Nuclear & Radiological Technology
What Nuclear & Radiological Technology Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, nuclear tech majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Nuclear Tech Majors
Nuclear Tech majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
- Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Skills for Nuclear Tech Majors
nuclear tech majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:
- 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.
- Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Abilities for Nuclear Tech Majors
As a nuclear tech major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
How Much Do Nuclear & Radiological Technology Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Nuclear Tech majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $79,970 to $95,310 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Nuclear & Radiological Technology
Some degrees associated with nuclear tech may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for nuclear tech careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||35.3%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||16.9%|
|Some College Courses||8.6%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||26.5%|
Online Nuclear & Radiological Technology Programs
In 2018-2019, 27 schools offered a nuclear tech program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||6||1|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||7||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Nuclear & Radiological Technology Worth It?
The median salary for a nuclear tech grad is $79,970 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 100% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $801,400 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Nuclear & Radiological Technology
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to nuclear tech.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Physical Science Technicians||3,562|
|Other Science Technologies/Technicians||2,627|
|Biology & Biotech Lab Technician||738|
|General Science Technologies/Technicians||176|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.