NDT Careers 2022: Why Now is the Best Time to Start a Career in NDT

NDT careers are exciting and both personally and financially rewarding. This makes NDT jobs extremely desirable. Whether you’re looking for a reliable career path or want to upgrade your career, NDT (non-destructive testing) offers many great opportunities. This includes numerous options for advancement and professional growth. Best of all, NDT careers in 2022 are in high demand and readily available. In fact, 2022 is the perfect time to get started in non-destructive testing!

Here’s what you can expect from a career in NDT and why now is the best time to get involved.

What does an NDT technician do?
How much do NDT technicians make in Canada?
Is NDT a good career choice?
Why now is the time to start an NDT career
How do I start a career in NDT?

What does an NDT technician do?

An NDT technician inspects various materials and structures for defects, flaws and damage. The main goal of an NDT technician is to ensure that equipment, structures and materials are safe and reliable.

There are many different non-destructive testing jobs available. Therefore, what an NDT technician does day-to-day, and the industry they work in, will vary depending on their expertise and level of training.

For instance, each type of NDT technician can be certified at three levels – Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. An NDT technician can also be certified in more than one type of NDT. This means that a single technician can employ various methods of non-destructive testing. Technicians who are certified in multiple testing methods at higher levels (Level 3 being the highest) can provide more complex NDT services.

NDT careers are available in a wide variety of industries. Here’s where your career in NDT could take you.

Industries NDT Technicians Work In

NDT technician inspects weld as part of NDT career

Organizations in many different sectors require NDT technicians. Some of the most common industries in Canada that utilize non-destructive testing include:

  • Mining
  • Industrial construction
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Rail transportation
  • Defence
  • Heavy equipment manufacturing
  • Power generation
  • Pipeline
  • Oil and gas, and more

In Western Canada, pipeline and oil and gas are the biggest sectors that require NDT. This is one of the reasons that NDT careers in 2022 are so desirable (more on this below).

Think you could excel in an NDT career? Let’s take a look at the next big question – how much do NDT technicians make?

How much do NDT technicians make in Canada?

If you want to become an NDT technician, you’ll be happy to know that NDT careers pay well. In Canada, the average NDT technician makes approximately $60,000 to $200,000+ based on field experience, technical certification and desired work scope.

If you’re just starting out, you can expect to make around $50,000+ per year. As you gain more experience, certifications in additional testing methods and higher level designations, you’ll make even more. In fact, the more testing methods an NDT technician is certified to employ, and the higher their certification level (i.e. Level 1, Level 2, Level 3), the more they will make. A Level 3 NDT technician who is certified to conduct various types of non-destructive testing will make the most.

Now, based on everything we’ve discussed, you’re probably wondering – is NDT a good career choice? Here’s what we think.

Is NDT a good career choice?

Buffalo NDT technician completes ultrasonic inspection

NDT is a great career choice. It offers high pay, flexibility, the option to work in various industries and many opportunities for career growth. That being said, certain people are more suited to NDT careers than others.

Here are some important strengths and skills you’ll need to succeed.

Skills and Strengths Required in NDT Careers

Individuals who possess these qualities and most likely to excel in NDT careers.

  • Mind for mathematics and science
  • Ability to understand and work with technology
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong reasoning skills
  • Ability to think quickly
  • Strong written and verbal communication
  • Good vision (especially colour vision)
  • Additional specialized skills, like rock climbing, are a bonus

If an NDT career seems suitable for you, you’ll be happy to know that 2022 is a great time to start! Here’s why.

Why NDT Careers Are In-Demand in 2022

The demand and price for oil and gas have skyrocketed in 2022. As a result of increased productivity in the oil and gas industry, the need for NDT technicians has grown. Therefore, more jobs and more opportunities are available in the field. This makes 2022 the perfect time to get started with a career in NDT.

Want to become an NDT technician? Here’s how you can get started.

How do I start a career in NDT?

Training for NDT careers

There are several steps you’ll need to take to start an NDT career in Canada. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. High school diploma or GED equivalent
  2. College education in Material Science or Welding (this is not required, but will help reduce the time it takes to earn your NDT certification)
  3. NDT certification from a Recognized Training Organization (RTO) – this step includes extensive training and work experience. After completing your practical work experience, you must also pass the NRCan practical exam.

