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What are some ways to maintain or update my technical skills during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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What are some ways to maintain or update my technical skills during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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The COVID-19 coronavirus is a worldwide concern affecting all of us, including those in the corrosion prevention and protective coatings industries. As many employees and contractors are forced to the sidelines or to work from home, this is a great time to maintain your professional certifications or learn a new skill. We’ve gathered information about online learning, certification and webinar opportunities to keep your skill set up-to-date or to prepare for that certification exam you’ve been putting off.


For those interested in becoming a coating inspector, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) is offering a discount on their during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course NACE also offers that may be taken with or without an exam for professional development hours, such as:

  • Basic Corrosion
  • Corrosion Prevention & Control (CPC) Management eCourse
  • Introduction to Coatings Inspection eCourse (ICI)
  • Math for the Coatings Professional
  • Cathodic Protection Fundamentals: Math & Electricity eCourse
  • Power Industry Corrosion Concepts eCourse
  • Surface Preparation

Recognizing that COVID-19 is having a huge impact on the way we work in the corrosion prevention industry, the Australasian Corrosion Association (ACA) is hosting a “Working through COVID-19 for the Corrosion Industry” online event with featured guest speakers on April 22, 2020. More information and free registration are .

(Corrosion Testing: Application and Use of Salt Fog, Humidity, Cyclic and Gas Tests –and – Corrosion Testing, Measurement, and Monitoring: Application and Use of Electrochemical Techniques) to a virtual class setting.

The Corrosion Clinic of offers a wide variety of corrosion-related online and distance learning training courses, including topics such as:

  • A Basic Course in Corrosion Control and Prevention
  • Protective Coatings: Inspection, Maintenance and Repair
  • An Advanced Course in Cathodic Protection - Specification, Design, Commissioning, Testing and Monitoring
  • External Pipeline Integrity Assessment and Composite Repairs
  • Internal Pipeline Integrity Assessment and Pigging Technology
  • Corrosion Control by Chemical Treatment
  • Welding and Weldment Metallurgy: Processes, Procedures, Inspection and Failure Prevention
  • Marine Corrosion, Causes and Prevention
  • Risk-based Inspection
  • And many more

Welded metals are often prone to corrosion. The has numerous online courses that feature interactive videos, animated graphics and narration. These courses cover welding, materials science and other topics of interest to corrosion professionals. Educational courses include:

  • Welding Fundamentals – Welding terminology and common welding processes
  • Welding Supervisor – A bundle of courses to prepare for the CWS instructor-led seminar and exam
  • Destructive Testing – Principals and performance of tests
  • Nondestructive Testing - Principals and performance of nondestructive tests
  • Metallurgy – Fundamental principles of metals as they apply to welding
  • Welding Safety – Best practices

A course focusing on salt spray testing and accelerated corrosion testing is offered by the , for which you’ll receive one credit toward certification as a Master Surface Finisher.

You can also maintain or expand your knowledge on a wide variety of topics through more informal courses offered on , , and other similar general audience websites. This is also a good way to branch out and get a quick introduction to an entirely new skill such as software development or brush up on mathematics. For example, a search for “corrosion”, “oil and gas”, “chemistry” or “materials” returns dozens of free or low-cost courses on these platforms.

Another free offering is , which is intended to return search results of scientific and technical material published in peer-reviewed academic journals and textbooks. A simple search of “corrosion cathodic protection” displays more than enough reading material to keep you productively occupied, including the classic “” textbook. Although some search results lead to just an abstract and an offer to purchase the full article, links to a PDF file provide the full text for free (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Searching for scientific and technical books and articles on Google Scholar.

Figure 1. Searching for scientific and technical books and articles on Google Scholar.

Finally, be sure to visit our sister sites , and for expert content related to oil & gas, trenchless construction and worksite safety.

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Written by John Priebe
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John is a freelance technical and science writer, editor and project manager with over twenty years of experience and a B.S. in Computer Programming for Biological Applications. He has held positions in small business, Fortune 100 companies, and educational institutions. His background includes software development, systems programming, and management of a Project Management Office (PMO) with responsibility for leading teams of up to 30 developers and analysts. His diverse experience includes biology, information technology, astronomy, investing, aviation and Android/Arduino app development.

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