The American Institute of Nondestructive Testing (AINDT) provides the most convenient and affordable NDT training available. Our blended learning program offers you the convenience of online NDT training from wherever you may live. Online training is followed by hands-on NDT training at our facility in Baxter, Minnesota. The combination of our online NDT curriculum and 18 days of hands-on training gives you experience with the most up-to-date NDT equipment. Our NDT training program gives you the skills needed to enter into a rewarding career in nondestructive testing.
NDT training equips technicians in an essential form of inspection for many different industries. NDT methods do not destroy usable materials during inspection, saving businesses time and money. The NDT industry is growing rapidly and is expected to be valued at $23.1 billion by the year 2024.
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NDT Training and Certification
NDT training is required to work in the NDT industry. The American Institute of Nondestructive Testing is one of the highest ranked NDT schools in the U.S. and is one of the only institutes to offer an online/hands-on blended learning program. Our NDT Technologies Certificate training program is licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Our training program will prepare you for NDT certification by an NDT employer. Our NDT Technologies Certificate training program offers flexibility with start dates 6 times per year. Our certified NDT technicians boast a 93% job placement rate.
An individual must earn an official Nondestructive Testing Certification to become an NDT technician. All technicians will have to have some sort of education, whether traditional or through an NDT training program. Work experience in NDT methods is also needed. Those who have completed at least two years of higher education will often have fewer required experience hours.
NDT certification verifies an individual has the knowledge and experience needed to perform one or more nondestructive testing methods and to carry out the responsibilities of their job. Prerequisites for NDT certifications depend on which level the technician is aiming for and which inspection method they would like to specialize in. NDT training offers three different levels of certification:
- NDT Level 1 (Level I) technicians do not need as many hours of training or experience
- NDT Level 2 (Level II) technicians require more training and experience
- NDT Level 3 (Level III) technicians obtain the highest level of training and experience
NDT training and work experience hours are also dependent on the inspection method that the technician chooses to study. Simpler methods typically require fewer hours than more complex methods. For example, visual inspection requires between four and 16 training hours and 70-140 work experience hours, while radiography needs between 40-80 training hours and 210-840 work experience hours.
We offer the most convenient and affordable NDT training program available.
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NDT Technicians, Work Experience and Exams
The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) explains that work experience must be supervised by a qualified administrator. NDT work experience must involve tasks that fall under the NDT technician’s inspection method, including performing the inspection and any related activities. However, work experience does not include time spent in an NDT training program.
Once a technician has completed their NDT training and work experience, they must pass their certification examinations. Passing grades must be at least a 70 percent on each individual exam and a minimum of 80 percent composite score. Certifications range from employer-based certifications like SNT-TC-1A to NDT certification bodies like ASNT and its ASNT Central Certification Program (ACCP).
Exams for all NDT technicians are composed of three parts: Level Is and Level IIs must complete a general exam focusing on general knowledge of the specific NDT method, a specific exam administered by their employer and a practical exam that tests their ability to perform their inspection method.
To become certified as a Level III technician candidate must meet specific exam and experience hour requirements. ASNT NDT Level III certification candidates are required to pass both the NDT Basic and a method examination in order to receive the ASNT NDT Level III certificate.
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NDT Training Courses
Prospective NDT technicians have a few different options when it comes to fulfilling their training requirements. NDT training programs can be completed through:
- Traditional colleges and universities
- Vocational or technical schools
- Commercial training companies
- NDT company training departments
- The United States military
- AINDT’s blended NDT training program
If a technician chooses to pursue their NDT training through a more traditional educational institution, either a two-year or four-year school, they can earn a degree in science or engineering and decrease the total number of experience hours needed to be eligible for a NDT level III certification.
The total number of required training and experience hours for any technician, whether or not they have a degree, depends on the level they want to reach and the inspection method they are specializing in.
NDT Training Program Options
Traditional colleges and universities can also benefit students by providing them with more in-depth knowledge of their inspection method and of the NDT field as a whole. Schools such as Iowa State University, Virginia Tech, West Virginia University and the University of Illinois offer NDT courses within a specialized degree program, such as aerospace or civil and environmental engineering.
