Everything You Need to Know About Careers in Non-Destructive Testing

According to the Canadian Institute for Non-Destructive Examination (CINDE), Canada is facing a shortage of NDT professionals. See what it takes to start your career.


When you enter the job market, you face countless paths. While it’s useful to have options, the sheer number can overwhelm many people. You have a few questions that narrow down that field, though. Will you enjoy the work? Do you have the necessary educational experience? Would the salary support your lifestyle? But one of the most important is if you can actually find a stable job once you finish training.

If you want a career that Canadian employers seek, consider non-destructive testing. According to the Canadian Institute for Non-Destructive Examination (CINDE), Canada faces a shortage of NDT professionals. This shortage can be your gain when if you start you career in this field.

However, if you don’t know where to begin, you might feel a little lost at the prospect of jumping into a new industry. To help you get started, we have provided a brief introduction to NDT careers, including what you need to do to prepare for them and what each entails.


Formal Education

The education level you need depends on the job you want. You do not need a university education for any entry-level positions, and you have the ability to work your way up in most companies through promotions and professional certifications.

Training Courses

Regardless of your education, you will need to take NDT-specific training courses to qualify for certification. You can find an up-to-date list hereto find a school in your area. In addition to lecture-based material, you will have the opportunity to work in hands-on lab environments. At any of these approved schools, you will create the foundation for a successful career in NDT.


Because proper NDT can save time, money, the environment, and even lives, Canada strives to ensure only trained technicians participate in testing procedures. Therefore, anyone who aspires to an NDT career must complete the Canadian General Standards Board’s (BGSB) certification program. This federal organization makes sure there is a national, comprehensive assessment for each NDT worker.


Natural Resources Canada manages the certification program and offers tests for the following methods:
  • Eddy Current
  • Industrial Radiography
  • Liquid Penetrant
  • Magnetic Particle
  • Ultrasonics
Once you complete the application form, you’ll need to submit it to the Natural Resources Canada. After they receive your information, the organization will allow you to take a written and practical test.

Work Experience

Before you can certify, you will need to gain in-the-field experience. Your employer will need to observe you as you work and verify that you completed your labour to the certification board. Minimum work requirements depend on the level (1, 2, or 3) you wish to certify in, so consult your employer or Natural Resources Canada before you schedule your hours.

Certification Levels

You can choose among three different levels when you enter the NDT field. Do not feel that you must complete the highest level now; you can enter at one level and change after your get more experience in your career. While the exact responsibilities may vary slightly from company to company, expect to see many similarities based on the employee certification level:
  • Level 1 (Technicians): These workers can make calibrations and tests while a supervisor observes their work or gives specific instructions.
  • Level 2 (Engineers and Experienced Technicians): This level allows you to supervise and train level 1 employees. You conduct inspections, calibrate and maintain equipment, and evaluate test results.
  • Level 3 (Specialized Technicians or Engineers): The highest level NDT certification allows you to manage laboratories and even establish codes and standards that guide the field.

NDT Professions

So far, we have referred to NDT as its own, separate field. This is true, but it can seem limiting. After all, you may have other interests. However, NDT is anything but limiting. When you start this career, you have a scope of professions at your fingertips. Fields that you can apply your newfound knowledge to include:
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Electronics
  • Radiography
  • Research and development
  • Sales and marketing
  • Testing laboratories
  • Manufacturing
From examining airplane wings for hairline cracks to consulting businesses on the best NDT systems, you can parlay your education and certification into multiple career opportunities.

Your Career in NDT

As you consider a career in this exciting field, take advantage of your resources, speak with our team of professionals at 20/20 NDT to get insider knowledge and see how you would fit as an employee. You can also read our other blogs to get a deeper understanding about the industry.