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Engineering Insight into the Job Prospects for Those with a Nuclear Engineering Degree

  1. Aug 16, 2010 #1

    I am currently working to complete requirements to transfer to the Nuclear Engineering program at Oregon State University. I do not expect to have a BS until 2015 ( I am 33 years old and have a lot of math to catch up with). Although I am incredibly interested in this field I do need to think practically about job prospects. I would like some feedback on the expected job outlook in the next few years and the beginning wages. I have done some of my own research on the matter and looked at the department of labor statistics, but nothing compares to hearing the experience of others. I would be willing to relocate, internationally if need be, and after living on financial aid a $30k a year salary would make me feel like a rich man.

    Also, does anyone have a take on the quality of the program at OSU?

    Thank you very much for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2010 #2
    I go to OSU, Im not in the Nuke program, but it looks very impressive. OSU is ranked in the top ten for USA nuke programs. OSU also has a fully functioning nuclear reactor which is a huge advantage for anyone studying nuclear science.

    I was at the OSU engineering fair and the Nuke kids there were telling me that the U.S. is going to finally start building nuclear power plants again. That should open up a lot of jobs in the field. But dont forget, there's tons of nuclear applications outside of power generation.
  4. Aug 17, 2010 #3
    I can't speak to industry, but if you are interested in government check out both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (civilian nulcear regulation) and the National Nuclear Safety Administration (the agency that "owns" and watches over the nuclear arsenal). Both actively seek nuclear engineers and from what I hear are very good places to work - the NRC was ranked the best federal agency to work for the past few years.
  5. Aug 17, 2010 #4


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    I'm quite busy these days.

    I know some folks from OSU and they are good engineers.

    As with any engineering program, one should diversify one's skill. If one were to do nuclear, I'd recommend additional courses in mechanics and materials. If possible, pick up some CAD/CAE skills, FEA and CFD, and then one can write one's ticket anywhere.
  6. Aug 18, 2010 #5
    1. Various electric utilities which operate nuclear plants.
    2. U.S. Navy
    3. General Atomic is located in La Jolla, Ca; They are a dutch company, involved also in tokomak projects.
    4. Dont forget Nuclear medicine.

    Try to find the actual scientists/engineers in these locales and interview them for
    the lay of the land.
  7. Aug 19, 2010 #6
    Thank you all for you responses, I have followed up on all of them. I have a lot more work to do but it looks like the prospects are good and will make the hard work worth it. I am sure I will have more questions as things progress but it all looks very interesting.

    Thank You.
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