American Institute of Nondestructive Testing 7942 College Road, Suite 105
Baxter, MN 56425 Attn: Donald Booth
Dear Mr. Booth:
I am writing to express support of The American Institute of Nondestructive Testing’s nondestructive testing program. The NDT program you have established will help the NDT industry meet its manpower needs in the future. The energy industry in the United States has entered into an unprecedented boom. The United States has found that, within its boundaries, there are plenty of oil and gas reserves untapped to make the US a world leader in oil and gas production. New pipelines have to be put into place. New compressor stations have to be built. Distribution systems have to be installed throughout the country. Liquid natural gas is being transported overseas which will make the US a major exporter. Oil is already being transported overseas . Our firm has run seriously short of trained and certified NDT technicians. Had we had more technicians over these last couple of years, we could have taken on more work. All companies in the NDT business have the same problem.
Our firm specializes in pipeline and related facility NDT. In two years we have doubled in size due to the boom. We are presently establishing new offices in new regions of known gas and oil reserves. Other companies are expanding as well, whether it is in the refinery NDT business, the chemical transportation NDT business, or infrastructure NDT business. We are involved in all of these sectors and many more. There is definitely a shortage of well trained, reliable NDT technicians in all sectors.
While the boom requires new infrastructure to be put into place, the old infrastructure is aging and failing on many fronts. Companies have side stepped the rebuilding of the old infrastructure and concentrated their monies on the new infrastructure . This will not last long. New regulations are being and have been passed requiring the inspection of the old infrastructure on a regular basis. In the pipeline business, that is referred to as the pipeline integrity law. We are deeply involved in this and lack level II technicians with multiple certifications which are required in order to perform these inspections. Nevertheless, the old infrastructure will have to be replaced in the future. Pipelines, bridges, roads, towers, windmills, dams, refineries, storage tanks, airplanes, cars, etc. all require extensive NDT inspection. If you look at what the big investment companies are buying lately, you will see that it is NDT companies. They know that their money is going to_ be_well spent with that investment . Accidents are happening every day like pipeline ruptures, tanks leaking, steam lines exploding, rail cars derailing, and bridges collapsing. Each time one occurs, it reinforces the need for NDT technicians. Make no mistake about it, liability is expensive. Only NDT can assure integrity.
The NDT industry pays well. Our company is signatory to the Operating Engineers and starting pay for an inexperienced trainee with benefits is at 32.68 per hour. A level II makes 52.75 per hour with benefits. Nonunion companies pay less but still pay fairly well. The industry needs qualified NDT technicians everywhere. There is no letup in sight for work in the energy industry and infrastructure rebuilding. We believe in training and that your institute will do well by turning out qualified NDT personnel.
John A. Newland
Chief Executive Officer
Jan X, NonDestructive Testing and Inspection Solutions