On March 6, 2010 a bridge in Turku, Finland bent 56 inches (143 centimeters) due to structural failures of both piers. No one was injured. The bridge had to be demolished 4 months later.
Our infrastructure is old and getting older. Bridges collapse. Pipelines leak. Non-destructive testing is vital in preventing that. NDT is a crucial part of quality control and maintenance found in many industry sectors, including the nuclear utility, oil and gas, petrochemical, manufacturing, aerospace and construction sectors.
NDT stands for non-destructive testing—and includes techniques such as ultrasonic testing, liquid penetration, radiography and thermography. For most small parts in critical applications, magnetic particle detection is a fast and cost-effective way to find cracks. Another method commonly used in NDT is guided wave testing, which also uses ultrasonic waves but is done at a much lower frequency than ultrasonic testing. It is commonly used in pipeline testing.
In early May, Larry Cote, president and CEO of CINDE (Canadian Institute for Non-Destructive Evaluation) attended a meeting of the CGSB (Canadian General Standards Board ) that sets the national standard for the qualification and certification of NDT personnel in Canada. Based on numbers from the NRCan NDT CB, the committee estimates there are about 5,200 CGSB-certified professionals in Canada—not enough to keep pace with the demand based on feedback from some committee members, he noted.
“Against that background, Canada and all of North America face a major shortage," says Gary Zvanovec, president and CEO of First College in Kelowna.
Proponents of NDT argue that the consequences of making an error — a bridge collapse, a plane crash, a nuclear reactor failure, or pipeline rupture, for example — could be so devastating that it would be irresponsible not to ensure timely NDT inspection.
And the demand is growing fast! Below a simple enquiry on line revealed the number of jobs available in Canada.
3,578 job openings at July 11, 2014
75 job openings July 11, 2014
These jobs are career positions that pay very well. Starting wages can be $50,000 per year. Earnings can rise to triple that amount.
How do you get qualified for a career in NDT? Only a handful of places in Canada offer the training – a training highly regarded worldwide. These include BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology), SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology ), NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology ), CINDE (Canadian Institute for Non-Destructive Evaluation, Canadian Welding Bureau, and First College.
How long does it take? With as little as one month training, a conscientious, detail oriented person with reasonable math skills can embark on a fulfilling, life long career. “But no one knows that the jobs exist or what the career involves,” according to Gary Zvanovec. “We must do our best to encourage smart skilled people to take an important and fulfilling career making sure our bridges and buildings do not collapse.”
Contact Gary at: Phone 778-754-2888 or by Email: [email protected]