Published on 18-Nov-2023

NDT Certification: A Step-By-Step Guide

NDT Certification: A Step-By-Step Guide

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Why is NDT Important?
  • How do I become NDT Certified?
  • Detailed Information about the Certification Process
  • Details of Specific Sectors for different NDT Methods
  • How often is NDT Certification Renewal Required?
  • Job & Career Opportunities in a variety of Areas
  • Final Words
  • Key Takeaways
  • FAQs


Introduction 

If you have an eye for detail and a passion for ensuring safety and quality in various industries, a career with Non-destructive Testing (NDT) qualifications might be the perfect fit.

NDT inspector certification plays a critical role in ensuring that structures, equipment, and materials meet industry standards without causing damage.

For those who are not familiar with NDT Testing Certification, let us clear it up for you. So, NDT certification can be defined as a written or authorized document that indicates an NDT Technician has all the needed skills to perform NDT Methods.

He or she should be well equipped with the capability to conduct the tests according to the approved Non-destructive Testing Standards.

It also gives the consumer confidence that they have fulfilled the required educational qualifications without modification.

To be competent to conduct NDT Certification level 2 and NDT level 1 Inspections, one must have the competency to carry out inspections and interpret the results of the NDT Training and Testing Center



Why is NDT Important?

Dissimilar to destructive testing methods, in Non-destructive Testing, the interpretation of outcomes is not that simple.

For instance, when it comes to destructive tests, such as hardness testing or tensile testing, the outcomes can be read directly from the screen.

On the other hand, the outcomes cannot be read easily in NDT Services

Hence, it demands extra attention or time while doing examinations by the Best NDT Professionals.

Therefore, standards and codes grant that the inspector must complete Non-destructive Testing Courses, training, and level of experience.

In almost every case, the NDT Inspectors should hold either Level I, II, or III certification in the examination method or at least NDT technician certification.

Until and unless the inspector has met all the required qualification criteria, they must not be allowed to be engaged in any NDT Types of Equipment.

This is so because there is zero to little assurance that the candidate has the proper skills to interpret the outcomes, and it becomes highly risky to accept those results.

Before acquiring a certification, a candidate is known as a trainee and is expected to have the best NDT Techniques.

A trainee has to function or work under the proper guidance of either Level I or Level II while using the NDT Equipment appropriately.

How do I become NDT Certified?

NDT certification is a formal recognition of an individual's competence in conducting Non-destructive Tests, ensuring the reliability and safety of materials and structures.

There are many Non-destructive Testing Certification courses and there is a lot of scope in NDT. 

According to the ASNT instructed practice SNT TC 1A, ISO, and NAS410, there are 3 levels of NDT certification, as mentioned below:

1. NDT Level I — A technician that performs actual tests as per Level II or III Instructions.


2. NDT Level II — An Inspector, who must perform calibrations, testing, and interpretation of outcomes. 


NDT Level III — A complete expert inspector who is capable of establishing all the methods, procedures, and training. 




Responsibilities of NDT Level I Individual 

 An NDT Level II-certified person must be able to:

 a) Interpret and examine results with regard to applicable codes, specifications, and standards.

b) Be qualified enough to establish and calibrate equipment and tools.

c) Organize and address the results of NDT Tests.

d) Possess adequate knowledge and technical skills.

e) Guide and supervise trainees and NDT Level I individuals.

f) Must be comprehensively familiar with the scope and limitations of the NDT Techniques.

g) Must practice the appointed responsibility for training purposes.

Responsibilities of NDT Level II Individual 


As per ASNT instructed practice SNT TC 1A, an NDT Level III should have the following duties:

a) Establish and approve methods, interpreting cores, standards, and specifications.

b) Prescribing the specific NDT Techniques and procedures to be utilized.

c) Enough technical skills and knowledge for creating, qualifying, and approving processes

d) Must be responsible for the entire NDT operation for which the person is assigned and qualified.

e) Must be able to establish methods and assist in ascertaining acceptance criteria when none are available.

f) Have to be capable enough of interpreting and evaluating the results as per codes, standards, and specifications.

g) Well equipped with an adequate practical background in suitable substances, fabrication, and product technology

Detailed Information about the Certification Process

Here is detailed information on a few essential topics. 

* Steps to attain NDT Certification

Here are the steps to attain NDT Certifications. 

