Do Welders Need a License? Differences By States

Welding can be a great career path that some people can follow. Like a lot of different manual labor jobs that rely on skill and experience, welders actually get paid well. Of course, following a welding career dispenses the need to go to college, which is pretty expensive. But for you to become a welder, do you actually need a welding license?

A welding license isn’t always necessary for you to get hired as a welder. However, some states and cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, require you to get certified as a welder. And even if you live in an area that doesn’t require a welding license, employers will still prefer a certified welder.

The thing about welding is that this is a job that relies a lot on skill and expertise. That means that those who are not properly equipped for the task will not be able to weld effectively and safely. As such, it is very important for different local and state governments to make sure that they regulate such a profession by requiring welders to have licenses or certifications.

Do Welders Need A License?

Welding is a profession that has always been a part of our society because we always need people who are experts at knowing how to weld different types of metals and materials together. And because welding is a profession that relies on skill, knowledge, and experience, this is something that only trained human hands can properly do.

Considering that welding is a profession that relies heavily on skill and experience, welders are actually paid well, depending on where they get hired. And you don’t even need a college education to become a welder.

So, because welding is something that pays well enough, you might be thinking about following a career path in the field of welding. But before you can become a welder, you might be wondering if a welder actually needs a license to get hired for the job.

The most important thing you need to know about being a welder is that you can be a welder without obtaining a license or a certification for welding. That’s because the regulations for the welding profession depend almost entirely on the state or city you live in. Some states and cities tend to have stricter rules in relation to the welding profession, while others tend to be a lot more lenient by not requiring you to have a welding license or certification to become a welder.

A good example here is New York if we are talking about a state that requires you to have a certification. Because of how New York is one of the largest job markets in the entire world, it is only necessary for the state to regulate the different types of jobs so that they can weed out the unskilled and unqualified ones from the rest of the pack. In this case, welding is regulated in New York such that you need to apply for a state license plus a certification before you can practice as a welder.

So, in New York, you not only need to be a certified welder from the American Welding Society (AWS) or the New York State Department of Transportation, but you also need to apply for a welding license. On top of that, a background check will also be conducted to make sure that you are fit for the welding job.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the city has its own certification and licensing requirements for welders who are employed by the government. That means that an AWS certification is not enough for a government welding job in LA because you need to qualify by going through the certification and licensing processes in the city. This should be something you want to keep in mind if you are planning on taking government projects in Los Angeles.

The reason why some states and cities tend to be quite strict when it comes to licensing and certification is that these states and cities are usually the larger job markets in the country. Larger job markets tend to have a host of different people who may be qualified or unqualified for the position. Because welding is a job that requires skill and experience due to the safety and quality risks involved, it is necessary for the state and local governments to weed out the ones who are unqualified for a welding job.

But while it might not be necessary for some states and cities for welders to have a license, it would still be better for you to have both a certification and a license. The reason is that prospective employers will almost always prefer those who have proven themselves skilled and knowledgeable enough in the field of welding before they hire them.

How Do You Get A Welding License?

One of the most important things you need to know regarding the process of getting a welding license is that the procedure will depend almost entirely on the state or the city imposing such a requirement.

For example, in New York, you need to get an AWS certification first. The AWS certification requires that you pass a written test and then a practical exam to qualify as a Certified Welder. However, the path you need to take before you are ready to take the certification exam is a long one.

There are no requirements (aside from a high school diploma) for you to take the welding certification exam. But you need to make sure that you are equipped with the skills, training, knowledge, and experience to take the exam, or else you will most likely flunk it. The path that people take to get ready for the exam may vary, as some would prefer to go to a formal welding school while others prefer to learn on the job as laborers or apprentices.

Once you have obtained or welding certification, what you need to do next is to submit an application for a license. It is now up to the welding governing body in the state or city to determine whether or not you are qualified to have a welding license.

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