NUCLEAR ENGINEERS research nuclear energy and radiation. They develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to benefit from nuclear energy and radiation. They design, develop, monitor, and operate nuclear power plants used to generate power. They plan, design, and develop nuclear equipment such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, and related control units. They monitor testing, operation, and maintenance of nuclear reactors or power plants to make sure safety regulations are met, and that waste from nuclear energy is disposed of properly. They may develop industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials. They may develop nuclear power sources for spacecraft.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $97,500 average per year ($47.00 per hour)
- A small occupation (18,600 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.1% per year)
A bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program is usually required for beginning NUCLEAR ENGINEERS. Many engineers obtain a master's degree to learn new technology, to broaden their education, and to improve advancement opportunities. Graduate training is essential for engineering faculty positions. Registration requirements include a degree from an engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), four years of relevant work experience, and a passing grade on two national examinations.