Damn and I tired.
5 days of seminars and today , 6 hours of exams.
I zipped through the fundimentals and the code sections.
The practical was the one I had the fewest worries about, but had the
most trouble with.
Too much stuff was on it that was not covered in the seminars.
Mainly reading X-rays of welds and having to diagnose discontinuities
I am 95% sure I passed all 3, with the practical being the only one I
have any doubts of.
Now I have to wait 8 weeks to find out if I passed.
Funny thing is that your CWI becomes valid 30 days after your test, but
you won't know if you passed for 60 days.
Man is my brain tired.
I think I am going to go sniff some glue to get it shrunk down enough
so I can wear my hats again.
Maybe making some more *Kinky* apparatus for your friends should get
your mind off things, if not- you still have another hand to chop fingers
off of. (Ha- in a less than funny buy ribbing way.)
The license start-up definitely has overtones of government procedure so
at least the frustration is old hat given the stress you just put the 'ol
Congratulations! I hope you pass. The process is really draining, isn't
In my experience, exam results are usually out within 3 to 5 weeks even
though they quote 8 weeks. It seems to vary a bit with the number of folks
sitting the exam and time of year. But I think they just want to discourage
folks from calling them about the results, which slows down the whole
Unfortunately, even when you find out you passed, you may not be able to use
your CWI immediately. Your CWI certificate and wallet card show up with
your exam results, but your stamp doesn't show up for a while after that.
Nice to see a knowledgeable guy like Ernie being upfront with all of us
about his concerns about passing a test we probably all expect him to pass
with fly colors. He's a no BS type of guy.
Good luck Ernie, not that you need it
Grab a six-pack of good beer and ride the Ferry out to Victoria! The
ride from Anacortes to Victoria is one of my favorite parts of the
Northwest. People watching, wildlife watching and the scenery are very
cool on that run.
We started out with a guy named Ken, who seems to be one of top guys in
Unfortunately he got a really nasty viral infection on the plane ride
to Seattle so he had to get an emergency replacement to come in on the
Tuesday and finish the week.
Ken was good, but the guy who replaced him may be better.
His name is Rich DePue, and man does he have energy and passion for
what he does.
He informed us on Thursday that he was going to become the new Director
of the AWS in a few weeks.
Friday he found out that he starts Monday as the new Director of the
The guy is only in his late 30's, and he intimated that he is going to
go down to Florida and kick a little ass about modernizing their
administration and getting things better organized.
I wish him luck.
Great guy, and great instructor.
I started the week knowing nothing about NDE, welding symbols, Weld
Procedure Specs, and what most CWI's actually DO.
I learned a hell of a lot in a week.
As you may have noticed over the years, my brain has an affinity for
technical minutia, so I just opened it up and let it pour in.
I still remember stuff from D1.1 Table 3.2 about preheat temps for
ASTM709 plate having a max of 450 degF for thicknesses over 1.5".
I think the money for the seminar was very well spent.
You get the D1.1 along with a bunch of other references.
They don't give you a API-1104 since they don't want to encourage
people to take the easier test.
Interesting thing Rich pointed out was that as long as you make your
payments on time every 3 years, you normally don't have to retest until
your 9th year, but...
... if you take another few seminars over the next 9 years, and when
added to the 48 hours accrued from THIS seminar, they total 90 hours,
you don't even have to take the test in 9 years.
Just pay your fee.
I also went for a Certified Welding Educator card.
No addition test, just more requirements and another $125.
For a CWE you have to verify that you have been teaching for at least 3
years, and that you are a Certified welder.
As a CWI neither of those is true.
In fact as a CWI you need never have welded anything at any time.
Kind of funny.
Rich advised going for Liquid Dye Penetrant, and Mag Particle
qualifications, because a CWI with those can go just about anywhere for
Ultrasound and Eddy Current were more interesting to me.
Eddy current is the best for checking thin wall Stainless steel tube.
So many options open up with that CWI card.
I was originally only going for it so I could do WABO certs at School,
but now I am thinking on grander terms.
Just like any other certifying agency, they just want your money.
I've never struck an arc in my life. I have a CWI (going for my SCWI in 2
yrs), and ASNT Level III's in RT, UT, MT, PT, and the coveted VT. I'm only
The UT and ET certifications are a little tougher to get. You have to have
800-900 hands-on hours, as well as 80 classroom hours to become a Level II.
A CWI with UT, MT, and PT certs can bring in ~$75k/yr. Of course that's
contract work. You're looking at ~$50k for permanent work.
I had Dave Diaz. He's a knowedgeable guy and has all the NDT certs in
addition to his CWI. He gives a real good seminar. I still think the D1.1
seminar is a waste of time though. Better to spend the 8 hours reading
through the code some more.
I think the reason AWS doesn't give you the API-1104 code is because it
belongs to API, not AWS. All the other materials belong to AWS. Don't know
if it a cost issue or a political one.
Don't forget that you can apply some of your teaching time to the currency
requirements of your CWI.
You may end up dropping your CWE when renewal time comes. The local
community college is one of the four AWS Accredited Testing Facilities in
California. The full time instructors are CWIs but not CWEs. They don't
see a need for, or advantage to, having a CWE.
The dye penetrant and mag particle certifications are easy to pick up. They
require minimal training and experience. Where I am, UT will get you the
most bang for the bucks. The problem is that most of the training classes
you can get are mostly seminar, with very little hands on. And employers
don't want to train you how to do the hands on. Luckily, there are two UT
classes at my local community college with lots of hands on.
Be aware that most of the NDT certifications are from the employer, not a
national agency unless you go with ASNT's ACCP. If you are interested in
radiographic, AWS is slowly introducing there own.
Rich said he is pushing to make CWE a bigger deal, with more training
and a completely seperate test, but also with more support from AWS
with teaching materials.
I did like his suggestion to sign up as a sustaining corporate member
for 1 year.
It costs $1550, but you get all 170 AWS Code books, which would be more
like $5000 if you bought them individually.
I wish they cut schools a better deal on the code books.
It would be nice to have the whole library at school.