Zoe Urtel is a veteran,
having served as a military police officer in the Nebraska Army National Guard.
Since then, the Crete native has had a number of odd jobs that haven’t brought
her any job satisfaction. As a result, she decided to enroll at Southeast
Community College in the Nondestructive Testing Technology program. Having
known nothing about the program, it was introduced to her by a peer advisor.
discussed my goals, the things that motivated me, and the type of work I wanted
to get into,” she said. “He was the one that brought nondestructive testing in
the mix. I had never heard of the industry, and after I delved into it, I
decided to move forward in registering for college and completing a degree in
Once she found out more about
the program, she realized it fit a lot of her strengths such as attention to
detail, organizational skills and a challenging work environment. It wasn’t
until Urtel found this program that it fulfilled her drive and enthusiasm to
testing has a plethora of examination methods, so there is always something new
to learn and greater opportunity for growth within any given method,” she said.
One of her instructors, Bill
Wiley, said she’s a good fit for the program because she is a very
conscientious student who strives for perfection.
“She has an eye for detail
and fosters a mentoring attitude for those students that aren’t as far along in
the program,” he said. “She takes her studies very seriously and has the good
grades to show it.”
Like many of the
manufacturing programs, NDT tends to be male dominated. Urtel said that
regardless, women should still consider the profession and show they can do
anything men can do when they put their mind to it.
the knowledge and understanding is there and the work is completed in a timely,
successful manner, it shouldn’t matter if it was done by a man or a woman,” she
said. “I enjoy working with my hands, and a trade program meets that need for
me. I’m not one to back down from a challenge just because I’m a woman. In
fact, it just drives me more to prove wrong the ones that doubt me.”
Wiley said there are many
potential careers to consider in the industry, including jobs in the energy
sector as well as aircraft and aerospace, along with a large demand for
graduates in individual testing lab companies across the nation. Urtel will
graduate in December and hopes to someday train prospective technicians.
program is a phenomenal one, and nondestructive testing isn’t offered
everywhere,” she said. “The time we are given to work directly with actual
instrumentation that is used in the industry in tandem with learning about the
processes from experienced instructors is invaluable.”
more information on the NDT program at SCC, click on this link: https://www.southeast.edu/nondestructivetestingtech/