A Comprehensive Guide to ASNT NDT Level III Certification

Introduction to ASNT NDT Level III

ASNT NDT Level III is a highly respected designation in the NDT industry. These professionals are considered key personnel and are involved in critical operations. They are also well-compensated in renowned organizations. This article aims to provide a pathway for individuals aspiring to become an ASNT NDT Level III.

Who is an NDT Level III?

According to ASNT SNT TC 1A, an NDT Level III is an individual with the technical knowledge and skills to develop, qualify, and approve procedures, interpret codes and standards, and designate NDT methods to be used. They are responsible for NDT operations, interpreting and evaluating results, and training and certifying NDT Level I, II, and III personnel.

Education, Training, and Experience Requirements for Initial Qualification

To become certified as an NDT Level III, individuals must meet certain requirements.

  • NDT Level III certification requires a baccalaureate degree (or higher) in engineering or science, along with one extra year of experience beyond Level II requirements in NDT method(s).
  • Alternatively, if a person lacks a baccalaureate degree, they can still be certified if they have completed at least two years of engineering or science study at a university, college, or technical school, with passing grades, and have two additional years of experience beyond Level II requirements in applicable NDT method(s).
  • If none of the above criteria are met, certification can still be obtained by having four years of experience beyond Level II requirements in applicable NDT method(s).

ASNT NDT Level III Program

The ASNT NDT Level III program was established in 1977 and is recognized worldwide. It provides third-party certification for NDT or predictive maintenance personnel. The program follows the guidelines of Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A.

  • NDT Basic Examination: A written test at Level III that assesses knowledge in materials science, processes technology, NDT personnel qualification, certification, and the fundamental principles of NDT methods.
  • Method Examination: A Level III written test that focuses on the principles, theory, techniques, and applications of a specific NDT/PdM method.
  • Specific Examination: An assessment of specifications, equipment, techniques, and procedures relevant to the employer’s product(s) and methods.

Applying for ASNT NDT Level III Exam

Individuals can apply for the ASNT NDT Level III exam on the ASNT website. The exam is now offered through Computer-Based Testing (CBT), and candidates can select exam centers through the provided link.

Qualification Examinations

ASNT Level III candidates must successfully complete both the Basic Examination and Method Examination. The Basic Examination is mandatory for all candidates, while the Method Examination focuses on the specific NDT method(s) the candidate seeks certification in.

NDT Basic Examination

The compulsory Basic examination covers topics related to administrative and general technology knowledge. This written test evaluates the candidate’s understanding of various NDT methods required for ASNT Level II personnel, as well as materials, fabrication, and product technology. It also assesses their knowledge of qualification and certification according to ASNT, SNT-TC-1A, and ANSI/ASNT CP-189 standards.

  • It is important to note that even if someone passes the method examination, they must also pass the Basic Examination to be considered successful.
  • Failure to pass the Basic Examination requires the individual to retake it.
  • The Basic Examination lasts for 4 hours and consists of 135 questions, each carrying equal weight.

Note: Please note that the NDT Basic Examination only needs to be passed once. Once you have successfully cleared the NDT Basic Examination, you are not required to take the Basic examination again when pursuing NDT Level III in other methods.

Topical Outlines for Basic Examination

Administration of NDT personnel certification programs

  • SNT-TC-1A, 2016 edition
  • ASNT CP-189, 2016 edition

General familiarity with other NDT methods

  • Radiography (safety, X-ray, and isotope methods)
  • Neutron radiography
  • Ultrasonic testing
  • Eddy current and flux leakage testing
  • Liquid penetrant testing
  • Magnetic particle testing
  • Leak testing
  • Acoustic emission testing
  • Visual testing
  • Thermal/infrared

Materials, fabrication, and production technology

  • Properties of materials, the origin of discontinuities, and failure modes
  • Materials processing (casting, welding, forging, brazing, soldering, machining, heat treatment, surface treatment, adhesive bonding, etc.)
  • Dimensional metrology

Method Examination

The Method Examination assesses the candidate’s knowledge and application of fundamentals, principles, and techniques specific to the NDT method(s) they seek certification in. It consists of a minimum of 90 questions and may include a portion that tests the candidate’s ability to comprehend and apply specifications.

ASNT NDT Level III Refresher Courses

Many individuals choose to take NDT Level III refresher courses to prepare for the exams. These courses help refresh and expand knowledge of important concepts in each NDT topic. However, they should not be the sole source of exam preparation.

Examination Results

Candidates who meet the necessary criteria and pass all the mandatory exams for ASNT certification will receive official certification documents. Upon successfully clearing the NDT Exam, ASNT will grant candidates an ASNT NDT Level III certificate along with a wallet card. In the event that candidates do not pass all the required exams for ASNT certification, they will be notified in writing about their results and will have the option to reapply and retake the failed exams.