Are you interested in becoming an NDT technician but not sure which courses you should take? A popular way to become an NDT technician is through trade school. Courses in a program give a hands-on understanding of the field by using non-destructive testing equipment from the field. Students also learn from industry experts who have years of experience.
Becoming an NDT technician gives the opportunity to solve various types of problems and challenges. But like any job, technicians need to learn the required skills and acquire an education in the craft.
Before deciding whether this is the career to pursue, some research can help answer questions you might have.
What Is NDT?
NDT stands for “non-destructive testing.” It is product testing for extreme quality assurance. An NDT technician uses various tools and techniques to analyze materials and structures without causing any damage or disassembling them.
An NDT technician collects data about a product or material to determine if it has any imperfections through non-destructive inspection (NDI). If something is flawed with the product or material, it’s the technician’s job to report the issue in vivid detail.
How Long Is an NDT Program?
A full-time NDT technician training program can be completed in as little as 9 months.* You can extend the program length by several months if you attend classes part-time due to a job or other obligations. The courses prepare graduates to enter the field as Level I NDT technicians.
Technicians can continue to learn if they choose. In fact, additional courses and certifications are necessary for career advancement.
What Do You Learn During an NDT Technician Program?
The program provides a foundation in non-destructive testing. Students learn about common problems, such as magnetic flux leakages and how to handle them with the right tools and techniques.
Trained NDT technicians are categorized by three levels:
Level I technicians perform basic procedures and primarily focus on supporting Level II technicians.
Level II technicians have additional skills, including setting up and calibrating the necessary equipment. This level is also where they learn how to sort, organize and accurately report test results. They also manage Level I technicians.
Level III NDT technicians have achieved the highest rank. They develop, qualify and ultimately approve every NDT procedure and technique. Once the tests are finished, they are responsible for reporting the findings. They also are eligible to mentor Level I and Level II technicians.
Non-destructive Testing Technician Techniques
Each NDT technique is useful. A program can show you how to discern the most appropriate approach for each product or material.
A structure or item’s material will have the biggest impact on what type of technique is best. Knowing the material helps determine how your testing methods will impact the results and any follow-up actions.
Coursework teaches the most common NDT techniques. This helps graduates entering the field to be confident in their knowledge and abilities. The techniques are:
Visual – perhaps the simplest technique on this list. Your analysis skills are put to the test by using a flashlight or a remote visual inspection (RVI) tool like a camera or drone to get a more in-depth view.
Dye Penetration – utilizes dyes to highlight any cracks, holes or other defects in a material. After the dye has been applied, NDT technicians use ultraviolet (UV) light to scan for potential problems. Many of the issues that dye penetrant picks up are invisible to the naked eye. This harmless but detailed technique allows you to identify any signs of corrosion or damage as well as determine the extent of the issue.
Eddy Current – a technique found in electromagnetic testing. The purpose of this test is to gauge the strength of electrical currents. There are several purposes for eddy current tests in NDT. The test can help detect coat thickness on a material, determine its heat treatment strength and even help identify the makeup.
Magnetic Particle – a special technique to test the overall flow of the magnetic field. Any disruption you find is a sign the material isn’t in good condition. Magnetic particle inspection (MPI) is easy to perform and one of the fastest, most cost-effective forms of testing in NDT. Using a magnetic field, you can test for surface and subsurface flaws in a wide range of materials, including aircraft, vehicles, welding and pipes.
Ultrasound – utilizes soundwaves while scanning for imperfections. The “pulse echo” technique allows you to “insert” sounds into a material and see how the soundwaves respond.
Radiography – a process of scanning the material with the help of radiation and a radiation detector. Also known as X-ray, this will let you see inside the material. Just as doctors use X-rays to see inside the human body, an NDT technician learns how to use radiography to visualize the interior of a structure.
Now that you understand what’s involved in the career of an NDT technician, it is time to learn about MIAT College of Technology’s NDT training course. Take the first step toward becoming an NDT technician.
Non-Destructive Testing Technician Diploma Program
The Non-Destructive Testing Technician diploma program at MIAT College of Technology provide the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support needed to pursue a technical career. Non-Destructive Testing Technician (NDT) diploma classes are interactive and led by dedicated school instructors with years of experience working in a professional setting. You’ll get personal support to pick up new skills and firsthand technical knowledge to feel confident as a graduate.
To learn more about the Non-Destructive Testing Technician program and explore whether MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us today if you are interested in training to become a non-destructive testing technician.
*Some programs may require longer than one year to complete. UTI and MIAT are educational institutions and cannot guarantee employment or salary. For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.