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American Welding Society

The American Welding Society (AWS) was founded in 1919 as a

American Welding Society
non-profit organization with a global mission to advance the science,
technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting
processes, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying.

Headquartered in Miami, Florida and led by a volunteer organization

of officers and directors, AWS serves over 73,000 members worldwide
and is composed of 22 Districts with 250 Sections and student
chapters. The Society is dedicated to supporting hundreds of thousands
of industry professionals, including: welders, business leaders, sales
and service teams, manufacturers, vendors, associations, educational
institutions, committee volunteers, and students.

The organization is perhaps best known for its code and certification
Founded 1919
procedures, which provide industry standards for the welding and
Type Non-Profit
joining of metals, plastics and other materials. Through their
publications, internet forums, social media, member services, local and
national events, educational resources, networking activities, and Headquarters Miami, FL
certification procedures, AWS keeps welding professionals and those Members 73,000+
interested in materials science up to date with the most current President David J. Landon
advances and procedures in the industry.
Mission To advance the
science, technology
and application of
welding and allied
Contents joining and cutting
1 History processes, including
1.1 Location brazing, soldering and
2 Welding Journal thermal spraying.
3 Certification Website
3.1 Endorsements
3.2 Accredited Test Facilities
3.3 Certified Welding Fabricator
4 Membership
5 AWS Codes and Specifications
6 Sections
6.1 List of American Welding Society Sections
7 AWS Foundation
8 AWS Awards
9 Standing Committees
10 Officers
11 See also
12 References
13 External links
The roots of the American Welding Society stretch back to World War I, when the sudden demands of swiftly
producing military equipment brought about the need for standardization of the manufacturing industry. An evolving
metal joining process, welding, suddenly became very necessary to enhance the war effort. To ensure that industry
took advantage of this technology, President Woodrow Wilson called upon a Harvard professor, Comfort A. Adams, to
chair the Welding Committee of the Emergency Fleet Corp.

Welding performed well in the war effort and its success motivated Adams in 1919 to bring together industry leaders
for the purpose of merging the Welding Committee of the Emergency Fleet Corp. and the National Welding Council
into a new organization, the purpose of which was to provide dependable and objective information on the developing
technology of welding. On March 28, 1919, the American Welding Society was born for that purpose, with Adams
serving as its first President.

That first year the Society grew to 217 members; introduced the Journal of the American Welding Society, a technical
publication with a life of one issue, but the precursor of the Welding Journal; found a home in the Engineering
Societies Building in New York City; and established the foundation of the committee system for the production of its
operating procedures and industry standards on welding. In 1920, the first local Section was organized in
Philadelphia, Pa.

By 1922, the American Welding Society had held its first Annual Meeting. Attendees were told of the formation of
Sections in eight cities, and also of the establishment of the Journal of the American Welding Society. However, the
first meeting also called into discussion the growing financial issues surrounding the depression and proposed
solutions to alleviate it. Financial reports delivered at the meeting stated an income for fiscal year ending March 31,
1922, of $12,683.74. The budget for fiscal year 1922-23 was projected at $15,540. It was clear more earnings were
needed, so the Society turned to increasing membership numbers of advertising in the Journal as a solution.

The American Welding
Society's first headquarters
were located in New York City,
inside the Engineering Societies
Building. For 42 years the
organization held all their
The Doral, FL headquarters for the business in this building, before
This sculpture sits in the lobby of the
American Welding Society finally making the move to the American Welding Society
United Engineering Center, headquarters.
which was also in New York
City. In 1971 the Society once again moved their headquarters - this time to
Miami, FL. The American Welding Society held this location for 30 years before buying its current property in Doral,
FL - only seven miles northwest of the old facility.

In August 2012 the American Welding Society moved from their longtime headquarters just outside Coral Gables, FL
to their current location in Doral, FL. During the grand opening of the new building, AWS President William Rice said
"Our newly renovated five-story building in Doral offers us exactly what we need. It gives us more than three times the
office and meeting space of our previous headquarters, and it provides room for our board, committee, and
educational activities.[1]

