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4g Welding Position

The 4g overhead stick welding test is often given along with the 3g vertical plate test. Certain welding codes provide for an all position qualification by taking them together. AWS D1.1 for example allows. Most codes allow a welder to take a combination of the 3 and 4G certification positions, which typically qualifies the welder for all position structural welding plus pipe that is a minimum of 24 inches in diameter. Pipe welding certifications also have a coding system to identify the position.

For example, a job description may require a welder certified at the level of '4-G'. The G stands for groove welding. The number indicates the position of the welder in relation to the work. If you examine the welds below, you can see four different positions, starting with the easiest. The dotted line indicates the direction of travel of the torch or gun.
  • The 4G welding position is employed where the groove weld is rotated in such a way that the filler material goes in overhead. This position is particularly very difficult on plate material.
  • Pipe welding positions can be divided into 4 groups: 1G, 2G, 5G and 6G. In the 1G welding position, the pipe is in the horizontal position and can be rotated along the horizontal (X) axis. The welder's position remains stationary. Welding is performed on the top of the pipe. This is the most basic welding position.

1 - Flat position - This is basically standing or sitting at a table and welding a joint as you look down on it. All students start out in this position.

2 - Horizontal position - This is welding a joint from left to right (or right to left) as you look across from it.

3- Vertical position - Here the weld joint faces you vertically (up and down) as you look straight at it. In this position, you have the option of welding the joint from the bottom to the top ('vertical up'), which is most common, or from the top downward ('vertical down').

4 - Overhead position - This involves welding as you look up at the work piece, moving either from left to right ('dragging the rod') or right to left ('pushing the rod').

Besides work plate positioning, certification tests stipulate a few other parameters. One of them is the base metal thickness. Naturally, the thicker the metal, the more passes you need to fill the joint, and each pass adds to the potential for making a mistake. (Weld defects and discontinuities are discussed later in the tutorial.) One inch is generally the largest size you'll have to master, but entry level welders can also get certitied with half-inch plates.

If the base metal is thicker than 3/16 of an inch, you'll likely be asked to bevel (cut) the sides of the two work plates before performing the weld. Beveling demonstrates other metalworking skills, but it also has to be done accurately in order to get good fusion between the sides. (See the diagram below.) Consequently, groove joints represents a higher degree of skill than welding a simpler fillet joint.

A beveled groove joint

The goal of getting certified, then, is to perform the most difficult welder qualification tests you can handle. For example, if you can weld an acceptable groove joint in the vertical and overhead positions, you'll receive 3G and 4G certs for the welding process (and thickness), and not have to take any test below those levels. In addition, if you're certified in welding groove joints, you're automatically certified to weld fillets (but not vice versa).

On the other hand, if your test involves a less ambitious weld, such as a fillet weld in the vertical position, you would be certified for 3F welding and lower, but not 4F, 1G, 2G, 3G, or 4G.

Of course, veteran pipe welders can do much better than a 4G certification. The highest level for them is usually 6G, which means they can weld 360 degrees around a pipe that doesn't move. Producing this weld to the satisfaction of a certified welding inspector is tough sledding for a beginner. Nevertheless, a 6G certification is considered the gold standard of the welding profession. Just below that is a 5G cert, which involves pipe welding in the vertical position.

The video above describes a typical qualification test used in welding certification. Please note that the welder's part of this test starts when you see the number '2' in the lefthand corner of the screen. The test stops after Step '8'. The other steps you see are completed by the inspector, who removes the backing bar, marks the plates, cuts the coupons and bends them to see if the weld is sound. (A coupon is a slice of the welded metal extracted by an inspector for testing.)

Certifications are usually performed at a workplace or welding school. It's possible to get them done privately, but that can cost several hundred dollars and there's no guarantee that you'll pass. You should make sure the tester is licensed as a 'certified welding inspector' by looking him or her up on the AWS inspector registry.

For more information about the qualification test, download the short guide(PDF) published by You can also read the certification page at Pokemon romance rom hack pastebin. Cengage Learning recently released a new book entitled Welding Skills, Processes and Practices for Entry-Level Welders.Chapter 10 - Certification1(PDF)can be accessed for free online.

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Welding certifications are procedures that a welder must follow to produce a sound weld according to the guidelines that are specified. The certification is a hands-on welding test, supervised by an individual that is trained and approved by the certifying organization. These tests or certifications only qualify the welder for a single process and position. There is not a single welding certification that certifies a welder for all processes, metals, or positions.

There are several good welding schools and vocational schools to learn the trade and receive a welder certification. At most vocational schools, the student will leave with an associate’s degree after completing the welding program. For those students wanting more in-depth education and greater employment opportunities, a welding engineering bachelor’s program is available.

Welding Certification Tests

Most welding certification tests are based on codes written by one of three organizations, depending on the type of work involved and what organization is overseeing the welding procedures. In the United States the three biggest organizations are the:

  1. AWS – American Welding Society
  2. ASME – American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  3. API- American Petroleum Institute

Even though the above organizations are the largest, there are many others like:

  • ABS – American Bureau of Shipping
  • MIL – STD – Military Standards
  • The Canadian Welding Bureau
  • D.O.T. – Department of Transportation
  • State and Local Welding Certifications Codes

3g 4g 6g Welding Position

Knowing which code to be a certified welder in is essential, as welders are only certified to weld within the code parameters of the test they have taken.