NRCan (Natural Resources Canada) is in charge of the Non-Destructive Testing Certification Body (NDTCB). Therefore, NRCan is responsible for the national program that certifies all NDT personnel in Canada.

NRCan and the NDTCB require NDT technicians to receive separate training and certification for each NDT method they wish to employ. Therefore, you will need to complete training and testing in all the NDT methods you wish to use in the field.

Keep in mind, once you are certified, you are also responsible for keeping your certification up-to-date. This means staying up to date with changes in technology and code and renewing your certification every 5 years.

NDT Careers at Buffalo Inspection Services

Ready to get started with an NDT career?

Buffalo is one of the top non-destructive testing companies in Western Canada. To provide reliable NDT services, we use the most advanced technology and equipment in the industry.

At Buffalo, we believe that our employees are our number one asset. Therefore, we focus heavily on safety and ongoing training. As a non-union NDT company, Buffalo also pays competitive wages – without the union fees.

We’re here to make your goals in the NDT field, whatever they may be, a reality. We’ll help you find a position that best suits your needs and support you in turning it into a life-long NDT career. Our top-notch training programs (BIS-EDO training), extensive safety programs, and our strong record with industry regulators make us a top choice for anyone considering an NDT career.

Get started with an NDT job at Buffalo today!

Non-destructive testing specialist

Non-Destructive Testing Jobs: A Guide to a Career in NDT

A career in NDT, or non-destructive testing, can be exciting, challenging, and very rewarding. Non-destructive testing jobs are available throughout Canada. NDT technicians are particularly in high demand in cities like Edmonton, Alberta.

There are many career paths, in a wide variety of industries, available in non-destructive testing. Those who are interested in the field can earn certifications for various testing methods at several different levels. With three levels of certification possible for each testing type, there are numerous opportunities for advancement within the NDT industry.

To become an NDT technician in Canada, candidates must complete extensive training, testing, and practical work experience. Technicians who are certified in various NDT methods at a high level will be hired for complex jobs and trusted by organizations to make important decisions about the safety and viability of their assets.

What a non-destructive testing technician does
Types of NDT technicians
NDT certification levels
Non-destructive testing jobs

Non-Destructive Testing Technicians

NDT technicians are trained to inspect and evaluate metals, materials, and other structures for flaws, defects, and damage. NDT inspection specialists use various tools and technology to conduct their testing and may be required to have additional specialized skills, such as mountain climbing training, in some cases. Therefore, non-destructive testing specialists require attention to detail and problem-solving skills, in addition to knowledge of mathematics and science. As well, they must have certain physical attributes including good vision and the ability to differentiate between colours, including shade and brightness.

Many different industries throughout Canada use NDT inspection services to ensure the safety and reliability of their assets. These include oil and gas, pipeline, mining, industrial construction, aircraft and rail transportation, heavy equipment manufacturing, and more. Therefore, NDT technicians can expect to work in many different sectors.

In Canada, a governing body, known as The Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) National Non-Destructive Testing Certification Body (NDTCB), is in charge of a program that certifies all NDT technicians. NRCan was appointed this role by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB).

For those wishing to become an NDT technician, the NRCan NDTCB requires certification from a Recognized Training Organizations (RTO). Various RTOs exist throughout the country, with different organizations approved in different provinces. The training organizations recognized in Alberta include:

  • Canadian Institute for Non-destructive Evaluation
  • IDL Inspection Ltd.
  • Keyano College
  • Metalogic Inspection Services Inc.
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Quality Control Council of Canada
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Types of NDT Technicians

Non-destructive testing is conducted using various methods. Each NDT method requires separate training and certification. Therefore, many different types of NDT technicians exist. A single technician may have more than one certification. That is to say, they can conduct non-destructive testing jobs using various methods. In addition, technicians can be certified at various levels (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3). Higher levels indicate more advanced skills and additional responsibilities.


In many cases, technicians will begin their career in NDT as a CEDO, conducting radiation testing. A CEDO, or Certified Exposure Device Operator, is certified to work with radiation. In Canada, all CEDOs must be certified by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and only a CEDO can legally perform gamma radiography and operate an exposure device. To become a CEDO, a 40-hour CEDO (Certified Exposure Device Operator) course is required in addition to work experience and testing. A CEDO must have basic math skills and must be able to use computational operations.