The lobby of the headquarters features a bronze sculpture created by sculptor Gregory Johnson and donated to the
American Welding Society by President Rice and his wife Cherry.
Welding Journal
The publication currently known as the Welding Journal was originally
born in October 1919 with a different name. The Journal of the American
Welding Society was its original title - and it had just one issue under this
name. In the first publication, American Welding Society President
Comfort A. Adams wrote, "The American Bureau of Welding is the
authoritative body to establish the facts. To make the most use of the facts,
however, requires another sort of machinery and the organization that
does this is the American Welding Society. Its function is not to supply the
knowledge but to spread it and assist in putting it to practical uses. It is the
Society, for instance, which publishes this Journal, which will push matters
of importance to welding and which will open out new fields for its use. It
holds regular meetings to discuss matters relating to welding, to act upon
the recommendation of the Bureau and to initiate further activities. This
division of the work, while it has created some confusion on account of the
similarity of the names, is a logical one, and will be found effective in
The first and only issue of the operating as was clearly indicated by the experience with the old Welding
Journal of the American Welding Committee."[2]
Operating costs were too high for the Journal, and it was not until 1922
that the publication was reborn under its current name thanks to
advertising earnings.

The Society explained the advertising move in their first issue of the newly named Welding Journal. "Advertising is
also included in this issue, as it was impossible to continue monthly publication without increased revenue. The dues
from members of which the National Organization retains half (the other half being returned to local sections) is
barely sufficient to pay the ordinary expenses of the Society. Moreover, several members of the Board of Directors feel
that these advertisements are of interest to our members and add to the value of the Journal."[3]

Since the move to advertising, the Welding Journal has been published continually and continues to be an resource for
issues and advancements concerning all types of materials joining, metal fabrication, and construction. It is offered as
a benefit to members of the Society, and includes information of the latest products, trends, technology, and events;
including articles covering everything from testing and inspection, maintenance and repair, design, training, personal
safety, and brazing and soldering.

The Welding Journal has earned more than 60 editorial and design awards, including multiple Charlie Awards from
the Florida Magazine Association (FMA), and Tabbie Awards from the Trade Association Business Publications
International (TABPI).

The Society now also publishes the Welding Journal en Espaol - a free quarterly publication containing tailored
articles written by and for Mexican and Latin American professionals. The Welding Journal en Espaol has a
circulation of 10,000 printed copies and 40,000 digital copies. Along with this publication, the Welding Journal em
Portugus is a magazine distributed in Brazil to coincide with the Brazil Welding Show that takes place every two years
in So Paulo, Brazil.

The American Welding Society offers a number of certification programs that recognize and document expertise and
knowledge in specific welding-related disciplines including:

Certified Welding Inspector

Senior Certified Welding Inspector
Certified Welding Educator
Certified Radiographic Interpreter
Certified Welding Supervisor
Certified Welding Sales Representative
Certified Welding Engineer
Certified Welder
Certified Robotic Arc Welding
Since the Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) program was introduced in 1976, AWS has certified over 100,000
welding inspectors alone, plus thousands more working professionals across the other certification categories.
Certification is accomplished through testing and evaluation of corresponding procedures. The Radiographic
Interpretation Certification, for example, includes a detailed general knowledge exam, a test of specific information
from the AWS code book on radiographic quality and interpretation, and a practical exam testing the individual's
ability to read radiographic films.[4] Most AWS certifications are typically renewed after a period of three years, and
are required to satisfy re-certification requirements every nine years.

Welders are required to take a qualification test at an AWS Accredited Testing Facility (
on/docs/auto/atf_listing_0107.pdf). Welders must mail their qualification test record to AWS with a completed AWS
Welder Application ( in order to have an AWS
certification issued. AWS Welders are required to submit a Maintenance of Welder Certification Form ( to renew their certifications every six months.

Endorsements are supplemental inspection credentials available to all AWS Certified Welding Inspectors (CWIs) and
Senior Certified Welding Inspectors (SCWIs) to enhance an individuals credentials. The examinations offered as
endorsements to the CWI/SCWI programs are also offered as stand-alone exams to non-CWIs/SCWIs who wish to
enhance their educational background.

Below are the available endorsement certifications that AWS offers.

