NDT careers are exciting and both personally and financially rewarding. This makes NDT jobs extremely desirable. Whether you’re looking for a reliable career path or want to upgrade your career, NDT (non-destructive testing) offers many great opportunities. This includes numerous options for advancement and professional growth. Best of all, NDT careers in 2023 are in high demand and readily available. In fact, 2023 is the perfect time to get started in non-destructive testing!

Here’s what you can expect from a career in NDT and why now is the best time to get involved.

What does an NDT technician do?

How much do NDT technicians make?

Is NDT a good career choice?

Why now is the time to start an NDT career.

How do I start a career in NDT?

What does an NDT technician do?

An NDT technician inspects various materials and structures for defects, flaws and damage. The main goal of an NDT technician is to ensure that equipment, structures and materials are safe and reliable.

There are many different nondestructive testing jobs available. Therefore, what an NDT technician does day-to-day, and the industry they work in, will vary depending on their expertise and level of training.

For instance, each type of NDT technician can be certified at three levels – Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. An NDT technician can also be certified in more than one type of NDT. This means that a single technician can employ various methods of non-destructive testing. Technicians who are certified in multiple testing methods at higher levels (Level 3 being the highest) can provide more complex NDT services.

NDT careers are available in a wide variety of industries. Here’s where your career in NDT could take you.

Industries NDT Technicians Work In

Organizations in many different sectors require NDT technicians. Some of the most common industries that utilize nondestructive testing include:

  • Mining
  • Industrial construction
  • Aerospace
  • Infrastructure
  • Automotive
  • Rail transportation
  • Defense
  • Heavy equipment manufacturing
  • Power generation
  • Pipeline
  • Oil and gas, and more

In the southern United States, pipeline and oil and gas are the biggest sectors that require NDT. This is one of the reasons that NDT careers in 2023 are so desirable (more on this below).

Think you could excel in an NDT career? Let’s take a look at the next big question – how much do NDT technicians make?

How much do NDT technicians make?

If you want to become an NDT technician, you’ll be happy to know that NDT careers pay well. In the United States, the average NDT technician makes approximately $60,000 to $150,000+ based on field experience, technical certification and desired work scope.

If you’re just starting out, you can expect to make around $50,000+ per year. As you gain more experience, certifications in additional testing methods and higher level designations, you’ll make even more. In fact, the more testing methods an NDT technician is certified to employ, and the higher their certification level (i.e. Level 1, Level 2, Level 3), the more they will make. A Level 3 NDT technician who is certified to conduct various types of nondestructive testing will make the most.

Now, based on everything we’ve discussed, you’re probably wondering – is NDT a good career choice? Here’s what we think.

Is NDT a good career choice?

NDT is a great career choice. It offers high pay, flexibility, the option to work in various industries and many opportunities for career growth. That being said, certain people are more suited to NDT careers than others.

Here are some important strengths and skills you’ll need to succeed.

Skills and Strengths Required in NDT Careers

Individuals who possess these qualities and most likely to excel in NDT careers.

  • Mind for basic mathematics and science
  • Ability to understand and work with technology.
  • Strong problem-solving skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Strong reasoning skills.
  • Ability to think quickly.
  • Strong written and verbal communication.
  • Good vision.
  • Additional specialized skills, like rock climbing, are a bonus.

If an NDT career seems suitable for you, you’ll be happy to know that 2023 is a great time to start! Here’s why.

Why NDT Careers Are In-Demand in 2023

The demand and price for oil and gas have skyrocketed in 2023. As a result of increased productivity in the oil and gas industry, the need for NDT technicians has grown. Therefore, more jobs and more opportunities are available in the field. This makes 2023 the perfect time to get started with a career in NDT.

Want to become an NDT technician? Here’s how you can get started.

How do I start a career in NDT?

There are several steps you’ll need to take to start an NDT career. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. High school diploma or GED equivalent
  2. NDT training from a trade, technical or community college program.
  3. NDT certification from an employer – this step includes work experience. After completing your practical work experience, you must also pass your employers general, specific and practical exams.

In the United States, NDT certification is the responsibility of your employer.  Most companies which higher NDT technicians are looking for individuals who have completed level I and level II training in several NDT methods.  Once hired by an NDT company individuals will work alongside certified NDT technicians to gain industry required experience.  Once that experience is obtained, you’re company will certify you as an NDT technician.

Companies typically require NDT technicians to receive separate training for each NDT method they wish to employ. Therefore, you will need to complete training in all the NDT methods you wish to use in the field.

Keep in mind, once you are certified, you are also responsible for keeping your certification up to date. This means staying up to date with changes in technology and code and renewing your certification every 5 years.