Nuclear Engineers

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Engineering and Technology

Projected Growth: Little or no change

Projected Job Openings

Considerable Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Nuclear Engineers include:

Experience and Education

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 85.19% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 7.41% said they needed a Master's Degree.


    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.

    Direct operating or maintenance activities of operational nuclear power plants to ensure efficiency and conformity to safety standards.

    Discuss construction project proposals with interested parties, such as vendors, contractors, or nuclear facility review boards.

    Prepare technical reports of findings or recommendations, based on synthesized analyses of test results.

    Write operational instructions to be used in nuclear plant operation or nuclear fuel or waste handling and disposal.

    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.

    Keep abreast of developments and changes in the nuclear field by reading technical journals or by independent study and research.

    Consult with other scientists to determine parameters of experimentation or suitability of analytical models.

    Direct environmental compliance activities associated with nuclear plant operations or maintenance.

    Develop or contribute to the development of plans to remediate or restore environments affected by nuclear radiation, such as waste disposal sites.

    Conduct environmental studies related to topics such as nuclear power generation, nuclear waste disposal, or nuclear weapon deployment.

    Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, or associated instrumentation or control mechanisms.

    Design or direct nuclear research projects to test or modify theoretical models, develop new theoretical models, or discover new uses for current models.

    Prepare environmental impact statements, reports, or presentations for regulatory or other agencies.

    Design fuel cycle models or processes to reduce the quantity of radioactive waste generated from nuclear activities.

    Conduct tests of nuclear fuel behavior and cycles or performance of nuclear machinery and equipment to optimize performance of existing plants.

    Initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.

    Design or oversee construction or operation of nuclear reactors or power plants or nuclear fuels reprocessing and reclamation systems.

    Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.

    Examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to design preventive measures.



Reactivity computer systems

Personal computers

Nuclear wireline logging instruments

Face masks

Desktop computers

Anticontamination clothing



Computer aided design CAD software


Mathsoft Mathcad


Salesforce software

The MathWorks MATLAB

All Technologies


ANISN dose assessment computer code

BERMUDA nuclear transport computer codes

Discrete ordinates DORT dose assessment computer codes


Formula translation/translator FORTRAN


Maplesoft Maple

Mathematical simulation software

MCNP dose assessment computer code

MERCURE dose assessment computer codes

Monte Carlo simulation 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

SCALE ORIGEN-S point depletion and decay code

Scientech Safety Monitor

Scientech WinNUPRA

Software development tools

Spreadsheet software

TOTE code

Transient reactor analysis code TRAC



Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Operation Monitoring

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Quality Control Analysis

Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Teaching others how to do something.


Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.


Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

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Occupation Sections


Engineering and Technology

Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.


Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Computers and Electronics

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Public Safety and Security

Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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