CHOOSING A CAREER / JAN. 05, 2015
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How to Become a Welding Inspector in the US

Welding inspectors ensure welding processes meet the required safety standards. As such, they not only improve the workplace safety of welders, but also improve the quality of welding products such as steel doors and car rims. If you are interested in working in industrial settings and possess the ability to pay close attention to details, this could be your the right career for you.

What Do Welding Inspectors Do?

The duties of welding inspectors include:

  • Reviewing work orders for welding jobs and assessing the mechanical soundness of welding equipment.
  • Inspecting the work of welders to ensure they adhere to occupational safety guidelines, such as wearing welding glasses.
  • Documenting inspection results and submitting them to senior officials.
  • Advising welders on how to ensure compliance with welding codes and regulations.
  • Conducting research to identify new welding techniques that can improve the safety of workers and improve product quality.
  • Developing quality assurance programs on behalf of a company or government agency.

Work Environment

Welding inspectors work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Although they have offices where they compile inspection reports, they spend most of the time at job sites inspecting welding activities.

The work can be physically demanding as these inspectors may need to conduct inspections at heights on ladders or scaffolding, especially in construction projects. If you have a phobia for heights, start working on it soon!

Salary

What is the average annual salary for welding inspectors? Find out below:

Occupation

Average Annual Salary

Welding Inspector

$42,000

Source: Indeed

Entry Requirements

It takes a combination of the right education and job experience to become a welding inspector. Ideally, you should start by becoming a welder.

To get started in welding, you can:

  • Pursue welding or metalwork courses in a trade school or community college
  • Join a welding apprenticeship program – These programs are usually offered by manufacturing plants, construction firms, and welding companies.

The next step is to find a welding gig and gain some practical job experience. You can then go back to college and pursue an associate degree in welding technology. Some of the institutions offering this course include:

Important Qualities

To be a competent welding inspector you need:

  • Strong observation and attention to detail skills
  • A superior mastery of welding techniques
  • Excellent practical and technical skills
  • Strong report writing skills
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Physical stamina
  • Good time and project management skills
  • Good skills in technical planning
  • A grasp of occupational safety and health guidelines.

Career Advancement

After finding work as a welding inspector, you should:

  • Work toward obtaining the Certified Welding Inspector designation from the American Welding Society – To qualify for certification, you must meet experience or education (or a combination of both) requirements and pass an examination
  • Pursue a bachelor’s degree in welding technology or welding and fabrication engineering.

The AWS also offers membership opportunities, which you can grab to stay abreast of news and trends in the welding industry.

Job Opportunities

The employers of welding inspectors include:

  • Government agencies, such as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and state departments of labor
  • Manufacturing companies, such as automobile and airplane manufacturers
  • Construction firms

As you gain vast inspection experience and pursue an additional degree, you can be hired as a quality control manager in manufacturing plants.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s aging infrastructure and the thriving manufacturing industry will create more jobs for welders. This means more work for welding inspectors.

So if you are interested in safeguarding the quality of buildings, motor vehicles, planes and a range of other products and structures, pursuing a career in welding inspection could prove to be a wise decision.

 

Image: AOL Jobs

 

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