NDT Jobs in California

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Nondestructive testing (NDT) is a rapidly growing field, and there are no signs of it slowing down. In fact, experts anticipate this thriving industry will grow by $4.1 billion between now and the year 2025.  

As technology continues to advance and the government enforces increasingly stringent safety regulations, many industries are opting to utilize NDT methods in lieu of outdated testing options. This transition has led to an abundance of open positions in the nondestructive testing field, especially in the state of California, where more than 9,500 men and women are currently employed as NDT professionals.

This article will cover the advantages of being an NDT pro in California. We’ll discuss the state’s demand for nondestructive testing inspectors, along with the industries in which they’re needed. We’ll also highlight NDT jobs you can easily find in this tech-savvy state Finally, we’ll discuss the average pay rate for NDT professionals in California, and how the salary range compares to the rest of the country. 

Why California?

With a current population of approximately 39.75 million people, and a proven track record for being ahead of the curve when it comes to all things technological, it’s no surprise that the Golden State is brimming with opportunities in the NDT field.

Whether you’re considering a career in nondestructive testing, or you’re currently an NDT professional looking to strengthen your skillset or advance your career, California has a multitude of open positions across numerous industries. While there are opportunities throughout the U.S., the most populous state has a wide range of options in the NDT field, giving workers a plethora of choices during the job search process, along with the opportunity for career growth and competitive pay. 

3 California industries that offer NDT inspector jobs

For many decades, countless businesses have relied on NDT professionals to inspect machinery, equipment, and individual components in a non-invasive manner. These inspections are cost-effective, as they don’t require the destruction of equipment, and operations can typically continue throughout the testing process. Inspectors are able to identify potential threats and perform repairs before disastrous problems occur, often saving businesses millions of dollars.

Many California-based companies have discovered the value of having routine NDT testing performed. Professionals in the field have played an important role in the growth of a myriad of industries and California’s economy as a whole. Three industries that have been greatly affected are:

These industries are always on the lookout for NDT professionals of all skill levels. Let’s take a closer look at how nondestructive testing is utilized in these trades:


Safety, efficiency, and reliability are essential in virtually any field, and construction is certainly no exception. The construction industry relies on NDT workers to monitor equipment and machinery from the time it’s manufactured to the operation stage. Best of all, NDT inspections can typically be conducted on-site, saving companies time and money.

NDT professionals who work in the construction industry regularly carry out concrete analysis. Methods include visual inspection, radiographic testing, permeability and penetration resistance tests, among others. Inspectors must use their knowledge and skills to determine which test(s) are appropriate for the equipment, components, or mechanisms being evaluated. The integrity of equipment and machinery must also be checked on a routine basis to ensure the safety of the equipment and everyone involved.

Men and women who perform nondestructive testing in the construction sector allow construction sites to remain in operation without unexpected breaks in the action. Inspectors play an important role in ensuring safe, efficient, reliable operations. It’s no surprise that many California-based NDT professionals choose to enter the construction industry; in 2018 alone, the construction sector was responsible for adding a whopping $111 billion to California’s economy, and NDT workers undoubtedly contributed greatly to that growth.

Oil, Gas, and Petrochemical

While routine inspections are vital in all sectors where NDT is performed, the oil, gas, and petrochemical industry schedule inspections based on the lifespan of a specific facility. Data is compiled, which allows inspectors to determine how frequently individual components should be inspected, repaired, and in some cases, completely overhauled or replaced.

Since oil, gas, and petrochemical companies require frequent inspections, the energy field is a lucrative industry for NDT professionals. Inspectors may regularly examine pressure vessels, storage tanks, and entire piping systems, with the goal of determining the location of any defects and the type of any internal or external damage, as well as the size, shape, and orientation, and which NDT methods should be utilized and avoided.

The inspections often lead to the prolonged life cycle of a facility and the safety and security of workers. When an NDT professional enters the oil, gas, and petrochemical industry, he or she can truly make a difference.


The detection and maintenance of the tiniest imperfections is imperative in the aerospace industry. NDT inspectors who enter the aerospace field often use a wide variety of inspection methods, testing for any geometrical or welding defects, porosity, wrinkles, corrosion, and cracks, as well as debris and other foreign objects. Because continuous operation is generally important in the aerospace field, this industry appreciates that nondestructive testing typically allows for continued productivity throughout the inspection process.

NDT professionals conduct analysis, such as visual testing, ultrasonic testing, radiography, leak detection testing, and acoustic emission. Inspectors in this sector must be highly skilled and are often required to comply with government and military regulations.

While many of the 61 California-based aerospace companies hire Level II and Level III NDT professionals, trainee and Level I positions are also regularly posted, making this an excellent industry for all skill levels. With so much potential for growth, obtaining a position in the aerospace sector can provide job security and career fulfillment for NDT inspectors


Average salary for NDT jobs in California

The range of pay for NDT workers in California may vary based on a variety of factors, including education, certification level, skillset, experience, and location.

According to Salary.com, the salary range for NDT professionals based in California ranges from $47,918 and $62,149, with an average of $59,316 per year. This is substantially higher than the national average, which is currently $53,103.

Level II inspectors can expect a much higher wage, up to $94,300 annually, while Level III professionals have the potential to make well over $100,000 each year. 

5 NDT positions you can find in California

If you’re looking for an NDT job in California, you’re in luck! There are so many opportunities for men and women looking to enter the field, take on a new challenge, or advance their career. The following nondestructive testing jobs can easily be found right here in California:

1. NDT Technician

Although some California-based companies require prior experience in the NDT field, there are entry level technician positions with basic requirements, such as a high school diploma or equivalent, and the capability of earning NDT certification. These jobs, along with the majority of NDT positions, generally require excellent vision and the ability to lift 50+ pounds.

2. NDT Level II Technician

There’s no shortage of open positions for Level II NDT professionals residing in California. Job duties may include setting up and calibrating equipment for non-invasive testing, conducting inspections to detect any problems, and evaluating results. Level II technicians may be in supervisory roles, so excellent communication skills are generally required. Many employers require certification and prefer a college education, along with extensive NDT knowledge.

3. NDT Level III Technician

Nondestructive testing pros who have reached Level III status may work in supervisory roles, ensuring that all employees are adhering to established procedures and safety regulations. Level III technicians often develop and improve procedures. Many also train other technicians. Most employers require a college education, certification(s), and experience, as well as excellent communication skills, near-perfect vision, and the ability to lift 50+ pounds.

4. Quality Control Inspector

Many California-based companies are in search of quality control inspectors across a variety of industries, including power, oil, gas, construction, and aerospace. These positions generally require extensive knowledge and experience in the field, and some employers prefer a college degree or equivalent education, though many companies will consider professional experience in lieu of formal education.

5. NDT Welding Inspector

Individuals who work as NDT welding inspectors should be familiar with standards and codes, as well as professional documentation. These men and women generally have extensive experience in the welding field, and the ability to follow and explain all quality assurance and inspection procedures according to company, state, and federal regulations. A combination of higher education and experience is typically required for these NDT experts. 

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