D1.1 Structural Steel

D1.2 Structural Aluminum
D1.5 Bridge Welding
D15.1 Railroad
D17.1 Aerospace
API 1104 Pipeline
Structural Drawing Reading
Structural Bolting Inspection
ASME Pressure Piping B31.1 and B31.3
ASME Pressure Vessel Section VIII, Div. 1

Accredited Test Facilities

The American Welding Society also certifies the Accredited Test Facilities (ATF) which play an integral part in the
operation of their Certification program. The ATF program establishes minimum requirements for test facilities, their
personnel and equipment to qualify for accreditation to test and qualify welders. This program is open to all qualified
test facilities that may be a part of an independent laboratory, manufacturing plant, educational institution, or other
entity. American Welding Society ATFs are listed on the official AWS website and advertised in the American Welding
Society's Welding Journal magazine.
The ATF program requires that a facility implements a quality assurance program that meets the requirements
established in the AWS QC4-89, Standard for the Accreditation of Testing Facilities.[5] The requirements include that
the facility has a Quality Manual that controls the activities related to the testing of welders in the facility according to
AWS QC7, Standard for AWS Certified Welders. The facility must also have a CWI on staff or contracted to perform
the welder qualification tests.

The American Welding Society explains the benefits of the ATF program on their website by writing "Entrusting
welder certification to ATF specialists makes good business sense for contractors and fabricators. Companies are
increasingly realizing the shortcomings of self-qualification and switching to AWS Accredited Test Facilities to test and
qualify their welders. ATFs help them to save money, improve productivity, and reduce liability by entrusting their
welder certification to the experts."[6]

Certified Welding Fabricator

American Welding Society certifications are not only available to individuals. Companies may also become an official
AWS Certified Welding Fabricator (CWF). The American Welding Society describes the program as being "designed to
recognize those select companies who prove they have the resources, procedures, and personnel to apply a quality
management system to the welding fabrication activities."[7]

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the American Welding Society have established a reciprocity
agreement whereby AISC Certified Fabricators are also eligible to receive certification as an AWS Certified Welding
Fabricator. The AISC certification program criteria fully satisfy the AWS Welding Fabricator Certification program
requirements. AISC Fabricators that hold current building structures and/or bridge certification may apply to AWS
and pay a minimal fee to also attain the AWS Certified Welding Fabricator certification.

As of April 2015, the American Welding Society had approximately 73,000 members around the world. The Society
offers four types of membership options:

Individual Member
Welder Member
Corporate Member
Student Member

AWS Codes and Specifications

AWS publishes codes on multiple aspects of welding and materials joining. The code books are assigned specific letters
and numbers for easy reference, and many welders will refer to a specific code letter/number combination when
referring to the code book. Different welding methodologies, inspection methods, and metals are published under
different codes. For example, AWS B1.11 explains how to visually examine welds; AWS B2.1-1-004 explains welding
carbon steel of thickness range of 18 through 10 gauge with semiautomatic metal gas arc welding; and AWS
C2.20/C2.20M explains metalized zinc cathodic protection systems. Some codes also describe the standards used by
AWS to certify welders, inspectors, and welding educators. All codes are available in hard copy, and in recent years
AWS has started to make most codes available online.

A very influential AWS code is AWS D1.1,[8] which covers all general requirements for structural welding. This code
has been adopted by ANSI as a National Standard in the United States.

The American Welding Society extends its reach into local communities through the use of their local sections and
student chapters. The Society is composed of 250 sections around the world, and AWS describes them as "the very
heart and foundation of AWS."[9]

Section members have the opportunity to network, gain knowledge, and get answers to welding questions from
Section members with years of experience. Professional Development Hours may be earned by attending technical
meetings, and other planned activities may include educational seminars, plant tours, social events, student programs,
community projects and more.

