How to get from Welding Inspector to Welding Engineer

TWI Training recently ran a global survey of customers and we found that many people were replying to ask us the same question; ‘How can I get from welding inspector to welding engineer?’

A current shortage of qualified welding engineers means that this is an increasingly popular career path, but to understand what is required it first helps to understand the duties of both roles and how they differ.

What does a Welding Inspector do?

A welding inspector is responsible for carrying out inspections before, during and after welding has taken place. This includes checking the materials, consumables and equipment as well as documentation, material certificates and welder qualifications. A welding inspector should ensure that the welding procedure specification is being adhered to, which will involve the application of standards, procedures and often bespoke requirements for the job. Welding inspectors are also often responsible for witnessing welding procedures and welder qualifications.

What does a Welding Engineer do and what are the differences?

A welding engineer needs to have a much more comprehensive knowledge as they often produce the documentation used by welding inspectors. This means a deeper understanding of metallurgy, welding equipment and standards. This understanding is used by a welding engineer to create welding procedure specifications, which can then be followed by welders and inspected by welding inspectors.

So, in summary, a welding engineer is a problem solver who is heavily involved in the development stage while the welding inspector is more heavily involved once a project gets underway.

Industries and Certification Routes

Welding inspection and welding engineering open up opportunities right across industry, as they are involved in any area that uses welding as a joining process, from aerospace and automotive to construction, marine and power generation.

The methods of entry to a welding engineering diploma depend on whether you hold a CSWIP Welding Inspector or a CSWIP Senior Welding Inspector certificate. Holders of CSWIP Welding Inspector will need to take an entrance examination but CSWIP Senior Welding Inspector certificate holders have immediate access to the EWF/IIW Specialist level Diploma.

Once Specialist level has been attained, to continue onto the Technologist level a HND would have to be obtained and to continue onto Welding Engineer level, an appropriate degree or IEng or CEng (with a minimum of a HND qualification) is required.

TWI also offers a TWI diploma as an alternative to the EWF/IIW diploma for those candidates who do not meet the access conditions. The TWI diploma will still provide credits helping towards your application for professional membership of The Welding Institute and potentially IEng.