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Nuclear Engineer

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All About Nuclear Engineers

Job Description: Conduct research on nuclear engineering projects or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

Nuclear Engineer Responsibilities

  • Conduct environmental studies related to topics such as nuclear power generation, nuclear waste disposal, or nuclear weapon deployment.
  • Design or direct nuclear research projects to test or modify theoretical models, develop new theoretical models, or discover new uses for current models.
  • Consult with other scientists to determine parameters of experimentation or suitability of analytical models.
  • Prepare technical reports of findings or recommendations, based on synthesized analyses of test results.
  • Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.
  • Write operational instructions to be used in nuclear plant operation or nuclear fuel or waste handling and disposal.

Skills Needed to be a Nuclear Engineer

Below is a list of the skills most Nuclear Engineers say are important on the job.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Types of Nuclear Engineer

  • Nuclear Licensing Engineer
  • Atomic Process Engineer
  • Scientist
  • Nuclear Equipment Design Engineer
  • Resident Inspector

Job Outlook for Nuclear Engineers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 17,700 jobs in the United States for Nuclear Engineer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 700 new jobs for Nuclear Engineer by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,400 positions for Nuclear Engineer per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Nuclear Engineer are Nevada, Florida, and Idaho. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, Mississippi, or Minnesota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Nuclear Engineers Salary

The salary for Nuclear Engineers ranges between about $68,560 and $162,360 a year.

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Nuclear Engineers who work in New Mexico, California, or New Hampshire, make the highest salaries.

How much do Nuclear Engineers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $102,100
California $132,180
Connecticut $112,430
Florida $103,680
Idaho $128,270
Illinois $117,710
Kansas $113,690
Louisiana $98,900
Maryland $137,930
Michigan $100,890
Mississippi $99,900
Missouri $97,070
Nebraska $103,370
New Hampshire $125,330
New Mexico $136,310
New York $112,400
North Carolina $113,110
Pennsylvania $115,760
South Carolina $101,420
Tennessee $126,300
Texas $90,260
Virginia $87,340
Washington $100,260
Wisconsin $120,330

What Tools & Technology do Nuclear Engineers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Nuclear Engineers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data entry software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Linux
  • UNIX
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Salesforce software
  • Graphics software
  • SAP software
  • Presentation software
  • Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
  • Software development tools

How to Become a Nuclear Engineer

Learn what Nuclear Engineer education requirements there are.

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Nuclear Engineers Are Employed

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Nuclear Engineer may also be interested in:

References:

Image Credit: Siemens Pressebild via CC BY-SA 3.0

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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