SENSE, Schools Excelling through National Skills Education is an American Welding Society program of national skill standards for training and qualification of welding personnel. Hill College is proud to offer students the chance to advance through the Entry Level Welder (Level 1) so that they will be prepared and ready for today's workforce.

Upon successful completion of required course work and testing, students are entered into the AWS National Registry and are issued a Certificate for their successful completion.

Knowledge Test

The Knowledge test is a written closed-book examination designed to show that an Entry Level Welder understands the following subjects:

  • Welding and Cutting theory
  • Welding and Cutting Inspection and Testing
  • Welding And Cutting Terms and Definitions
  • Base and Filler Metal Identification
  • Base and Filler Metal Selection
  • Common Welding Process Variables
  • Electrical Fundamentals
  • Drawing and Welding Symbols Interpretation
  • Fabrication Principles and Practices
  • Safe Practices

A minimum passing grade of 75% is required with at least 90% of the safety questions answered correctly, with a limit of three retests.

Performance Test

The Performance Test is designed to show that an Entry Level Welder can:
  • Read and interpret simple drawings and sketches, including welding symbols
  • Follow written procedures
  • Cut parts to proper size and fit simple assemblies
  • Pass a limited thickness SMAW qualification test in the horizontal (2G) and vertical (3G) positions
  • Pass workmanship test using GMAW and FCAW in carbon steel, and GTAW in carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum sheet metal

The Entry Level Welder shall a) prepare, by flame or plasma arc cutting, the parts required, b) shall assemble the parts, and c) shall weld the assemblies using the WPS indicated on the drawings for each assembly.

Inspection, Testing and Acceptance Criteria as specified in QC10-95

  • All cut edges shall be visually examined and the cut surfaces shall meet the criteria as set in QC10
  • All assemblies shall be visually examined and the welds shall meet acceptance criteria
  • Butt joints welded with shielded metal arc welding process in the horizontal (2G) and vertical (3G) positions shall be cut to produce face- and root- bend specimens.
  • Face- and root- bend specimens shall be conditioned and tested as specified


For each successful Entry Level Welder, the Participating Organization shall prepare and send to AWS a report containing the following:

  • The Entry Level Welder's name and Social Security Number,
  • The actual grade on the Written Closed Book Test,
  • The actual grade on the Safety portion of the Written Closed Book Test,
  • The results of the Visual examination of each workmanship test, and
  • The results of the face- and root- bend test on the horizontal (2G) and vertical (3G) position SMAW performance qualification plates.

AWS Educational Institution

Hill College is recognized as an American Welding Society Educational Institution. Hill College strives to maintain the professionalism of our teaching staff through membership in AWS.