IR School

I have a question for you guys who already have the equipment.

Is it necessary to go to an actual school to learn the techniques behind the use of the TI cams?

Or would someone be better off going on lots of actual inspections with other inspectors who have all the certifications which are currently available?

And what exactly do the school certifications mean, as far as qualification to use the cams?..simply saying your certified, you spent time in a school atmosphere to learn how to use the TI cam?

Are the certifications from actual schools just for a possible court case one maybe involved in for the future?..or are they just recommended by the cam manufacturer’s to learn the correct way of use?

For me I think to skip school would have been bad for sure . FLIR 3.5 days cost $1850;00 Canadian glad I did … Cookie

All of the above.
Going out with a mentor will help a lot
Going to ITC Building Science Course will help you now and in court.

If you are, primarily, worried about covering your own butt, I would suggest that you priorities are messed up and you should stay away from this. No slam intended. You asked the question.

Being able to use the camera, properly, is a part of the academic and practical training. Being able to properly interpret the image is a brain thing, not a hands thing.

Too often, people who have practical intelligence (like a good plumber) are bored with “academic, theoretical learning”. They want “hands on” because that is how they learn best.

With IR, I would posit that both are needed, because it is very hard to “put your hands on” IR radiation and their images. It is not a “trade”, but more an “art and science”.

You have to engauge both hands and brain.

If you are looking for a shortcut, don’t.

Hi Will,

I’m not worrying about anything to tell you the truth, I asked the questions because I don’t know, and have not had anytime to look any further into the TI field than this message board.

(none from me either) - but I have been inspecting approximately 500,000 sq ft of commercial property a month lately, want a cam, and wanted information about the use, and the schooling involved from you guys simply.

So if everyone says take all the courses, naturally I will----Will…:lol:

Just as with anything else, the education gives you theory and titles, whereas experience gives you the necessary skills. The combination of theory and experience makes you more qualified in the eyes of both the consumer, and the law.

Something to consider - Proven theory comes from hands-on experience.


Go get the “Most” camera you can afford and then start using it on every inspection. Don’t sell it to your clients or offer any services for about 3 months.

Take lots of images and post them here or here

Take this FREE class offered by FLIR:

Once you get a feel for the basics and the operation of your camera, then take the certification class.

Just my take :slight_smile:


Very well put !!! Like American Express says “Don’t leave home without it”


Here is the course I took. It was awsome. Scott Wood is the best.
Building Science Thermographer Certification

Scott Wood BS, CMRS, ITC Level II

    Scott Wood, is a certified Level II Thermographer and the Technical Director of Four Star Cleaning and Restoration, Inc. Currently he is director of building sciences for the National Association of Certified Thermographers (NACT). He is also the Building Science Institute’s primary consultant and instructor, certified in remediation, building and  Infrared sciences. Mr. Wood graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Microbiology. His natural curiosity and affinity for things micro biotical has led him on the path of Mold/Microbial Remediation and finally building science/forensics and the use of infrared thermography in its investigations.  Scott wrote the Environmental Remediation Manual and has developed  environmental and infrared applications for the restoration and building science industry that are implemented nationwide. He has many publications regarding the use of infrared thermography for the building environment.

Dale. Call me of you need me. I just want to help.

I understand, but your post could be taken otherwise.

What he said. Take the pics, post them (with your interpretation) and them listen and read and take the flak when you mess up (but also take the praise when you do good).

Above all, LEARN.

It, like life, is a process, not a goal.

I recommend that you use the camera (when no one is looking) on actual inspections for several months. Use the camera first, try to determine what you think it is telling you, then physically confirm (with the naked eye) what is actually going on. There are times when you won’t be actually able to confirm what is going on, but there are many times when you will be able to. Only after the determinations made with the camera become consistent with the actual confirmations should you bring the camera out for your consumers to benefit from.

Remembers, it’s just another tool.

You can’t see in a drak crawlspace, so you use a flashlight. You can’t detect CO or gas, so you use a meter. You can’t see temperature differences, so you use the IR. Apply the tool as needed.

“Just looking at things in another light!” :open_mouth:

Exactly David…:bug:

From Another Dimension…!!!..The twilight Zone…!!..:lol:

Thank You all for the great information as usual…!!!

I think so also Nick…thanks,!

Yep…sometime folks take words the wrong way.

I try and stick to the point (I thought I was anyway)…:lol:

I will call you ole’ buddy if I need anything…thanks for the offer, it’s great having guys like you and the others here that make me proud to be a member…!!!

This is the course I took. I highly recommend it as it is geared specifically toward IR use in residential inspections and not just IR theory with a little bit of application knowledge mixed in. It gives you a huge head start into residential application and EIFS inspections.:slight_smile:

These guys are home inspectors like us with lots of experience in IR as it applies to residential inspection and not simply Level II thermographers teaching a general IR course to a vast array of fields and backgrounds.

Hey Kevin,

Thanks for the link.:slight_smile:

Dear Dale:

Aside from purchasing an infrared camera, training is the most important investment you will make. Proper training combined with knowledge of the structure being inspected is of paramount importance for conducting accurate infrared inspections.

While most infrared imagers are simple to operate, properly interpreting data is not that straightforward. This is especially true for building inspections where there are an infinite number of materials and systems interacting with each other under a wide range of weather and site conditions. To say that thermography is easy would be similar to claiming that building inspections are easy - something we all know to be untrue.

At present, the use of thermography in legal cases is on the rise. During the past 20 years I have worked as an expert witness on several cases involving the use of thermography. In every case, thermographer training was always thoroughly examined. To this end, every thermographer should work to ensure that his/her training is as thorough and complete as possible and make certain that it stays current.

In addition to expanding the services of a home or building inspector, themography can generate significant revenue. With proper training and the correct equipment, a professional thermographer can easily generate a gross revenue of over $200,000 per year. This is in addition to the services that you already offer!

If you are interested in pursuing the many and varied applications of infrared thermography, I would invite you to attend the Infraspection Institute Level I Certiifed Infrared Thermographer® training course before you purchase infrared equipment (see below). These courses are held regularly in the Philadelphia area throughout the year. This same information is also available through our Distance Learning program.

All of our cutting-edge infrared training courses are taught by highly-experienced thermographers in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere without marketing hype. For more information call 609-239-4788 or visit us at

I hope this is helpful and wish you the best of luck in your thermographic endeavors.

Jim Seffrin, Director
Infraspection Institute

IRINFO.ORG Tip of the Week July 12, 2004

Training & Equipment: Which First?

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Put the horse before the cart.” When it comes to thermography, many people put the cart in front of the proverbial horse by buying infrared equipment before obtaining proper training.

Purchasing the correct imager is a challenge for many reasons: initial purchase price can be costly, no imager is capable of performing all applications, imager performance varies widely, and available specifications are frequently exaggerated.

Further compounding this challenge is that many manufacturers offer “free training courses” as sales incentives to purchasers of new equipment. Frequently these free courses are taught by inexperienced/unqualified instructors, are introductory in nature, and are designed as operator courses for the subject equipment omitting important theory or applications. Because these courses are taught after equipment is delivered, inexperienced purchasers lack the knowledge required to make an informed decision when selecting new equipment.

In order to properly select and specify infrared equipment, buyers should put the horse before the cart by receiving quality certification training from an independent institute prior to equipment purchase. For new users, training should include infrared theory and heat transfer concepts, equipment selection and operation, image capture and analysis, standards compliance, applications-specific inspection techniques, documentation of findings, and temperature measurement techniques.

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