Published on 11-Aug-2023

How To Build A Successful Career In NDT: An Overview

How To Build A Successful Career In NDT: An Overview

Non-destructive testing careers are amazing in both ways, it's interesting, exciting as well as financially rewarding! What more do you want? Well, these things make non-destructive testing jobs the most desirable in today's time! NDT gives you a reliable career and numerous growth opportunities. This involves various options for improvement and professional expansion. In this article, let's explore the career pathway in the NDT field! 

 But let's start with the basics! 

What Is Non-Destructive Testing? 

NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) can be defined as a group of analytical methods that are utilized for evaluating the characteristics of a component or an object without causing any harm to it. It is also known as non-destructive assessment (NDE), non-destructive examination (NDE), and non-destructive inspection (NDI). 

In simple words, non-destructive testing is a quality assurance management tool that helps in providing the best results when utilized in an appropriate manner. Someone who wants to make a career out of it, must have a clear understanding of numerous NDT techniques available, proper knowledge of all the criteria, capabilities, and constraints, and complete features for performing the tests. 

Hence, NDT does have a significant role to play as it is necessary for assuring the safety, reliability, and integrity of the object. Today, non-destructive testing methods are being utilized in a wide range of industries, which you will get to know in the next upcoming part of the article! 

Significance Of Non-Destructive Testing 

Non-destructive testing plays a significant part as a quality assurance and quality control management tool in various industries like oil & gas, automotive, aerospace, etc., because it helps to stave off failures that might possibly have an adverse effect on the safety and reliability of the component. This is considered one of the major processes that dominates all the other activities. 

As we all know that every product, material, or tool does possess a standard design need and life span, but sometimes they might need to go through some repairs & maintenance or get replaced because of the deformities or malfunctions not being recognized or missed at the time of manufacturing. Or else, disastrous failures are the outcome of failing to look after unsafe circumstances as well as unfavorable conditions. This might also lead to the closure of any important project. 

Performing non-destructive testing methods at the time of manufacturing procedures on an object or service life of a component can actually assist in safeguarding valuable assets. It also confirms that all the companies comply with the norms and regulations. Additionally, NDT is vastly utilized to assure the durability and efficiency of the material. 

Some Common Non-Destructive Testing Methods To Know 

There are multiple non-destructive testing methods, however, we have listed some of the common ones below. Do check them out! 

1) Visual Testing (VT)This refers to the method of collecting visual data about a material by inspecting it closely with human eyes. Visual testing is one of the most important techniques for examining a component without modifying it. 

2) Radiographic Testing (RT)This type of testing uses gamma or X-rays in order to find discontinuities on an object. 

3) Magnetic Particle Testing (MPT)It is the act of recognizing flaws or imperfections in a substance by inspecting disturbances in the flow of the magnetic field with the substance. 

4) Ultrasonic Testing (UT)Ultrasonic testing is the act of providing high-frequency sound waves into the substance to find out the changes in the characteristics of the material. 

5) Liquid Penetrant Testing (LPT)LPT is the method in which the material is coated with a liquid and then examines the cracks or breaks in the liquid to identify imperfections in the substance. 

To know more in detail, read: Top 7 Non - Destructive Testing Methods That Are Used Often

Build A Career In Non-Destructive Testing 

Career opportunities in the field of Non-destructive testing are abundant and are on the rise because infrastructure projects are witnessing an increase every day. NDT has a clear impact on the industries such as automobile, aerospace, defense, chemical, and oil & gas industries. NDT inspectors, NDT technicians, and quality assurance specialists who are working with non-destructive substances play a crucial role in regard to quality control. 

If you are thinking of starting a solid career in non-destructive testing, then you can do it at any phase of your life, after completing your graduation or leaving an old job! Similar to other professions, your non-destructive testing career is totally based on your certification, qualifications, experience, and skills. 

The more you educate yourself about NDT, the higher you can achieve! Attaining an NDT certificate in order to test non-destructive testing methods opens up new doors to several opportunities. Adequate qualification and theoretical as well as practical knowledge are extremely important in the non-destructive testing industry because minor errors can result in ruinous consequences. Non-destructive testing operators must upgrade their skills and knowledge at regular gaps. 

Note: ASME & ASNT are the renowned institutions that develop NDT standards as well as codes, and also provide certification programs. In order to start a new career in non-destructive testing, obtaining Level 1 and Level 2 NDT certifications will uplift your career and take you to the next level in the industry.

What Is The Role Of NDT Technicians? 

Non-Destructive Testing technicians have to do an inspection of the physical properties of an object in order to identify any type of damage such as cracks, breakages, leakage, corrosion, etc., that might result in bad product performance or failure of the product. They also have to examine the types of machinery in the plant to specify if they need any sort of repair or maintenance. An NDT technician makes use of distinct methods in order to detect structural flaws as per the object and working situations. 

Responsibilities And Duties of NDT Technician 

Here's a step-by-step process that is followed by every NDT technician: 

a) Examining The Substance - With their knowledge and skills in performing NDT methods, they test various materials in accordance with the structure or material being tested. NDT technicians conduct these methods on objects to find out possible imperfections. 

b) Preparing Test Reports - After the examinations are done, an NDT technician will have to evaluate the outcomes for the methods conducted and take note of everything that looks improper. This way it helps in assuring that the substances are all safe and the object is perfect for further usage. However, the operation might have to be stopped if any serious deformities are identified. 

c) Calibrating & Maintenance Of The Equipment - Maintenance is the core element of any object to function right! Therefore, in this step, NDT technicians must calibrate the settings on the basis of the object being examined. In addition, after an inspection, it is essential to ensure that the equipment is all set to be used in the future. 

d) Creating Process For Safety - Developing process checklists, educating other NDT technicians on the same, and displaying favorable inspecting methods for different materials. It is quite essential to consider the safety & security of every individual who is involved in the non-destructive examination. 


Skills Required To Build A Career In NDT Field

But, there are a set of skills that one needs to possess in order to go forward in their NDT career. Here they are: 

Fine Vision (Specifically Color Vision)

Analytical Skills 

Understanding the Ability To Operate With Technology

Problem-Solving Skills

Good Reason Skills

Critical Thinking Ability 

IT Skills

Promising Written & Verbal Communication 

Awareness About Health & Safety Issues 

List Of Different NDT Industries Where Technicians Work 

Different organizations in different sectors need NDT technicians and some of the industries that use non-destructive testing are mentioned as below: 

  • Automotive 

  • Oil & Gas 

  • Defense 

  • Aerospace 

  • Mining 

  • Pipeline

  • Power Generation 

  • Industrial Construction 

  • Manufacturing Of Heavy Equipment 

  • Rail Transportation


So, this was all about a non-destructive testing career! A strong career in the NDT field is considered dynamic where training and skills play an important role. Good qualification and certification are essential for the non-destructive testing industry, as small mistakes or errors can have adverse impacts, as already mentioned above! Therefore, NDT technicians will have to upgrade their skills regularly, attend training programs or courses and take examinations. A career in NDT is diverse and provides you with a lot of opportunities or you can specialize in a single method to an advanced level of proficiency. 

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