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2021 Nuclear & Radiological Technicians Degree Guide

Recently, there has been an increased demand for renewable energy including nuclear energy. While this energy is beneficial, the radioactivity given off is deadly in high concentrations. By majoring in Nuclear and Radiological Technicians, you will be able to monitor and detect this radiation to ensure conditions are kept safe in and around nuclear plants.

Along with monitoring levels of radiation produced in nuclear reactions by testing soil, water, and air, Nuclear and Radiological Technicians also work in labs to ensure scientists are not overexposed to radiation. This is important because while nuclear energy will allow us to perform daily tasks, radiation is known for its extremely dangerous side effects. Students take classes in nuclear energy, radiation, mathematics, and measurement and safety courses to help maintain the safety of employees and scientists.

Nuclear and Radiological Technicians usually only need to obtain an Associate's degree to begin working in this field, but some colleges do offer this program as a Bachelor's degree. A Bachelor's may lead to jobs with better pay and more responsibility, while those with more work experience may only require an Associate's degree.

Nuclear & Radiological Technicians Degrees Decreasing

#315 Most Popular Major
184 Degrees Awarded
-10.9% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, nuclear and radiological technicians was the 315th most popular major nationwide with 184 degrees awarded. This represents a 10.9% reduction in nuclear tech degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -204.

The United States has 15 different schools where you can get a degree in nuclear and radiological technicians. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of nuclear tech programs later in this article.

Nuclear & Radiological Technicians Degree Requirements

Since radiation can be dangerous, especially in large amounts, Nuclear and Radiological Technicians professionals must be observant. It is important to ensure all monitors are working properly to keep employees and the general public safe. Math skills are also important when calculating nuclear reaction rates and radiation exposure. Critical thinking skills help professionals evaluate information from the monitoring systems to decide if an area may potentially be unsafe.

Nuclear power plants require 24 hour monitoring, meaning radiological technicians often have to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Those who work in a lab often have more typical work hours.

Nuclear and Radiological Technicians usually only need to obtain an associate's degree to begin working in this field, but some colleges do offer this program as a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree may lead to better pay and more responsibility, while those with more work experience may only require an Associate's degree.

Getting Accepted Into a Nuclear & Radiological Technicians Program

nuclear and radiological technicians degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic nuclear and radiological technicians program qualifications, to serve in some nuclear tech careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Nuclear & Radiological Technicians Degree Types

Nuclear Tech degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in nuclear and radiological technicians to something that takes less time like a . Different nuclear and radiological technicians degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A high school diploma or equivalent is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to nuclear tech, with approximately 35.9% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for nuclear tech workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma 35.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 26.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate 16.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 12.9%
Some College Courses 8.6%

64.1% of nuclear tech workers have at least a award taking less than 1 year. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in nuclear and radiological technicians have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the nuclear tech career you are seeking.

Nuclear Tech Careers

Below Average Number of Jobs
$49.5k Average Starting Salary
-5% Decline Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates with a degree in Nuclear and Radiological Technicians often work for nuclear power plants or other companies that are involved with nuclear energy. Radiation is a constant threat anywhere nuclear energy is used, making these technicians valuable assets to companies.

Modest Decline Projected for Nuclear Tech Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your nuclear tech degree?

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to nuclear and radiological technicians.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Nuclear Technicians 6,900 0.0%
Nuclear Power Reactor Operators 6,300 -10.0%

How Much Money Do People With a Nuclear Tech Degree Make?

Nuclear & Radiological Technicians graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $49,500 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $44,800 to as high as $54,200. As you might expect, salaries for nuclear tech graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Nuclear Tech Majors

Salaries for nuclear and radiological technicians graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers nuclear tech grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Nuclear Power Reactor Operators $95,310
Nuclear Technicians $79,970

Getting Your Nuclear & Radiological Technicians Degree

With over 23 different nuclear tech degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased nuclear tech school rankings to help you with this.

One of 4 majors within the Science Technologies / Technicians area of study, Nuclear & Radiological Technicians has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Nuclear Tech

Related Major Annual Graduates
Other Science Technologies/Technicians 1,954
Physical Science Technicians 1,524
Biology & Biotech Lab Technician 378
General Science Technologies/Technicians 170

View All Nuclear Tech Related Majors >


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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