How Do I Start a Career in Non-Destructive Testing?

Are you interested in becoming a non-destructive testing technician? The easiest way to become an NDT technician is to earn a non-destructive testing diploma from a trade school. All NDT technicians must complete a certain number of hours for training, then pass both written and practical exams to earn their NDT certification. While you may be able to receive some on-the-job training, trade schools can give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as an NDT technician. You\’ll be fluent in various types of NDT testing techniques, know the equipment, software, and best practices.

What Would I Learn in an NDT Technician Program?

Our Non-Destructive Testing Training program prepares you to work as a Level 1 NDT technician.1 You learn all the fundamental knowledge and skills an NDT technician needs to enter the workforce and continue to learn and grow.2 Below are some of the core non-destructive testing techniques you learn over the course of your training.

Visual Testing (VT)

The eyes are a basic but highly valuable tool for an NDT technician. Throughout every job, you need to detect obvious flaws in material or signs of a problem. Visual testing requires a good eye for detail and the ability to analyze materials for any potential defects; training in visual NDT centers around learning how to identify flaws or issues in every stage of manufacturing, maintenance, and repair.

As a non-destructive testing student, you learn not only the most common issues that occur but how they may manifest in physical signs; signs of corrosion, warping, and deformation can all indicate an issue. Being skilled at visual NDT allows you to correct mistakes quickly as well as perform more effective preventative maintenance.

Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI)

Dye penetrants coat a material\’s surface and highlight flaws such as holes or cracks. This method of inspection includes both a dye and visual analyses to inspect the security and stability of a material. Dye penetration inspection is also called liquid penetration testing (LPT), and it\’s commonly used to assess the integrity of metal structures. DPI is a fundamental type of non-destructive testing that is low-cost, highly effective, and easy to perform.

Eddy Current

Eddy current testing uses electromagnetic fields to inspect conductive surfaces and materials. The eddy current produces an alternating current of electricity, which then travels through a coil and creates a field. It can be used to quickly identify cracks or metal hardness of surfaces. It can also be used as a quick surface-level inspection strategy before deciding whether more advanced, in-depth inspections are required.

Magnetic Particle

For highly magnetic (ferromagnetic) materials, magnetic particle testing can be used to detect surface-level damage. Magnetic particle testing works by creating a magnetic flux, or lines, which then pinpoint cracks or corrosion. Both AC and DC currents can be used to perform particle examination; magnetic powder particles can also be used to identify cracks and structural deficits.


Sound is an effective way to inspect the structural integrity of a material without having to dismantle it. Using ultrasonic waves ranging from 0.1 to 50 megahertz, an NDT technician can assess the density of an object. Thickness of pipes and welding materials are often tested through ultrasonic examination; by connecting a pulse-receiver to a display monitor, the NDT technician can measure reverberation to determine how far the sound is able to travel through a material.


Sometimes, the surface level is not enough to determine the source of a problem. X-rays and gamma rays have short wavelengths, which allow for a deep level of penetration. Radiographic NDT allows technicians to inspect internal structures easily and readily identify any flaws or damages within them. As they move through an object, an NDT technician can review an image on film. This helps them determine where a flaw is located, how large it is and the best way to resolve it.

How Long Is an NDT Technician Program?

If you attend a full-time program, you can complete your NDT career training in as little as 9 months. Students who can attend full-time training throughout the week will be prepared to enter the workforce in less than one year.3

Where Can I Work with NDT Technician Training?

There are many industries where you can build a career in non-destructive testing.1 Some of the most popular that rely on NDT technicians every day are aviation, automotive, construction, and oil and gas.


Aviation NDT is a crucial component of airplane maintenance. It wouldn\’t be feasible to dismantle planes and inspect every part before a flight. An aviation NDT technician inspects aircraft for any potential defects to ensure they\’re safe for crew and passengers.


Automotive manufacturers must thoroughly test vehicles and their parts before they\’re able to be sold on the market. An NDT technician who works in the automotive field inspects welded car parts to ensure they\’re structurally sound and meet safety standards. Every part of a vehicle, from its gears to its exhaust system, are tested by a skilled NDT technician before they\’re installed and given the green light for operation.


A construction NDT technician works with heavy machinery to ensure that it\’s safe for a crew to operate. They may also inspect welded parts and infrastructures at construction sites to direct crews on where they can safely work, where to drill and what areas to avoid. They are specialists who ensure that any type of construction does not cause harm to workers or people living nearby.


For someone interested in a military career, defense non-destructive testing is a good option. Military NDT specialists are responsible for ensuring that military aircraft, ships and missile launchers all operate according to protocol. There is never any room for error, so this job can be high-pressure. However, you get to know that you are performing an extremely important job behind-the-scenes that keeps millions of people safe in the event of war.

Oil and Gas

In oil and gas, an NDT technician is responsible for inspecting and maintaining pipelines. They must continually evaluate the structure and efficacy of a pipeline\’s flow to avoid disruptions in service to consumers; in this line of work, non-destructive examination is largely a method of quality assurance and preventative safety.

Is Being an NDT Technician a Good Career Path?

If you want to pursue a career that presents opportunities for growth and keeps you active, non-destructive testing is a great option.1 You get to use your knowledge and skills every day to solve problems and do meaningful work. You are also able to increase your career opportunities by taking additional courses.2 NDT specialists can be Level I, II or III and choose to specialize in a particular type of testing.

Non-Destructive Testing Technician Diploma Program

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 technical career.1 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 whether MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in training to become a Non-Destructive Testing Technician today.


1UTI and MIAT are educational institutions and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

3Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.