There are so many Infrared Training Schools, how should I choose a School?
The best way to choose a school is to look at its curriculum, its length of time in business, the instructors past experience that is relative to your needs that teach the classes, the locations of the courses, and most importantly what is their motivation for teaching you! Do they offer non-biased information that is independent of the camera manufacturers, or are they basing there perspective on what manufacturer they represent?
What is the typical time it takes to bring up a new thermographer to speed so that he can stand on his own?
This is a 3 part answer. The 3 issues are; knowledge of infrared thermography to understand what you are seeing and why, proficiency with the infrared camera, and a good working knowledge of the application. Obviously, this will depend upon the individual, but in general proficiency happens in stages. Assuming a good knowledge of the application infrared will be used on, proficiency can be reached with daily use in as little as a few weeks, assuming the new thermographer is being trained correctly, but typically, proficiency and confidence starts to appear between 3-6 months, with a learning curve that really never ends. Also, different applications have their own unique learning curve, and just because someone is proficient with one application doesn't mean they will be qualified to do another application without good understanding of all of the factors.