Nuclear Engineers
SOC: 17-2161.00


Conduct research on nuclear engineering projects or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
16,800 employed

Projected (2024):
16,200 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Atomic Process Engineer
  • Core Measures Abstractor
  • Criticality Safety Engineer
  • Engineer
  • Engineering Officer
  • Generation Engineer
  • Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineer
  • Nuclear Design Engineer
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Nuclear Equipment Design Engineer
  • Nuclear Equipment Research Engineer
  • Nuclear Equipment Test Engineer
  • Nuclear Fuels Reclamation Engineer
  • Nuclear Fuels Research Engineer
  • Nuclear Licensing Engineer
  • Nuclear Officer
  • Nuclear Plant Technical Advisor
  • Nuclear Power Plant Engineer
  • Nuclear Process Engineer
  • Nuclear Radiation Engineer
  • Nuclear Reactor Engineer
  • Nuclear Reactor Inspector
  • Nuclear Safety Engineer
  • Nuclear Standards Director
  • Nuclear Steam Supply System Engineer (NSSS Engineer)
  • Nuclear Test Reactor Program Coordinator
  • Nuclear Waste Management Engineer
  • Radiation Engineer
  • Radiation Officer
  • Radiation Protection Engineer
  • Radioactive Materials Waste Management Engineer
  • Radiological Defense Officer
  • Radiological Engineer
  • Reactor Engineer
  • Reactor Projects Engineer
  • Regulatory Coordinator
  • Resident Inspector
  • Responsible System Engineer
  • Risk and Reliability Engineer
  • Scientist
  • System Engineer
  • Weapons Designer
  • Weapons Engineer

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to design preventive measures.
  • Monitor nuclear facility operations to identify any design, construction, or operation practices that violate safety regulations and laws or that could jeopardize the safety of operations.
  • Keep abreast of developments and changes in the nuclear field by reading technical journals or by independent study and research.
  • Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.
  • Design or oversee construction or operation of nuclear reactors or power plants or nuclear fuels reprocessing and reclamation systems.
  • Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, or associated instrumentation or control mechanisms.
  • Initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.
  • Recommend preventive measures to be taken in the handling of nuclear technology, based on data obtained from operations monitoring or from evaluation of test results.
  • Write operational instructions to be used in nuclear plant operation or nuclear fuel or waste handling and disposal.
  • Conduct tests of nuclear fuel behavior and cycles or performance of nuclear machinery and equipment to optimize performance of existing plants.
  • Direct operating or maintenance activities of operational nuclear power plants to ensure efficiency and conformity to safety standards.
  • Synthesize analyses of test results, and use the results to prepare technical reports of findings and recommendations.
  • Prepare construction project proposals that include cost estimates, and discuss proposals with interested parties such as vendors, contractors, and nuclear facility review boards.
  • Analyze available data and consult with other scientists to determine parameters of experimentation and suitability of analytical models.
  • Design and direct nuclear research projects to discover facts, to test or modify theoretical models, or to develop new theoretical models or new uses for current models.
  • Conduct environmental studies related to topics such as nuclear power generation, nuclear waste disposal, or nuclear weapon deployment.
  • Design fuel cycle models or processes to reduce the quantity of radioactive waste generated from nuclear activities.
  • Develop or contribute to the development of plans to remediate or restore environments affected by nuclear radiation, such as waste disposal sites.
  • Direct environmental compliance activities associated with nuclear plant operations or maintenance.
  • Prepare environmental impact statements, reports, or presentations for regulatory or other agencies.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Anticontamination clothing
  • Desktop computers
  • Face masks
  • Nuclear wireline logging instruments
  • Personal computers
  • Reactivity computer systems
  • Respirators
  • ANISN dose assessment computer code
  • BERMUDA nuclear transport computer codes
  • C++
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Data entry software
  • Desktop publishing software
  • Discrete ordinates DORT dose assessment computer codes
  • FOLLOW code
  • Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
  • Graphics software
  • INCORE code
  • Maplesoft Maple
  • Mathematical simulation software
  • Mathsoft Mathcad
  • MCNP dose assessment computer code
  • MERCURE dose assessment computer codes
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Monte Carlo software
  • MORSE-CG dose assessment computer code
  • Presentation software
  • Probabilistic risk assessment PRA software
  • QAD shielding computer code
  • Reactor excursion and release analysis program RELAP
  • Relational database software
  • SAS software
  • SCALE ORIGEN-S point depletion and decay code
  • Scientech Safety Monitor
  • Scientech WinNUPRA
  • Spreadsheet software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • TOTE code
  • Transient reactor analysis code TRAC
  • UNIX
  • Word processing software

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980