1. Acquiring Relevant Education and Training

To embark on the journey of becoming an NDT-certified Inspector, you need to start by obtaining the right education and training.

Most employers look for candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Pursuing a degree in engineering, materials science, or a related field can significantly enhance your prospects.

Numerous technical schools and colleges offer specialized NDT training programs that cover various inspection methods such as Ultrasonic Testing (UT), Magnetic Particle Testing (MPT), Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT), Radiographic Testing (RT), and Visual Testing (VT).

It is crucial to pick a reputable institution that has received accreditation from recognized NDT organizations. 




2. Gaining Practical Experience

While education provides a foundation, practical experience is equally crucial in the field of NDT Inspection.

Many certification programs require a specific number of hours dedicated to hands-on training.

Seek internships or apprenticeships with established NDT Companies to gain valuable experience in real-world scenarios.

3. Choosing the right NDT Method

As an NDT-certified Inspector, you can specialize in one or more testing methods based on your interests and career goals.

Each method has its own unique applications and requirements.

Select the method(s) that align with your skills and desired industry focus.

4. Applying for Certification Exams

After completing the necessary education and training, it's time to apply for certification exams.

Various organizations, such as the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) and the European Federation for Non-destructive Testing (EFNDT), offer certification programs.

Make sure to check the eligibility criteria and select the appropriate level of certification based on your experience and knowledge.

Details of Specific Sectors for Different NDT Methods

Non-destructive testing methods play a pivotal role in ensuring the integrity and safety of various materials and structures across diverse sectors.

Each sector comes with its unique challenges and requirements, demanding specific NDT approaches tailored to its characteristics.

Here are the details of specific sectors for different NDT Methods

1. Aerospace Sector

In the Aerospace Sector, UT is widely used to inspect components like aircraft wings and engine parts.

Its high precision allows for the detection of internal defects without causing damage.

2. Eddy Current Testing (ECT)

Eddy Current Testing is employed for the examination of conductive materials in aerospace applications.

It's particularly useful for identifying cracks and defects in aluminum structures.

3. Oil and Gas Industry

Radiographic Testing (RT) and Magnetic Particle Testing (MPT) are essential in the oil and gas sector for weld inspections and detecting defects in ferrous materials.

4. Automotive Sector

Visual Testing (VT) and Penetrant Testing (PT) are crucial methods in the Automotive Industry for surface inspections, identifying visible defects and hidden ones, particularly in engine parts.


5. Construction and Infrastructure

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity (UPV) are very important tools in construction for exploring below the ground, finding utilities, finding holes, and checking the quality of concrete structures.

6. Power Generation

ECA and AET are very important tools in power generation because they let you quickly check the tubes and structures of steam generators for problems before they get worse.

7. Railway Industry

In railway inspections, Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) and Phased Array Ultrasonics (PAUT) are used to find problems with the tracks and wheels, such as welds and hidden damage.

How often is NDT Certification Renewal Required?

NDT Certification is not just a one-time accomplishment. It's a commitment to excellence, an ongoing process of learning and adaptation.

There are many criteria for this.

1. Maintaining Certification

Maintaining an NDT Certification involves a continuous journey of skill development and staying abreast of industry advancements.

It's not a static achievement but a dynamic commitment to excellence.

This is the foundation upon which the entire certification renewal process stands.

Regular skill enhancement is essential, and staying updated on industry updates and participating in relevant professional development activities is crucial.

2. Certification Renewal

Certification renewal is the formal process of extending the validity of an NDT Certification.

Unlike a one-time achievement, it's a period of a step to ensure that certified individuals are still equipped to handle the latest challenges in the field.

The frequency of this task is every 7 to 10 years, requiring continuous professional engagement to validate the sustained applicability of skills.

Job & Career Opportunities in a variety of Areas

When it comes to NDT Certification, the doors to a multitude of exciting and varied career paths swing wide open.

The certification is not just about knowing what is the Importance of NDT

The versatility of NDT skills extends beyond the conventional, reaching into industries for a competitive Non-destructive testing salary. 

1. Aircraft Maintenance & Manufacturing

NDT Professionals play a crucial role in ensuring the structural integrity of aircraft.

From inspecting wings to evaluating engine components, their expertise ensures the safety of every flight.

2. Shipping Maintenance & Manufacturing

NDT offers opportunities in the maritime industry.

Professionals in this sector inspect and maintain ships, ensuring they weather the elements and navigate the oceans safely.

