AWS - 2007 USOpen Weld Tr...

  2007 USOpen Weld Trails

TeamUSA Welder Selection Process

Competition Promotes Excellence

Student welder competitions effectively promote quality in welding, one of America’s key production skills.  By holding competitions at the local, national and international levels, AWS and SkillsUSA demonstrate their support through encouraging future welders to develop the full potential of their skills.  AWS welding competitors exemplify excellence through their knowledge, skill and intense personal commitment.

Contests at all levels are comprehensive and consist of written, hands-on welding, code interpretation, and other test of a welder’s skills that are used everyday in the workplace.  Throughout these welding contests, the pressure is on to be the best!

The 2006 Weld-Off sponsored by the American Welding Society was held at the AWS Welding Show & Exposition in Atlanta, GA October 31-November 2, 2006.  The 3 SkillsUSA competitors qualifying the highest will advance on to the next phase of the selection process that will culminate at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, MO June 25-28, 2007. The SkillsUSA winner at the USOpen Weld Trials will represent the United States at the 39th World Skills Competition, November 11-22, 2007 in Shizuoka, Japan.

Who’s Eligible?

Local, Regional, State, National and International SkillsUSA Contest Participants must be active SkillsUSA members who are enrolled in or have graduated from a welding program.

SkillsUSA Championships

Contestants must be active SkillsUSA members who have won first place in their respective states SkillsUSA contest.  There is no age restriction for the SkillsUSA Championships; however, the winner must adhere to the World Skills Competition age restrictions if he/she is to compete.

AWS U.S. Open Weld Trials and World Skills Competition (WSC) Competitors must be less than 23 years old during the year of the WSC to qualify for the US Open Weld Trials and the WSC. The international contest is conducted through the WSC secretariat in The Netherlands.

Scope of the TeamUSA Welder Selection Process

This is a triple elimination event consists of:

(1)The AWS Weld-Off

Twenty-four (24) potential USA candidates, prior secondary and post-secondary contestants, compete for one of six USA invitations to the 2006 Weld-Off. The competition involves test of skill in specific processes and personal development, including:
•    SMAW/GMAW/GTAW/FCAW Test Plates/Pipes (RT and Bent Tests)
•    Stainless Steel, and Aluminum Sheet Metal Weldments
•    SMAW/GMAW/GTAW/FCAW Pressure Vessel (tested using water pressure at 1,000 PSI)
•    Physical and Mental Conditioning Needed to Accept the Challenge of Pursuing an International Gold Metal

(2)The PreWeld Trials

The four medallists from the AWS Weld-Off (two bronze metalist) compete for two positions at the USOpen Weld Trials. Projects were reviewed by a group of experts from January 2007 through May of 2007.

(3) USOpen Weld Trials

This contest will take place in conjunction with the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, MO in June of 2007. The six competitors competing from Australia, Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom are their respective national champions and will be competiting in the World Skills Competition in Japan in November of 2007. The two SkillsUSA welders will be competing against each other and the four international invities to number one see who will represent the USA in Japan and also match skills with those from other countries they will be up against at the World Skills Competition.

The SkillsUSA winner from the US Open Weld Trials will attend on-site, intensive PostWeld Trials training programs provided by major welding companies such as:

Miller Electric Mfg. Co.           
The Lincoln Electric Co.                    
ESAB Welding and Cutting Equipment
Hobart Institute of Welding Technology    
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
United Association Local 72              

Tools and Equipment

Welding machines, accessories, consumables, testing agencies and test equipment for the USOpen Weld Trials were arranged by the AWS Skills Competition Committee.

Judging Criteria

Contestants are evaluated in selected competencies.
  • Print Reading
  • Selection of filler metals and wire
  • Setting of amperage, wire feed speed, voltage, gas flow rate
  • Manipulative skill, speed, accuracy
  • Safety
  • Destructive and nondestructive testing
  • Penetration/Fusion
  • Distortion control


The AWS U.S. Open Weld Trials winner (who will representing the USA at the WSC) will receive a $40,000, four-year scholarship from the AWS Foundation and sponsored by The Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., up to $1,000 in AWS publications,  and a four-year complimentary full AWS membership. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded.

Travel and lodging expenses will also be furnished for the SkillsUSA qualifier and instructor for the trip to Japan, to compete in the WSC, courtesy of AWS.  Travel, lodging and living allowance, while attending the PostWeld Trials training program, are provided courtesy of the post trial training sponsors.

Making Winners

AWS has a long tradition of sending winning competitors from the USA to the international contests.  Since 1991, the AWS sponsored competitors have brought home two Gold, one Silver and three Bronze medals at the World Skills Competitions.

Contest Development

  • SkillsUSA Welding Technical Committee Chair – Eugene Hornberger
  • AWS Skills Competition Committee Chair, and World Skills Competition USA Technical Expert Edward Bohnart, Welding Education & Consulting
  • Contest Print Coordinators, Robert Pope, Arc Dimensions, Inc. Nick Peterson, Miller Electric Mfg. Co., Branden Muehlbrandt, The Lincoln Electric Co., Glenn Kay II, Student, Ray Connolly, Welding Engineer Seagrave, Dien Tran, Student, Miles Tilley, Instructor, and Joel Stanley, Quality Assurance Mng (all former USA WSC contestants)


Judges for the AWS Weld-Off, the SkillsUSA Championships and the USOpen Weld Trials are AWS Certified Welding Inspectors (CWIs) and come from the ranks of inspectors, manufacturer’s representatives, instructors, supervisors and welders. Judges for the WSC are technical experts from the various countries represented in the welding contest.


Question on the Weld-Off, US Open Weld Trials or the World Skills Competition can be directed to:

Chair AWS Skills Competition Committee:
Ed Bohnart
Welding Education and Consulting    
Phone: 920-290-0283

Secretary AWS Skills Competition Committee:
Dennis Marks
American Welding Society
Phone: 800-443-9353

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Email your questions to:

Contact Education Dept.
AWS Education Dept.
8669 Doral Blvd., Suite 130
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Ph: (305) 443-9353
Fax: (305) 648-2396

Christopher Pollock
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Ext: 219

Paola Chacón
Manager, Education Services
Ext: 229

Sharon Campbell
Education Coordinator
Ext: 455