August 09, 2012, Accutek Engineering Team
By: Nicholas Wood, Assistant Welding Inspector
So I left off finally hitting the five year mark in a welding related field. Next up – the test.
This brings us to last month.
The CWI seminar class started on Sunday and I didn’t know what to expect. As my instructor walked in and introduced himself, I knew this could be interesting. He had a Ph.D. in Welding and teaches at Florida State. I, of course, was sporting my Gator hat. He glanced at me and said, “You a Gator fan?”
Instructor: “Well, good luck passing this class then.”
I nervously chuckled and we got class underway.
So, class is class; there is no way around that. Some days went fast, while other days dragged. By Wednesday all you want to do is drink a few beers. So that’s what I did, hotel bar was too crowed so I just went out and got a sixer. Got back to the room and realized that there wasn’t a fridge and I hate warm beer. So being the resourceful person I am, did the next best thing. I put my beers in the garbage can, filled up a bag of ice from the ice machine and, BAM, you have yourself a cooler.
Thursday’s class came and went. As I returned to my room to read the assigned chapters wrap up, I looked out the window. The weather was bad. Very bad. And the rain progressively became worse and worse. Of course, I just kept reading. Suddenly, the fire alarm starts going off and a lady over the intercom tells us to head for the stairwells. I’m a little reluctant because I can see that the storm is clearing up, but I do as I’m told and head to the stairwell and make my way to the first floor and I realized two things: 1) the door to the first floor did not have a knob on my side and 2) the other door was a fire exit.
I just shake my head and head back to my room. The fire alarm is still going off so I grab the book I was reading and head to the quietest place in the room – the bathroom. After 40 minutes pass and the alarm finally goes off, I decide I need some air so I make my way to the first floor. This time I stop at the second floor because it has a door knob on my side. I run into 2 people who are doing the same thing and this conversation happens:
Lady: “Were you in your room the whole time?”
Me: “Yeah, it was just a little rain.”
Lady: “The roof to half of the hotel blew off.”
Lady: “Yeah, you didn’t hear the alarms?”
Me: “Yeah, but I didn’t think it was important.”
Lady: “What is wrong with you!? Are you on Ambien!?
I just chuckled and said nice to meet you. So I make my way outside and sure enough, half of the roof to the hotel is blown off. A tornado had come through. Maybe I should start paying attention.
The last day was uneventful and then it was Saturday: with an 8 hour test ahead of me. The CWI exam is divided into three parts.
Part 1: Fundamentals of welding. That pretty much sums it up.
Part 2: The practical. This part consists of the actual inspection of welds and the testing.
Part 3: The code book. Part 3 is open book. Don’t let that fool you about this test. It might be open book, but if you don’t know where to find the information, you are done.
After completing all three parts, I knew why the class was highly recommended. Fortunately, my Accutek experience made the whole test much easier. As I walked out of the hotel on Saturday, I realized that this was what the last four years of my life have been leading up too.
This was the goal. I hope I pass because I never want to have to take that test ever again. So as of today I am still waiting for my results. Hopefully they come sooner than later. I hate waiting.
Editor’s Update: We are pleased to announce that Nick PASSED his CWI exam – no small feat on the first try. Congrats, Nick! Now get to work.
For those interested in becoming a CWI, check with the American Welding Society for details on the certification process and requirements.