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Other Thinking about my future job prospects in Nuclear Engineering (not a US citizen)

  1. Jun 24, 2017 #1
    I've mentioned my admission to MS Nuclear Engineering in the University of Florida earlier.

    Thing is I am a foreigner. What with all the security most countries have surrounding nuclear technology, would I be limiting myself in the number of parties I can work with? I am aware I have other career options but I am asking strictly about options in engineering.

    I did speak of taking instrumentation and control specialization possibly, earlier, which from the general definition of it would seem to open up more fields than nuclear. But then again, my degree would say I did an MS in Nuclear Engineering and not something like mechanical or electrical.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2017 #2


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    @Astronuc can probably tell you more about the US. Can be challenging as foreigner.

    Are you from a country that has nuclear research labs or reactors? Would that be an option?
  4. Jun 24, 2017 #3


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    Also, would you consider becoming a US citizen? I'm not sure if that would help, though. Again, @Astronuc will know the best.
  5. Jun 25, 2017 #4
    Well yes. But I don't know about my chances. Lots of corruption in India. So it won't necessarily be the better qualified individual employed but more likely the person who knows how to pull the right strings from the right people and not necessarily with any legitimacy/legality.

    Supposing I do land a job somehow, it would probably involve more dirty politics than actual engineering.

    I didn't realize they just passed out citizenship just like that. Though, I would have complete clearance even for government contracts with full fledged citizenship and anything short of that would make it quite difficult. Definitely no clearance for government jobs in that case.

    At least that is what I gathered when asking elsewhere.

    Say are there any particular times for @Astronuc?
  6. Jun 25, 2017 #5
    Your chances of a citizenship are better the more 'sought after' your skill set/education is.
  7. Jun 25, 2017 #6
    And it probably means more than just having a bachelor's/master's/doctor's in a particular field like being extraordinary as in part of some elite group or accomplished quite a bit, right? Or if nothing else, somebody with a lot of money to invest and improve the local market?
  8. Jun 25, 2017 #7


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    Only 2% of the US have a PhD. There are other ways to be highly educated, but with a PhD in an interesting field you are already in a very small group of highly educated experts.
    It is possible to "buy" your way to a US citizenship, but that is something like a million of dollars you have to invest in the US as far as I remember.
  9. Jun 25, 2017 #8
    Is my field interesting?

    Anyway from what I found out in a discussion elsewhere, something like the EB-1 visa gives an idea of what expertise based individuals are required to have: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EB-1_visa

    The gist of it that I get is that you have to be someone of national/international acclaim at whatever it is you do. I am not or I would have published something that would have probably had people on these or other science forums abuzz.

    Anyway, Any ideas on how I would use a P.hD to make an opening in the US? Or for that matter anywhere with good facilities, funding and willing to accept foreigners?

    Though I have to note that I was fantasizing about pursuing it at an ivy league or something noted to be of the same/similar class like ETH Zurich hopefully by good performance during my MS (BS time wasn't that good so I kept limited choices). Just an FYI, in case it would cause a hiccup and/or you want to tell me to let it go.
  10. Jun 26, 2017 #9
    If you want to work in commercial nuclear power in the US, being a non-citizen is a non-issue. I have known many "foreigners" from many different countries working in and for the nuclear plants.

    If you want to work for DoE at one of the weapons facilities, that may be a different story, but I have no direct knowledge on that.
  11. Jun 26, 2017 #10
    I know the issue with government facilities that go under weapons from posting elsewhere as well. Foreigners don't have something called a 'Q' clearance in working for the DoE and apparently an attempt at anything higher up in NASA or working for the SpaceX program can only be fulfilled by full fledged US citizens or maybe foreigners whose expertise would be indispensable.

    In the case of commercial nuclear power, a guy from one of the other places said that with the closing down of some power plants, there is an excess of experienced US born nuclear scientists. How much truth do you reckon there is to that?

    Also, just addressing the discussion in general. I don't necessarily fear not having the opportunity to work in the US or in the nuclear industry. What I am afraid of is not having any genuine engineering opportunities or ending up having to work with/for a party/company/country noted to be particularly toxic/corrupt.
  12. Jun 28, 2017 #11
    That has some truth to it, but there are also alot of people who have been in the industry since the 1970s and 1980s who are retiring now, making room for new hires. The only way to be sure, is to start looking to see which plant owners are hiring. Also check the reactor/fuel vendors, and engineering services companies that do work for the plants.
  13. Jun 28, 2017 #12
    Thanks. Will do.
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