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Is it possible to pursue a career in nuclear physics without getting a degree?

  1. Nov 6, 2014 #1
    I am currently in my final year at college and wish to persue a career in nuclear physics as this is something which strongly interests me. However, if it is possible i would rather skip the university part and take a different route into the career like an apprenticeship. i have found it hard to find any information on this topic and have so far only been able to find apprenticeships in electrical and mechanical engeneering although this is not the sector i wish to go into. I would be willing to do a BA however i am not keen on spendidng more than three years at university if any time at all.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2014 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Sorry, but in nuclear physics the apprenticeship starts during the PhD process, and continues for 3-6 years beyond that.
  4. Nov 6, 2014 #3


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    If you're in your final year of college, aren't you almost done with your BA already?
  5. Nov 6, 2014 #4


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    Doing the actual physics? No, you need a PhD (which implies at least a BSc/BS and in many countries, a MSc before that). Learning how to do physics takes a long time, and is incredibly specialized.

    But contributing to the process? I guess you could be a technician? Not necessarily high-up one, you need at least a BEng for that, and many have a MEng or a PhD on top of that. But a BEng isn't too long a degree. Computer scientists are also hired in nuclear physics for control and data acquisition system design, but you'll also need a degree for that.

    But a skilled vacuum welder is worth their weight in gold. Ditto electricians, plumbers etc. Someone who can take a CAD drawing and turn it into reality. Best of all, they are transferable skills, so you can work in many sectors.
  6. Nov 7, 2014 #5


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    In what area is one's degree - if not physics?

    To pursue a career, one must have a certain level of proficiency in the particular discipline. In the case of physics, one would normally need a BS/BA in physics, with some specialty in particular areas, e.g., nuclear physics and QM/QP, and related areas.

    Without the appropriate training, why would one think it possible to simply become an apprentice in nuclear physics?
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