(left to right) Joel Norton, non-destructive testing student at San Jacinto College, trains on finding cracks with ultrasound as Stephen Rowland, program director, assists. Pictured in back: Billy Canter, also a non-destructive testing student at the College. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department
Non-destructive testing jobs available immediately upon training
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- July 20, 2012
PASADENA, Texas — Companies are in need of inspection technicians; so much that many non-destructive testing students at San Jacinto College are often hired before they're able to graduate from the program.
It's the lucrative salaries paired with an ongoing shortage that contributes to the program's 100 percent job placement rate, according to Stephen Rowland, program director. Jobs in non-destructive testing often include inspection technicians, shearwave technicians, quality control technicians, inspection engineers, corrosion technicians, and metallurgical technicians. Starting salaries can range from $18 to $20 an hour and increase up to $50 with about five years or more of work experience.
"We face a loss of half of our non-destructive testing workers by 2014 due to retirement," said Rowland. "It takes three new technicians to replace one retiree to make up for the number of certifications that one person has earned over the years."
Several companies have already offered positions to Billy Canter, a non-destructive testing student. However, he is staying in school for one more year to earn his associate degree, a credential that will make him eligible for advancement after a short time in the field.
"It feels great to know that I have a stack of business cards of potential employers who I can call and say 'I'm ready to work now'," said Canter, who chose to study non-destructive testing for its reputation as a stable occupation field. "I want a longstanding career that won't fade out over time, and inspection is needed for just about everything. Also, I like the challenge the job presents each day. It's a very interesting line of work."
Rowland compares non-destructive testing to that of “CSI” meets “Star Trek.” It takes a bit of investigating to diagnose a problem with a combination of specialized equipment and an understanding of materials. Once the problem has been identified and characterized then the results are presented to the client in a report. It is commonly used in the industries of aviation, petrochemical, manufacturing, maritime, and energy.
"It's an application of science and technology to find those hidden problems," said Rowland, adding that the San Jacinto College program is one of 65 of its kind in the country. It follows curriculum approved by the American Society for Non-destructive Testing (ASNT). "It's a fun career. Everyday is something new, a new challenge."
Some of the companies that hire San Jacinto College students out of the non-destructive program include TechCorr, Mistras, Acuren and oil companies like Exxon and BP. Rowland said there are career openings for inspection technicians across the globe, and industry is looking to hire more women technicians. Turnaround work schedules that include 12-hour days for weeks or months are common in this occupation, with other jobs that have standard work schedules including time for vacation.
For more information about the non-destructive testing program at San Jacinto College, visit www.sanjac.edu/areas-study#non-destructive-testing-technology.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.