Nondestructive Testing (NDT) is a forward-looking industry experiencing continuous growth. The NDT market was valued at 16.72 billion (USD) in 2019 and is expected to reach a value of 24.65 billion (USD) by 2025, at a Cumulative Average Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.7% from 2020-2025. With this consistent and stable growth, we want to bring you a list of the best NDT schools recognized across the US for excellence in NDT.
If you’re looking for a career in the field of engineering, quality assurance or emerging technology then NDT is a good fit for you. Not only is it a secure career choice for the future as automation increases, it’s also a well-paying profession with an average salary of $55,000. With the increase in automation in the industrial manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, there has been a substantial hike in the demand for flaw detection to help prevent failures due to cracks, porosity, manufacturing disorders and more.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at this infographic explaining the return on NDT training that’ll you’ll receive upon graduating your school of choice. To help make this decision easier for you, we’ve put together a list of some of the top NDT institutions offering training. The list features a variety of institutions across the United States and the opportunities they have to offer. From Level I certification courses to 4-year degrees, the program choice is up to you!
The colleges are organized via region: North East, Midwest, South and West. Within each region, they’re listed alphabetically by state. Making it easier for you to find your local NDT program.
Without further ado, let’s get into the 20 best NDT schools in the United States!
Great Bay Community College: Rochester, New Hampshire
Great Bay Community College, in Rochester, New Hampshire, began offering NDT training and certificates in 2018, with the goal of placing people in high-growth jobs where their knowledge can be applied immediately. An associate’s degree is also available. Great Bay combines classroom sessions with field-trip to surrounding companies to connect theory to practice. Second and third semesters are taught by Level 3s, utilizing their practical experience and current knowledge of the industry. Great Bay is also working to create opportunities for Level 3s to advance and continue their studies, too. The College developed its courses to adhere to standards set by the American Society for Nondestructive Testing and to meet National Aerospace Standards.
Great Bay offers career exploration days, where they showcase the hands-on work performed in their lab to prospective students, and performs outreach in high schools to generate interest in a growing field. Great Bay sees students join the NDT program at all ages, from right out of high school to those looking for a new career later in life. “The important thing about having an NDT program is that we support economic development and need of our community,” says Debra Mattson, Advanced Manufacturing Program Director at Great Bay.
Penn State University: Centre County, Pennsylvania
Penn State University of Centre County, Pennsylvania, offers various NDT courses within the Engineering Science and Mechanics department. Courses include Nondestructive Evaluation of Flaws, Ultrasonic Nondestructive Evaluation and Stress Waves in Solids. Penn State also offers nondestructive testing and evaluation as a research area for graduate studies. Since establishing the courses in late 2007, interest in NDT has increased at Penn State, possibly due in part to new opportunities in NDT of Additive Manufactured Parts.
The Penn State Ultrasonics Lab (PennSUL) performs fundamental research and experimentation designed to contribute to product development and technology transfer in NDE and structural health monitoring. Advancements made here contribute to applications involving power generation, pipelines, civil structures and aircraft. The foundation for work efforts in the lab is made of theoretically driven experimentation alongside theoretical analysis and modeling.
Drexel University: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Drexel University of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania offers NDT training within the departments of: Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM) and Engineering Technology. With courses established in 1970, Drexel offers students classes in NDT at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Drexel also offers students NDT opportunities outside the classroom. The Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Group (TAMG) focuses on using experimental tools to further educate group members in NDT practices and research.
Virginia Tech: Blacksburg, Virginia
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University of Blacksburg, Virginia offers NDT training within the departments of: Engineering Science and Mechanics, Materials Science and Engineering, The Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, Biological Systems Engineering (BSE), Electrical and Computer Engineering and The Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.
Established in 1908, Virginia Tech’s prestigious College of Engineering celebrated its 100th birthday in 2008. Virginia Tech offers those seeking NDT training education and experience at the undergraduate and graduate level. The school also offers opportunities outside the classroom in research experience. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) utilizes NDT to conduct research and conserve natural resources.
John Tyler Community College: Chester, Virginia
John Tyler Community College of Chester, Virginia offers NDT training within the department of Mechanical Engineering Technology and Welding certification. With courses established in 1967, John Tyler offers students classes at the associate undergraduate level and certification. Such courses include: Welding Quality Control & Inspection. In the course, students learn about destructive testing and nondestructive examination.
College of William and Mary: Williamsburg, Virginia
The College of William and Mary of Williamsburg, Virginia offers NDT training within the department of Applied Science. A Master’s of Science and a Doctorate are available within William and Mary’s graduate programs. Opportunities to learn more about nondestructive testing exist outside of the classroom for students. The W&M Nondestructive Evaluation Group offers students information about the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) graduate programs at William and Mary.
West Virginia University: Morgantown, West Virginia
West Virginia University of Morgantown, West Virginia offers NDT training within the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. With courses established in 1991, West Virginia offers students courses in NDT at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Such courses include NDT of structures and materials, in which students investigate various NDT methods.
West Virginia also offers students opportunities to study NDT outside the classroom in research. The Constructed Facilities Center allows students within the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to research Nondestructive Evaluation Activities (NDE) and take part in both laboratory and field testing.
