melder.

Finally, in support of my perspective on this topic, I visited: O*Net Online - The Dictionary of Occupational Titles, - The Occupational Outlook Handbook, - The American Welding Society and most other top non-profit welding related websites and best seller welding textbooks; To date: { MMX - C.E. } I could not find even mention of the term "master welder / certified master welder" let alone a definition, description or picture of one. But, however, I am sure that this will change.

Master Welder
anyone that can light a torch or strike an arc. ( must be able to do both )

Good Luck,

What is a Welder
I can best explain this by using music as an analogy. If one says they are a musician, that would then raise several questions; "what instrament or instrumentents do you play? How accomplished are you?" the musician could say " I taught myself to play and now play second trombone for the Salvation Army Band;" or he/she might say " I took formal lessons as a child, I later studied at Juilliard and Curtis, I am now first chair for the Boston Symphony."
  • With welding you might ask? "what kind or type of welding do you do? How experienced / qualified are you?" The answer could be " I taught myself by tinkering with the stick welder on my Dad's chicken ranch; I now build Bar BQ grills, wrought iron gates and railings in my garage." or the person might say, " I learned to weld at a Vo-Tech HighShcool, I completed a two year trade apprenticeship program, I passed a series of welder operator qualifications in several different processes, I now perform X-ray quality work for one of the worlds leading defense contractors. ~GasWelder~

    There is no concrete deffinition of the learning experience, competency or skill level of the individual.

      • Someone that is gainfully employed, knowledgeable and skilled at applying the elements of the "Science and art of Welding." Usually has had formal or on the job training.
  • Good Luck,