A career in NDT is extremely dynamic, where up-to-date training is a necessity. Qualification is very important for the NDT industry, as errors can have disastrous consequences; therefore an NDT operator can expect to have to refresh skills regularly, attend training courses and taking examinations. NDT is composed of a number of different disciplines, each is a branch of applied physics. This means a career in NDT should never stagnate, there is always the opportunity to diversify into a different method, or to specialise in one method to an advanced level of competence.
MAKE A DECISION
A NDT qualification empowers you to make crucial decisions regarding the integrity of a component. The qualification can give you the opportunity to be able to be your own boss or to be an integral part of a NDT company.
NDT Level 1
An individual certified to Level 1 has the ability to;
• Set up NDT equipment
• perform the tests, record and classify the results
• Report the results.
NDT Level 2
An individual certified to Level 2 has the ability to;
• Select the NDT technique for the test method to be used
• Define the limitations of application of the testing method
• Translate NDT codes, standards, specifications and procedures into NDT instructions adapted to the actual working conditions
• Set up and verify equipment settings
• Perform and supervise tests
• Interpret and evaluate results according to applicable standards, codes specifications or procedures
• Prepare written NDT instructions
• Report the results of non-destructive tests
NDT Level 3
An individual certified to Level 3 has the ability to;
• Assume full responsibility for a test facility
• Validate NDT instructions and procedures
• Interpret codes, standards, specifications and procedures
• Designate the particular test methods, techniques and procedures to be used for inspection
• Provide guidance for NDT personnel at all levels
All of the above responsibilities allow qualified individuals to make important decisions that ultimately make a difference to industry.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Over the past century, NDT has made tremendous advances. New NDT methods have been introduced, while old testing methods are continually improved. Although some NDT methods have drastically changed over time, the principle behind each method has remained the same; to test and evaluate materials, without causing damage or destruction to it. NDT is necessary whenever we need to assure ourselves of the integrity of our infrastructure. Aircraft, gas pipelines, oil rigs, bridges and nuclear power plants are examples of everyday things that are regularly examined. In addition for the need to ensure safety, NDT can be used to extend the life and also improve the value of a component. Without the signed approval of a NDT Level 2 or 3 a critical component is simply just a block of material. Furthermore, entire structures, small critical components or machines can be tested many times during its life cycle to ensure that its integrity is maintained.
Consider an aircraft 10,000 feet above the ground carrying 550 passengers over 15,000 km. NDT plays a key role in ensuring the safety of the aircraft. Aircraft components are inspected with NDT continuously before they have been assembled into the aircraft and also throughout their full life cycle when they are in service. These parts are inspected to ensure that the plane is fit to fly, verifying that NDT is critical process in ensuring the safety of all aircraft passengers.
MAKE A CAREER
You can easily start your NDT career at almost any time of your life, from either leaving school or coming out of the Armed Forces to re-training at a later stage of life. Your NDT career is based on qualifications, certification and experience, the more you gain the further you can progress. Being certified to inspect in just one NDT method could potentially open up opportunities to travel the world exploring new places and gaining a wealth of experience and knowledge. You could also aim on being certified in numerous NDT methods which could open up other potential opportunities, such as a FdSc or BSc In NDT, EngTech, CEng or EngDoc Status and also become a consultant or an expert witness. You do not have to have existing qualifications to start your career in NDT however, if you have a good understanding of Science, English & Mathematics then you will be at a great starting point to join the industry. The British Institute of NDT (BINDT) offers a great insight into the type of individuals that could be great NDT inspectors. They suggest that a NDT inspector be “Intelligent – to master the principles of the subject, dexterous – to apply those principles in practice, versatile – to adapt the method to a particular problem, self-reliant – because you may be working alone, observant – to search, to find and to know, inquisitive – the NDT practitioner has a ‘nose’ for a problem and can often discover that problem and help in its solution.”
Here at Lavender International we are always on hand to discuss your career in NDT. Feel free to contact us at any time, by phone or email. For more information regarding our services just head to our web page at www.lavender-ndt.com.
Written by Sam Cunningham.