List of American Welding Society Sections

Section Name Section Number City
Acadiana Section 148 Lafayette, LA
Alaska Section 125 Anchorage, AK
Arizona Section 55 Phoenix, AZ
Arrowhead Section 131 Duluth, MN
Atlanta Section 25 Atlanta, GA
AuburnOpelika Section 508 Auburn, AL
Baton Rouge Section 86 Baton Rouge, LA
Birmingham Section 21 Birmingham, AL
Blackhawk Section 113 Rockford, IL
Boston Section 9 Boston, MA
California Central Coast Section 190 Santa Maria, CA
Carolina Section 87 Greensboro, NC
Central Arkansas Section 145 Little Rock, AR
Central Louisiana Section 509 Alexandria, LA
Central Mass / Rhode Island Section 30 Worcester, MA
Central Michigan Section 101 Jackson, MI
Central Pennsylvania Section 105 Williamsport, PA
Central Texas Section 144 Waco, TX
Central Valley Section 176 Fresno, CA
Charlotte Section 140 Charlotte, NC
Chattanooga Section 31 Chattanooga, TN
Chicago Section 002 Chicago, IL
Cincinnati Section 026 Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland Section 006 Cleveland, OH
Colorado Section 039 Denver, CO
Columbia Section 154 Columbia, SC
Columbus Section 036 Columbus, OH
Connecticut Section 057 Hartford, CT
Corpus Christi Section 153 Corpus Christi, TX
Cumberland Valley Section 197 Hagerstown, MD
Dayton Section 033 Dayton, OH
Detroit Section 011 Detroit, MI
Drake Well Section 168 Franklin, PA
East Texas Section 150 Longview, TX
El Paso Section 198 El Paso, TX
Eastern Iowa Section 162 Cedar Rapids, IA
Florida West Coast Section 112 Tampa, FL
Fox Valley Section 074 Appleton, WI
Greater Huntsville Section 095 Huntsville, AL
Section Name Section Number City
Green & White Mountains Section 116 Rutland, VT
Hawaii Section 020 Honolulu, HI
Holston Valley Section 077 Kingsport, TN
Houston Section 022 Houston, TX
Idaho / Montana Section 185 Idaho Falls, ID
Illinois Valley Section 139 LaSalle, IL
Indiana Section 027 Indianapolis, IN
Inland Empire Section 156 Richland, WA
Iowa Section 066 Des Moines, IA
Johnny Appleseed Section 191 Van Wert, OH
Johnstown-Altoona Section 501 Johnstown, OH
J.A.K. Section 090 Joliet, IL
Kansas Section 035 Wichita, KS
Kansas City Section 016 Kansas City, MO
Kern Section 170 Bakersfield, CA
Lake Charles Section 142 Lake Charles, LA
Lakeshore Section 166 Manitowoc, WI
Lancaster Section 196 Lancaster, PA
Lehigh Valley Section 047 Bethlehem, PA
Lexington Section 181 Lexington, KY
Long Beach / Orange County Section 028 Long Beach, CA
Long Island Section 076 Westbury, NY
Los Angeles / Inland Empire Section 008 Los Angeles, CA
Louisville Section 048 Louisville, KY
Madison-Beloit Section 079 Madison, WI
Mahoning Valley Section 018 Youngstown, OH
Maine Section 102 Portland, ME
Mid-Ohio Valley Section 129 Parkersburgh, WV
Mid-Plains Section 182 North Platte, NE
Milwaukee Section 014 Milwaukee, WI
Mississippi Valley Section 194 Quincy, IL
Mobile Section 091 Mobile, AL
Morgan City Section 108 Morgan City, LA
Nashville Section 045 Nashville, TN
Nebraska Section 081 Omaha, NE
Nevada Section 135 Las Vegas, NV
New Jersey Section 012 Union, NJ
New Mexico Section 075 Albuquerque, NM
New Orleans Section 042 New Orleans, LA
Section Name Section Number City
New York Section 004 New York, NY
Niagara Frontier Section 010 Buffalo, NY
North Central Florida Section 188 Gainesville, FL
North Florida Section 110 Jacksonville, FL
North Texas Section 053 Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
Northeast Mississippi Section 147 Columbus, MS
Northeast Tennessee Section 071 Oak Ridge, TN
Northeastern Carolina Section 137 Greenville, NC
Northern Michigan Section 158 Traverse City, MI
Northern New York Section 005 Schenectady, NY
Northern Plains Section 117 Fargo, ND
Northwest Section 019 Minneapolis, MN
Northwest Ohio Section 046 Toledo, OH
Northwestern Pennsylvania Section 060 Erie, PA
Oklahoma City Section 023 Oklahoma City, OK
Ozark Section 136 Springfield, MO
Palm Beach Section 193 Palm Beach, FL
Pascagoula Section 056 Pascagoula, MS
Peoria Section 038 Peoria, IL
Philadelphia Section 001 Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh Section 003 Pittsburgh, PA
Portland Section 052 Portland, OR
Puget Sound Olympic Section 041 Seattle, WA
Racine-Kenosha Section 132 Racine, WI
Reading Section 100 Reading, PA
Rio Grande Valley Section 507 Brownsville, TX
Rochester Section 032 Rochester, NY
Sabine Section 093 Beaumont, TX
Sacramento Valley Section 174 Sacramento, CA
Saginaw Valley Section 061 Saginaw, MI
St. Louis Section 017 St. Louis, MO
San Antonio Section 083 San Antonio, TX
San Diego Section 092 San Diego, CA
San Fernando Valley Section 109 San Fernando, CA
San Francisco Section 007 San Francisco, CA
Sangamon Valley Section 070 Springfield, IL
Santa Clara Valley Section 078 San Jose, CA
Sierra Nevada Section 172 Carson City, NV
Siouxland Section 133 Sioux Falls, SD
Section Name Section Number City
South Carolina Section 097 Charleston, SC
South Florida Section 080 Miami, FL
Southeast Nebraska Section 160 Lincoln, NE
Southern Colorado Section 146 Colorado Springs, CO
Southwest Virginia Section 179 Roanoke, VA
Spokane Section 167 Spokane, WA
Stark Central Section 085 Canton, OH
Syracuse Section 049 Syracuse, NY
Tidewater Section 121 Norfolk, VA
Triangle Section 151 Raleigh, NC
Tri-River Section 107 Evansville, IN
Tri-State Section 103 Charleston, WV
Tulsa Section 034 Tulsa, OK
Twin Tiers Section 189 Elmira, NY
Upper Peninsula Section 114 Escanaba, MI
Utah Section 059 Salt Lake City, UT
Washington, DC Section 024 Washington, DC
West Michigan Section 051 Grand Rapids, MI
West Tennessee Section 106 Memphis, TN
Western Carolina Section 195 Ashville, NC
Wheeling Section 186 Wheeling, WV
Willamette Valley Section 141 Albany, OR
Wyoming Section 192 Green River, WY
York-Central Pennsylvania Section 043 York, PA
Section Name Section Number Country
Alberta Section 216 Canada
British Columbia Section 218 Canada
Chile Section 227 Chile
Chihuahua Section 233 Mexico
Costa Rica Section 230 Costa Rica and Panama
Ecuador Section 226 Ecuador
Emirates Section 201 Emirates
Germany Section 209 Germany
India Section 221 India
Israel Section 202 Israel
Korea Section 225 South Korea
Malaysia Section 231 Malaysia
Monterrey Section 232 Mexico
Montreal Section 206 Canada
Peru Section 212 Peru
Rio de la Plata Section 202 Argentina
Saskatoon Section 224 Canada
Saudi Arabia Section 205 Saudi Arabia
Shanghai Section 234 China
Singapore Section 229 Singapore
Skandinavia Section 208 Denmark
Taiwan Section 211 Taiwan
Trinidad and Tobago Section 214 Trinidad and Tobago

