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​Passing the 6G Certification

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6G Certification Overview

In pipe welding, there are a total of five different positions to learn and two types of joints. The positions are referenced by numbers, letters, or a combination of the two — 1, 2, 5, 6, and R. In addition, they're meant to describe the welding positions the pipe can be in: horizontal roll, fixed horizontal, fixed vertical, and restricted. The types of joints are characterized by F, which stands for fillet weld, and G, for grove.

The 6G pipe weld position is one of the most difficult welding certification examinations to pass since the pipe is at the 45-degree position, making it impossible to move. Welders trying to get a passing grade on the 6G certification test must weld in all of the positions, including horizontal, vertical, overhead, left-handed, and right-handed.

The 6G position also has a full transition between them all.


To prepare for the exam, you should consider taking training that can be offered alongside the certification exam. Some providers of the exam and technical colleges will offer it to assist welders who are trying to pass the test. Alaska's Institute of Technology, for example, offers welders a pipe welding certification after they complete the 6G certification program and a number of other welding courses (equaling 450 program hours).

Our other partner schools offer other local welding programs. Enrolling in a school near you is the first step toward getting started.

Coursework at a Glance

Here is a snapshot of a typical full welding course outline:

  • T-Plate with vertical, flat, and overhead positions
  • Open butt, beveled plate (vertical, horizontal, and overhead)
  • Pipe with open butt: 2G, 5G, 6G
  • And more

Those who are preparing for the 6G exam should consider preparing for, taking, and passing the 3G MIG certification, as well as the 3/4G combo stick certification. These are the welding certifications that focus on the more basic welding positions.

To further prepare for the exam, try to find "trouble" spots when welding; any welds that are proving more difficult for one reason or another. A good method to find "trouble spots" is to weld plates 1 through 4G using an open root; the spots that need work should be apparent.

What to Expect on the Test

The exam will vary depending on your testing site. For example, you might be asked to weld a schedule 80 pipe along with 7018 filler passes and 6010 root, or an 8-inch 40 pipe along with TIG root. There are around fifty different combinations you could be tested on. It's best to practice with every possible combination before trying to take the exam.

The exam tests your ability to weld while re-positioning your body, not the position of the pipe. It also tests how well you can use your non-dominate hand.

Real-World Applications

Welders who pass the 6G exam and receive certification can earn more money. You've proven that you can handle more advanced pipe welding. You are qualified to weld pipes and plates in all combinations and for all positions. You can be employed to fabricate boilers, petrochemicals, pressure vessels, ships, and much more.

Ready to test your welding knowledge? See if you can get a perfect score on these welding practice tests. If you want to learn more about the trade first, then find a welding school near you, and enroll!

Further reading: Welding Career … Education, Training, Jobs and Salary

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