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Placement and Pay

Placement Rates of Nondestructive Testing Technology Graduates

Employment is always a concern for students when making a career choice. Typically college NDT programs provide placement for graduating students and many boast of placement rates at or near 100 percent. The demand for individuals that have earned an AAS degree in nondestructive testing technology is current so great that some vocational programs are reporting that students are receiving as many as 18 job offers upon graduation. This employment/graduate ratio has been consistently in favor of graduate for the past ten years. It is expected that this trend will continue far into the future.

An article published in the November 2001 edition of Materials Evaluation reported on a recent workforce availability study conducted by the electric power industry. The study found that the combined effect of several factors is resulting in an acute shortage of NDT personnel. These factors include a low unemployment rate, an NDT labor force with a high number of individual nearing retirement and fewer new workers entering the job market. In fact, in one industry (nuclear power) it is estimated that only 24% of the current NDT workforce will still be on the job by the year 2010. In addition, state and federal requirements for safety in all aspects of industry are increasing day by day and there is no end in sight. While these facts are causing concern among employers throughout the US, they mean that jobs will be plentiful for individuals with skills in nondestructive testing. This trend has opened the door for higher wages and accelerated advancement in NDT personnel careers.

Wages of NDT Personnel

Wages and benefits very widely thorough the industry. Starting salaries typically range from $25,000-$45,000 a year depending on job location. Often wages and benefits are related to graduate knowledge and skill, and job duties. Students graduating an AAS degree program may be well versed on inspection methods, however, job experience is required before industry certifications can be met. It may take a number of months before the technician can be tested for certification. Industry will often increase wages as technicians meet company certification requirements. NDT technology graduates with 5-8 years of experience are currently averaging $52,000 annually which is one of the highest average salaries when compared to other two-year technology programs.

Web sites with additional information on employment and wages.