Thermal Imaging career options?

Hi, I am not sure if this is the right place to post this message, but this seems to be about the only active forum online dealing with thermal imaging, so if there is a better place to post this, please let me know. I am unexpectedly looking at a mid life career change, and options in the thermal imaging field interests me. I am in my mid 40’s and the food service company I have worked at for the last 15 years is shutting its doors, this leaves me in the position of being a bit young to retire, a bit old to start over from scratch at the bottom, I have owned my own businesses before, and know the headaches of being a one man show open to the public 9-5, etc. and don’t want to do that sort of thing again, also don’t really want to take a job working for someone else. In general I am looking for something I can do with somewhat flexible scheduling, that will bring in a reasonable income and I hope something in the thermal imaging field may fit that description. I have enough investment income now to pay the bills, so this would not have to be my sole source of income, and I don’t mind spending some money on training and equipment, although I would prefer not to do it all in one big lump sum. I don’t really want to focus on the home inspection side of the business, but would be more interested in commercial / industrial inspection options. Ideally I would like something that I can grow into a business with a handful of employees where I could take a more supervisory role in 3-5 years. What do you think, is there something out there in this field that I should look into, or should I keep on searching?

If you’re considering this as a career change, your most beneficial initial investment would be to attend
Then decide which direction you would like to pursue and the necessary goals to achieve it.

This message board is generally for home inspectors and its associated thermal imaging if your only interested in the commercial side of IR you would be better served in looking at NACBI that is where the professional IR guys hang out

InfraMation 2015 will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel May 12 - 14, 2015

Another date and option…

Thanks for the thoughts so far, I think I will look into attending Infraspection in New Orleans next month, they are offering a voucher that covers their level I course for the cost of attendance a 25% savings, but the course must be taken at their main location during 2015. It helps that New Orleans is less than 200 miles away so no need to worry about last minute airline tickets.

By chance, been to both? Pluses/minuses?

Everyone brings something different to the table…

Like a box of Chocolates, never know what will help you the most.

My Level III certification is from Flir and I conducted a clinic last year and will also be presenting in Nashville this year (as I live here). I stick with Flir because it provides me the most at this point as they certify me.

Jim is a good friend that helped me a great deal. I have nothing but praise for him and his org. You can’t go wrong, just attend all that you can, if you can, when you can.

Both are top notch and rule the show.

Would you recommend John McKenna’s training?
Why or why not?

Don’t start with me Linas! :wink:

You know I have a sore cheek just writing this much…

Dear Herman:

The subject of Thermography as a Business Opportunity has been the subject of a recent Tip of the Week at our content-based website, IRINFO.ORG.

Using thermal imaging as an adjunctive tool for home inspections can help an inspector increase inspection accuracy and may serve as a brand differentiator. Depending upon one’s market and the level of service offered, it may be possible to charge a premium for thermal imaging; however, these types of inspections have a high cost of sales and rarely provide any repeat business.

The real money in thermal imaging is in commercial inspections. Infrared inspection services for commercial clients typically bill out at $800 to +$1200 per day. Compared to residential inspections, there is a lower cost of sales and most inspections involve multiple days of work. Best of all, commercial inspections tend to repeat at least annually allowing inspectors to build an ongoing book of business that provides equity in their company. While there are many applications for thermal imaging in commercial facilities, the most common are infrared inspection of electrical systems and flat roofs.

In addition to being the Director of Infraspection Institute, I am also a principal in Jersey Infrared Consultants, an infrared inspection and consulting firm that I co-founded in 1984. Even in a depressed economy, our firm has been fortunate enough to grow again this year.

Presently, Jersey Infrared Consultants have five full time thermographers each of whom will provide a gross revenue of over $250,000 this year for infrared inspection services. Since April 2013, we have worked generated billable time every single day of the week (weekends included) and expect that this will continue through the end of this year.

I offer the above to share first-hand experience with you and other InterNACHI members. For those who are willing to invest the time and money in thermal imaging, there is plenty of money to be made. If you are willing to invest in proper training, quality equipment, a solid business plan, and an effective marketing campaign, you can be successful.

As to the future of thermography, the demand for competent, professional thermographers exceeds the supply. This trend is expected to continue for the forseeable future.

As Bill Warner pointed out, our upcoming IR/INFO Conference is a great place to meet with other practicing thermographers and explore the many opportunities available to you. Register and pay for the full conference before December 31, 2014 and you will receive a tuition voucher for up to 100% discount on a 2015 Infraspection Institute Certified Infrared Thermographer® training course!

Should you require further information on this topic, you are welcome to contact me directly. As always, I and my staff look forward to helping and supporting InterNACHI members in their thermographic endeavors.

thanks for all the information so far, I have decided to register for the IR/INFO conference in New Orleans, and probably use the tuition voucher for the Level I being taught in April, the Feb. class is just too soon as I am still going to be employed for a few more weeks during the shutdown process here which may drag on a bit.

On a separate point, and I know this is a bit of a loaded question, how much money should I be looking at spending to get an IR inspection business off the ground, $10,000, $20,0000, $30,000, more?

Dear Herman:

Glad to hear that you will be joining us for IR/INFO 2015.

Because the topic of capitalizing a business is a rich one, posting here is not really practical. As an alternative, I would invite you to give me a call tomorrow. My numbers are listed below.

This is also a good question for you to ask of fellow IR/INFO attendees who I am certain will be happy to provide you with guidance.

I look forward to speaking with you and meeting you in January.

Jim, thanks for your offer, and I will take you up on it, but will likely be very busy here through Jan 1, so may not find the time to call for a couple of weeks.