MIG welding is a type of arc welding that uses a feed wire moving through a welding gun to create the spark that melts metal, forming the weld.
MIG welding, or Metal Inert Gas welding, is one of the most common welding techniques used in the automotive industry, repairing cars, motorcycles, vans, SUVs, etc. In order to practice certain types of MIG welding in an industrial setting, you need a 3G MIG certification.
What Can I Do with a 3G MIG Certification?
Most welding certification tests follow guidelines specified by the American Welding Society (AWS) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). There are many applications of welding, and typically, each will require its own certification.
In short, the 3G MIG welding certification exam authorizes a welder to perform flat, horizontal, vertical 1G-3G, or 1F-3F welds professionally. Passing your 3G MIG certification exam will also make you more marketable to future employers. MIG welders will typically get the chance to work in fabrication shops or manufacturing. Accredited welding programs, apprenticeships, and courses, will give students the knowledge and skills needed to feel well-prepared for the exam.
Should I Get a Degree or a Certificate to Prepare for the 3G MIG Test?
It is important to note that trade schools and welding programs usually require you to possess a high school diploma or a GED equivalent to apply. The decision to pursue either a program/apprenticeship or an accredited trade school simply depends on your preference.
If you enroll in an associate degree program, you may be deemed as more eligible for career-advancement in your future. If you’re someone who would prefer for training to take as little time as possible however, a certificate program may be the route you’d like to take. Receiving either will prepare you for your MIG certification test.
We partner with accredited trade schools across the nation who provide both associates degrees and certificates. For instance, our partner Tulsa Welding School is the largest welding school in the nation, providing a curriculum of 80% hands-on welding courses. Tulsa Welding School’s flexible scheduling offers morning, afternoon, and evening classes so your schooling can work best with your schedule.
If you’re looking for a quicker certificate program, our partner school Delta Technical College offers courses that generally run about every 5 weeks. The Delta Tech program is designed to give students the chance to train and learn all they need to know for their welding career in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Whatever program you choose will prepare you well for your 3G MIG certification exam. In addition, there are resources outside of classrooms to help students prepare. There are online practice tests you can take to assess your knowledge and improve your skill set before taking the official test.
The 3G MIG Welding Certification Exam
The 3G MIG Welding certification exam follows procedures established by the AWS and the ASME to determine if a welder is eligible to professionally execute MIG welds. Welds will be evaluated by a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) for their application and quality.
Specific tests will vary, but the procedure will use metal plates that are of two different densities – plates that are ⅜ of an inch thick, and plates that are 1 inch thick. You must set your machine according to its specifications.
You will likely be asked to perform a root pass and two filler passes, which again, will be inspected by your CWI. Your CWI will also mark your plates as you test to ensure they do not slip out of place as you complete your welds.
Licensing and Renewals
If your work meets the standards set by the AWS and ASME, you will pass your exam and receive your certifications. Keep in mind, certifications typically need to be renewed every 6 months. The renewal fee falls between $15-20 depending on your state.
Becoming MIG certified will permit you to enjoy a welding career in the automotive industry, manufacturing, or even construction. It is a versatile and specialized certification to have in a promising industry.
If you are interested in beginning your welding career, you can get started today by exploring our excellent partner schools near you.