The Surehand® Spotlight shares just some of the many thousands of stories in the skilled industrial trades, shining a bright light on the hard-working tradesmen and women who build, operate, maintain, and ensure the safety of the world we live in. We also focus on the individuals and organizations working hard to advance the industrial sectors and ensure their success over the coming decades.
This month’s spotlight is trained on Nicholas Burke, a third-party inspector from Cisco, Texas who’s been selflessly helping his industry peers network online and weather the challenging employment landscape of early 2020.
Photo credit: Nicholas Burke
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Nicholas.
I have been working in the O&G industry for almost 17 years, all-in. I enjoy being on the road and seeing the nation. Working as a third-party inspector has allowed me to do just that and get paid for it.
How did you get involved in industrial inspection?
I got my start in the inspection industry in 2003—as a helper for an NDT company in Olden, Texas—and have worked my way up from there. I began third-party welding/utility inspecting in 2017.
Where did you get your training?
In addition to On-the-Job Training (OJT), I also got my CPWI+ (Certified Pipeline Welding Inspector) cert from the National Welding Inspection School and hold an API 1169 cert from the American Petroleum Institute.
What are the biggest challenges of finding work in industrial inspection?
The main challenge in finding work in industrial inspection is that even though this a large global industry, it is very, very small. Inspection is a tight knit community in which reputation is everything. You have to do what you can to make a name for yourself, or you could go a long time in between jobs before you get your next opportunity.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten in your field?
The best advice I’ve ever gotten has two answers: 1. never live beyond your means and save what you can for a rainy day—because the market can be so volatile, and 2. never be jealous of the person standing next to you for the opportunities they may get and you don’t. We’ve all gone down our own path and are supposed to be exactly where we are.
What’s one thing you want an employer to know about you?
I will always do what I can to never stop learning and perform my work the best I can to get the job done efficiently and on time.
What do you hope to gain by being a Surehand user?
Surehand can give me more visibility on future opportunities as I advance my career and help me make a name for myself in industrial inspection.
What do you like to do in your down time?
I enjoy spending down time at home with the ones I love, getting out in the great outdoors, and traveling to see the sights and catch sporting events here in my home state of Texas.
Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium photo credit: Nicholas Burke
Our thanks to Nicholas for making time to share his story with us. We wish him continued safety and success in his inspection career.
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