Article

Top 10 Pipe Welder Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top pipe welding certifications available, as well as tips for choosing the right certification for your needs.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are essential for a pipe welder in the job market because they provide assurance to employers that the individual has the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to perform their job safely and correctly. They also demonstrate an individual's commitment to their craft, which is important in competitive markets. Certifications can also provide access to higher-paying jobs and help employers differentiate between qualified welders with different levels of expertise. Additionally, certifications can open up opportunities for career advancement and give welders the opportunity to stay current on industry trends and best practices.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Pipe Welders and explains how they can help advance a pipe welder's career.

What are Pipe Welder Certifications?

Pipe welder certification is a type of qualification that verifies the ability of a welder to join pipes and other related components. This certification typically requires welders to demonstrate their skill level in welding pipe joints and pass a written test in order to obtain the certification.

The primary benefit of achieving pipe welder certification is that it helps ensure that welders are qualified for the job they are performing. The certification also serves as an assurance to employers that welders have been properly trained and can complete their work safely and accurately. Additionally, having this type of certification can help welders stand out from other applicants when seeking employment opportunities, as employers may view certified welders more favorably than those without the same qualifications.

In addition, having pipe welder certification can also provide access to higher-paying jobs within the industry, as many companies prefer to hire certified welders for certain positions. Furthermore, it demonstrates a commitment to safety on behalf of the welder and provides proof that he or she has received formal training in welding procedures and techniques. As such, pipe welder certification can be an invaluable asset for anyone looking to enter or advance within the welding industry.

Pro Tip: Make sure to get certified for pipe welding from a reputable organization. Certification is important for ensuring that you have the necessary skills and expertise to perform pipe welding safely and accurately. Additionally, certification can lead to better job opportunities in the future.

Related: What does a Pipe Welder do?

Top 10 Pipe Welder Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Pipe Welders today.

1. American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Pipe Welder

The American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to weld pipe in accordance with industry standards. This certification is recognized by many employers as evidence of an individual’s welding ability and experience.

To become AWS Certified Pipe Welder, applicants must pass a written exam and demonstrate their ability to weld pipe in accordance with industry standards. The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions related to welding safety, welding symbols, joint design, preheat/postweld heat treatment requirements, welding processes, filler metal selection, and inspection techniques.

In order to take the written exam for AWS Certified Pipe Welder, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a minimum of two years of documented experience in pipe welding or completion of an approved pipe welding program. Applicants must also provide proof of completing an approved safety course related to pipe welding.

The cost for taking the written exam for AWS Certified Pipe Welder varies depending on the location where the exam is taken; however, it typically ranges from $150 to $300 USD. The cost includes both the exam fee as well as any applicable administrative fees.

Once all requirements are met and the written exam is successfully completed, applicants will receive their AWS Certified Pipe Welder certificate within four to six weeks after passing the exam.

2. National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certified Pipe Welder

The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification program designed to recognize the competency of welders in the fabrication, installation, and maintenance of piping systems. This certification is offered through NCCER's Piping Fabrication and Installation curriculum. The program consists of four levels: Basic Safety, Core Curriculum, Advanced Welding Processes, and Specialty Welding Processes.

To become an NCCER Certified Pipe Welder, individuals must complete all four levels of the curriculum. Each level requires a minimum of 40 hours of instruction time and may take up to three months to complete depending on the individual's experience level. Upon successful completion of all four levels, individuals will receive an NCCER Certification card as well as a Certificate of Completion from their instructor.

The cost for the NCCER Certified Pipe Welder program varies based on where it is taken and how long it takes to complete. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $1,000 - $2,500 USD per person depending on the length of instruction time required.

3. American Petroleum Institute (API) Certified Pipe Welder

American Petroleum Institute (API) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification that is issued by the American Petroleum Institute. This certification is designed to ensure that welders have the necessary skills and knowledge to safely and properly weld pipes according to API standards.

To become an API Certified Pipe Welder, applicants must first complete a welding program at an accredited school or apprenticeship program. The applicant must then pass a written exam as well as a practical welding examination. The practical test requires the welder to demonstrate their ability to weld pipe joints in accordance with API standards.

The cost of becoming an API Certified Pipe Welder depends on the training program chosen by the applicant. Generally, it will take anywhere from four months to two years to become certified depending on the type of training program chosen and how much time is devoted to studying for the exams.

In addition, there may be additional costs associated with taking the exams such as registration fees, testing fees, and travel expenses if applicable. The cost of becoming an API Certified Pipe Welder can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars depending on the training program chosen and other factors.

4. National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Certified Pipe Welder

The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification program that verifies the welding skills and knowledge of welders who work with piping systems. This certification is designed to ensure that welders are knowledgeable in the areas of welding safety, quality control, and proper welding techniques.

