Welding Degree vs Certificate : What’s the Difference?

Welding is basically considered the critical skill or ability for multiple jobs in different industries. Multiple career paths are available, like assembler, welder, machine operator, manufacturing, or construction. Furthermore, people can work as supervisors, technicians, welding inspectors, technical sales, or engineers.  People can get a welding degree or certification for different jobs.

In this article, the comparison is conducted among welding degree and certification.  “Bureau of Labor Statistics” stated that in the United States, around 316,000 welders get employment in the manufacturing industry.   In multiple industries, welding is considered an important process involving energy, manufacturing & many more. For a welding degree, more time is spent in school. People need to study more in welding degree as compare to certification.

When someone graduated and has a welding degree, he will get more salary than the person who has the certification. After graduation, people who have a welding degree, he/she has a good position in the industry compared to a person who has the only certification. Pros as wells cons of welding degree and certification are discussed in this article.

Welding Degree vs Certificate What's the Difference
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Welding Degree Vs. Certification

Welding basically does not need a college degree. Several individuals could learn on the job while working on certification.  Certification training in welding could be completed within 7 months. The welder uses cutting techniques and welding knowledge, engineering codes, requirements, and standards to cut, lay out, fabricate, weld, and cut metal components into the structural product or form.

Welding certification is the tradesman verification. In this certification, the welder could perform physically. Welds are performed by them, which are required for a particular joint or part.  Certification is attained by passing the welding test that is given & overseen by the certified welder.  Welds are monitored by the certified welder and demonstrated that welds are performed regarding the certifying organization’s approved guidelines and procedures.

Government and military firms use their own requirements of certification. At welding school or the workplace, tests of welding certifications are mostly performed. Generally, certified welders attain good salaries. The reason is that certified welders are basically competent in particular kinds of welds.

Associate degree

This degree goes more in-depth as compared to the certification program. Welding degree emphasizes high-level skills, which are important to pass the more difficult tests of the weld.  Welding degree covers important kinds of welding used in different applications like structural engineering, nuclear power, military, pipeline or ship repair and building.

To this degree, the individual would be exposed to different testing techniques, quality control & metallurgy training, and codes.  Generally, a welding degree provides the fundamental knowledge and training of manufacturing operations, mechanical design, non-destructive and destructive testing, material science & different SME/AWS specifications and standards.

A welder does this degree for attaining the career as the Pipe Fitter, Welding Technician, Supervisor positions and ownership of Fabrication Shop, etc. Tests are conducted and designed by the welding technician.  Data is always evaluated by a welder that supports welder engineers in developing new materials and equipment, welding procedures, and techniques.

Additionally, they monitor and test the welded joint to make sure that they meet the company’s standards, requirements of national code & customer specifications. Welding technicians have a duty of preparation of technical reports based on R&D effort results & maintenance investigations.  Generally, at technical schools, more welding courses are offered. If anybody plans to move into the management or supervisory position, then a high degree is required, like a BS from a reputable college might be necessary.

Welding Certificate

Whereas welding certification could be completed within 7 months. The welder uses welding knowledge, cutting techniques, requirements, standards, and engineering codes to fit, weld, fabricate, and cut the components of metal into the structural product or form. Multiple employees need the welder to prove their welding skill either by taking the welding test or asking questions in their company or shop or by giving them certification that is up-to-date from the welding organization or reputable school.

Welders are aware of the latest or modern technology & are certified in higher demand with employers. Welding abilities are transferrable among states and employers. Since certification is basically not granted by the state organization while the employer or school grants it, it’s comfortable to move from one stage to another.

Generally, better salaries are received by the certified welders, and the reason is that they have certification, and welders are more competent in the particular kinds of welds. It’s not so uncommon for the certified welders to earn 36 dollars per hour & above. More time is required to spend on the welding degree, whereas less time is spent on welding certification.  Welding degree is considered as more knowledgeable as compared to certification.  After getting the welding degree, you can attain an ore good position in the market than welding certification.  Different institutes offer various welding degrees as well as certification.

Employer welder used their certification and qualification for multiple years to verify welder and observed that they are competent in the particular kind of weld. This supports employers to demonstrate whether the welder is qualified or not for a particular position or job.  Employers’ requirement for the selection of welder is not always that welder should be certified. For any job, the test is taken from the welders, and qualified welders are considered. Initially, multiple people think that certified and qualified are similar. In the broader term, the customer or employer’s qualification might not be demonstrated according to the documented requirements. Different companies have different requirements based on the niche of their jobs.


The conclusion drawn from the discussion is that welding degree and certification are not similar. Both are different from each other in multiple ways.  For attaining a welding degree, more time is required as compared to certification.

When someone graduated and has a welding degree, he will get more salary than the person who has the certification. This article goes through different positions that welder attained after getting the welding degree or certification.

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