Preparing to Become a Construction Materials Testing Technician

Preparing to Become a Construction Materials Testing Technician

23rd Sep 2019

Becoming a construction materials testing technician means you're prepared to take on one of the biggest responsibilities in the world of construction projects. This role is critical to ensuring that everything from road work to building construction is executed correctly so the finished product can be used safely. In order to move into the role of construction materials testing technician, you will need more than field experience on your side.

What Does a Construction Materials Testing Technician Do?

A construction materials testing technician falls in the realm of quality control, working specifically on civil engineering projects, for the most part. These technicians will generally be out at a construction site to monitor building materials like asphalt and concrete as they are made and tested. It's also common for technicians to work in a laboratory as well, if certain tests require it. Other duties include:

  • Reading blueprints and other specifications
  • Inspecting, testing or measuring materials as they are produced
  • Discussing test results with all involved parties if they are of poor quality
  • Monitoring operations to ensure production standards are met
  • Recommending adjustments to the material creation and construction process
  • Reporting inspection results and test data

In order to perform these important duties, you will need to know how to use all necessary measuring tools, like rulers, calipers and other test meters and gauges. It's also important to have great analytical, mathematical and communication skills in order to understand test results and clearly convey when those results need to change.

Education & Training Needed to Become a Construction Materials Testing Technician

Becoming a construction materials testing technician involves a lot more on-site training than formal education. Technicians need a high school diploma, although some colleges also offer associate's and bachelor's programs in building/home/construction inspection or quality control management.

As for training, most technicians go through on-the-job regimens that can last anywhere from one month to one year. This training generally involves familiarizing the trainee with any meters, gauges and computer programs they may need to use, along with quality control techniques, safety protocols, reporting requirements, blueprint reading and more.

Getting Certified as a Construction Materials Testing Technician

Certification, which is often necessary to move up within the field of construction materials testing and quality control, should be gained at a recognized and accepted agency, whether at the local, state or federal level. These agencies include the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA). Each will have their own guidelines and criteria for gaining certification, which will always require work experience credentials that clearly document your experience and competence in the field.

Gaining certification will usually involve an exam, which could be written, hands-on or a combination of both. While having hands-on experience with soil, asphalt and concrete testing equipment will be advantageous, it's also recommended that you closely familiarize yourself with ASTM, AASHTO or any other construction materials testing standards you may use or need to know. Then, you simply sign up for the certification program at a reputable agency that will best meet your needs.

Get Construction Materials Testing Equipment at Certified MTP

Need concrete or asphalt testing equipment to put your new certification to work? Certified Material Testing Products has all the tools and supplies needed for you to do your job effectively, whether it's soil strength test equipment or pH meters for water quality. Find everything you need in our wide selection and, if you're preparing for your construction materials testing certification exam, best of luck!