The market for NDT or nondestructive testing is worth over $14.8 billion. It’s an effective way to prevent mechanical failure and ensure component life cycle and safety.
An NDT technician performs these specialized tests and must demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and experience. The best way to do this is to receive certification.
There are 3 NDT certification levels known Level I, II, and III. They each have their own requirements. You’ll also have to pass written and practical examinations for each.
Read our guide to understand NDT certification and how it can help your career.
What Is NDT?
NDT offers many specialized testing methods. It ensures that all structural and mechanical components of a device work properly. It’s referred to as “nondestructive” because the tests don’t affect the usefulness of an object or material.
An NDT technician performs these important tests after receiving the necessary certification. Depending on their career goals, they may choose to focus on a specific NDT method.
What Is NDT Used For?
Several industries use nondestructive testing. NDT inspection methods include visual and optical, magnetic particle, and penetrant testing. Radiography is another type that may require more specialized training.
VT or visual and optic testing helps spot surface imperfections that could lead to breakdowns or poor performance. This type of certification requires a thorough knowledge of manufacturing, lighting requirements, and the workings of the human eye. You’ll use precise measuring tools and other equipment like computer-controlled cameras and optical aids.
RT or radiography involves using radioactive isotopes like gamma or X-rays. It examines materials and equipment like a doctor examines the human body. This certification requires you to direct radiation and read projections on a film or digital detection device.
UT or ultrasonic testing uses high-frequency sound waves. They enter a material to detect changes in its characteristics. It can detect internal imperfections, acoustic impedance, and more.
MT or magnetic particle testing induces a magnetic field into a ferromagnetic material. It applies iron particles to the surface of the material, pointing out any discontinuities.
PT or penetrant testing uses a dye solution that highlights any surface-breaking cavities. The technician then removes excess dye and applies a developer to draw out any unseen penetrant. Ultraviolet light helps make imperfections easier to see when the process involves fluorescent dyes. Color contrasts help with visible dyes.
What Does an NDT Technician Do?
NDT technicians inspect materials and structures to find any faults before they become a major problem. They may look for issues such as cracks, corrosion, or structural imperfections.
NDT technician jobs continue to grow as the technology sees widespread acceptance. You’ll need to hone your skills to stand out amongst a field of applicants. You should demonstrate an ability to problem-solve, use a variety of tools, and write detailed, accurate reports.
An NDT technician makes an annual salary of anywhere from $41,387-$53,723. It’s a customizable career with favorable prospects and fair hours.
What Are The Different NDT Certification Levels?
NDT certification is not a “one size fits all” method of education. It offers several types of programs with different specializations and levels of expertise.
Creating the right training program allows you to work towards the career you want. To do that, you need to know the requirements of the 3 NDT certification levels.
Level I certification teaches you to perform NDT calibrations and evaluations according to written instructions. Your instructor will be NDT certified in Level II or III.
Level II certification teaches you to set up and calibrate equipment. You’ll also learn how to organize and report the results of these tests. It’s your responsibility to complete the required on-the-job training. At this level, you’re qualified to supervise NDT Level I personnel below you.
Level III teaches you to develop, qualify, and approve NDT procedures and techniques. You’ll learn how to interpret and report all your results. You’ll also be able to train NDT Level I and II personnel.
How Do I Become NDT Certified?
To become certified in Level I or II, you’ll need to pass both a general and a specific written examination. Employees may also require those who are NDT Level III certified to develop up-to-date exam content.
A practical examination shows that you’re familiar with the NDT equipment you’ll be using daily. You’ll show the examiner that you can operate it properly and record and analyze the results.
Additional job-specific examinations may be required. Your employer is allowed to customize the requirements however they see fit.
All work activities that use a specific NDT method count as NDT certification experience. The amount of experience you need depends on the job you take and the complexity of the test.
Types of certification documents you may need include:
- ANSI/ASNT CP-105, Nondestructive Testing – Qualification and Certification of Personnel
- Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A, Personnel Qualification and Certification in Nondestructive Testing
- ASNT Central Certification Program (ACCP) Document ACCP-CP-1, Rev. 6 (8/9/09)
- ISO 9712, Non-destructive testing – Qualification and certification of personnel
- EN 473, Non-destructive testing – Qualification and certification of NDT personnel – General principles
Every NDT technician must renew their certification every 5 years by showing proof of satisfactory performance or re-examination. They must also repeat their initial certification exams every 10 years.
Levels II and III require it every 5 years. Level III recertification requires you to retake your initial exams or earn 24 recertification points.
Where Can I Find NDT Training Courses?
Nondestructive testing is a powerful way to prevent mechanical failure and ensure that every device lasts as long as possible.
NDT certification is a customizable but complex process. You need to know which level you want to rise to, which specializations you require, and how to get there.
Finding the right NDT certification helps you quickly reach your career goals. Enroll in our complete NDT training program today.