But potential NDT technicians don’t have to go through a formal higher education program to fulfill their prerequisites. Vocational and technical schools across the country offer NDT programs that provide many of the benefits of a four-year institution in a shorter period of time. Students that complete the two years of coursework can reduce the number of training hours needed for their certification.
The United States Army, Navy and Air Force offer NDT training programs to enlisted members. Future NDT technicians will need to complete the basic military training that all recruits must finish, then will go through training to become an NDT technician. Once they earn their certification, they are then eligible to be employed as a technician in the U.S. military.
Commercial training companies have locations across the country – and, in some cases, across the globe – where future technicians can take courses specifically geared toward preparing them for certification exams. At AINDT, we offer customized NDT training online and in-person to fit your certification requirements.
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NDT Training Online
If a technician cannot attend training courses in a brick-and-mortar location, some companies offer NDT training online to make the education process more convenient. The American Institute of Nondestructive Testing (AINDT) offers a full training program for Level I and II technicians specializing in ultrasonic, radiographic, magnetic particle, liquid penetrant or visual testing.
Although online NDT training can be taken in any location, training programs will often include an in-person portion for technicians to gain hands-on training. AINDT’s online program is predominantly virtual, but technicians are required to attend courses in-person for 18 days at their facility in Baxter, Minnesota.
Our NDT training program includes all required study material and books for your online training, which takes approximately 6 months. Our NDT Technologies Certificate training program offers flexibility with start dates 6 times per year.
Students don’t have to give up all of the benefits of a traditional institution when pursuing training through a NDT company. AINDT, for example, offers job placement assistance and financial aid to students needing help.
Timeline of NDT Training
NDT training programs can vary in length. Ultimately, students need to have the total number of hours completed for their inspection method and certification level, which can vary. At the same time, the institution that provides the training may have a different timeline.
Formal educational institutions, such as undergraduate colleges and universities or community/technical schools, will usually have a specified timeline of either two or four years, depending on the school or the degree being pursued. During this time, the student can complete the required training hours and may even be cross-trained in other skills or disciplines.
The length of NDT training for enlisted military is also dependent on the branch that they choose to serve in. All military members will have to complete their branch’s basic training requirements, which all last between eight and ten weeks.
Once a member of the military graduates basic training, they will then undergo their branch’s requirements for NDT training. In the U.S. Air Force, this period will last 49 days at the tech school in Pensacola, Florida. The Navy requires nine weeks for visual, liquid penetrant and magnetic particle testing, with an additional seven weeks for ultrasonic testing or eleven weeks for radiographic testing.
In contrast, AINDT’s online NDT training program only lasts six months for the virtual training. Students can access their training courses 24 hours a day. When the six months of virtual training is completed, students then take three weeks (18 days) of courses at the training facility in Minnesota.
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NDT Training Certification Renewal
Unfortunately, NDT certifications don’t last forever; technicians need to prove that they are keeping up with changing technologies and methods by becoming recertified at specific intervals. The recertification intervals vary with each level of certification.
In general, all NDT technicians—regardless of their level—must be renewed at least every five years. In that period, the technician must have at least two months (or 350 hours) of documented work experience in their inspection method. They must also be able to pass a specific exam with the same requirements as their initial certification exam.
Level II and III technicians have a little more leeway when becoming recertified; they have up to five years before having to earn their certification again. In addition to retaking a specific examination, both levels will also have to take a practical exam equivalent to their original certification exam.
When seeking recertification, Level III technicians can earn at least 25 recertification points instead of retaking their exam. Recertification points show that the technician has continued to work in their inspection method or has gained knowledge in related technologies.
Our team at AINDT will help make your job search process easier by helping you keep track of your certifications and on-the-job training in your easy-to-access profile. From helping you find work to keeping you up-to-date on your NDT training, our team is prepared to help you manage your industrial inspection career.
The American Institute for Nondestructive Training offers NDT training programs that provide the flexibility and experience you need to launch a new career or renew your NDT certification. Reach out today to learn more about our NDT training options.
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NDT Training FAQs
Can I take an individual NDT course from AINDT?
Yes, AINDT does offer individual NDT courses.
