Some students don't even make it to the certification course before I get an email:
"Hi Mr. LeFever, I'm having to pay for this class myself. How long will it be before I can get a job as an Inspector, and where should I start looking?"
I tell candidates the best six places to look are:
Your NACE Instructors
Your NACE Instructors have a unique insight into the inspection world. Most of them either work for Inspection firms, coating manufacturers, or contractors and have a big network in the corrosion industry formed over years of classes. During the Certification class, you should capture their contact information so you can connect and ask them questions when you start looking.
You can find other Instructors who are often willing to help point new folks in the right direction on the NACE website, in the NACE Facebook Group, and on LinkedIn.
Also, Instructors inherently want to help "our" students, and will often do things or make introductions we otherwise wouldn't make.
Specialty Coating Inspection Firms
There are a few specialty coatings inspection firms in the US (all SSPC QP-5 Certified)
Local NACE Sections
Go to the NACE website page that lists all NACE Sections.
Find your local Section. It will either give you a website that the Section maintains which will list meeting times and locations. If not, you can click on the Officer's link, find out who the officers are, and search them on LinkedIn.
As a last resort, you can call NACE FirstService and ask for the Chair, Co-chair, or Membership Chair contact info.
Once you know where and when the Section meetings are, carve out that time to go and introduce yourself. Meet everyone you can. Tell them you're looking for an opportunity.
Many times these people have their finger on the pulse of the local corrosion industry. They know engineering firms, contractors, and owners who regularly hire NACE Inspectors.
Many engineering firms have Quality Control Inspectors. Of course, some are more involved in coatings than others. The ones that are more general construction may not have a NACE Certified Coatings Inspector on staff, so the NACE Certification may be valuable to them, even if you're not inspecting coatings every day.
Industrial Paint Reps
If you are working in the coatings industry, and know the Industrial Paint Sales Rep who calls on your account, you might ask "for a friend" who they would talk to if they were looking for a job as an Inspector. Since they call on Owners, Engineers, and Contractors, they often have a good feel for who is winning work, hiring and taking care of their staff vs who is losing work, laying off and treating their staff poorly.
Other places you should be aware of who often hire quality control technicians:
If we can help you at all with contacts or networking, don't hesitate to reach out.