Major Overview

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.

Required Skills

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.

Careers

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. This field is growing at an average rate, giving recent graduates good job prospects. The increased demand for nuclear power is also creating more jobs.

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Yearly Graduations
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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Nuclear & Radiological Technicians might open up.

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
Nuclear Technicians
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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