SOLIDWORKS, Training, Education

How to get SOLIDWORKS Certified- CSWA Level

By TriMech on December 6, 2019

Expanding your SOLIDWORKS knowledge to optimize your skills and your resume can be a daunting task when looking at the many certification types. The Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) certification is one of the first steps in expanding your SOLIDWORKS knowledge and is mainly taken by new users and students. There are five variations that allow you to specialize in a specific area. We will cover each one, as well as the basic courses recommended by SOLIDWORKS that should be completed before taking the CSWA.

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Before Taking the CSWA

You will need to complete some basic training with SOLIDWORKS. This includes SOLIDWORKS Tutorials and other training courses that we provide. We suggest our training course SOLIDWORKS Essentials, which is a five-day course to prepare you for the CSWA.  Some courses are provided by SOLIDWORKS online and others are provided by select resellers as in-person training. We have notated which recommended training courses are provided by SOLIDWORKS and which ones are in-person training provided by TriMech in parenthesis.


CSWA-AM Additive ManufacturingSOLIDWORKS CSWA-AM

This exam focuses on the basic knowledge of 3D printing and some of the features found in SOLIDWORKS. It does not require the use of SOLIDWORKS during testing. Some of the topics covered include material types, machine types, design for printing considerations, machine preparation, slicer software features, software based printing aids and post printing finishing. 

Exam Length

Passing Grade

Recommended Training

1 Hour

80%

10-Part Learning Series (SOLIDWORKS)


CSWA-E ElectricalSOLIDWORKS CSWA Electrical Design

This Electrical certification focuses on your understanding of SOLIDWORKS Electrical and Electrical Engineering principles. It covers topics like Electrical theory, SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics, Installation, SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D and Electrical Design. This exam is not a hands-on exam and does not require interactive use of SOLIDWORKS.

Exam Length

Passing Grade

Recommended Training

1 Hour

70%

Electrical Schematic (TriMech)
Electrical 3D (TriMech)


CSWA Mechanical DesignSOLIDWORKS CSWA-MD Certification

The Mechanical Design version of the CSWA certification exam will test your knowledge on topics ranging from sketch entities, mass properties, standard mates and annotations. To prepare for this exam, SOLIDWORKS recommends going through the tutorials they provide, as well as our five-day training course on SOLIDWORKS Essentials.   

Exam Length

Passing Grade

Recommended Training

3 Hours

70%

Tutorials (SOLIDWORKS)
Essentials (TriMech)


CSWA SimulationSOLIDWORKS CSWA Simulation Certification

The Simulation exam consists of 20 questions that will test your knowledge on the principles of Finite Element Method (FEM) and Stress Analysis. Most users that take this certification exam have a minimum of 6-9 months with SOLIDWORKS Simulation and SOLIDWORKS experience. Although there is not a specific training required by SOLIDWORKS, we suggest taking the Simulation Essentials course to ensure you are prepared for the exam. 

Exam Length

Passing Grade

Recommended Training

2 Hours

70%

Simulation Essentials (TriMech)


CSWA SustainabilitySOLIDWORKS CSWA Sustainability

The Sustainability version of this exam tests your understanding of sustainable design and the principles of environmental assessment. There are specific theory-based questions relating to Design for Disassembly (DfD), Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), universal strategies for sustainable design, stages of product life cycle and environmental assessments.

Exam Length

Passing Grade

Recommended Training

1 Hour

80%

Sustainable Design Guide (SOLIDWORKS)


Registering for the CSWA

There are a couple of ways to take the exam. One way, is to attend one of our certifications events and take the exam for free. These events are hosted several times a year in multiple locations. This also allows you an opportunity to speak with our staff and get insight on the software and 3D printing technology.

Another way to take the exam, is to buy the test on the SOLIDWORKS website which will cost anywhere from $19.95 to $99 depending on the type of exam. Some of the CSWA versions include a sample test. These are free to use to help prepare you for the exam. If you are a student, in some cases your university will provide the test for you. 

Free Testing

If you or your employer are already subscribed to SOLIDWORKS, you are eligible for one free core (CSWP or CSWA), one free advanced (CSWPA) and one free specialty exam with each seat of SOLIDWORKS on Subscription Service. Keep in mind, this is limited to these specific certifications. You can still take the other exams for free at a TriMech certification event

Things to Note About the CSWA

  • You do not need to complete the CSWA exam to move on to more advanced certifications. You will, however, need to complete the CSWP to move on to the advanced exams.
  • There is a 14-day waiting period between taking tests if you need to retake your exam.
  • Certificates are electronic and will be published on the CSWA directory.

One of the first things to consider is how each certification will further your career and resume. Alan Henry stated, "Ultimately, getting one or two certifications will prove you’re capable of learning and retaining knowledge (or at least passing a test) but several under your belt shows that you’re committed to a career path, well versed in it, and knowledgeable.” 

Our goal is to be your engineering resource in all aspects, including becoming certified. With our Application Engineers having over 600 combined certifications, we are ready to help you take the next steps in becoming SOLIDWORKS Certified.

Ready to start pursuing your CSWA certification? Read our blog, Tips for Passing the CSWA to get insight on the exam!

Tips for Passing the CSWA