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Antony Chacko
06 Aug 2015 1.2K 2 mins Share

Nuclear Engineer - Career options and courses to study

If you aspire to create energy & contribute to the society in a manner which is helping solve major problems & also derive something worthy, then being a Nuclear Engineer.

06 Aug 2015 1.2K 2 mins Share
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Nuclear Engineer

Career Introduction

If you aspire to create energy & contribute to the society in a manner which is helping solve major problems & also derive something worthy, then being a Nuclear Engineer might be a good career option. They harness the power of an atom to solve difficult issues that humanity is facing. They design power plants that generate power to run homes & businesses without producing any greenhouse gases. As nuclear engineers, you may apply radiation in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, support nuclear energy systems to reduce environmental pollution from fossil fuels, or develop power systems to fuel satellites and deep space probes.

To be a good Nuclear Engineer, one must have the zest to innovate & the patience to give in one’s best to derive at something new.

Work Environment

Nuclear Engineers mostly work in offices, research laboratories, and power plant stations which can either be on land or on nuclear-powered ships and submarines. Working conditions vary on the work profile. Engineers involved in designing work in well –lit offices & often work 40 hrs a week. However, to meet deadlines, they might do overtime. Engineers working in power plants might need to work in a shift pattern in which case they might work on weekends & have offs on weekdays.

As Engineers, they would need to follow special safety measures to prevent themselves & the worksites from radiation poisoning.  Workers are protected by heavy barriers that are successful in sealing the radiations produced by nuclear devices. Due to the safety measure, nuclear fields have an excellent record when it comes to safety.

What to study

To become a Nuclear Engineer, one can first earn a Bachelor’s degree in Sciences, such as physics or engineering. They are many programs in Nuclear Engineering but much study for a Bachelor’s in Mechanical or Chemical Engineering.   One can also do a MSc or MTech or Ph.D in Nuclear Engineering to get some in depth knowledge about the subject & the requirements to become a future Nuclear Engineer.

Many Universities in India & abroad offer courses in Nuclear Engineering. Lancaster University, Sheffield University, Birmingham University in UK are some of them.  In USA, the Ohio State University or the Texas University could be chosen.  The university of Florida, and North Carolina State university offer one post graduate program in Nuclear Engineering as well.

Whatever be your qualification in Nuclear Engineering, the main learning happens on the job itself as each organization has its specific learning program in place when it comes to new engineers hired.

Career Opportunities

Nuclear Engineers are always high in demand.  Utility companies, Government Energy & Defense Agencies, National Laboratories, Nuclear Plant designing firms & many other private organizations employ nuclear engineers. Being a Nuclear Engineers, opportunities would never seem to be less.

Entry Requirements

A master's degree or a doctoral degree is required for many jobs in nuclear engineering. These advanced degrees can be in nuclear engineering or in another branch of engineering. Because nuclear engineering incorporates knowledge from different areas of science and engineering, the field is relatively easy to enter from other fields

Many countries require licensing for engineers who offer their services to the public or whose work may affect life, health, or property. In general, you need a bachelor's degree from an approved college and four years of experience to become licensed. You must also pass a licensing examination. Some nuclear engineers work on projects that are restricted because they are vital to national security. These engineers must obtain security clearance.

To be a good Nuclear Engineer, one should be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail oriented.  Communication abilities are becoming increasingly important as engineers frequently interact with specialists in a wide range of fields outside engineering. To be able to work as part of a team and to communicate well, both orally and in writing is the key to success.

Image Credit: moomsabuy

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