Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear Engineers Use Supercomputer

Nuclear engineers are concerned with accessing, using, and controlling the energy released when the nucleus of an atom is split. The process of splitting atoms, called fission, produces a nuclear reaction, which creates radiation in addition to nuclear energy. Nuclear energy and radiation has many uses. Some engineers design, develop, and operate nuclear power plants, which are used to generate electricity and power navy ships. Others specialize in developing nuclear weapons, medical uses for radioactive materials, and disposal facilities for radioactive waste. There are approximately 16,880 nuclear engineers employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Nuclear Fuels Reclamation Engineers, Nuclear Fuels Research Engineers
Duties Design nuclear facilities and instrumentation; monitor reactor facilities and operations; investigate nuclear accidents; devise protocols for nuclear waste disposal and emergency shutdowns
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Foreign Language
  • Math
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Senior/Lead Nuclear Engineer
  • Technical Specialist
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Engineer