Non-destructive testing (NDT) technicians examine the physical properties of materials and components to detect corrosion, cracks, flaws and other imperfections which could lead to unreliability in product performance or in the worst case, product failure. They also inspect plant machinery to determine if maintenance is necessary. It is essential that the testing process itself does not have any detrimental effect on the material or plant under examination.
Materials which are used for structures are tested at every stage to ensure that they are safe. For example, the materials used in aircraft manufacture are tested when they are made, while the fuselage is being constructed and throughout the operating life of the aircraft.Non-destructive testing technicians use a variety of techniques to test materials, such as:
NDT is also used as part of quality control processes, particularly in manufacturing. It covers a wide range of other industries including aerospace, defence, transport, power, shipping, steel, oil, gas and petrochemical.
Hours vary but are typically 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Shift and weekend work is also common.
The work environment will vary according to the job and the industry. Technicians may work in clean laboratories, on noisy factory floors or outdoors. Protective clothing including gloves and face masks may be required for certain jobs. Some substances are hazardous so technicians have to adhere to strict health and safety regulations.
To be a non-destructive testing technician, you should:
Prospects will depend on qualifications and experience. There is a regular demand for skilled staff in all sectors.
It may be possible to progress to senior NDT technician, to specialise in a particular form of testing or alternatively, to move into purchasing, sales and management. There may be research and development opportunities within universities in the UK and overseas.
If you would like to know anything about Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
The Welding Institute
Tel: 01223 891162
The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3)
1 Carlton House Terrace
Tel: 020 7451 7300
SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
Tel: 0808 100 3682