I'm going to the sUAS Level I thermography certification course in Arizona next month. Anybody here who has done it? If so, what's your opinion? It can't hurt to be certified, and I need the knowledge.
My opinion is, if you have no prior experience in working or understanding the science of IR then you might get lost half way through the course. More than 3/4 of my classmates had, "deer in a headlight look" and were lost. In fact, I still connect with my classmates and they ask me for explanation and advise on the "how to" get accurate data. I've been doing IR for almost 3 years before taking the course and knew 80% of it. The remaining was filled in from the class.
Also you will realize that most of the IR work you will be doing in sUAS will be Qualitative work. That is the easier side of analysis.
I asked the same question a little over a year ago. Outta gave me the exact same response. I was new to Thermal and thought this was a perfect introduction. (No previous experience) Took Outta's advice. Deferred the class for 8 months. Purchased a handheld and took/analyzed hundreds of images. Also read anything/everything I could find on the internet.
Attended the class 8 months later in Nashua, NH. The majority of the class was filled with folks already in the Industry. There were only 4 of us that were new to Thermal. The other three guys were "Deer in the Headlights" as Outta said. One of those people had already invested $50,000 in equipment.
If I had walked in "Green" as originally planned, it would have been a waste of my money. I will say that I learned a lot from the course and more importantly, I learned a ton from the other folks who attended. I continue to speak to several of them almost weekly. I thought I was going to start out doing Thermal inspection, but have been doing large water storage tank inspections for local municipalities in my area ever since I get certified. Got exposure about this from a water engineer in the class.