Nondestructive Examination Technology

Nondestructive Examination Technology

The nondestructive examination (NDE) industry has grown 12% over the past two years and is expected to grow 26% over the next 10 years. Individuals in the industry are retiring faster than those entering the field, causing a demand for incoming inspectors to fill in available positions. Nondestructive examination is universally applied across many industries. As a result, the methods are diverse and applicable to a whole host of components. NDE is truly a rewarding and challenging career.

What You Will Learn

Nondestructive examination/testing (NDE or NDT) is a group of techniques, including group analysis, used to evaluate the properties or determine the structural integrity of a material or component without damaging or impairing the serviceability of the part or system. Central Piedmont offers courses in the six most common techniques used in NDE/NDT:

  • radiographic (X-Ray)
  • magnetic particle (MT)
  • liquid penetrant (PT)
  • ultrasonic (UT)
  • eddy current 
  • visual 

Since NDE does not require the destruction or often the dis-assembly of a system, it is a highly-valuable technique(s) that saves time and money in both product manufacturer and in service inspection. Industry applications of NDE/NDT include visual examination of bolting, valves, and welds; surface examination of vessels, weld preps, and castings; and volumetric examination of welds, heat exchanger tubing, and fiberglass reinforced plastics. Career opportunities abound in the NDE/NDT field as our aging infrastructure, petrochemical, and power generation facilities all require more careful inspection and examination to serve in their intended application and environment.

The NDE curriculum meets classroom and laboratory training requirements of Recommended Practice number SNT-TC-1A of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), permitting graduates the opportunity to obtain method-specific NDE/NDT certification after a few months of on-the-job experience with their employers. Graduates receive job offers in a variety of industries, such as nuclear, aerospace, nautical, and structural.

Enroll Now

Why Choose Central Piedmont

Central Piedmont is one of only a handful of schools within the nation that offers an associate degree in nondestructive examination. The hands-on knowledge gained from our associate degree is invaluable when applying for a position. Designed with managers, supervisors, engineers, quality inspectors, procurement, source inspectors, and technical personnel involved within the NDE/NDT field in mind, our nondestructive examination program boasts over a 90% employment rate upon graduation.

Our program is also approved for workplace learning opportunities while you are in school — Central Piedmont has an entire department dedicated to connecting students with applicable work based learning opportunities such as cooperative education (co-op), internships, and/or apprenticeships. Our program is also the proud host of the North Carolina American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) Student Section. Our goal is to provide an environment for students to grow and network within the NDE/NDT field. This allows future generations of students the chance to continue doing NDE/NDT with the same goal of safety that has been ASNT’s goal since the beginning.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

The Details

  • Program Options

    Choose from an Associate in Applied Science, a nuclear plant inspection diploma, or from several specialized nondestructive examination technology certificates. The college catalog details the nondestructive examination program options currently available at Central Piedmont as well as program eligibility and course requirements. If you would like information on opportunities to transfer associate degree credit to a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Resource Center.

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer nondestructive examination course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

    Corporate and Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's Corporate and Continuing Education provides non-credit, non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Nondestructive Examination Technology Program Requirements

    For detailed information on nondestructive examination course and program requirements, visit the Central Piedmont Community College catalog.

    The associate degree consists of 73 credit hours. Courses normally take at least four semesters of study. That means that it should take a full-time student, taking a regular load of classes, about two years to complete the program. Some courses are offered in the evenings as well as the daytime and some must be taken in a prescribed sequence. Depending on your employment demands during the school year, the program could take more than two years to complete.

  • Locations

    Harper Campus

    Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm where courses are available using Schedule Builder.

  • Course Delivery Methods

    • Classroom/Lab
    • Combined (Classroom/Lab and Online)
    • Online

    Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm course delivery methods using Schedule Builder.

  • Nondestructive Examination Careers

    Career opportunities abound in the NDE/NDT field as our aging infrastructure, petrochemical, and power generation facilities all require more careful inspection and examination to serve in their intended application and environment. Industries employing NDE/NDT include aerospace, transportation (railroads, ships, and bridges, power generation (fossil, hydroelectric, and nuclear), petrochemical, pulp and paper, and research (university and industrial).  Nondestructive examination is universally applied across many industries. As a result, the methods are diverse and applicable to a whole host of components, including visual examination of bolting, valves, and welds; surface examination of vessels, weld preps, and castings; and volumetric examination of welds, heat exchanger tubing, and fiberglass reinforced plastics. 

    You may be work in a laboratory environment that is very clean, or you may work on a construction site. You may be required to carry up to 50 pounds of equipment. The environment may be cold or hot, you may be working in confined spaces, on scaffolding, or in dirty, noisy environments. Most of the equipment you will use as an NDE/NDT professional are very high-tech computerized systems that require a highly skilled technician to understand and operate; NDE/NDT technicians have to understand state-of-the-art testing systems and how to apply them to the inspection they are performing.

    If you work for an inspection company you will be required to travel. Technicians that travel are better compensated, as your employer will pay for your travel, rental car, meals, lodging, and possibly a daily stipend for travel expenses. New NDE/NDT employees start around $35,935 and highly experienced workers can earn as much as $87,790. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed nondestructive examination career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

  • Costs and Aid

    Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

  • Related Programs

  • Admitted Students: Find Your Faculty Advisor

    Students at Central Piedmont have a faculty advisor for each program of study offered. Find your faculty advisor based on your last name: