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
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%|
|Some College Courses||8.6%|
The education level required is different depending on the nuclear tech career you are seeking.
Nuclear Tech 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.
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 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|
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.
Top Ranking Lists for Nuclear & Radiological Technicians
Nuclear & Radiological Technicians Related Majors
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|
More about our data sources and methodologies.
Southern New Hampshire University
You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs ... Learn More >
Building on Purdue’s mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that’s tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from the prestigious Purdue University system—completely online ... Learn More >
Grand Canyon University (GCU)
With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments ... Learn More >
Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences ... Learn More >
Colorado Technical University (CTU)
CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, aculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology ... Learn More >