Civilian Nuclear Engineer at Naval Shipyard

In summary, this is a great opportunity for someone with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, who is interested in nuclear engineering and wants to work in a navy shipyard.
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I was recently offered a job by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to be a civilian Nuclear Engineer in the Nuclear Fluids and Mechanical Engineering Department. I will be graduating with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in the spring (3.70 GPA), and have accepted this offer for employment, though its not too late to back out yet.

What are your thoughts on working as a civilian nuclear engineer in a naval shipyard? Will it lead to good career opportunities in the nuclear field down the line? What does the daily work look like? I have always been interested in both the Aerospace and Nuclear industries, and I'm wondering if taking this job is the right choice for me.

Thanks
 
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  • #2
Lots of beurocracy. Technicians will be doing all the hands on work. You might have very long hours too when testing the reactor. The position his highly respected though and will no doubt look good on a resume if you decide to get another position.
 
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  • #3
You probably won't do any hard core analysis or design work though unless you have a masters or PhD.
 
  • #4
Mercury said:
I was recently offered a job by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to be a civilian Nuclear Engineer in the Nuclear Fluids and Mechanical Engineering Department. I will be graduating with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in the spring (3.70 GPA), and have accepted this offer for employment, though its not too late to back out yet.

What are your thoughts on working as a civilian nuclear engineer in a naval shipyard? Will it lead to good career opportunities in the nuclear field down the line? What does the daily work look like? I have always been interested in both the Aerospace and Nuclear industries, and I'm wondering if taking this job is the right choice for me.

Thanks
Well, when applying for a job, it is important to know one's duties and responsibilities. One may work on some practical problems and would be of values to the commercial nuclear industry.
 
  • #5
If you are comparing nuclear and aerospace industry, then although I do not live in USA, but I think nuclear may rise in near future there. Because once I read in newspaper that there are plans of privatization of NASA. So also look from that point of view if you want job security and want to make a "very big" career in an organization. If by aerospce you mean airline industry, then l like that industry very much, very broad future ahead.
 
  • #6
Astronuc said:
Well, when applying for a job, it is important to know one's duties and responsibilities. One may work on some practical problems and would be of values to the commercial nuclear industry.
I know that I will be working on analyzing pumps, heat exchangers, piping, and nozzles that contain fluids in marine vessel propulsion and power plants! Hopefully that better describes my duties and responsibilities.
 
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  • #7
If this is a government job, you will be doing nothing but paperwork. Don't be fooled by the description.
 
  • #8
HuskyNamedNala said:
If this is a government job, you will be doing nothing but paperwork.

While there are plenty of government jobs that fit that description, there are also government jobs where people get to do actual technical analysis. The Navy's nuclear power program, because of its operational importance, is one area where such jobs can be found. My experience with naval shipyards is from twenty years ago, but I doubt things have changed that much, since the operational advantages of nuclear power for propulsion of ships and submarines have not changed.
 
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  • #9
Mercury said:
What are your thoughts on working as a civilian nuclear engineer in a naval shipyard?

Based on my what I saw as a naval officer at a naval shipyard working with civilian engineers there (which, as I noted in my previous post, was twenty years ago, but I don't think things have changed that much), you will get a good understanding of how reactors for ship and submarine propulsion work, and you will get very good experience at working under pressure. (You will get plenty of experience working long hours and odd shifts too.)

Mercury said:
Will it lead to good career opportunities in the nuclear field down the line?

I'm not in close enough touch with the field now to know what the career picture is like (I haven't done anything connected with nuclear power since I left the Navy). However, as far as I know, experience in the Navy nuclear power program, civilian or military, is still considered very good experience, not just in the nuclear field, but in a wide range of fields.

Mercury said:
What does the daily work look like?

The best way to find this out is to visit and spend a day "shadowing" one of the engineers there.
 
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1. What is a civilian nuclear engineer at a naval shipyard?

A civilian nuclear engineer at a naval shipyard is a professional who is responsible for designing, constructing, and maintaining nuclear-powered ships and submarines for the Navy. They work in collaboration with military personnel and other engineers to ensure the safe and efficient operation of these vessels.

2. What are the main duties and responsibilities of a civilian nuclear engineer at a naval shipyard?

The main duties of a civilian nuclear engineer at a naval shipyard include designing and testing nuclear systems, monitoring and maintaining the nuclear reactor, conducting safety inspections, and overseeing maintenance and repairs. They are also responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations and safety protocols.

3. What qualifications are required to become a civilian nuclear engineer at a naval shipyard?

To become a civilian nuclear engineer at a naval shipyard, one typically needs a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering or a related field. Many employers also require a security clearance and previous experience in the nuclear industry. Ongoing training and certifications are also necessary to maintain this position.

4. What are the potential risks and challenges associated with being a civilian nuclear engineer at a naval shipyard?

Working as a civilian nuclear engineer at a naval shipyard can involve exposure to radiation and other hazardous materials. This requires strict adherence to safety protocols and procedures. The job also involves working with complex and sensitive machinery, which can pose technical challenges. Additionally, the work may involve extended periods of time away from home, as naval shipyards are often located in remote areas.

5. What opportunities for career advancement are available for civilian nuclear engineers at naval shipyards?

Civilian nuclear engineers at naval shipyards have opportunities for career advancement through additional training and certifications, as well as through promotions to higher positions such as project manager or senior engineer. They may also have the opportunity to work on larger and more complex projects, or to move into management roles within the shipyard.

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