Types of Degrees Nuclear Engineering Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many nuclear engineering graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Nuclear Engineering Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to nuclear engineering and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Nuclear Engineering Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in nuclear engineering should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- 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.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Skills for Nuclear Engineering Majors
nuclear engineering majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Nuclear Engineering Majors
A major in nuclear engineering will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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.
What Can You Do With a Nuclear Engineering Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with nuclear engineering:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||5.5%||$140,760|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of nuclear engineering majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||13|
|Hispanic or Latino||71|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Nuclear Engineering. About 4.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- South Korea
How Much Do Nuclear Engineering Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering made a median starting salary of $62,550 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $60,150 (25th percentile) and $64,050 (75th percentile).
It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to nuclear engineering.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $110,790 to $148,970 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to nuclear engineering. 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 Engineering
Some degrees associated with nuclear engineering 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 engineering careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|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)||1.2%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||0.8%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||5.9%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||3.3%|
Online Nuclear Engineering Programs
In 2018-2019, 40 schools offered a nuclear engineering 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)||1||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||1||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||28||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Nuclear Engineering Worth It?
The median salary for a nuclear engineering grad is $113,680 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 185% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,475,600 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for Nuclear Engineering
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Majors Related to Nuclear Engineering
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to nuclear engineering.
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- 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
- Image Credit: By Siemens Pressebild under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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