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How to Get NACE Certification for Coating Inspection Work

Updated on January 20, 2012

NACE International is a leading trainer and certification organization for the coating inspection industry. Coating inspectors may get NACE training and take an exam to get certification. NACE has a plethora of basic and advanced certification programs.

NACE has certifications at Levels 1, 2, and 3. The levels are sort of like a pyramid that build on top of each other. For example, to get to Level 2, one generally has to either get NACE certification for coating inspection at Level 1 or take NACE training courses at Level 1 and Level 2 and pass the NACE exams at each level.

NACE has training and certification for coating inspection in general plus special categories of coating. These include nuclear, a bridge specialty, and a marine specialty. At Level 3 of NACE certification, most of the programs require a peer review. This is like an interview with questions. The coating inspector must sit there and answer the questions in front of the live judges. However, there is a Coating Inspector Program certification for Level 3 Nuclear that does not require peer review.

The courses for Levels 1 and 2 are split into normal courses plus CIP Exam Courses 1 and 2. The exam course is essentially for people who buy a DVD set in advance, study it, and then take a 3-day course to review for the NACE exam for that level. Conversely, the regular NACE coating inspection courses last about 60 hours. The specialty courses generally last 6 days, as well. They simply focus on the specialty rather then spend more total time on the coating-inspector course.

To find out the prerequisites and other details of the NACE certification programs, coating inspectors should go to the "Education Program: Coating Inspector Program" page. On that page, there are two tabs -- one for the NACE training courses and one for the certifications.

The fees for full NACE training courses sit at about $1600 to $2000, depending on when you register and whether you are a NACE member. Although much shorter, the two exams courses are still about $1300 to $1600. In total, they are about the same because those taking the NACE exam course must also pay about $400 to $450 for a DVD license. The benefit of the exam course is that it actually prepares you for NACE certification testing. Note, however, that coating inspectors can get certified by taking the regular course only and not the exam. Either the regular or exam course is sufficient for certification.

Finally, there are work-experience requirements for some NACE certifications. Refer to the particular program to see the requirements.


NACE: Education Program: Coating Inspector Program


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