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Schools for Aspiring Coating Inspectors: How to Choose

Coatings inspector ensure that the anti-corrosion coatings that are used on structures such as bridges and water tanks meet set standards. Relevant training programs are available at community colleges and technical schools around the country.

Aspiring coating inspectors can get the training they need through associate's degree and certificate programs in corrosion technology. Students in these programs often pursue professional certifications in the field.

Coating Inspector Schools

These schools offer programs for aspiring coating inspectors:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*
Seward County Community College Liberal, Kansas 2-year, Public Associate
Certificate
In-district $2,688
In-state $2,816
Out-of-state $3,904
Kilgore College Kilgore, Texas 2-year, Public Associate
Certificate
In-district $1,464
In-state $3,120
Out-of-state $4,320
Lone Star College The Woodlands, Texas 2-year, Public Certificate In-district $1,504
In-state $3,184
Out-of-state $3,544
Houston Community College Houston, Texas 2-year, Public Associate
Certificate
In-district $1,632
In-state $3,360
Out-of-state $3,756
Barton County Community College Great Bend, Kansas 2-year, Public Associate
Certificate
In-state $3,200
Out-of-state $4,192
Essex County College Newark, New Jersey 2-year, Public Associate In-district $4,213
In-state $7,358
Out-of-state $7,358
Dawson Community College Glendive, Montana 2-year, Public Associate In-district $3,570
In-state $4,965
Out-of-state $10,815
University of Akron Akron, Ohio 4-year, Public Associate
Certificate
In-state $10,509
Out-of-state $19,040
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, Florida 4-year, Public Certificate In-state $2,830
Out-of-state $9,944
Central Technology Center Drumright, Oklahoma <2-year, Public Certificate $1,539.50**

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website

School Selection Criteria

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a program:

  • Students may want to find out what the pass rates are for graduates on the professional certification exams offered by industry leaders such as the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, the Society for Protective Coatings and the National Highway Institute.
  • Although a corrosion technology program is usually the most relevant program for future coating inspectors, there are also gas pipeline-specific programs, as well as broader degree programs in mechanical engineering technology that include studies of corrosion. Students can choose between these options based on their academic interests.
  • Prospective students may want to look for programs that are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET.
  • Working students may want to find out about the school's technical training facilities, in order to ensure that they will gain experience with industry-standard coating inspection tools and technologies.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs typically provide a short series of courses that cover the basics of corrosion technology, including coating regulations and inspection procedures. Some schools offer more specialized certificates for individuals who want to work specifically with pipeline technology. They may also provide training for particular industry certification examinations.

Associate's Degree Programs

In associate's degree programs in corrosion technology, students receive a broad overview of the field. They begin with basic math and science courses in topics like electricity, chemistry and physics. From there, students are challenged to apply corrosion theory to engineering problems in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, manufacturing and pipeline management. An internship and/or capstone project may also be required. Students must also fulfill general education requirements before they can graduate.

Before selecting a coating inspector program, students should look into the curriculum to find out if it prepares students for professional certification exams and coincides with their academic interests and career goals.

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