3. Smelters & Foundries

NDT experts examine the integrity of metal structures in smelters and foundries.

Their assessments contribute to the production of robust materials used in construction and various industries.

4. Rolling & Forging Mills

Rolling and forging mills rely on NDT to guarantee the quality of metal products.

From steel beams to intricate components, NDT Professionals ensure that each piece meets the highest standards.

5. Petrochemical & Refineries

NDT Certification is vital in the petrochemical industry, where professionals inspect equipment for flaws.

This ensures the safe production and processing of chemicals, contributing to environmental and industrial safety.

6. Mining & Mineral Processing

NDT experts assess the integrity of equipment used in extracting valuable minerals.

Their work ensures the efficiency and safety of mining operations beneath the Earth's surface.


7. Vehicle Maintenance & Manufacturing

From car manufacturers to maintenance facilities, the Automotive Industry relies on NDT Professionals.

They inspect components, ensuring vehicles on the road meet stringent safety standards.

8. Engineering Firms

NDT Certification opens doors to roles that involve testing prototypes and evaluating the structural integrity of diverse projects.

These professionals contribute to the success of innovative engineering endeavors.

9. Research & Development Facilities

NDT experts are instrumental in research and development, where cutting-edge technologies are born.

Their role involves testing prototypes and ensuring that groundbreaking innovations meet rigorous standards.

10. Education & Training

With NDT Certification, individuals can contribute to the education and training of the next generation of professionals.

This role involves imparting knowledge, skills, and the Importance of Precision in NDT.

11. Equipment Manufacture & Sales

NDT-certified individuals play a pivotal role in companies manufacturing and selling testing equipment.

They contribute their expertise to the development of advanced tools used across various industries.

12. Maintenance, Service & Repair of Equipment

In maintenance and repair roles, NDT Professionals ensure that equipment functions optimally.

Their assessments help prevent downtime and contribute to the longevity of machinery.

13. Service Inspection Companies

Service inspection companies heavily rely on NDT-Certified Professionals.

They ensure that inspections are thorough and adhere to the highest standards, providing clients with accurate assessments of their assets.



Final Words

Becoming an NDT Technician is a very significant career choice!

An NDT technician has a lot of responsibilities, such as protecting individuals and industries from various kinds of defects and potentially dangerous situations.

Therefore, the NDT experts or instructors at OnestopNDT make sure that all the prospective technicians get proper information about the subject and NDT Courses that would be beneficial for them in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • NDT qualifications open doors to varied and exciting career opportunities across industries.
  • NDT certification is a formal recognition of an individual's competence in conducting Non-destructive Tests.
  • It ensures structures, equipment, and materials meet industry standards without causing damage.
  • NDT Level I: Performs tests as per Level II or III instructions.
  • NDT Level II: Conducts calibrations, tests, and interprets outcomes.
  • NDT Level III: Establishes methods, and procedures, and provides training.
  • NDT certification is not a one-time achievement; it requires periodic renewal.
  • Renewal involves ongoing skill development, industry updates, and professional development every 3 to 10 years.
  • Level I: Conducts tests and interprets results under supervision.
  • Level II: Organizes and addresses results, guides trainees, and understands scope and limitations.
  • Level III: Establishes methods, interprets results, and oversees entire NDT operations.
  • NDT Methods are used in various sectors, including aerospace, oil and gas, automotive, and construction.
  • NDT-certified Professionals find opportunities in aerospace, shipping, smelters, automotive, and more.
  • NDT certification is a commitment to excellence, offering a pathway to diverse and impactful careers.

FAQs

Q. Which certificate is best for NDT?

A: The best NDT certificate depends on individual career goals and industry requirements. Level III certifications are often considered the highest.

Q. What are the 4 types of NDT?

A: The four main types of NDT are Visual Inspection, ultrasonic testing, radiographic testing, and magnetic particle testing.

Q. What is the NDT level?

A: NDT levels (I, II, III) indicate the proficiency and expertise of individuals in the field. Level III is the highest level.


Q. Is NDT a good career choice?

A: Yes, with industries emphasizing quality and safety, NDT Professionals are in high demand, offering excellent career prospects.

Q. What is the duration of NDT courses?

A: The duration of NDT Courses varies, with some programs lasting a few weeks to several months, depending on the level and method. 


References

1. Hellier NDT

2. AQC Inspection

3. Southern Engineering Co. Ltd



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