How To Become A Licensed Welder

The job description of a welder is complex and challenging. Sometimes welders will spend the day cutting, shaping, and combining materials to make different parts for a variety of industries. Some of these may include the construction, engineering, automobile, or aerospace fields. So becoming a welder has plenty of opportunities to work in various industries.

If you want a career in welding, you first have to meet the minimum qualifications like being 18 years of age, obtaining a welder license by completing the American Welding Society (AWS) certification or the New York State Department of Transportation field welder certification (NYSDOT) if in NY, conduct your background investigation and be very familiar with the latest welding tools and methods. It’s also helpful to have a vast amount of knowledge of different welding design techniques and equipment preferences, including an understanding of mathematics. Although mathematics is not a requirement it can be attractive to employers looking to hire a welder to perform multiple tasks on a job site.

To learn more about certification as a welder from any of these two mentioned go to:
American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welder Certification: Manual Shielded Metal Arc Welding Process (SMAW) in 3G and 4G (qualifying for Groove and Fillet welds in all positions, unlimited thickness). An additional AWS certificate is required for welding special steels or metals.
New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Field Welder Certification: Manual-Shielded Metal Arc Welding Process (SMAW) in 3G and 4G (qualifying for Groove and Fillet welds in all positions, unlimited thickness).
Visit or for additional information on welder certification exams.

Once you have the appropriate Welder Certification, you must schedule an appointment to submit your information for a background investigation at the Licensing unit and you must bring the following documentation to your appointment:
1.     Typed LIC2 application form;
2.     Original AWS or NYSDOT certification card as cited above;
3.     Original Visual Acuity Test Form (PDF);
4.     Typed LIC34 (PDF) affidavit, if applicable;
5.     Original driver license
6.     Money Order in the amount payable to: DCAS
7.     Original birth certificate, current passport or current green card;
8.     Original Social Security card;
9.     Original proof of home residence (utility bill, lease or deed); and
10.   Two 2” x 2” passport sized photos.

Once you have all of this, and if you successfully pass the examination and the background investigation, the licensing unit will notify you in writing that you’re eligible to apply for a Welder license. You have one year from the date of the notification letter to obtain your license. If you don’t complete the process within one year of the date of the first document submission, you’ll be required to retake the examination.