What is a Non-Destructive Testing Technician?

Posted on February 11, 2020

Choosing your future career path can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there is more research material available to help you fully understand just what it takes to enter various fields before beginning your journey. One of the most preferential jobs in the market today is that of a non-destructive testing technician. With the help of trade school attendance, this career path is more attainable than ever. So, what exactly does a non-destructive testing technician do, where do they work, and what skills and training are necessary to becoming one?

What Does A Non-Destructive Testing Technician Do?

The main purpose of a non-destructive testing technician (NDT) is to ensure that all of the products coming out of a particular factory meet a standard of quality as put forth by that particular company. This can include anything from visual standards to structural standards. An NDT may be visually inspecting products to ensure that they do not contain cracks or imperfections on the exterior surface. This helps to ensure that every customer receives the highest quality product and will be satisfied with their purchase. Additionally, a non-destructive testing technician may also be tasked with performing more technical quality checks such as ensuring that lighting or other electrical equipment is functioning properly on a variety of products. This can include using a program which will display codes allowing them to identify any potential issues that need remediation. Without the help of a non-destructive testing technician, many more faulty products would likely leave the production facility unchecked.

Where Does an NDT Work?

One of the best things about becoming a non-destructive testing technician is that they will be able to work in a variety of industries and in many different parts of the country. While the number of companies that employ an NDT are practically innumerable, there are some specific employers that will tend to hire an NDT more frequently. These include the aviation industry, national defense contractors, construction companies, the oil and gas industry, and the automotive industry. The one thing that all of these industries have in common is that they require hundreds of thousands of mass-produced parts each year. All of these parts must be created to meet a particular standard so that the final products do not fail. In the most serious cases, failure of some products can lead to fatalities, which is why mastering the duties of an NDT is imperative.

What are Some of the Various NDT Techniques?

Part of being an NDT is mastering a variety of specific techniques. These include but are not limited to: visual observation, dye penetrant inspection, eddy current testing, magnetic particle testing, and ultrasound and radiography imaging. These techniques allow non-destructive testing technicians to control the quality of materials used. Each of these techniques has a very different end goal but the underlying idea is the same. By carefully analyzing a final product or a data set, the NDT can make a determination as to whether something looks and acts as it should. If not, the NDT can then make suggestions as to how this issue could be fixed.

Visual Examination – non-destructive testing technicians use many different visual examination tools to inspect technology including lenses and fiber optic devices.

Liquid Dye Penetration Testing – with the use of fluorescent liquids, non-destructive testing technicians will stain surfaces to show imperfections that are seen under ultraviolet light.

Eddy Current Testing – a non-destructive testing technician will pass an electric current through conductive materials, monitoring the flow of current for any differences.

Magnetic Particle Testing – to see cracks and defects, non-destructive testing technicians use magnetic particles applied to magnetized ferrous materials.

Ultrasonic Testing – the use of high frequency sound pulses helps non-destructive testing technicians to see imperfections and defects by reflecting signals from the materials.

Radiographic Testing – uses X-rays to help non-destructive testing technicians see imperfections inside materials.

What Skills are Necessary to Becoming a Successful NDT?

Part of becoming an NDT is developing the necessary skills. First, an NDT must maintain a close attention to detail. Even the smallest mistake could lead to a product failure if it should go unnoticed. Also, communication skills, both written and oral, must be finely tuned. Written communication is important for documenting possible issues while oral communication is a valuable tool when working with a team of other NDT’s to solve complex issues. Finally, NDT’s must remain focused on the task at hand at all times; if faulty products are overlooked and fall through the cracks, serious consequences can occur. This is especially true when dealing with things that are required to keep people safe such as components of an airplane or national defense equipment.

Regardless of the types of products that an NDT may work on, they can take pride in their work knowing that their efforts help to produce the highest quality product. By better understanding what an NDT does and what steps can be taken to become one, you are well on your way to making a more informed decision about your future.

Ready to learn more about becoming a non-destructive testing technician? The Non-Destructive Testing Technician diploma programs from MIAT College of Technology provide the hands-on training, practical experience, and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding 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 one-on-one attention and personal support to pick up new skills quickly and first-hand technical knowledge to feel confident entering the workforce.

To learn more about Non-Destructive Testing Technician Program and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in becoming a non-destructive testing technician today.

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