Working as a non-destructive test (NDT) inspector is both a rewarding and challenging career. The inspector needs to be highly attentive to detail and fairly technologically savvy. Besides, considering that NDT is a highly dynamic field, thanks to emerging technological advancements, the technician needs to stay in the loop with the emerging trends and information to stay relevant and marketable.
Anyone aspiring to be an NDT inspector would be interested in having a sneak peek of the kind of life they’re likely to have when the career dream comes true. They would like to know how an ordinary day of the life of a non-destructive test inspector looks like.
If you want to learn more about non-destructive testing, be sure to check out our other articles:
The Daily Tasks of an NDT-Inspector
The main work of a non-destructive test technician is to perform non-destructive tests on materials, systems and/or components to detect defects that are likely to have adverse effects on that the functionality and safety of the item being assessed.
These tests depend on the test method, standard and qualification level, as not all inspectors are allowed to do the evaluation of images taken, for example.
On that note, here are some of the key tasks that the inspector could be engaged in on a daily basis:
- Examining systems, materials or structures such as bridges, pipelines, aircrafts and plant machines using NDT techniques like acoustic emission, radiographic, electromagnetic, liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, neutron radiographic, thermal, ultrasonic or vibration analysis.
- Collecting Data for flaw detection in materials and objects.
- Choosing, calibrating or operating NDT equipment.
- Equipment maintenance. After using NDT equipment or machinery, the technician is supposed to ensure that the it is cleaned up and ready for use the following day, or whenever necessary thereafter.
- Evaluating the results of non-destructive tests with adherence to the relevant standards, guidelines or specifications.
- Interpreting NDT results according to the applicable standards, guidelines or specifications. The interpretation could involve examining film produced by X-ray imaging, translating raw test data to easy-to-understand information to establish if it’s necessary to carry out further tests or whether the structure, object or material being tested ought to be done away with immediately.
- Preparing test reports. The technician is expected to record the activities and findings of the tests they perform on a daily basis in the form of a report. In the report, the NDT expert should outline the procedures they followed during an NDT test, the test results, and what they recommend the engineers or other people who are responsible for the integrity of the tested item or structure to do.
- Report presentation. After compiling the test reports, they are supposed to submit or present them to the relevant experts or management for further action or to ascertain that all is well with the tested object or material.
As earlier mentioned, the inspector is expected to write reports and make verbal communications effectively. As such, excellent written and verbal communication skills are an integral part of the work of the technician.
In most cases, non-destructive test activities and procedures require teamwork, as different aspects of the work are under different individuals who have to work together to achieve a common goal. No wonder, according to OwlGuru, approximately 75% of NDT inspectors to have group discussions at their workplace every day.
Work Hours and Compensation
According to Zip Recruiter, the hourly wages for an NDT inspector can range from $11.78 to $48.80, depending on the location of the technician. Considering the technician can work for eight hours a day, they can earn up to ~$390 dollars per day.
Using Artificial Intelligence to support Inspectors
Such a working day of an inspector, described above, tugs very hard at a person’s concentration as well as performance. This means that in the course of a shift, the concentration decreases considerably and thus the interpretation becomes more challenging. To prevent this, the inspector can be supported with software that simplifies and accompanies the entire process. Such a software is the sentin EXOLRER.
The sentin EXPLORER is a tool to automate such inspection or image evaluation tasks. Our customers sometimes produce thousands of images per week, all of which have to be reliably checked. Therefore we give you the power to perform evaluations with the help of artificial intelligence and to find defects more reliably or gain new insights.