AWS Foundation
The American Welding Society Foundation was founded in 1989 to support research and education in welding and
related technologies. It is committed to annually awarding fellowships to deserving graduate students for important
research in areas important to the requirements of industry. Accordingly, each year the AWS Foundation administers
two $25,000 grants - matched in kind by the participating universities. The award of scholarships to vocational and
undergraduate college students is also a high priority. The Foundation is also working on the welder workforce
shortage and crisis in our industry. That focus involves many aspects from Recruitment to Retirement if we are to have
a sustainable and viable solution to the welder shortage.

AWS Awards
The Image of Welding Awards, presented by the American Welding Society and WEMCO, an association of welding
manufacturers, recognize individuals and organizations that have shown exemplary dedication to promoting the
image of welding in their communities. Starting in 2015, the awards will now be known as the Excellence in Welding
Awards. Recipients of this award will receive a zinc die-cast, 24k gold statue designed by New York firm, Society
Standing Committees
The American Welding Society also has several standing committees, or partner organizations, which help promote
and advance different facets of the welding industry. These include:

BSMC - Brazing & Soldering Manufacturers Committee

ITSA - International Thermal Spray Association
RWMA - Resistance Welding Manufacturing Alliance
WEMCO - An Association of Welding Manufacturers

Position Name
2017 President John Bray
Vice President Dale Flood
Treasurer Carey Chen

See also
List of welding codes

4. AWS B5.15 "Specification for the Qualification of Radiographic Interpreters" (2010)
8. AWS D1.1 "Structural welding code - Steel" (2010)
10. "Excellence in Welding Awards" (

External links
American Welding Society Website (
American Welding Society Forum (
Facebook Page (
Twitter (
Instagram (
YouTube (

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This page was last edited on 9 October 2017, at 20:33.

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