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Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / CWI experience
- - By MRWeldSoCal (***) Date 01-29-2016 22:55

Can a SCWI write off your 5 years of "experience" based on evaluating your welding knowledge, and therefore write off your 5 years himself for you to take the exam?

Parent - By welderbrent (*****) Date 01-30-2016 00:14
If I understand your question correctly... only if he is the company representative for the QC dept and they are paying for your seminar and exam and he is tasked with making sure the candidate has a chance of passing prior to the company spending money to attempt it.

If it is all on your dime, not a chance.  Send it in.  AWS verifies according to their standards and doesn't care if someone else thinks you can pass or not, it's only about the money (nickels and noses so to speak). 

Having said that, many people have enough time in and technically meet the requirements but will not actually have the knowledge and experience needed to pass the exam and even if they get lucky they won't make a good CWI for some time and with much additional training.  Be cautious, the SCWI may be correct and money would be wasted. 

Why do you think the fail rate is so high?  Many taking the exam without enough of the correct background. 

For example, many welders 'work to a national code' but have never seen the applicable code book.  Are they qualified?  According to AWS, yes.  But their odds are a lot lower than someone who actually has seen the inside pages of the code book. 

He Is In Control, Have a Great Day,  Brent
Parent - By TheNumber8 (*) Date 02-17-2016 00:08
The question of who makes a good CWI or SCWI is a great question in itself. I've had experience working in the welding field and I must say that you work around people from all walks of life in this profession.  I have worked with intelligent "all-stars" who can weld like nobody else, who have less than 5 years in the field all the way through "rocks" who have been welding for 30+ and still can't read a basic welding symbol. These types simply just show up to work and do what the boss tells them to do and there are more out there than one may think.

I think AWS did a great job with reestablishing the minimum requirements back around "07-ish" as it opened the door for many people who are engaged in the profession in some capacity who have the potential to become great inspectors. I have instructed people with 20 years experience in welding and who have been "qualified" by a company for 10 years as a VT inspector who I would not recommend to undertake the CWI examination. In turn, I have also instructed people with ZERO experience in the welding field but due to their inherent intelligence, determination, and willingness to learn and succeed, I would highly recommend they undergo the CWI examination as soon as they meet the minimum requirements.

Another factor which comes onto play is the ability of someone to read, properly understand and interpret a code book.  With respect to an AWS CWI/SCWI examination, their exams are based primarily on AWS type documents.  Of course, a CWI candidate may also elect to choose the API 1104 for their Code Book Exam (as a lot do...)  Bottom line on this part of the subject--if someone has the ability to properly interpret other codes such as MIL-STD's and ASME's,  they will have no problem learning the AWS codes--and vice versa.
- - By 803056 (*****) Date 01-31-2016 01:12

Parent - - By MRWeldSoCal (***) Date 02-01-2016 16:30
I was going to ask a related question last month.  I have seen many people who I at least felt did not have 5 years of (weld related experience) get it written off.   I was reassured as Brent said that the test will determine everything.  I just did not think there was any substitute for the work experience aside from the degrees.

Parent - - By welderbrent (*****) Date 02-01-2016 17:33
I think I misunderstood your question.

No, you MUST have 5 years of experience or more depending upon education; high school (5 years), college (if applicable, less than 5 years), or no HS diploma (12 years).

An SCWI, employer, no one can reduce the experience years. 

I thought you meant, 'could they say you don't have enough experience' when in fact you do.  To which I said, only if....

Now, I believe I agree with you in that, there are way too many very young and inexperienced people taking the exam, and on occasion passing and becoming CWI's.  Testing labs and fab shops are 'cheating' the system by claiming these people have experience that they don't have in order to get more CWI's for their staff and in the case of labs be able to get more jobs done at higher rates since they can supply more personnel. 

No, the test will not determine everything.  It isn't set up to work that way.  Just because someone can pass the test doesn't make them qualified to be a CWI.  They NEED that experience.  And really, if you ever attended my classes that I do for our section on being qualified and preparing oneself for the CWI exams you would hear me tell people that just because they have the years working to a code does not mean they are ready to take the test and be a CWI, especially a TPI.  There are many reasons for this that I won't go into right now.

Parent - - By MRWeldSoCal (***) Date 02-01-2016 19:35
Ill be honest with ya Brent... I kinda want you to go into it :) haha

It is very hard for me to see it happening as well.  I have seen guys take that test two and even three times and they have never really had any welding related experience.  I'm lucky to have a mentor who has one of the best moral compass I've seen and I follow his lead.  But I really gets under my skin when someone who I believe is far far from understanding the job, as well as the drive and desire to do your full job correctly as well has help the customer trouble shoot problems, gets their CWI.  Just seems to dilute the purpose. 

