Tremendous energy is trapped in the nucleus of a tiny atom. Harnessing that energy is the work of nuclear engineers. They search for efficient ways to capture the energy from disintegrating atoms, or from the fusion of atoms, and put it to use. Nuclear engineers develop a variety of applications for nuclear energy, including diagnosing and treating illnesses… and in systems to power ships and spacecraft. Many of these engineers work with nuclear reactors, the source of energy for power plants to provide heat and electricity to many homes and businesses. The resources used in nuclear power generate potentially dangerous radioactivity. So nuclear engineers in power plants develop safety practices, and ensure that nuclear waste is disposed of with care. Their job doesn’t stop after designing cutting-edge new technology— they oversee operations and maintenance, and issue immediate emergency shutdowns if there are malfunctions. The majority of nuclear engineers work full-time for public utilities or engineering consulting firms. They sometimes collaborate with other kinds of engineers to improve each other’s system designs. A bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering is the typical entry-level requirement for this field some positions require a master’s degree or Ph.D. Nuclear engineers carry a large responsibility to safely manage a resource many people have come to depend on.
What they do:
Assist nuclear physicists, nuclear engineers, or other scientists in laboratory, power generation, or electricity production activities. May operate, maintain, or provide quality control for nuclear testing and research equipment. May monitor radiation.
On the job, you would:
Follow nuclear equipment operational policies and procedures that ensure environmental safety.
Conduct surveillance testing to determine safety of nuclear equipment.
Monitor nuclear reactor equipment performance to identify operational inefficiencies, hazards, or needs for maintenance or repair.
Safety and Government
public safety and security
law and government
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
Math and Science
Education and Training
teaching and course design
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
read and understand what is written
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
see hidden patterns
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
order or arrange things
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Data entry software
Structured query language SQL
Operating system software
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.