Nuclear Equipment Operation Technicians
SOC: 19-4051.01


Operate equipment used for the release, control, or utilization of nuclear energy to assist scientists in laboratory or production activities.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
6,800 employed

Projected (2024):
6,400 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:

  • Accelerator Operator
  • Accelerator Technician
  • Auxiliary Operator
  • Cell Support Operator
  • Equipment Operation Instructor
  • Equipment Operator
  • Facilities Operator
  • Gamma Facilities Operator
  • Gamma Operator
  • Hot-Cell Technician
  • Licensed Nuclear Operator
  • Non-Licensed Nuclear Auxiliary Operator
  • Non-Licensed Nuclear Equipment Operator (NLO)
  • Non-Licensed Nuclear Plant Operator (NLO)
  • Non-Licensed Operator (NLO)
  • Nuclear Apprentice Plant Equipment Operator (NAPEO)
  • Nuclear Auxiliary Operator
  • Nuclear Equipment Operator (NEO)
  • Nuclear Fuel Enrichment Technician
  • Nuclear Fuel Processing Technician
  • Nuclear Operating Technician
  • Nuclear Operations Specialist
  • Nuclear Operator
  • Nuclear Plant Equipment Operator
  • Nuclear Plant Operator
  • Nuclear Power Plant Non-Licensed Operator
  • Nuclear Power Plant Operator
  • Nuclear Power Plant Process Control Worker
  • Nuclear Reactor Technician
  • Nuclear Station Plant Equipment Operator
  • Operations Technician
  • Plant Operator
  • Radiation Protection Technician (RPT)
  • Radioisotope Production Operator
  • Reactor Operator
  • Station Operator
  • Systems Operator
  • Test and Research Reactor Operator

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Follow policies and procedures for radiation workers to ensure personnel safety.
  • Modify, devise, and maintain equipment used in operations.
  • Set control panel switches, according to standard procedures, to route electric power from sources and direct particle beams through injector units.
  • Submit computations to supervisors for review.
  • Calculate equipment operating factors, such as radiation times, dosages, temperatures, gamma intensities, or pressures, using standard formulas and conversion tables.
  • Perform testing, maintenance, repair, or upgrading of accelerator systems.
  • Warn maintenance workers of radiation hazards and direct workers to vacate hazardous areas.
  • Monitor instruments, gauges, and recording devices in control rooms during operation of equipment, under direction of nuclear experimenters.
  • Adjust controls of equipment to control particle beam movement, pulse rates, energy or intensity, or radiation, according to specifications.
  • Communicate with accelerator maintenance personnel to ensure readiness of support systems, such as vacuum, water cooling, or radio frequency power sources.
  • Collect air, water, gas or solid samples for testing to determine radioactivity levels or to ensure appropriate radioactive containment.
  • Decontaminate objects by cleaning them using soap or solvents or by abrading using brushes, buffing machines, or sandblasting machines.
  • Follow nuclear equipment operational policies and procedures that ensure environmental safety.
  • Identify and implement appropriate decontamination procedures, based on equipment and the size, nature, and type of contamination.
  • Measure the intensity and identify the types of radiation in work areas, equipment, or materials, using radiation detectors or other instruments.
  • Monitor nuclear reactor equipment performance to identify operational inefficiencies, hazards, or needs for maintenance or repair.
  • Prepare reports to communicate information such as contamination test results, decontamination results, or decontamination procedures.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Air compressors
  • Air purifying respirators
  • Airline respirators
  • Area gamma monitors
  • Atmosphere supplying respirators
  • Condensate demineralizers
  • Contamination probes
  • Control rod drives
  • Cryostats
  • Digital ratemeters
  • Digital signal analyzers
  • Digital spectrum analyzers
  • Eddy current testing equipment
  • Emergency diesel generators
  • Fuel handling systems
  • Gamma exit/entrance contamination monitors
  • Gantry cranes
  • Hot cell remote viewing devices
  • Leak detection equipment
  • Level transmitters
  • Master-slave manipulators
  • Metal active gas MAG welding equipment
  • Metal inert gas MIG welding equipment
  • Multichannel analyzers
  • New fuel elevators
  • Non-contact thermometers
  • Personal computers
  • Pipe camera inspection systems
  • Plasma arc cutting torches
  • Pocket dosimeters
  • Portable two way radios
  • Portal monitors
  • Pressure cleaners
  • Pressure demand respirators
  • Protective coveralls
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective shoe covers
  • Radiation survey meters
  • Scintillation detectors
  • Seismic monitoring instruments
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Spent fuel handling machines
  • Ultrasonic flaw detectors
  • Ultrasonic thickness gauges
  • Vibration monitors
  • Video borescopes
  • Videoscopes
  • Data entry software
  • Data logging software
  • Database software
  • Spreadsheet software

  • life physical and social science

    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220