To become NACE Certified Pipe Welder, individuals must pass a written exam and a practical demonstration of their welding skills. The written exam covers topics such as safety, metallurgy, welding processes, inspection, and quality control. The practical demonstration requires welders to demonstrate their skill in making various types of welds on different materials.

It typically takes approximately six months to become NACE Certified Pipe Welder from start to finish. The first step is to complete an application package which includes submitting the required documents such as proof of experience and education. Once approved for the program, applicants will need to register for the exam and pay the associated fee. After passing both the written and practical exams, applicants will receive their NACE Certification Card.

The cost for becoming NACE Certified Pipe Welder varies depending on location but generally ranges from $500-$1,000 USD including registration fees and any other associated costs such as travel or lodging expenses.

5. International Institute of Welding (IIW) Certified Pipe Welder

The International Institute of Welding (IIW) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification program that recognizes welders who demonstrate the highest level of skill and knowledge in pipe welding. This certification is recognized worldwide and is accepted by employers as evidence of a welder’s proficiency in pipe welding.

The IIW Certified Pipe Welder program typically takes six to eight weeks to complete, depending on the individual's experience level. The program consists of four stages: theory, practical, written exam and a final assessment. During the theory stage, students learn about welding safety, metallurgy, welding processes and techniques, joint design and fabrication. The practical stage involves hands-on training with various types of pipe materials, such as stainless steel and carbon steel. The written exam tests a student’s knowledge of welding principles, codes and standards. Finally, during the final assessment stage, welders are tested on their ability to produce high-quality welds in accordance with industry standards.

To become an IIW Certified Pipe Welder, individuals must first meet certain prerequisites including being at least 18 years old; having a valid driver’s license or other form of identification; having basic math skills; completing an approved training program; passing both the written exam and the final assessment; and meeting any additional requirements set forth by their employer or local licensing agency.

The cost for becoming an IIW Certified Pipe Welder varies depending on the individual’s location and training provider. Generally speaking, it can range from $1,000 - $4,000 USD for tuition fees alone. Additional costs may include books/materials (if applicable), travel expenses (if applicable), testing fees (if applicable) etc.

6. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Certified Pipe Welder

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and proficiency in welding pipe. The certification is designed to ensure that welders have the necessary skills to safely and successfully weld pipes of various sizes and materials.

To become ASME Certified, welders must complete an approved welding program and pass a written exam as well as a performance test. The exam covers topics such as safety, metallurgy, code requirements, welding symbols, and other related topics. The performance test requires welders to demonstrate their ability to make sound welds on various types of pipe.

It typically takes between four and six months to complete the training program and receive the certification. During this time, welders will be expected to attend classes or seminars on welding techniques and safety protocols, practice their welding skills in a lab setting, and take the written exam. Once they have passed the exam and completed the performance test, they will be eligible for certification.

The cost of obtaining ASME Certification varies depending on where you take the training program and how long it takes you to complete it. Generally speaking, most programs range from $2,000-$4,000 USD in total fees including tuition costs, books/materials fees, testing fees, etc.

7. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Certified Pipe Welder

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification program that verifies the skills of welders who are working with piping systems. The certification program is designed to ensure that welders have the knowledge and experience necessary to safely and effectively work with piping systems.

To become an ASTM Certified Pipe Welder, individuals must first complete a welding training program or apprenticeship. After completing the training, applicants must pass a written exam and then demonstrate their welding skills in a practical test. The practical test requires applicants to weld several different types of pipe joints using various welding processes.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the training and obtain the certification. Depending on the type of training program or apprenticeship chosen, it may take longer or shorter than this time frame.

To get certified as an ASTM Certified Pipe Welder, individuals must first find a suitable welding training program or apprenticeship that meets their needs. Once they have completed the required training, they can apply for the written exam and practical test through ASTM International’s website.

The cost of becoming an ASTM Certified Pipe Welder varies depending on the type of welding training chosen, but it usually ranges from $2,000 - $6,000 USD. This cost includes tuition fees, materials needed for the tests, and any other associated costs such as travel expenses or lodging if applicable.

8. Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) Certified Pipe Welder

The Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification program that allows welders to demonstrate their skill and knowledge in welding pipe. The certification is recognized by employers, regulatory bodies, and other organizations across Canada as a standard for quality welding workmanship.

To become CWB certified, welders must complete a training program from an approved CWB training provider. This program typically takes between 4-6 weeks to complete, depending on the type of pipe welding being done. After completing the training course, welders must then pass a written exam and practical assessment administered by the CWB in order to receive their certification.

The cost of becoming CWB certified varies depending on the type of pipe welding being done and the specific requirements of the employer or regulatory body. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 to become certified.

