Top 11 Fabricator Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for fabricators, including requirements and benefits.
Published 19 min read
Certifications provide fabricators with an important way to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the job market. A certification shows potential employers that a fabricator is knowledgeable about the materials, processes, and regulations involved in fabrication work. It also demonstrates their commitment to professional development and indicates that they are up-to-date on the most current industry standards. Additionally, certifications may open up new career opportunities or allow a fabricator to move up in their current job. This is especially true for more specialized certifications, such as those related to welding or other specialized fabrication processes. Ultimately, having a certification can give a fabricator an edge when applying for jobs and make them more attractive to employers.
The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Fabricators and explain how they can help advance a fabricator's career.
What are Fabricator Certifications?
Fabricator certification is a process that ensures that a fabricator meets the highest standards of fabrication work. It involves an evaluation of the fabricator's experience, qualifications, and ability to produce quality products. The process can be done through an independent organization, such as the American Welding Society (AWS), or by an individual company. By certifying a fabricator, it helps ensure that any products produced meet the highest standards of quality and safety and are made with precision and accuracy. Additionally, certified fabricators may have access to industry-specific resources, such as specialized parts or training courses. Certification can also help companies better understand their suppliers' capabilities in order to make better purchasing decisions. Finally, having a certified fabricator can give customers greater confidence in the reliability of their products.
Pro Tip: When considering a fabricator certification, be sure to research the accreditation of the program and make sure it is recognized by industry-leading organizations. Additionally, look at the requirements of the certification to ensure that you will have a good understanding of the materials and processes involved in fabricating complex components.
Related: What does a Fabricator do?
Top 11 Fabricator Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Fabricators today.
1. American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welder
The American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welder program is a certification program for welders. The certification verifies that the welder has met the minimum requirements for welding knowledge and skill as established by the AWS.
To become an AWS Certified Welder, one must pass a written exam and a practical performance test. The written exam tests the welder’s knowledge of welding processes, safety procedures, and other related topics. The practical performance test requires the welder to demonstrate their ability to produce quality welds in accordance with industry standards.
The time it takes to get certified depends on how much time you spend studying for the written exam and practicing your welding skills. Generally, it takes around six months to complete both tests and receive your certification.
To get certified, you must first register with AWS and pay a fee of $250 USD. After registering, you will be sent study materials which will help you prepare for both tests. Once you have studied enough, you can then schedule an appointment with an approved testing center to take both exams.
The cost of becoming an AWS Certified Welder includes the registration fee of $250 USD plus any additional fees associated with taking the exams at an approved testing center. These fees vary depending on where you take the exams but typically range from $150-$300 USD per exam.
2. AWS Certified Fabricator
AWS Certified Fabricator is a certification program designed to recognize the skills and knowledge of experienced welders who have demonstrated proficiency in welding processes and techniques. It is offered by the American Welding Society (AWS), a non-profit organization that promotes welding education, technology, and safety.
The AWS Certified Fabricator exam consists of multiple-choice questions related to welding processes, materials, and safety procedures. The exam takes approximately two hours to complete and is offered at various locations throughout the United States. Candidates must pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher to become certified.
To get AWS Certified Fabricator certification, candidates must first complete an approved training program from an accredited school or institution. After completing the training program, candidates can then register for the AWS Certified Fabricator exam online or by mail. The cost of the exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $150-$200 USD.
In addition to passing the exam, candidates must also meet certain experience requirements before becoming certified as an AWS Certified Fabricator. These include having at least three years of experience in welding fabrication and/or inspection, having completed at least one year of college-level coursework in welding technology or engineering, and being currently employed as a welder or fabricator in a related field.
Once all requirements are met, candidates will be eligible to receive their AWS Certified Fabricator certificate which will be valid for three years from the date it was issued.
3. National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Certified Machinist
National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Certified Machinist is a credential that verifies the knowledge and skills of machinists who are able to use a variety of different machines, tools, and processes to create parts and components. This certification is offered by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and maintaining standards of excellence in metalworking.
To become NIMS Certified Machinist, you must first pass an assessment that tests your knowledge of machine shop operations, safety, mathematics, print reading, and other related topics. The assessment consists of multiple choice questions as well as hands-on performance evaluations. After passing the assessment, you will receive your NIMS Certification card.
The entire process typically takes about two weeks from start to finish. To get started on the certification process, you must register with NIMS online or by mail and pay the required fee ($125). You will then be given instructions on how to complete the assessment. Once you have successfully passed the assessment, you will receive your certification card in about two weeks.
The cost of becoming NIMS Certified Machinist is $125. This fee covers all costs associated with registering for the program, taking the assessment, and receiving your certification card.
4. NIMS Certified CNC Programmer
NIMS Certified CNC Programmer is a certification program created by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). This certification is designed to recognize individuals who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to create, modify and troubleshoot CNC programs. The certification process requires applicants to demonstrate their proficiency in programming, setup, operation, maintenance and troubleshooting of CNC equipment.
The NIMS Certified CNC Programmer credential requires successful completion of an online exam that covers topics such as geometry, trigonometry, machine operations and programming. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours. A passing score of 70% or higher is required to earn the credential.
