5 Nuclear Jobs Starting at $50,000 Without a 4-year Degree
Dec13

5 Nuclear Jobs Starting at $50,000 Without a 4-year Degree

“If I only knew then what I know now!” I was having a conversation with a friend who had spent years working full time while putting himself through college. His business degree had landed him a good job in the corporate support organization of  a large electric utility.  He was happy to have it and his smarts, maturity, and work ethic had served him well. Yet to some extent he lamented his choice of a four-year business degree because he saw friends in nuclear technical fields advancing faster and earning more money.  Rather than being graduates of four-year colleges or universities, many had started their careers with an associate degree, military training or a certificate in a skilled trade. In many cases this meant they began earning more at an earlier age and had little student loan debt.  If my colleague had been aware of these opportunities he may have chosen a different path. In the least he would  have made an informed decision. Even in the highly technical field of nuclear energy there are many jobs that do not require a 4-year degree for an entry-level position.  Most of these have starting wages of about $50,000 per year (more if you include overtime and bonuses). In each of these positions there is an established career progression. Pay increases as you complete company-provided training and achieve higher levels of qualification.  I have known many coworkers in these types of jobs who with just two or three years of experience routinely earn more than $100,000 per year with overtime and bonuses.  Even better, these positions are the entry points for supervisory and management positions meaning there is opportunity for long-term career growth. So what are these great jobs that don’t require a 4-year degree?  Here are some examples:   Radiation Protection Technician (also called health physics technician) Radiation protection technicians monitor radiation levels throughout the nuclear energy facility. They also maintain and calibrate radiation protection instruments and equipment. They play an important role in helping fellow employees work safely in areas where radiation levels are greater than natural background. Electrical Technician (also called nuclear electrician) Electrical technicians install, repair and maintain the highly complex electrical and electronic equipment in the nuclear plant. They work on power plant equipment like motors, circuit breakers, electrical cables, switchgear, generators, transformers, and batteries. Instrument & Controls Technician I&C technicians are the “industrial computer technicians” in nuclear energy facilities. They install, test, calibrate, troubleshoot, and repair nuclear plant instrumentation and control equipment and systems. Mechanical Maintenance Technician (also called nuclear mechanic) Mechanical maintenance technicians keep all the power plant and reactor mechanical systems and equipment running...

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And you thought nuclear engineering & science was all about energy? Guess Again! (Podcast Episode #69)

While at the American Nuclear Society Annual Conference last week I had the opportunity to speak with several students about their interests and fields of study.  The broad range of responses is insightful and serves to illustrate that commercial energy generation is just one of many career options related to nuclear engineering, science, and technology. The students also help dispel the myth that nuclear careers are only for technical specialists. The industry needs people who focus on business, communications, government affairs and many other non-technical disciplines! Watch the video and you’ll see what I...

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The 2010 ANS Student Conference (Video Podcast #68)

“Live” from the 2009 ANS Conference in Atlanta, GA. Download the Video File Here John Wheeler and guest co-host Rod Adams of “The Atomic Show” meet with a group of students from the University of Michigan to discuss the ANS Student Conference.  The student conference will be held in April 2010 at the University of Michigan.  For more info go to the conference web site at http://www.studentans2010.org. Watch the video below or download the clip using the link above. Featured are (left to right): Guest co-host Rod Adams of  “The Atomic Show” Mahima Gupta – Activities Chair Michaela Eddy – General Chair: Logistics Travis Trahan – General Chair: External Relations Robyn Spink – Hospitality Chair Adam Hoffman – Tour Director John Wheeler – host of “This Week in...

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