In addition to the cost of becoming certified, there are also annual fees associated with maintaining your certification which must be paid in order to keep it valid. These fees range from $100-$300 per year depending on the type of pipe welding being done.

9. Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMAI) Certified Pipe Welder

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMAI) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification program that recognizes the abilities of welders who have demonstrated their proficiency in welding pipe. This certification is designed to help employers identify and hire qualified welders and to help welders demonstrate their skills to potential employers.

The FMAI Certified Pipe Welder program consists of a written exam and a hands-on practical test. The written exam covers topics such as safety, welding processes, metallurgy, and code requirements. The practical test requires welders to demonstrate their ability to produce quality welds on various types of materials including carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper alloys.

It typically takes about 4-6 weeks to complete the FMAI Certified Pipe Welder program depending on the individual’s availability for testing. To get certified, interested individuals must first register with FMAI by filling out an application form and paying the required fees. After registering, applicants will be provided with access to study materials which they can use to prepare for the written exam.

Once applicants have completed the written exam they can schedule a time for their practical test with an authorized testing center. During the practical test applicants are evaluated on their ability to produce quality welds according to industry standards. Upon successful completion of both tests applicants will receive their FMAI Certified Pipe Welder certificate.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on the testing center but generally ranges from $200-$400 USD.

10. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Certified Pipe Welder

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Certified Pipe Welder is a certification that demonstrates a welder’s ability to weld pipe according to the ISO standards. It is an internationally recognized certification that verifies a welder's knowledge, skills, and abilities related to welding pipe.

To become an ISO Certified Pipe Welder, you must have at least one year of experience in welding pipe and pass a written exam. The exam covers topics such as safety, welding techniques, metallurgy, and inspection requirements. After passing the exam, you will receive your ISO Certified Pipe Welder certificate.

The cost of becoming an ISO Certified Pipe Welder varies depending on where you take the exam. Generally speaking, it can range from $50-$200 USD.

In terms of how long it takes to get certified, it depends on how quickly you can study for and pass the written exam. Most people are able to complete the process within a few weeks or months.

Do You Really Need a Pipe Welder Certificate?

The short answer to this question is yes, you do need a pipe welder certificate. This certificate is an important credential that proves your competence in the welding field and demonstrates your commitment to safety. A pipe welder certificate will help you stand out from the competition and can open up more job opportunities.

Pipe welders are responsible for joining pipes together in order to form a variety of structures. They must have an in-depth understanding of welding techniques, safety procedures, and materials used in the process. In addition, they must be able to read blueprints accurately and work on projects under tight deadlines. Without a pipe welder certificate, employers may not be willing to hire someone without the necessary qualifications.

Having a pipe welder certificate also shows employers that you have taken the time to become certified in the profession. The certification process requires knowledge of welding techniques and material properties as well as mastery of common welding tools and equipment. It also involves mastering safety protocols so that welders can protect themselves from any potential hazards while working on projects.

Finally, obtaining a pipe welder certificate demonstrates your dedication to excellence in your craft. It shows that you are committed to learning all aspects of the trade and are willing to put in the effort required to stay abreast of new developments and technologies related to welding processes. As such, employers may be more likely to offer higher salaries or promotions if they know that you have achieved a certification in this field.

In conclusion, having a pipe welder certificate is essential for anyone who wants to pursue a career as a professional welder. The certification process is challenging but it is worth it since it can help you stand out from other applicants and open up more job opportunities with better pay or promotion potentials down the line.

Related: Pipe Welder Resume Examples

FAQs About Pipe Welder Certifications

1. What are the requirements to become a certified pipe welder?

Answer: The requirements to become a certified pipe welder vary depending on your location and employer, but generally include passing an American Welding Society (AWS) welding certification test, having at least two years of experience in welding pipe, and completing any required safety training courses.

2. What types of certifications are available for pipe welders?

Answer: There are several different types of certifications available for pipe welders, including AWS D1.1 Structural Steel Welding Certification, AWS D9.1 Pipe Welding Certification, ASME Section IX Qualification Testing, and NCCER Pipe Fitting Certification.

3. How long does it take to earn a pipe welding certification?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to earn a pipe welding certification can vary depending on the type of certification you are pursuing and how much preparation you do beforehand. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from one to three months or more to complete all the necessary training and testing for a particular certification.

4. Is there an age requirement for becoming a certified pipe welder?

Answer: No, there is no age requirement for becoming a certified pipe welder; however, some employers may require additional safety training or certifications if you are under 18 years old.

5. Are there any special qualifications needed to work as a certified pipe welder?

Answer: Yes, depending on the type of industry you wish to work in as a certified pipe welder, you may need additional qualifications such as hazardous material handling certifications or specialized equipment operation certifications in order to be hired by certain employers.