Nuclear Engineers

Bookmark Print History Journal


    • Please sign in to view journal entries

Your Employment History in this Occupation

Please sign in to view Employment History

Please fill out the fields below to e-mail someone a link to this page

Please sign in to bookmark occupations

About the Job

Conduct research on nuclear engineering projects or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

It is also Called

  • Weapons Engineer
  • Weapons Designer
  • System Engineer
  • Scientist
  • Resident Inspector
  • Regulatory Coordinator
  • Radiological Engineer
  • Radiological Defense Officer
  • Radioactive Materials Waste Management Engineer
  • Radiation Protection Engineer
View All

What They Do

  • Keep abreast of developments and changes in the nuclear field by reading technical journals or by independent study and research.
  • Discuss construction project proposals with interested parties, such as vendors, contractors, or nuclear facility review boards.
  • Perform experiments that will provide information about acceptable methods of nuclear material usage, nuclear fuel reclamation, or waste disposal.
  • Consult with other scientists to determine parameters of experimentation or suitability of analytical models.
  • Design fuel cycle models or processes to reduce the quantity of radioactive waste generated from nuclear activities.
  • Design or direct nuclear research projects to test or modify theoretical models, develop new theoretical models, or discover new uses for current models.
  • Design or oversee construction or operation of nuclear reactors or power plants or nuclear fuels reprocessing and reclamation systems.
  • Conduct tests of nuclear fuel behavior and cycles or performance of nuclear machinery and equipment to optimize performance of existing plants.
  • Develop or contribute to the development of plans to remediate or restore environments affected by nuclear radiation, such as waste disposal sites.
  • Prepare technical reports of findings or recommendations, based on synthesized analyses of test results.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Recognition and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.


In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $101,190 with most people making between $62,420 and $140,340


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,720 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,710 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 50 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education