Iowa State University: Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University of Ames, Iowa offers NDT training within their Center for Nondestructive Evaluation. Established in 1985 as an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, the CNDE offers both an undergraduate Minor and a Graduate Certificate in NDE to engineering students. The research center also provides students hand-on opportunities to participate in the most common NDE inspection methods like x-ray and ultrasonics.
University of Illinois: Urbana, Illinois
University of Illinois of Urbana, Illinois offers NDT training within the department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering. The university offers courses for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Within the graduate program, there are opportunities for research. One such program is the Nondestructive Testing and Research Laboratory. The mission of the lab is to develop and test new methods of NDT and NDE.
Cowley College: Arkansas City, Kansas
Cowley College of Arkansas City, Kansas offers NDT training within the department of Career & Technical Education. A 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree, of 66 credit hours, is available for those interested in NDT. The classes, divided into 48 technical hours and 18 general education hours, exceed the requirements stipulated for TC 1-A for NDT licensing. Cowley also offers the only online Associate of Applied Science degree program for NDT in the world.
Michigan State University: East Lansing, Michigan
Michigan State University of East Lansing, Michigan offers NDT training within the departments of: Engineering and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. With courses established in 1982, Michigan State offers programs to students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The university also offers experience outside of the classroom to students. One such opportunity is the Nondestructive Evaluation Lab, which focuses on the design and development of NDT and NDE.
American Institute of Nondestructive Testing: Baxter, Minnesota
The American Institute of Nondestructive Testing (AINDT) of Baxter, Minnesota offers NDT training in a specialized online and in-person program. The program allows students to conveniently learn the basic concepts of NDT within the comfort of their own home. Following the completion of online curriculum, students are required to attend an 18-day hands-on training experience at AINDT’s Baxter campus.
Ridgewater College: Hutchinson, Minnesota
The Ridgewater College of Hutchinson, Minnesota offers NDT training within the department of Career and Technical Programs. The program offers hands-on applications and exceeds the educational requirements stipulated by the American Society for Nondestructive Testing’s recommended curriculum and practices. The program offers three different styles of certification: NDT Associate of Applied Science Degree, NDT Diploma and an Advanced Ultrasonic Testing Technology Diploma.
University of Cincinnati: Cincinnati, Ohio
The University of Cincinnati of Cincinnati, Ohio offers NDT training within the department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. The university offers students courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Opportunities are also available for students to learn more outside the classroom setting. The Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory, equipped with state-of-the-art NDT equipment, conducts research projects in material characterization and a variety of nondestructive testing methods.
Sinclair Community College: Dayton, Ohio
Sinclair Community College of Dayton, Ohio offers NDT training within the departments of: Engineering Technology, Energy Technology and Aviation Technology. Specifically, the college offers Associate of Applied Science degrees for: Quality Engineering Technology (Packaging Option), Quality Engineering Technology (Quality Assurance Option) and Quality Engineering Technology. Certificates are also offered within: Quality Control Technology, Quality Continuous Improvement and Quality Measurement and Calibration.
All the programs and certificates are designed to meet the first level of certification requirements designed by the American Society for Nondestructive Testing. The college also offers placement opportunities and services for students who’ve completed their 2-year associate level and 1-year certification level programs.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College of Green Bay, Wisconsin offers NDT training within the department of Manufacturing. Established in 1979, the welding program offers advanced training in weld inspection and nondestructive testing. Only 32 students are accepted into the program per year, to ensure small class sizes and even greater access to hands-on learning in class.
Missouri University of Science and Technology: Rolla, Missouri
Missouri University of Science and Technology of Rolla, Missouri offers NDT training within the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Since 1947, the university has offered courses in radiation safety training. Since 1990, the university has offered courses in testing and degrees in Microwave Testing at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The university also offers programs outside of the classroom for students to gain more experience in NDT. The Center for Transportation Infrastructure and Safety offers research activities to discover the use of new NDT methods within the NDT industry.
Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology of Tulsa, Oklahoma offers NDT training in two separate programs: Nondestructive Testing (NDT) program and a Quality Control Associate of Applied Science Management degree. The fast track for the NDT program is 11 months and can lead to a Quality Control degree after an additional 6 months.
University of Alaska: Anchorage, Alaska
The University of Alaska of Anchorage, Alaska offers NDT training in the department of Welding of Nondestructive Testing Technology Department. The program accepts 30 to 40 students annually, to limit the amount of students in each class for a more hands-on experience. The university offers courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Specifically, the university offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding and Nondestructive Testing Technology.
Clover Park Technical College: Lakewood, Washington
Clover Park Technical College of Lakewood, Washington offers NDT training in a Nondestructive Testing program. Their program is designed to offer students a comprehensive learning experience in a short time frame, to prepare them for a career in NDT. Most programs at the school are completed within 2 years. The school offers: a Non-Destructive Testing Degree, an Eddy Current Testing Certificate, a Magnetic Particle & Liquid Penetrant Testing Certificate, a Radiographic Testing Certificate and an Ultrasonic Testing Certificate.
Wrapping It Up
After attending one of these great NDT programs, your NDT training isn’t over. Hundreds of NDT professionals attend courses long after receiving their certificate in NDT to stay up to date on the latest and greatest NDT programs and techniques. These courses can help you, as an NDT professional, gain reputability and further testing certification within the NDT community.
Still not convinced? Check out our article about NDT Careers on the Rise, featuring interviews with professors from various institutions.