Trainee is not a certification, but it can be thought of as a pre-certification level. A trainee is a person who is in the process of being certified, trained, and qualified. A trainee must work with a person who is certified. A trainee may not independently conduct a test or interpret the results of any NDT test.
Level I certified individuals are able to perform NDT tests, calibrate equipment, and record inspection results. A level 1 is able to perform evaluations for acceptance or rejection in accordance with written standards, but they must be supervised by a level II or level III at all times.
A level II is able to set up and calibrate equipment, independently perform tests, and evaluate results in accordance with acceptable codes and standards. A level II is able to organize and report results of inspections, and they are knowledgeable of the capabilities and limitations of each NDT method. A level II may also be responsible for supervising and training trainees and Level I personnel.
Level III is the highest level of qualification and requires the individual to be highly knowledgeable of methods, codes, procedures, and standards. An NDT level III is capable of training trainees, level I, and level II personnel. The level III is able to develop, qualify, and approve written procedures. They are also able to determine appropriate methods for inspection scope, and have the ability to interpret results, codes, standards, and procedures.
An NDT trainer is an individual with the skills and knowledge needed to plan, organize, and present training for classroom or in-field settings. An NDT trainer is able to articulate information well through on-the-job training programs or education programs. A level II or III is able to serve as an NDT trainer.
With each certification level comes a set of responsibilities and necessary skill. However, with the multiple levels of certification available in the field of nondestructive testing, there is plenty of opportunities for career advancement.