Lexington, MA-PQNDT, Inc., a personnel recruitment and placement organization for the nondestructive testing (NDT) industry, has published the results of its annualNDT Salary & Benefits survey .

PQNDT surveyed a broad spectrum of NDT and quality inspection professionals from throughout the United States in order to prepare a “snapshot” of the industry. The results show an industry that is cautiously climbing out of a prolonged period of uncertainty, yet shows signs of returning strength.

Despite the struggling national economy, compensation levels for NDT and quality professionals continued to climb over the past year, although at a slower pace than in previous time periods. There was also an uptick in the number of full-time benefits available, which could be a sign of more competition for experienced workers.

Although reported unemployment is down to 5%, there is still a sense of caution and a “wait and see” attitude among many NDT professionals. Some 61% of full-time workers and 69% of contract workers feel the economy is still in a recession or getting worse. However, self-confidence is evident among those responding to our survey. While only 44% of full-time workers feel that job prospects are better than last year, 81% feel their own job is secure. Similarly, only 36% of contractors are optimistic about job prospects, but 62% are “very confident” about finding contracts for themselves.

“Indications during the first few months of the year are positive,” says PQNDT President Michael Serabian. “The number of full-time job openings is up across all levels of certification, and in all areas of the country. This contrasts with a year ago, when employers were more interested in hiring contractors on a temporary basis. Full-time openings are an indicator of more confidence in a consistent volume of work ahead.”

The PQNDT salary and benefits survey has been an important benchmark for the NDT industry since its inception in 1994. The survey provides a profile of compensation and benefits in the nondestructive testing field, and includes drill-down data by region, industry and NDT certification level.