In order to take the NIMS Certified CNC Programmer exam, applicants must first register with NIMS and pay a fee of $125. After registering, applicants are given access to study materials that can be used to prepare for the exam. Once the applicant has studied for the exam, they can schedule a time slot with NIMS to take the test. It typically takes about two weeks from registration until taking the test.
The cost of taking the NIMS Certified CNC Programmer exam is $125 per attempt. If an applicant fails the exam on their first attempt, they may retake it at no additional cost by scheduling another test date within one year of their initial registration date.
5. NIMS Certified Sheet Metal Worker
NIMS Certified Sheet Metal Worker is a certification program offered by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). The program is designed to provide industry-recognized credentials to individuals who demonstrate knowledge and skills in the areas of sheet metal fabrication, installation, and maintenance. It is intended to help employers identify qualified workers and ensure that workers have the necessary skills to perform their job duties safely and efficiently.
The NIMS Certified Sheet Metal Worker program consists of three levels: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Each level requires successful completion of a written exam as well as hands-on performance evaluations. The exams are based on the NIMS standards for sheet metal fabrication and installation.
Level 1 requires approximately 40 hours of study time; Level 2 requires approximately 80 hours; and Level 3 requires approximately 120 hours. The cost of the program varies depending on which level you choose to pursue, but typically ranges from $200-$400 per level.
To become certified, you must first register with NIMS online or by mail. After registering, you will receive an application packet containing all the necessary information regarding the test requirements, fees, and testing locations. Once your application has been approved, you can then schedule your exam date at one of the NIMS testing centers throughout the country. Upon successful completion of your exam(s), you will receive your official certificate from NIMS indicating that you have achieved certification as a Sheet Metal Worker at whatever level you have chosen to pursue.
6. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Certification
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Certification is a certification program that provides a globally recognized standard for the design, fabrication, and inspection of boilers and pressure vessels. This certification is used to ensure safety, reliability, and quality in the manufacturing process of these products.
The process of obtaining an ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Certification takes approximately four to six months. The first step is to identify an Authorized Inspector (AI) who is qualified to inspect your product. The AI will review your drawings, specifications, and other documents related to the product’s design. Once the AI has approved your product design, they will issue an Authorization To Construct (ATC).
Next, you must submit a Quality Control Plan (QCP) which outlines how you plan to manufacture the product according to ASME standards. After submitting your QCP, it must be reviewed by both the AI and an ASME representative before it can be approved. Once approved, you can begin manufacturing your product according to the QCP.
Finally, when all components have been manufactured and inspected according to ASME standards, you can apply for a Certificate of Authorization (CofA). This certificate verifies that your product meets all necessary requirements set forth by ASME standards.
The cost of obtaining an ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Certification varies depending on several factors such as size of the project and complexity of design. Generally speaking, costs range from $25k - $50k USD for smaller projects or up to $100k+ USD for larger projects with more complex designs.
7. ASME Section IX – Welding and Brazing Qualifications Certification
ASME Section IX – Welding and Brazing Qualifications Certification is a certification program that is administered by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). It is designed to ensure that welders and brazers are qualified to perform welding and brazing operations in accordance with ASME standards.
To become certified, welders and brazers must pass a written test, demonstrate their proficiency in welding or brazing through a practical exam, and submit documentation of their experience. The certification process typically takes anywhere from 3-6 months depending on the complexity of the application.
The cost for certification varies depending on the type of certification being sought, but generally ranges from $200-$500. In addition to the cost of the certification itself, applicants may also need to pay for travel expenses associated with taking the practical exam.
In order to get ASME Section IX – Welding and Brazing Qualifications Certification, applicants must first register with an approved testing agency such as AWS or ASNT. Once registered, applicants will be required to complete an application form which includes information about their experience in welding or brazing as well as any additional training they have received. After submitting the application form, applicants will be scheduled for a written test followed by a practical exam. Upon successful completion of both tests, applicants will receive their certification card which can then be used to apply for jobs requiring ASME Section IX qualifications.
8. National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certified Fabricator
The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certified Fabricator is a certification program for individuals who are involved in the fabrication of structural steel components. This certification program is designed to recognize those individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to fabricate structural steel components in accordance with industry standards.
To become an NCCER Certified Fabricator, individuals must complete a series of assessments that demonstrate their competency in fabrication techniques and safety protocols. The assessments include written exams, practical hands-on evaluations, and oral interviews. The assessments are administered by NCCER-accredited assessors at approved assessment centers.
The length of time it takes to become an NCCER Certified Fabricator varies depending on the individual’s experience level and the number of assessments they need to take. Generally, it takes between 6 months and 1 year to complete all of the required assessments and become certified.
Individuals interested in becoming an NCCER Certified Fabricator should contact their local NCCER Accredited Assessor or Training Sponsor for more information about how to get started.
There is a fee associated with taking the assessments needed for certification; however, this fee may vary depending on where you take the assessments and which type of assessment you need to take (e.g., written exam vs practical evaluation). Generally speaking, fees range from $100-$500 per assessment.
