Welding Certification and Qualification Test Positions from Structural to Pipe

Welding certifications come in many positions, metal thickness, welding processes, and metal types. When the term “Certified Welder” is used it only means that welder is certified under the welding procedures they have tested under. There is not a single welding certification that covers all types of welding.

All welding certifications come in many positions. The positions are different depending if the welder will be welding on plate or pipe. The terms properly used in the welding field refers to plate as “structural welding” and pipe and “pipe welding”.



Plate Welding Certification Positions

For welding plate the positions typically come in two different joint types. Fillet welds and groove welds. Most plate welding certifications are performed in groove welds. This is because in most welding codes, groove welds will also qualify you for fillet welds, but fillet welds do not cover groove welds. Fillet welds and groove welds also vary in different positions. The positions are flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead. There is also a coding system to identify the welding position.

The coding system for plate and structural welding is as follows:

  • F is for a fillet weld.
  • G is for a groove weld.

The way this coding system works is the number stands for the position and then the letter identifies the type of weld joint. For example if you take the number 3 for the vertical position and G is for a groove weld. Then you put them together like “3G” then that is the code for a vertical groove weld. In the case of a fillet weld you would simply replace the G with an F, then you would get a “3F” weld joint and that is a vertical fillet weld.

When getting certified for structural welding it’s very common to take the 3G and 4G welding certification together. These two tests usually cover all the positions and most codes allow fillet welds on pipes that are a minimum diameter of 24″.


Pipe Welding Certification Positions

When it comes to welding pipe there are four main positions and again they are typically groove welds. There is also a coding system to identify the positions and joint types.

They are as follows:

  • 1 is for a pipe in the horizontal position that is rolled.
  • 2 is for a pipe in the fixed vertical position.
  • 5 is for a pipe in the fixed horizontal position.
  • 6 is for a pipe in a 45 degree fixed position.
  • R is for the restricted position.
  • F is for a fillet weld.
  • G is for a grove weld.




2 and 5G Combo Pipe Welding Certification Positions

The 2G and 5G combo tests are sometimes done to qualify a welder for all pipe welding positions. It can sometimes be substituted for the *6G position.

6g pipe test position front view

6g pipe test position front view


*Then there is the 6G pipe welding certification. This is a pipe that is in standing on a 45 degree angle and cannot be moved. This test incorporates all of the positions. What makes this position so hard is there is an easy side and a hard side. This all depends if you are right handed or left handed and the welding processes being used. This one test will qualify the welder to weld pipe and plate in all positions. This is the hardest of all welding positions and the test typically given for the higher paying jobs. If you need to get one welding certification this is the position to go for!



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