Test & Inspection / NDT Exclusives
NDT WEB EXCLUSIVE

Gap between Supply, Demand of Well-Trained Technicians Drives NDT Training Services

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — The biggest growth driver for the non-destructive test (NDT) training services market globally is a lack of qualified technicians. Due to aging infrastructure and vastly publicized industrial disasters and catastrophes, as well as growing investment in new infrastructure projects, demand for new technicians to cater to the needs of the NDT industry has increased incrementally. However, this demand is not being met as there is an evident shortage of technicians.

The scarcity of technicians, though, is more prominent in certain regions. For example, in North America, the shale oil and gas industry has created a boom, which is causing a shortage of technicians in the U.S., while the oil sands boom over the last three to four years has created a similar situation in Canada. The sudden increase in investment in new infrastructure to support greater oil and gas production has significantly increased demand for newer technicians in the industry that is being unmet; leaving NDT inspection service providers underprepared and at risk of losing out on key projects.

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New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.testandmeasurement.frost.com), Analysis of Global Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Training Services Market, finds that the market earned revenue of $237.6 million in 2013 and estimates this to grow to $293.5 million by 2018 at a CAGR of 4.3 percent. The most important trend witnessed in the market is a migration from American Society for Nondestructive Testing’s (ASNT) employer-based certification scheme, SNT-TC-1A, to centralized certification schemes that are compliant with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9712, which is predominantly impacting the Middle Eastern, African, South Asian and Southeast Asian markets.

Although there is a huge demand for trained technicians, growth of NDT training service providers is further being hindered by a lack of quality instructors to impart training courses. Growth and revenue for every NDT training service provider depends on the number of instructors available, since there is a maximum threshold on not only the number of courses an instructor can teach, but also the number of students that can be accommodated in a course without compromising on the quality of the training.

“An instructor should possess two important qualities: in-depth knowledge of NDT fundamentals and good communication skills to express the information to candidates,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Senior Research Analyst Nikhil Jain. “Finding instructors with both qualities is an extremely difficult task for most NDT training service providers.”

This challenge is expected to continue affecting market growth over the next five years. And while there is no clear solution to confront the challenge, a strategy that could be used by NDT training service providers is to increase the remuneration of the instructors, thus creating interest for people to choose a career to train new technicians.

“A trained, qualified and certified technician can earn considerably more money by performing inspections with third-party NDT inspection service providers than by being a trainer,” said Jain. “For most technicians, there is not enough monetary motivation to quit a lucrative career and switch to training. But, if NDT training service providers increase the salary of the instructors, experienced technicians might be motivated to change their career path.”

Analysis of the Global NDT Training Services Market is part of the Test & Measurement Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related research services in this program include: Analysis of the Global NDT Equipment Market, Analysis of the Global Digital X-ray Inspection Systems Market, Emerging Growth Markets for NDT Inspection Services, Global NDT Inspection Services Market, Emerging and Non-Traditional NDT Equipment Market, and Analysis of Global Industrial X-ray Sources and Detectors Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. 

For more information, visit www.frost.com.

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