Thermographer or Guy With A Camera?
Los Angeles infrared thermographer. Infrared cameras are readily available and accessible to just about anyone who wishes to call themselves a thermographer. Most of these cameras nowadays are so intuitive that just about anyone can begin using on out-of-the-box. What will generally set apart the novice from the professional can be narrowed down to three things; camera, experience and education.
The Infrared Camera
An infrared camera can range in price from anywhere between $250 to well over $100,000. In our business, we will generally see cameras in the $5000 range on average. Because infrared cameras do not usually produce HI res imagery or large file photo images, the images are typically grainy most especially with cameras under the $8000 mark. Image quality is important because with specific projects that we as Thermograpro thermographers are called to perform, the result we want our clients to end up with is a crisp clear image of the condition. The camera we will choose for the majority of our projects are the FLIR T640 or the Fluke TI cameras. Both produce extremely clear and concise imagery that our clients can appreciate.
The majority of operators with the exception of a few professional thermographers gain their experience by simply picking up a camera and using it. Now in most cases that is a great way to familiarize yourself with a camera and test the limitations of the camera. The only problem with this manner of education is that an operator may not expose himself or herself to the multitude of different conditions that we as professional thermographers have experienced. It may take a new operator years to come across a damaged transformer, moisture migration through a fixed object or a false positive. In contrast, a Thermograpro thermographer is experienced in thousands of conditions and situations having been performing professional thermography services for over ten years in so may different types of fields such as Equine, Industrial, Automotive, Construction and more…
As with so many trades, education is key to being a successful thermographer. There are three levels of education offered in thermography. Level one is an entry level to the world of infrared thermography and infrared science, whereas level two is an advanced level to thermography teaching an operator how to implement the principals taught in levels one and two. Level three is a level that delves deeper into thermograhic science and the implementation of these principals across a multitude of fields and conditions. Level three is also a level which prepares the operator to teach thermography to the newer operators and develop a thermographic plan of maintenance or PDM within a businesses maintenance department.