Individual courses are best for people who are already in the NDT industry and are looking to expand their NDT methods education.
If you are looking to start a career in nondestructive testing as an NDT technician, an individual class isn’t the quick fix you are looking for.
Our full "NDT Certification" training program is what you’ll need to start your NDT career.
When I get done with the NDT Technologies Certificate Program will I be certified?
You will be well on your way, but you will not be immediately certified. After you complete the NDT Technologies Certificate Program, you will have the required education to become certified, then you will need on-the-job training hours. AINDT works with you to be placed and employed with a great company. After the appropriate amount of on-the-job NDT training experience hours you receive while working, you will be given exams to become certified in the various NDT methods by your employer.
What is the difference between a licensed private career school and the community college?
The American Institute of Nondestructive Testing (AINDT) is a private career school that offers a certificate program. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education has licensed AINDT as a private career school.
A private career school like AINDT teaches people how to get into a specific career. Instructors at AINDT teach you job specific knowledge you need to succeed in the field of nondestructive testing. That's one of the reasons we are able to get people trained affordably, properly and more quickly than a traditional trade school.
At a community college there may be courses you may have to take before you even get into your career coursework. With AINDT, we're just teaching you NDT related coursework.
What if I did poorly at high school or in a previous college life? Am I able to still get a career or a certificate in nondestructive testing at AINDT?
Absolutely. Our instructors are there to give you any support you may need to successfully complete your coursework.
We train and teach people who haven't been in high school for many years. Our coursework and training is easy to understand and done at your own pace. Once you complete the online portion of your curriculum, you will attend our Baxter, MN facility for your hands on training, where you will work directly with instructors performing actual inspections, recording results, and preparing reports. Throughout the duration of your certificate program with AINDT, you will learn the necessary information needed to be successful in NDT.
What additional costs beyond my tuition will I have with the NDT Technologies Certificate Program?
Costs not included in your tuition include:
Travel costs to and from our area and your daily food costs.
Once I complete the NDT Technologies Certificate Program, do I have to travel for work?
Travel is not a necessity, and office and lab positions are available, but there are considerably less jobs that do not require travel than jobs that require you to be away from home for a few weeks at a time.
On the road positions may include: buildings, bridges, pipelines, commercial jetliners, and shipyards. These type of locations are not coming to you, so you'll have to go to them. The wage in these types of positions is traditionally higher - you're getting a large per diem every day - which can make it more lucrative to be on the road.
Does AINDT have a payment plan?
The cost of our NDT Technologies Certificate Program is $12,045.00.
We made our NDT school financing programs easy and affordable with student loans from Meritize and with Income Share Agreements (ISAs) from TradeUp.
WHAT IS MERITIZE?
Meritize offers student loans that look beyond FICO credit scores and use individual academic history to enhance credit evaluation and improve loan options. Even if your credit isn’t great or you don’t have a cosigner, a Meritize loan may be within your reach. If you do have a cosigner, that helps you even more. As you successfully repay your loan, you’ll be building your credit.
A Meritize Loan Offers…
- Use your transcript to enhance your credit and improve your loan options
- Fund the full cost of tuition on your own merit
- Choose affordable fixed or variable rates
- Select the repayment option that works best for you while you attend school – making full payments, making interest-only payments, or making no payments until 3 months after graduation
- Repay your loan over 3 or 5 years
- Avoid prepayment penalty fees if you choose to pay your loan off early
- Get access to Meritize Career Success Services for job and career support
Does AINDT have a job placement program?
As soon as you arrive at AINDT for your hands-on training our NDT job placement team immediately starts working hard to find an NDT career that’s right for you.
How much money can I expect to earn?
Our graduates start earning $40,000 to $50,000 per year starting out in the NDT industry. Graduates can obtain further certification and increase their earnings substantially throughout their career. Certified NDT Technicians should anticipate compensation packages to include full insurance benefits and substantially high wages.
Will I always have work?
The Non-Destructive Testing and Inspection industry has been (for the last century), and will be, a growth industry for decades to come. As the infrastructure of America ages, the need for evaluation and advanced examination techniques increases. NDT and Inspection are not job avenues. They are careers.