Non-Destructive Testing Specialists
17-3029.01

Test the safety of structures, vehicles, or vessels using x-ray, ultrasound, fiber optic or related equipment.

Sample of reported job titles: Industrial Radiographer, Non-Destructive Evaluation Technician (NDE Technician), Non-Destructive Testing Specialist (NDT Specialist), Non-Destructive Testing Technician (NDT Technician)

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Interpret or evaluate test results in accordance with applicable codes, standards, specifications, or procedures.
  • Interpret the results of all methods of non-destructive testing (NDT), such as acoustic emission, electromagnetic, leak, liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, neutron radiographic, radiographic, thermal or infrared, ultrasonic, vibration analysis, and visual testing.
  • Examine structures or vehicles such as aircraft, trains, nuclear reactors, bridges, dams, and pipelines, using non-destructive testing techniques.
  • Select, calibrate, or operate equipment used in the non-destructive testing of products or materials.
  • Identify defects in solid materials, using ultrasonic testing techniques.
  • Prepare reports on non-destructive testing results.
  • Document non-destructive testing methods, processes, or results.
  • Supervise or direct the work of non-destructive testing trainees or staff.
  • Produce images of objects on film, using radiographic techniques.
  • Make radiographic images to detect flaws in objects while leaving objects intact.
  • Map the presence of imperfections within objects, using sonic measurements.
  • Conduct liquid penetrant tests to locate surface cracks by coating objects with fluorescent dyes, cleaning excess penetrant, and applying developer.
  • Visually examine materials, structures, or components for signs of corrosion, metal fatigue, cracks, or other flaws, using tools and equipment such as endoscopes, closed-circuit television systems, and fiber optics.
  • Identify defects in concrete or other building materials, using thermal or infrared testing.
  • Develop or use new non-destructive testing methods, such as acoustic emission testing, leak testing, and thermal or infrared testing.
  • Evaluate material properties, using radio astronomy, voltage and amperage measurement, or rheometric flow measurement.

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Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — Fractal Concept SoftScan; GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies Rhythm UT; National Instruments NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection AI; Visualization Sciences Group VSG Avizo Fire; 1 more
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — National Instruments NI Motion Assistant
  • Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access Hot technology
  • Development environment software — National Instruments LabVIEW Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes Hot technology ; Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — SAP business and customer relations management software
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Visualization Sciences Group VSG Open Inventor
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology
Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 85% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Telephone — 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 55% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 40% responded “Very important results.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 40% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error — 40% responded “Very serious.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 55% responded “Very important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 35% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Very important.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 35% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 55% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 50% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 30% responded “Very important.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Physical Proximity — 40% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Level of Competition — 50% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 45% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 40% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 25% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 35% responded “Every day.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Knowledge

  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 40%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 25%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required
  • 15%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.

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Interests

Interest code: RIC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Engineering Technologists and Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other.
Employment data for Calibration Technologists and Technicians and Engineering Technologists and Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other.
Industry data for Calibration Technologists and Technicians and Engineering Technologists and Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other.
Median wages (2021)
$29.78 hourly, $61,950 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
94,700 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Slower than average (1% to 5%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
9,300
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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