The job of a CEDO is to operate industrial gamma radiography exposure devices, in order to test various assets. CEDOs must be able to safely handle and operate these devices, as well as radiation detection and monitoring equipment.

Ultrasonic Technician

Ultrasonic technicians, or UT technicians, are trained to use the ultrasonic testing method. UT technicians use ultrasonic transducers to send high-frequency sound waves into a material to detect flaws and defects inside. Subsequently, the UT technician evaluates the provided graph to determine the possible depth, size, nature and orientation of a flaw or defect. This NDT method can also determine the thickness of the material.

Radiography Technician

A radiography technician, or RT technician, employs technology using x-rays or gamma rays to evaluate the internal soundness of a material. The technician must be able to interpret the resulting output of the test to determine if any flaws or defects are present in the material.

Additional Types of NDT Technicians

There are many other types of NDT technicians – one for every NDT method.

Other NDT technician types include:

  • ET (Eddy-current or Electromagnetic Testing) technicians
  • MP (Magnetic Particle Testing) technicians
  • VT (Visual Testing) technicians
  • PT (Liquid Penetrant Testing) technicians

In order to become a technician for a particular NDT method, applicants must complete training at an RTO. After that, NDT trainees must complete practical work experience with an NDT company. Following this work experience, the NDT trainee must pass the NRCan practical exam.

Levels of Certification

For each type of NDT certification, there are three levels of qualification. Each level allows the technician to offer more advanced services. To achieve a particular level of certification, technicians must obtain industry-specific work experience, as well as complete written and practical examinations.

Level 1 ET, RT and UT technicians must complete a minimum of three months of experience. Level 2 certification requires nine months of work experience and for Level 3 eighteen months is necessary. For MT, PT and VT technicians, Level 1 certification requires a minimum of one month of work experience and Level 2 certification requires three months. Finally, to achieve Level 3 certification a technician must complete twelve months of work experience.

The higher the level of certification, the more responsibility and the more complex evaluations a technician can complete. In fact, the supplementary knowledge that is necessary for a Level 3 certification requires additional experience above and beyond that of any single testing method. A combination of education, training and experience provides this knowledge. For a technician to be awarded Level 3 certification, a record of this additional experience must be presented to the certification body in the form of a CV (curriculum vitae).

Technicians at different levels will have different capabilities and responsibilities and will be able to perform different non-destructive testing jobs. These include:

Level 1 

  • Perform specific calibrations
  • Implement a specific NDT method (only on certain components)
  • Conduct evaluations to determine if the component is acceptable or should be rejected
  • Level 1 technicians require supervision by a higher level tester

Level 2 

  • Posses the same capabilities as Level 1 technicians
  • Set up and calibrate equipment
  • Conduct NDT testing and evaluation in accordance with applicable codes, standards, and specifications
  • Interpret and document the results of the inspection
  • Act as a supervisor for lower level technicians
  • Provide on the job training for Level 1 technicians

Level 3 

  • Posses the same abilities as Level 2 technicians
  • Establish techniques and procedures
  • Interpret codes, standards, and specifications
  • Determine which NDT methods and techniques to use
  • Possess knowledge of materials, fabrication and product technology
  • Train and test Level 1 and Level 2 technicians
  • May be in management positions or become consultants

Non-Destructive Testing Jobs – Employment in the NDT Industry   

The more NDT methods you are certified to conduct, and the higher the level of certification you have, the more non-destructive testing jobs you’ll be qualified for. As well, a higher level of certification results in higher pay. The opinions and decisions of high-level technicians are also viewed as more reliable than technicians with lower-level certifications.

NDT technicians often make judgements that can have significant safety and financial consequences. Therefore, they must be confident in their work and the results they are providing. Technicians can confidently perform more complex jobs and evaluations when they have a higher level of certification.

Looking for NDT jobs in Canada? Buffalo Inspection Services is Western Canada’s largest and most wide-reaching non-union provider of non-destructive testing services. Buffalo is looking for experienced technicians to join their family of professionals.

Find a career in NDT that is a fit for you! Check out Buffalo’s job listings – NDT Jobs