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Nuclear Engineer

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What Do Nuclear Engineer Do?

Nuclear Engineer Example 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

  • Design or oversee construction or operation of nuclear reactors or power plants or nuclear fuels reprocessing and reclamation systems.
  • Initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.
  • Examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to design preventive measures.
  • Write operational instructions to be used in nuclear plant operation or nuclear fuel or waste handling and disposal.
  • Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.
  • Design or direct nuclear research projects to test or modify theoretical models, develop new theoretical models, or discover new uses for current models.

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 Equipment Design Engineer
  • Regulatory Coordinator
  • Weapons Engineer
  • Nuclear Design Engineer
  • Scientist

Are There Job Opportunities 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,400 job openings in this field each year.

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 Average Salary

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

Salary Ranges for Nuclear Engineers

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

How much do Nuclear Engineers make 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

What Tools do Nuclear Engineers Use?

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

How to Become a Nuclear Engineer

Are there Nuclear Engineers education requirements?

Nuclear Engineer Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Nuclear Engineer?

Nuclear Engineer Work Experience

Where Nuclear Engineers Work

Nuclear Engineer Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Nuclear Engineers employed by various industries.

Nuclear Engineer Industries

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Nuclear Engineer might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: Siemens Pressebild via CC BY-SA 3.0

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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