Most of these codes certify the welder for a specified length or period of time. In most cases, the welder must have a logbook signed to show that they have welded with the process and in that position at a job site every six months. The reason behind this is that most welders lose their skills in as little as two weeks without consistent practice or use. Even after a weekend of not welding, most people find their appearance of a quality weld goes downhill. It takes consistent practice to keep your eye/hand coordination at its peak level at all times. Because of this, it’s important to focus on the certification for the type of welding you most frequently do.

One of the most common welding codes is AWS D1.1, which covers structural steel. Passing the test on a 3/8″ thick plate, with backing in the vertical position, you would then be qualified to weld in the flat, horizontal and, vertical positions.

Welding Certification Processes

3g 4g Welding Position

The most four common types of welding processes used for certifying welders are:

  1. SMAW / Shielded Metal Arc Welding – Typically referred to as Stick Welding.
  2. GMAW / Gas Metal Arc Welding – Commonly called MIG Welding.
  3. FCAW / Flux Cored Arc Welding – Just another type of electrode for a MIG welder.
  4. GTAW / Gas Tungsten Arc Welding – Most people know it as TIG Welding.

There are many other welding processes that a welder or even a welding machine can get certified. Some examples include:

  • Resistance Welding
  • Brazing
  • Soldering
  • Plasma Welding
  • Laser Welding
  • Stud Welding
  • Submerged Arc Welding

Welder Qualification Testing

Welder qualification testing consists of questions on the types of welding symbols, safety, welding processes and positions, types of welds, material handling, and more. The hands-on qualification test is conducted by a certified welding inspector who will provide a visual inspection and observe the welder’s skill level. Depending on the type of welding, it can either be a nondestructive test (NDT) or a destructive test.

Welding Certification Positions

Welding certifications come in many different positions depending on the type of structure that will be welded. In most cases, it is broken down between structural and pipe welding. Structural positions are for welding work plate and are the easiest to pass. Pipe positions are good for welding plate and pipe depending on what the structural welding code allows. Pipe certifications are much harder because it is an ever-changing position and never a simple straight line.

Structural positions have a coding system that identifies the position and joint type. The coding system is as follows:
  • 1 stands for the flat position
  • 2 stands for the horizontal position
  • 3 stands for the vertical position
  • 4 stands for the overhead position
  • F stands for a filler weld joint
  • G stands for a groove weld joint
4g Welding Position2g 3g 4g welding positions

The way this system works is the position is first stated with a number, then right next to it the letter specifies the type of weld joint used. Here are some examples:

  • 1F is a flat weld done using a fillet joint.
  • 2F is a horizontal weld done using a fillet joint.
  • 3F is a vertical weld done using a fillet joint.
  • 4F is an overhead weld done using a fillet joint.
  • 1G is a flat weld done using a groove joint.
  • 2G is a horizontal weld done using a groove joint.
  • 3G is a vertical weld done using a groove joint.
  • 4G is a vertical weld done using a groove joint.

When it comes to structural certifications, in particular, groove welds will also qualify the welder for fillet welds. However, fillet welds do not qualify the welder for groove welds. Most codes allow a welder to take a combination of the 3 and 4G certification positions, which typically qualifies the welder for all position structural welding plus pipe that is a minimum of 24 inches in diameter.

Pipe welding certifications also have a coding system to identify the position and joint type. They are very similar to structural welding but are more difficult to pass. The positions have the following designations:
  • 1 stands for a pipe that is in the horizontal position and the welder welds in the flat position while rolling the pipe.
  • 2 stands for a pipe in the vertical fixes position and the welder welds in the horizontal position.
  • 5 stands for a pipe in the horizontal fixed position and the welder welds in the overhead, vertical and flat positions.
  • 6 stands for a pipe in a fixed 45 degree position and the welder welds in the overhead, vertical, horizontal and flat positions.
  • F stands for fillet weld.
  • G stands for groove weld.
  • R stands for restricted.

Pipe welding test positions have the same coding system as structural positions with one main exception. That is the “R” or restricted position. The restrictions used for pipe welders are designed to make the test as difficult as possible and, at the same time provide the same types of obstacles that the welder will encounter in the field. Just like structural welding positions you simply identify the position with the number, then the joint type with the letter and finally if it is restricted there will be an R., For example, a 6GR test would be a pipe in the fixed 45 degree position with a groove joint that is restricted.

Combination pipe welding certifications are not very common these days, but there is one combination that is still used. The 2G and 5G combination welding certification is also considered a 6G certification. For most pipe welders, they will take the 6G welding certification, and that certifies the welder for all position pipe welding plus all position structural welding. For most welders, the metal that they certify in is carbon steel or A36 steel. For other metals like stainless steel and aluminum, it is more of a job-specific certification that in most cases their employer pays for.
For more information see: Welding Certifications and Tests

Once certified, students will have access to many good-paying employment opportunities with jobs such as a welder, welder technician, inspector, maintenance welder, production welder, and much more.

The Basics of Welding Certifications was written exclusively for Metal Web News and their readers by Go Welding.Org.