What does a Nuclear Engineer do?

A nuclear engineer is responsible for monitoring nuclear facility operations to identify any design, construction, or operation practices that violate safety regulations and laws that could jeopardize the safety of operations. They 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. Additionally, nuclear engineers design equipment and create the operating procedures used in nuclear power plants. Nuclear engineers usually work on construction sites of a new nuclear power plant.

A bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering along with demonstrable experience in a nuclear power plant setting is required. Successful nuclear engineers possess excellent oral and written communication skills and have a strong eye for details.

What responsibilities are common for Nuclear Engineer jobs?
  • Supervise the loading of fuel onto a nuclear reactor
  • Oversee technicians who use radiation technology to manufacture products
  • Maintain safe radiation levels
  • Develop new concepts of thermonuclear analysis and new uses of radioactive processes
  • Research new uses for nuclear energy in the industrial or medical field
  • Develop reactor cores, radiation shielding, and related instruments
  • Design and develop nuclear plants that generate power
  • Work on the production, handling, and use of nuclear fuel
What are the typical qualifications for Nuclear Engineer jobs?
  • Detail-oriented and able to solve problems independently
  • Lab and field work during studies highly recommended
  • Ability to operate complex machinery
  • Possess a strong mathematics background
  • Keep up to date with fast-moving developments in science and technology
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Solid understanding of natural sciences
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Relevant work experience
Work/Life Balance
3.2 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

How much does a Nuclear Engineer make?

$93,888 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


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Nuclear Engineer Career Path

Learn how to become a Nuclear Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Nuclear Engineer

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Nuclear Engineer Insights

Read what Nuclear Engineer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
US NavyUS Navy
Nuclear Reactor Operator
Oct 30, 2021

“The Navy offers a ton of great career development opportunities and experience that cannot be gained anywhere else.”

US NavyUS Navy
Nuclear Engineer
Mar 24, 2021

“Good amount of leave and holidays allow for good work/life balance.”

US NavyUS Navy
Nuclear Engineer
Mar 13, 2023

“People to work with are great”

Nuclear Power of IndiaNuclear Power of India
Nuclear Reactor Operator
Apr 22, 2022

“Career progression is very good”

US NavyUS Navy
Nuclear Engineer
Aug 29, 2022

“great people to work with”

Nuclear Engineer
Jan 7, 2021

“pay is great no complaints”

BWX TechnologiesBWX Technologies
Nuclear Engineer
Nov 23, 2020

“long stable employment”

Newport News ShipbuildingNewport News Shipbuilding
Nuclear Engineer II
Apr 3, 2022

“Relatively good salary with (lower base pay) overtime.”

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Nuclear Engineer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Nuclear Engineer

The most similar professions to Nuclear Engineer are:
  • Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Production Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer

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Nuclear Engineer Jobs