Non-Destructive Testing: Where Failure is not an Option

Allison B. Hudson

The non-destructive testing program at River Parishes Community College provides the training and prepares graduates for a career in non-destructive testing, which will prevent failures and save lives!

Non-destructive testing is the ability to examine a product and still have it useable for its intended purpose at the end of the exam. Destructive testing measures the maximum amount of force the product can endure before failure, and is no longer useable.

An example of an industry that uses non-destructive testing in use is the petrochemical industry. If a pipe fails at a chemical plant, the resulting explosion could kill many people and destroy the plant. Non-destructive testing allows technicians to replace the pipe before it fails.

Non-destructive testing can detect everything from corrosion, defects in a casting at a foundry, cracked wheels or a amusement park ride, a defective weld on the space shuttle or even the placement of rebar in a concrete pillar. 

River Parishes Community College prepares students for a career in non-destructive testing through its accelerated non-destructive testing program. The program condenses the equivalent of 2.75 semesters, or 11 months, of classroom and practical training into a 6 month program.

The comprehensive training regimen includes everything from reading blueprintsand understanding weld symbols and isometric drawings to visual testing, liquid penetrant testing, magnetic particle testing, radiography, film interpretation, radiation safety and ultrasonic testing (similar to a sonogram).   

Graduates of the program can expect be a well-rounded, complete trainee with a starting salary of between 16 and 18 dollars an hour in industries such as petrochemical, aeronautical, construction etc.

Classes start on January 18.

For more information on the non-destructive testing program at River Parishes Community College, call 225-675-5397.