The NDT workforce is composed of technicians, engineers, managers, researchers, and educators. Based on stakeholder feedback, and supported by industry employment data, there is a clear and enduring shortage of qualified talent available for hire by industry. This is caused, in part, by a lack of awareness of the NDT field, a dearth of accessible entry programs (either technical training or university degrees), and industry reluctance to invest in developing the workforce due to costs. We will advocate to increase awareness of the field, increase career and professional development content to help develop talent, and build pathways to hire through apprenticeship programs in partnership with industry and government.
There will be a highly skilled workforce which provides effective NDT services which meets the current and future needs of our stakeholders. There will be easy-to-access workforce development opportunities to help people, especially transitioning military and veterans, enter into the NDT Field.
To achieve this vision, we will adopt a three-phased strategy. First, we will expand advocacy efforts to raise awareness of the nondestructive testing field. This strategy builds on the strategies described in Pillar #4.
Second, we will significantly increase content, specifically in career management resources and professional development programming, to serve members of all levels (e.g., students and early-career Level Is) and mid-career (Level IIs) practitioners, senior specialists, managers (e.g., Level IIIs), and executives across many industries. This strategy builds on strategies described in Pillar #2 to expand professional development programming.
Third, we will develop a stream of qualified Level II technicians through in-residence apprenticeship programs in partnership with industry and government. A special emphasis will be placed on preparing transitioning military veterans to civilian jobs either through apprenticeship programs or through certification translation or transfer. We will focus initially on the domestic workforce.
- Develop Roadmaps to Career Success that describe typical career paths through the nondestructive testing field for technicians, engineers, and managers by 30 April 2022.
- Develop a plan for workforce research which meets the needs of stakeholders, and which informs the Society about workforce issues, by 30 June 2022. Specific research projects will be conducted by the ASNT Foundation under Pillar #6.
- Produce kits to help introduce teachers to nondestructive testing by August 30 2022. This supports our advocacy initiative as well, Pillar #4.
- Revise the Military Outreach Program plan to help transition veterans into jobs in private industry by 31 October 2022.
- Create a Careers in Nondestructive Testing website, which will be used by parents, teachers, advisors, and students to learn about the nondestructive testing field and opportunities for entering it by 31 December 2022. This supports our advocacy initiative as well, Pillar #4.
- Implement an apprenticeship program for Level II technicians by 1 July 2023.