A nuclear engineer is a person who studies atomic particles. Nuclear engineers apply the principles and theories of nuclear science to solve the problems of nuclear energy release and waste disposal.
Nuclear engineers are responsible for the following;
- Design and supervise the construction and operation of nuclear reactors, power plants, nuclear fuels, and development systems
- Guide the research on the performance of nuclear fuels, machinery, and equipment.
- They optimize the performance of existing plants.
- They function to design and develop nuclear equipment and related control machine
- Nuclear engineers design and direct nuclear research to discover facts, test or modify theoretical models.
- They establish new theoretical models and discover new uses of existing theoretical models.
- Investigate accidents to obtain information and design preventive measures.
- Describe the reaction equation during nuclear fuel fission, and develop research models based on equations.
In addition, nuclear engineers can also deal with nuclear fission, such as reactor power, nuclear fusion in experimental engineering, radioactive materials, weapons, and nuclear fuel. In medicine, these engineers study the effects of radiation on the human body and develop radiological tools for the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. Nuclear engineers are also responsible for handling issues such as the safe disposal of radioactive materials, the disposal of spent fuel and other radioactive products.
To become a nuclear engineer, you usually have to get a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering and also pursue a master’s degree program. In some cases, some people can work as technicians in nuclear reactors. For example, nuclear reactors found in power plants only have a bachelor’s degree, but those interested in innovative nuclear technology should at least plan to obtain a master’s degree. Most universities and colleges offer a five or six year’s program leading to a master’s degree. Also, creates room for acquiring exquisite experience in fieldwork.
Entry-level positions in nuclear engineering do not require a license. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a license that allows for outstanding levels of administration and independence can be obtained. In addition, the state licensure requires:
- A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
- A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
- Relevant work experience typically at least four years
- A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam.
The average yearly salary of a nuclear engineer in the United States is $116,140. However, the salary ranges from $74,800 to $185,550. This varies depending on your choice of the industry as well as work schedule. Some engineers may work over 40hours per week. In addition, salary grades in this area vary greatly, depending on the type of work and training that nuclear engineers have received.
The working conditions for this position usually include long hours of work in a laboratory environment and teamwork to solve complex problems; Generally speaking, most people enter this field out of genuine interest, not to make money.
Work Environment and Employment
In many cases, nuclear engineers work for the government, develop defense systems, also help deal with nuclear waste, and research radioactivity. Others work exclusively in the defense industry or for companies that create new medical equipment and utilities. In countries that use nuclear energy, nuclear engineers help ensure that nuclear energy is safe, clean, and effective for citizens. A small number of people are engaged in research work in multiple companies in the private sector.
Some nuclear engineers prefer theoretical work in the field of nuclear physics. This branch of physics studies the activities of atoms at different levels in a controlled laboratory environment, where people can observe and experiment with atomic particles. Many nuclear physicists work in educational institutions, engage in graduate work, and collaborate with rising stars in the field. Some people also work for government-funded research centers. Aiming to learn more about radiation and its uses for valuable purposes. It is, however, worthy of note that the working environment is dangerous.
The nuclear profession is a rapidly developing profession. To ensure that one’s professional ability can be consistent with the development of the industry, continuing education is vital for engineers, especially for scientific research and teaching-related professions.
- Master the professional knowledge in nuclear, engineering, physics, mathematics, etc.
- Independent research ability
- Excellent logical induction
- Excellent reasoning ability
- Strong mathematical analysis ability
- Sense of responsibility and positive working attitude.