Non-Destructive Testers and Inspection Technicians

Occupation:Non-Destructive Testers and Inspection Technicians
Category:Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

About the job

Nature of work:

Non-destructive testers and inspection technicians operate radiographic, ultrasonic, liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, eddy current and similar testing equipment to detect discontinuities in objects of various compositions and materials. They are employed by quality control, maintenance and safety departments of manufacturing, processing, transportation, energy and other companies and by private industrial inspection establishments.

Job duties:
Non-destructive testers and inspection technicians perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Set up and calibrate non-destructive testing equipment.
  • Conduct tests to ensure quality or detect discontinuities (defects) using ultrasonic, radiographic, liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, eddy current and other non-destructive testing methods.
  • Establish techniques for proper examination of objects under inspection, ensuring strict adherence to safety regulations.
  • Interpret radiographs, cathode ray tube (CRT) or digital readouts, conductivity meters and visual indicators.
  • Apply testing criteria in accordance with applicable specifications or standards and evaluate results.
  • Organize and report test results.
  • May perform specialized inspections using acoustic emission, vibration analysis, infrared thermography and laser shearography testing methods.
  • May instruct and supervise trainees.
Sample job titles:
  • non-destructive examination technician
  • non-destructive examiner
  • non-destructive inspection technician
  • non-destructive inspector
  • non-destructive tester
  • non-destructive testing maintenance (NDT) technician

For these jobs, the ability to work effectively with the public under various circumstances is crucial. Good observational and analytical skills are necessary. You must be accurate and able to pay close attention to detail. Honesty and integrity are important. Excellent communication skills are also important.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • Completion of two years of an approved post-secondary science or engineering program may be required.
  • Additional classroom and on-the-job training is required for certification in non-destructive testing.
  • Non-destructive testing certification by Natural Resources Canada is available in three levels and is usually required by employers.
  • Industrial radiographers using a radioactive isotope must pass an examination to be recognized as a certified exposure device operator by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
  • Welding inspector certification by the Canadian Welding Bureau is available in three levels and may be required by employers.
  • Boiler and pressure vessel, process pipeline and above-ground storage tank inspector certification is available from the American Petroleum Institute.
Other considerations:


Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Non-Destructive Testers and Inspection Technicians most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 47% of Non-Destructive Testers and Inspection Technicians who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $79,694. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Non-Destructive Testers and Inspection Technicians125xxx
Minimum: $25.00
Median: $33.33
Maximum: $45.00
Minimum:  N/A
Median: $72,850
Maximum:  N/A
Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology25,875Strong growth3,095Low
Minimum: $17.69
Median: $31.35
Maximum: $47.18
Minimum: $13,568
Median: $60,422
Maximum: $107,009
Non-Destructive Testers and Inspection TechniciansCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
Percent employed full-time83%94%
Percent self-employed0%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentNon-Destructive Testers and Inspection TechniciansCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton21%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley6%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeNon-Destructive Testers and Inspection TechniciansCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4943
GenderNon-Destructive Testers and Inspection TechniciansCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
EducationNon-Destructive Testers and Inspection TechniciansCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolN/Ax0.7%$28,107
High school13.3%$49,88612.1%$35,125
Trades certificate16.7%$46,8626.8%$54,923
College certificate or diploma56.7%$64,17533.7%$52,476
University certificate or diploma6.7%$67,1673.7%$52,446
Bachelor's degree10.0%$62,78429.7%$58,011
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax2.0%$54,917
Master's degreeN/A$76,0419.7%$37,706
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$57,566
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Natural Resources Canada - NDT Certifying Agency
183 Longwood Road South
Hamilton, ON L8P 0A5
Tel: (866) 858-0473
Fax: (905) 645-0836

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Engineering - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to solve a wide variety of practical problems in industry, social organization, public works, and commerce.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
Additional resources: