Nuclear Engineers

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 16,400 nuclear engineers employed in the United States.

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

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