Parent - By welderbrent (*****) Date 02-02-2016 00:04
I know a guy who just failed the exam for either the 4th or 5th time.  Won't go into details on the bogus exemption he got on a particular issue with AWS... messed up if you ask me. 

Now, so to go further into it...

If one has spent all their 5 years on a shop floor in a legitimate code using shop then they are 'qualified' per the specifications.  But NOT QUALIFIED in true job applicable experience most of the time.  Why?  They have never seen the code book let alone had to look anything up in it.  They have only worked off of shop drawings, maybe-sometimes all they know how to do is weld, but have never seen a full print pack or know anything about looking up the correct detail, schedule, or notes to put the piece together let alone the whole building.

If one has spent all their 5 years doing repair welding (B5.1, 5.5.6) they are qualified to sit for the exam, but, REALLY?  Qualified to do CWI work? 

How about 5.5.11?  Using a quality system?  How wide open is that?  And bogus to boot.  Everybody uses some form of quality system, even if it isn't written down.  Most of them say, 'weld the part.  If it stuck together it's good.'  BIG DEAL!!  And they are qualified to do what if they pass the exam? 

I tell people they need to make sure they have some experience and knowledge across the board.  Not necessarily in all areas in B5.1 but more than just one area.  And being able to read weld(ing) symbols and pass the test (which who knows if you got any of those right) is not proof you can read blueprints but that's what I hear said by those who pass the exam...'I passed the exam I can read prints.' 

Off soapbox...Just my two tin pennies worth.

He Is In Control, Have a Great Day,  Brent
Parent - - By mwmw (**) Date 02-02-2016 02:21
At the seminar i took there was a guy that worked in a manufacturing facility(as an assembler) that had welders in the building. His company signed off on his experience   :sad:
Parent - - By 803056 (*****) Date 02-02-2016 12:39
Did he pass the examination?

While many of these people "qualify" to sit for the examination, how many actually pass the examination?

Of the three parts of the CWI examinations, Part B probably filters out those individuals that truly lack the experience needed to function as a CWI.

Very few individuals that sign up for the CWI have the back ground needed to pass the examination without additional study. Whether they work in a "code" shop or not, few welders have the necessary experience looking for information in a code book or experience with all the different welding processes covered by the examination, few engineers have experience examining welds, and few QC personnel  have experience with all the different welding processes. In each case, the candidate has to expand his  knowledge of welding, inspection, codes, mechanical testing, and metallurgy. Whether they obtain the knowledge by home study, taking a class at a community college, a for profit organization, or AWS sponsored seminar is not an issue. Whether one can pass the examination with a 72% correct score is the issue. Of all the variables at issue, the least pivotal is whether the candidate has experience. That will come soon enough when the CWI picks up his fillet gages and walks through the shop door. In any event, it is the employer's responsibility to assess the CWI's experience and capabilities before assigning them to a project. The CWI credential is not the end point, hopefully it is the beginning of a life long learning experience.

Just my thoughts on the process of qualifying to be a functional CWI.

Best regards - Al
Parent - By mwmw (**) Date 02-02-2016 12:57
I doubt it. Right before the 3rd exam i overheard him saying he hoped he scored at least a 50 average. Ha
Parent - By MRWeldSoCal (***) Date 02-02-2016 17:11
I agree with what both you and Brent are saying.  I would not say I had a ton of print reading experience prior to taking the CWI.  I was a fitter/welder and started as a grunt in the union when I get my real first taste of formal Code print reading. But I had been welding to prints for many years.  I was also in welding school at the local college at night for a few years.  I remember reading and studying 4 months in advance of the exam, every single night, after the test I was so sick of welding haha.  Took me a good few weeks to want to open a book about it.  

I teach an LA City prep course to prepare students for the code test, and built the class more of a CWI style understanding.  I broke down each clause into its own sets of questions and it covers clause 1-6 and came to 137 questions.  I teach the class clause by clause, one a week.  For their final I take 50 questions from the 137 and give them 2 hours to complete it.  Between us I do not judge their grade based on finishing it all in time but more how many they attempted vs how many they got correct.   I think running them slowly through each clause will help it all stick better and create some real smart welders to send into the welding world.  Plus if they do good, the LA City would be a cake walk.

Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / CWI experience

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