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Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear Engineers
Quick Facts : Nuclear Engineers*
2010 Median Pay$99,920
Entry Level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201219,100
Job Outlook10% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change2,000

Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Many of these engineers find industrial and medical uses for radioactive material's for example, in equipment used in medical diagnosis and treatment. Many others specialize in the development of nuclear power sources for ships or spacecraft.

What Nuclear Engineers Do

  • Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, or associated instrumentation
  • Monitor nuclear facility operations to identify any design, construction, or operation practices that violate safety regulations and laws
  • Direct operating or maintenance activities of operational nuclear powerplants to ensure that they meet safety standards
  • Perform experiments to test whether methods of using nuclear material, reclaiming nuclear fuel, or disposing of nuclear waste are acceptable
  • Take corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergencies

Work Environment

Nuclear engineers typically work in offices; however, their work setting varies with the industry in which they are employed. For example, those employed by power generation and supply companies work in powerplants.
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Job Outlook

Employment of nuclear engineers is expected to grow 10 percent from 2010 to 2020 because of the likely need to upgrade safety systems at powerplants.
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In May 2010, the average salary of nuclear engineers was $99,920.
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Nuclear Engineers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Nuclear Engineers


Architecture and Engineering Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Nuclear Engineers*
Percent Change in Employment

Nuclear Engineers


Architecture and Engineering Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Nuclear Engineers

Entry-level nuclear engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degree programs typically are 4-year programs and encompass classroom, laboratory, and field studies in areas that include mathematics and engineering principles.
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