Inspector Exams

Structural Welding Inspector Exam

The Steel Structures Technology Center is offering a unique examination for the qualification of welding inspectors doing work under the American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1 Structural Welding Code – Steel. The written Welding Inspector Qualification Examination – D1.1 provides a cost-effective and efficient way for construction testing laboratories and agencies, structural steel fabricators, steel erectors, and building authorities to test their personnel in accordance with AWS B5.1:2013, the Specification for the Qualification for Welding Inspectors. You can download a copy of AWS B5.1 here.


The AWS B5.1 standard provides for employer-based qualification of welding inspectors, similar in approach to employer-based qualification of welding personnel under AWS D1.1 subclause, and nondestructive testing personnel under American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) SNT-TC-1A. The  Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors, AWS QC1:2007, refers to AWS B5.1 for testing requirements, body of knowledge, education, experience, visual acuity and other requirements.


SSTC’s Welding Inspector Qualification Examination – D1.1 consists of three parts – Fundamentals, Practical Applications, and Code Application of the AWS D1.1 Code, and has a minimum 250 questions related to the required body of knowledge. By tailoring the exam to AWS D1.1 and steel construction, the employer is better assured of the welding inspector’s broad knowledge and the understanding of AWS D1.1 principles, practices and specific requirements.


Employers will receive information regarding appropriate study materials for the inspector to review, SSTC’s Welding Inspector Qualification Examination – D1.1 to administer to the inspector, and information on the other welding inspector qualification requirements to comply with AWS B5.,. The employer is to proxy the examination. The completed test booklet is returned to SSTC for grading. The employer is notified of the results, including diagnostics to enable further improvements in the inspector’s abilities and skills. Based upon examination results, plus the employer’s verification of education, experience, and visual acuity, the employer now has documentation of the inspector’s qualification to perform welding inspection of structural steel as qualified by AWS B5.1.


AISC’s Specification for Structural Steel Buildings (AISC 360-10), in Chapter N Quality Control and Quality Assurance, cites qualification to AWS B5.1 as a means for establishing the qualification of welding inspectors, for both quality control (N4.1, fabricator’s and erector’s) and for quality assurance (N4.2 third party) inspectors. AISC Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (AISC 341-10) invokes these requirements in Chapter J.


Using the AWS B5.1 qualification standard, the employer is responsible for verifying the welding inspector’s education, experience, visual acuity, and capability to perform the inspection duties assigned. The SSTC Welding Inspector Qualification Examination can be used to verify and document the inspector’s competency, meeting the examination requirements of the standard. Personnel can be qualified as Welding Inspectors (WI) or as Associate Welding Inspectors (AWI), depending upon experience and examination grade. At this time, no SSTC examination is available for Senior Welding Inspectors (SWI).

The SSTC Welding Inspector Qualification Examination – D1.1 is currently available. Other inspector qualification examinations related to steel construction inspection are in development, including bolting, seismic construction, welding of reinforcing steel, and welding of sheet steel.