WABO Welding Certification

WABOWABO logo Welder Certification, while not required, is encouraged to provide more opportunities in the industry. There is no single certification for all process, metals, and/or positions, but having at least one type of certification can expand opportunities for the welder. The Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) offers one such welder certification. The WABO Welder Certification Program was developed as a response to a need for a uniform method of determining qualifications and testing procedures for certification of structural welders and welding operators. The certification provides a means of documenting welding and testing qualifications and competency in structural welding.

Why Get Your WABO Welding Certification

It is possible to become a professional welder without ever becoming certified. However, we encourage Lake Washington Institute of Technology students to become WABO certificated for a few reasons:

  • More career opportunities will be available to them: Certified welders are in demand across several industries, including manufacturing, construction, automotive, aerospace, and others. Certified welders have more opportunities for advancement and typically receive better pay. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for welders is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2020, yet current growth projections is at 6% for number of professionals who will be employable in this profession. This makes welding one of the most demanded professions in America.
  • Job security: When companies reduce their welding staff, they're more likely to keep a certified welder on staff because their certification makes them harder to replace in the future.
  • A WABO certification is evidence of your welding skills: A welder certification is a great way to demonstrate your level of knowledge and understanding while job hunting. Certified welders are also more appealing to employers because statistics show that those who are certified have a lower rate of on-the-job incidents and injuries in comparison to welders who are not certified.
  • Contracts or project blueprints may state that certification is required: In some cases, the welder doing the work must be certified to the correct code specified. As a certified welder, you will ensure that you can attain contracts that require these types of certifications. When awarded a contract, be sure to read all requirements and ensure you are in compliance with the requirements before beginning work.

Welder Certification Tests Offered at LWTech

Lake Washington Institute of Technology is an approved WABO welding testing agency. The following certification tests are offered at the Kirkland Campus.

  • GMAW ("MIG") 3G (vertical up) plate
  • FCAW-G (“dual shield”) 3G (vertical up) and 4G (overhead) plate
  • SMAW (“stick” or “arc”) 3G (vertical up) and 4G (overhead) plate, 6G pipe
  • GTAW (“TIG” or “Heli arc”) 3G (vertical up) and 4G (overhead) plate, 6G pipe
  • Reinforcing Steel
  • Sheet Steel Fillet

Cost and Fees for Certification Tests

Schedule Your Test

Schedule a date and time to test with Katelyn Wyczalek, LWTech Welding program faculty. 

Schedule Your Test Today!


Contact our Welding CWI at (425) 739-8232. You may also send an email to welding@lwtech.edu

What You Can Expect at Your Certification Test

The following are standard welder certification instructions:

  1. Plates or pipe must be inspected after each; Fit up, Root pass, and Cover passes
  2. Plates or pipe are NOT to be removed from their position during test.
  3. No grinding after fit up. Cleaning of beads is to be done with hand tools. Wire wheels may be used only with the inspector’s permission only.
  4. Reinforcement is to be between flush and 1/8 inch max.
  5. Weld width will extend onto the plate no more than 1/8 inch max on GTAW and 1/4 inch on FCAW and SMAW.
  6. Weld passes must fill the entire length of the plate.
  7. This test requires stringer bead technique. The cover passes must be stringers.
  8. There will be NO arc strikes outside the weld zone.
  9. All welds must pass visual inspection to WABO standards.
  10. You must provide a Driver's License, Passport, or other state or federal issued ID in order to test.
  11. WABO Welder and Welding Operator Performance Qualification Standard 27-13 shall be the MINIMUM standard adhered to for qualification testing. 

Examiner reserves the right to exercise personal judgment regarding a candidate’s competency.