9. International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Certified Pipe Fitter
The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Certified Pipe Fitter is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have the knowledge and experience necessary to install, maintain, and repair piping systems. The IAPMO Certified Pipe Fitter program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
To become an IAPMO Certified Pipe Fitter, you must pass an exam that covers topics such as pipe fitting installation, maintenance, and repair. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. To qualify for the exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience in plumbing or mechanical work and must provide proof of their experience.
To register for the IAPMO Certified Pipe Fitter exam, applicants must submit an application form along with a fee of $150 USD. Applicants will also be required to provide proof of their experience in plumbing or mechanical work. Once approved, applicants will receive a notification email with instructions on how to schedule their exam date and time.
The IAPMO Certified Pipe Fitter certification is valid for three years from the date it was issued. After three years, certified pipe fitters are required to renew their certification by taking a renewal exam or completing continuing education credits. The cost for renewing the certification is $75 USD.
10. American Petroleum Institute (API) 653 Tank Inspector Certification
American Petroleum Institute (API) 653 Tank Inspector Certification is a certification that verifies the competency of an inspector to inspect, repair, alter and maintain aboveground storage tanks. It is a voluntary certification program that is recognized nationally and internationally.
To get certified, applicants must have at least three years of experience in tank inspection and must pass an exam administered by the American Petroleum Institute. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as corrosion control, welding and fabrication, safety practices, storage tank design and construction, leak detection methods, maintenance procedures, and environmental regulations.
The certification process typically takes about six months to complete. During this time, applicants must complete an online application form, submit proof of their work experience in the form of references or letters from employers or supervisors who can vouch for their competency in tank inspection. They must also pass the API 653 exam with a score of 70% or higher.
The cost for the exam varies depending on where it is taken but generally ranges from $500 - $1,000 USD. This cost includes registration fees as well as any applicable taxes or other fees associated with taking the exam.
11. API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspector Certification
API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspector Certification is a certification program administered by the American Petroleum Institute (API) that certifies individuals in the inspection, repair, alteration, and rerating activities for pressure vessels. The API 510 certification program is designed to identify qualified inspectors who demonstrate knowledge and experience in the inspection, repair, alteration and re-rating of pressure vessels.
The API 510 certification exam is a multiple-choice test with a four-hour time limit. The exam consists of 80 questions covering topics such as materials, fabrication methods, welding processes, nondestructive examination techniques, postweld heat treatment requirements and other related subjects. To pass the exam, applicants must score at least 70%.
To become certified as an API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspector, applicants must meet certain prerequisites including having a minimum of three years’ experience in pressure vessel inspection or equivalent field experience. Applicants must also have completed an approved training course or have documented proof of equivalent training or experience.
The cost to take the API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspector Certification Exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $500 to $1,000 USD.
Do You Really Need a Fabricator Certificate?
The short answer is yes, if you want to become a certified fabricator. A fabricator certificate is an important document that certifies your ability to design and construct various kinds of fabrications. It also serves as proof of your knowledge and skill in the use of various tools and techniques for fabrication.
A fabricator certificate can be obtained through a variety of sources, such as an accredited university or college, a trade school, or from the American Welding Society (AWS). The AWS offers certification programs for welding professionals in different areas such as pipe welding, structural steel welding, aluminum welding, and more. Once you complete the required coursework and pass the certification exam, you will receive your certificate.
Having a fabricator certificate can be beneficial in many ways. It can open doors to job opportunities in industries such as aerospace engineering, automotive manufacturing, construction services, and more. With a certified status, employers are more likely to trust that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to get the job done correctly. Furthermore, having a certified status may help you stand out among other candidates during interviews since it provides evidence of your qualifications and expertise in the field.
In conclusion, getting a fabricator certificate is highly recommended if you plan on working in this field professionally or even if you just want to make sure that your work meets industry standards. Having this certification demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about fabrication techniques and tools and shows potential employers that you are committed to doing quality work with attention to detail.
Related: Fabricator Resume Examples
FAQs About Fabricator Certifications
Q1: What is a Fabricator Certification?
A1: Fabricator Certifications are credentials that demonstrate a person’s proficiency in fabricating and welding metal components. These certifications are awarded by the American Welding Society (AWS) and require passing an exam.
Q2: How do I get certified as a Fabricator?
A2: To become certified as a Fabricator, you must complete an approved training program, pass the AWS Exam, and meet any other requirements set forth by the AWS.
Q3: What is covered in the Fabricator Certification Exam?
A3: The Fabricator Certification Exam covers topics such as metallurgy, welding processes, welding inspection, and safety procedures. It also includes questions on blueprint reading and layout techniques.
Q4: How often do I need to renew my certification?
A4: Your certification must be renewed every two years in order to maintain its validity. Renewal can be done through recertification exams or by taking approved continuing education courses.
Q5: Are there any prerequisites for taking the Fabricator Certification Exam?
A5: Yes, you must have at least three years of relevant experience prior to taking the exam, or have completed an accredited welding program from an approved institution. Additionally, you must be at least 18 years old to take the exam.