I don’t know about that. You are saying that your expanding into other areas outside of home inspection, but to these areas have to do with buildings? If so, the building science course has an extensive amount of case study on the effects of the atmosphere on the structure, methods of testing buildings and what to look for and where and how heat transmits through a structure.
If you intend to ride your horse down the powerlines and evaluate transmission line connections with your infrared, or if you’re going into the medical fields (human or veterinarian) then you may need a lot more level 1, 2 and 3. If you’re going into the manufacturing setting where you know parameters of the equipment you are evaluating and you need to concern yourself more with actual temperatures versus apparent temperature so that you can determine the point of failure set by the manufacturer. The age-old question is “how hot is too hot”. If these are the areas you’re getting into than you need to learn how to accurately determine actual temperatures from your thermal scans.
When it comes between the two selections of level 1 and building science, even the building science is over the top for the application that home inspectors will be using a camera for (I sincerely doubt any home inspector is going to soak down the house with a spray-rack ). If your capital resources are low or stretched, I would recommend the building science course first. If you plan to take multiple levels, taking level 1 and then the building science course may be appropriate.
As posted, it appears there were very few home inspectors in our classes. Many of the people there will not use what they learned in building science because their jobs dictate other needs. It’s important to analyze what you’re going to use the technology for and take the correct course so you can apply what you learn. Corporations that send their employees to these classes are not so concerned about application and cost-effective education, just that their employees get educated and certified. My class had several home inspectors, several facility maintenance personnel, construction trade teachers, a couple of guys that should be or were level 3 employees. My point is that every class you take is going to be somewhat modified due to the participants in the class. I think that ITC made the building science course (and will make other courses in the future) for specialized area use of infrared beyond level 1. If your class shows up where everyone is level 1, a lot more building science will be covered. They can’t be teaching building science without you knowing level 1 stuff first. If the class still doesn’t understand level 1, the majority of the class time will be spent on level 1. I think we could have gone much deeper into building science if we had the time. I personally feel that the building science course is way too short and that at least five days is needed to cover material, however it is difficult for working students to devote an entire workweek. I am hoping that a more advanced level building science course will be developed in the future.
I could see where we skipped over a lot of important issues because there was no reason to go there when our goal was building science. If there was an option to turn off the temperature scales on the cameras, I think they would have made us do that. A lot time was spent telling us not the use the " apparent temperature" readings of the camera and why. We would probably all be a lot better off in home inspection if we never knew what the temperatures were we were looking at because it would force us to follow up and further evaluate with other appropriate test equipment to verify what we see.
I am sure that it would be well worth my time to take level 1 to cover the things left out in the building science course. Other than David Valley, who lives just down the street from ITC most of us just don’t have that luxury.