Career advice for a nuclear engineering graduate

In summary: There are definitely benefits to working in nuclear power, but the competition is stiff. It's not just about the skill set, but also the fact that you need to have the right attitude. The plant operators are usually very selective in who they hire, and the competition is often intense.
  • #1
Guan
15
0
Hi everyone,
I'm from an Asian country, and graduated with M.Sc. degree in nuclear power engineering last year from a university in Russia. Since then, I have been looking for jobs related to nuclear engineering but no luck up till now. Seeing that nuclear energy is getting trendy now in European countries, and the US, I have been applying for jobs from well-known nuclear companies like Westinghouse, Entergy, Framatone and some startup companies like Terrapower, Kairos, X-Energy and nuclear research institutes like SCK CEN.

So far, luck is not on my side as I keep getting rejections after rejections via automated emails or totally no response at all and now thinking of giving up seeking to work in nuclear power industry. I thought that having a nuclear education would make me marketable everywhere but it seems like I was wrong...

Does nuclear companies in the European countries and the US usually hire foreigners? How competitive it is even for local nuclear graduates to secure a job in the nuclear industry?

What is the minimum skill set that I need to have to be eligible to begin my career in the entry-level nuclear-related career? I have basic neutronic skills in WIMS D5 and MCNP 4C which I've learned back in my university days, some practical skill in radiation detectors, gamma spectroscopy and research reactor facility. In addition, prior to my postgraduate studies, I worked as an NDT technician for 6 years and used to be a radiation safety supervisor mainly in oil and gas industry.

Since I'm in my mid 30s now, I wonder if it's usual to transition into nuclear industry or just return to my old job an NDT personnel in the oil and gas industry.
Let me know what you guys think...
 
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  • #2
Guan said:
Hi everyone,
I'm from an Asian country, and graduated with M.Sc. degree in nuclear power engineering last year from a university in Russia. Since then, I have been looking for jobs related to nuclear engineering but no luck up till now. Seeing that nuclear energy is getting trendy now in European countries, and the US, I have been applying for jobs from well-known nuclear companies like Westinghouse, Entergy, Framatone and some startup companies like Terrapower, Kairos, X-Energy and nuclear research institutes like SCK CEN.

So far, luck is not on my side as I keep getting rejections after rejections via automated emails or totally no response at all and now thinking of giving up seeking to work in nuclear power industry. I thought that having a nuclear education would make me marketable everywhere but it seems like I was wrong...

Does nuclear companies in the European countries and the US usually hire foreigners? How competitive it is even for local nuclear graduates to secure a job in the nuclear industry?

What is the minimum skill set that I need to have to be eligible to begin my career in the entry-level nuclear-related career? I have basic neutronic skills in WIMS D5 and MCNP 4C which I've learned back in my university days, some practical skill in radiation detectors, gamma spectroscopy and research reactor facility. In addition, prior to my postgraduate studies, I worked as an NDT technician for 6 years and used to be a radiation safety supervisor mainly in oil and gas industry.

Since I'm in my mid 30s now, I wonder if it's usual to transition into nuclear industry or just return to my old job an NDT personnel in the oil and gas industry.
Let me know what you guys think...
Too bad jim hardy has passed. See for example: https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...y-of-nuclear-power-plant.954258/#post-6048116
Found with this search:https://www.physicsforums.com/search/6448796/?q=nuclear&c[users]=Jim+Hardy&o=relevance
 
  • #3
I worked in commercial nuclear power in the US for over 40 years. There were many "foreigners" especially working for the reactor vendors. The plant owners (power companies) were more likely to hire local people, mainly because the rural site locations led to higher turnover among people raised elsewhere.

Now when I say "foreigners" I mean people who have immigrated to the US, and subsequently become citizens. I wonder if your citizenship/immigration status is an issue?
 
  • Informative
Likes berkeman

Related to Career advice for a nuclear engineering graduate

What kind of job opportunities are available for nuclear engineering graduates?

Nuclear engineering graduates have a wide range of job opportunities in various industries such as power generation, defense, healthcare, and research. They can work as nuclear engineers, nuclear technicians, radiation protection technicians, nuclear safety engineers, or nuclear medicine technologists.

What skills are necessary for a successful career in nuclear engineering?

Some essential skills for a successful career in nuclear engineering include strong analytical and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, critical thinking, and good communication abilities. Technical skills in mathematics, physics, and computer programming are also crucial.

What additional education or training is required for a career in nuclear engineering?

Most nuclear engineering positions require at least a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering or a related field. Some employers may also prefer candidates with a master's degree or a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering. On-the-job training and certifications may also be required for specific roles.

What is the average salary for a nuclear engineering graduate?

The average salary for a nuclear engineering graduate can vary depending on the specific job title, industry, and location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for nuclear engineers was $113,460 in May 2020. However, salaries can range from $75,000 to over $150,000 per year.

What advice do you have for a nuclear engineering graduate seeking employment?

Some tips for a nuclear engineering graduate seeking employment include networking with professionals in the field, gaining relevant experience through internships or research projects, staying updated on industry developments, and customizing your resume and cover letter for each job application. Additionally, building a strong online presence and utilizing job search platforms can also be helpful in finding job opportunities.

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