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 www.infraspection.com.
I hope this is helpful and wish you the best of luck in your thermographic endeavors.
Jim Seffrin, Director
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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