Non-destructive testing specialists are employed in energy and utilities, transportation, aerospace and defense, and manufacturing (durable goods). The Department of Labor does not provide data for non-destructive testing specialists. The job that shares some of the responsibilities and tasks of specialists is that of engineering technicians (except drafters), all others not listed separately. According to the DOL, there were about 83,360 engineering technicians employed in the United States in May 2018. Of those, many worked for the federal executive branch and architectural, engineering, and related services. Others worked in scientific research and development services, and in navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing.
Many NDT specialists get their start by participating in apprenticeship programs while in school. Those that perform well may receive job offers upon graduation. They find entry-level jobs with help from their school's career services office as well as by contacting companies directly. They also find job listings for NDT positions by searching Web sites such as ndt.org, as well as Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster, and others. Professional associations offer job referrals and career-development support. LinkedIn also posts NDT job openings on its Web site at https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/non-destructive-testing-jobs.
Non-destructive testing specialists with three or more years of experience may advance to become supervisors, responsible for hiring and overseeing the work of non-destructive testing technicians and entry-level workers. Those with an associate's degree may advance by going back to school for a bachelor's degree. They also advance by getting certification in specialized areas of non-destructive testing. Some share their knowledge by becoming teachers at community colleges and vocation-technical schools. They may also expand in their careers by becoming speakers at industry events and conferences.
Conduct an informational interview with a non-destructive testing specialist to find out more about what's required for this type of work and how they got into the field. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding someone interested in discussing their career with students.
Explore the ndt.org Web site for lists of schools for non-destructive testing (NDT), industry news, information about NDT companies and products, job listings, and other resources: https://www.ndt.org.
Attend industry events, trade shows, and conferences, to learn more about the latest developments in the non-destructive testing field and make connections that can be valuable in your career. Find event listings at https://www.ndt.org/event.asp?ObjectID=3434.
Join a professional association for access to education, training, and networking opportunities. For example, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing offers different membership levels and pricing options, including memberships for students, military personnel, and retirees, https://www.asnt.org/majorsitesections/membership.