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Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

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What Does it Take to Be a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator?

Example of Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Job Operate or control nuclear reactors. Move control rods, start and stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, and record data in logs. Implement emergency procedures when needed. May respond to abnormalities, determine cause, and recommend corrective action.

Life As a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator: What Do They Do?

  • Direct measurement of the intensity or types of radiation in work areas, equipment, or materials.
  • Authorize maintenance activities on units or changes in equipment or system operational status.
  • Dispatch orders or instructions to personnel through radiotelephone or intercommunication systems to coordinate auxiliary equipment operation.
  • Monitor all systems for normal running conditions, performing activities such as checking gauges to assess output or the effects of generator loading on other equipment.
  • Respond to system or unit abnormalities, diagnosing the cause, and recommending or taking corrective action.
  • Conduct inspections or operations outside of control rooms as necessary.

What Every Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Should Know

These are the skills Nuclear Power Reactor Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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.

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

  • Nuclear Control Room Non-Licensed Operator
  • Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
  • Control Room Supervisor
  • Nuclear Operator
  • Nuclear Plant Equipment Operator

Is There Going to be Demand for Nuclear Power Reactor Operators?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 7,000 jobs in the United States for Nuclear Power Reactor Operator. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Nuclear Power Reactor Operator. There will be an estimated 500 positions for Nuclear Power Reactor Operator per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Nuclear Power Reactor Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Nuclear Power Reactor Operator are Washington, Idaho, and Nebraska. Watch out if you plan on working in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Nuclear Power Reactor Operators Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator ranges between $68,200 and $127,370.

Salary Ranges for Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators who work in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, or Mississippi, make the highest salaries.

How much do Nuclear Power Reactor Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Illinois $87,340
Mississippi $97,040
North Carolina $101,520
Pennsylvania $106,870
South Carolina $80,490
Tennessee $90,190

Tools & Technologies Used by Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

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

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data logging software

How do I Become a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator?

What kind of Nuclear Power Reactor Operator requirements are there?

Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator?

Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Work Experience

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators Sector

Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Nuclear Power Reactor Operators employed by various industries.

Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Industries


Image Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Siuta B. Ika via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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