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Nuclear Engineer

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All About Nuclear Engineers

Occupation 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.

Life As a Nuclear Engineer: What Do They Do?

  • Keep abreast of developments and changes in the nuclear field by reading technical journals or by independent study and research.
  • Design fuel cycle models or processes to reduce the quantity of radioactive waste generated from nuclear activities.
  • Write operational instructions to be used in nuclear plant operation or nuclear fuel or waste handling and disposal.
  • Conduct tests of nuclear fuel behavior and cycles or performance of nuclear machinery and equipment to optimize performance of existing plants.
  • Consult with other scientists to determine parameters of experimentation or suitability of analytical models.
  • Direct environmental compliance activities associated with nuclear plant operations or maintenance.

Skills Needed to be a Nuclear Engineer

These are the skills Nuclear Engineers say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Other Nuclear Engineer Job Titles

  • Nuclear Plant Technical Advisor
  • Nuclear Test Reactor Program Coordinator
  • Resident Inspector
  • System Engineer
  • Nuclear Radiation Engineer

Nuclear Engineer Job Outlook

There were about 17,700 jobs for Nuclear Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). 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. The BLS estimates 1,400 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Nuclear Engineers in U.S.

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.

Nuclear Engineer Salary

The average yearly salary of a Nuclear Engineer ranges between $68,560 and $162,360.

Salary Ranges for Nuclear Engineers

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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Nuclear Engineers in different U.S. states.

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Nuclear Engineers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Nuclear Engineers may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

Becoming a Nuclear Engineer

What kind of Nuclear Engineer requirements are there?

Nuclear Engineer Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Nuclear Engineer Work Experience

Where do Nuclear Engineers Work?

Nuclear Engineer Sectors

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

Nuclear Engineer Industries

Other Jobs You May 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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