- Use scientific methods to test materials and components in machines to make sure they are safe
- There are a wide range of specialist areas, and this work is in-demand
- You'll need great maths and science skills
As a non-destructive testing technician, you'll be involved with quality control procedures in aerospace, energy, manufacturing and transport. You'll test materials used in machinery and structures to find faults like corrosion, cracks, flaws and other imperfections.
- Visually inspecting materials using CCTV and fibre optic cameras
- Conducting thermal imaging to find defects in concrete and other building materials
- Dye testing to stain surfaces with fluorescent liquid magnetic
- Magnetic particle testing (applying magnetic particles to materials)
- Radiographic testing by using X-rays to find internal faults
- Ultrasonic testing using high frequency sound pulses with materials
- Eddy current testing electricity through materials
- Resonant testing which is 'listening' to the growth of cracks or flaws by monitoring the acoustic vibrations of a structure
You could work in a factory, in a workshop or in a laboratory. You may need to wear protective clothing.
For this role, you'll need thoroughness and attention to detail, excellent verbal communication skills, knowledge of maths and physics, the ability to work well with others, analytical thinking skills, and engineering science and technology knowledge.
You might be able to find a place as a trainee technician after doing a qualification at college. Courses include Level 2 Certificate in Welding, Level 3 Diploma in Engineering, or Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Science. You can also do a T level in Design, Surveying and Planning.
You could complete an intermediate apprenticeship for non-destructive testing (NDT) operators or an advanced apprenticeship for NDT technicians.
You can do a foundation degree in non-destructive testing (NDT) if you're already working in this area, for example in an engineering workshop or a materials testing lab.
With experience, you could progress to senior NDT technician, or specialise in a particular form of testing. You could move into quality assurance, purchasing, technical sales, management, or research and development.