Let’s see if I can clarify this (again).
#1 I am an ITC level III thermographer, so I can only discuss the Flir group.
Thermography levels ‘do not’ teach you new things (by leaving things out in the lower levels). They build upon what you learn from the beginning. It is a progression based upon education ‘and’ experience.
You start by learning how to turn on the camera and make adjustments in the camera. You get a basic understanding of the applications you can use and how to use them.
As you progress utilizing what you have already learned, they dig deeper into the applications and you conduct exercises to apply this learning.
Level III goes even deeper by applying analytical/mathematical calculations to determine what anomalies are actually significant. It goes into standards and management of other thermographers.
Look at it this way; level I are guys that go out and find exceptions and anomalies. This is what home inspectors do.
Level II is a more advanced ability to utilize the principles of thermography to not only find but to better analyze the findings. (this would be an on-site supervisor).
Level III is about setting up the program, applying the appropriate standards, equipment, and reporting criteria (based upon the company you work for). Generally there are multiple thermographers under a level III.
Think about it this way as a home inspector: You are the level I, level II and level III. You ‘are’ the business.
In order to function under the same parameters of the head of a thermography program in a manufacturing facility for example, as a home inspector, you must be able to conduct yourself the same is a level III who supervises level ones and level twos. You must ‘supervise yourself’ because you’re a ‘one man band’.
If you want to make money in this business as a level I, you need to be able to do much more than turn on the camera and make adjustments to find thermal exceptions. You have to know how to set up and when to set up your analysis. You need to be able to evaluate what you collected during your analysis. You must apply industry standards to your analysis. You must report your analysis appropriately.
Why in God’s name would a facility engineer higher a level I thermographer to do all of this? When you’re done with everything you do as a thermographer, you have got to sit down in front of all these engineers and fulfill their expectations.
But your only a home inspector!? Your client has no expectations because they don’t understand what thermal imaging is to start with. So what are your services worth? Not a whole lot in the scheme of things. So why not give it away for free?! Because it cost too much to be able to do the task to do it for free. “return on investment”.
My entire week is tied up as a witness in a court proceeding in which I did a building evaluation with infrared thermal imaging. Inspectors (mostly who are scared of their shadow) post that thermal imaging increases liability. I did not agree with that initially, but as I sit here in the courtroom, they are probably correct. When what you do comes into question in a court of law, what you actually know is significantly diminished. If you use thermal imaging, they’re going to find somebody else greater than you, pay them a significant amount of money to show how little you know. Losing the case is the least of your problems. Being hung out to dry while demonstrating that you misdirected your client into thinking something was, when it wasn’t! Can you spell ’ liability’?
Take it for what it’s worth.
If you feel your proficient, go for it.
If you’re copying somebody else’s stuff and putting it on your website and you have not actually done it, it will come back and bite you in the ***.
If you are claiming ability, raising your clients expectations beyond your capacity to perform, you are a liability to yourself.
Seeing you are a level I with no supervising level III, there is no one to defer responsibility to other than the person in your bathroom mirror every morning.