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2020 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.

An Increase in Nuclear & Radiological Technicians Degrees

#302 Most Popular Major
402 Degrees Awarded
1.2% Increase in Graduates

Nuclear & Radiological Technicians was the 302nd most popular major in the 2017-2018 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 402 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 1.2% increase in nuclear tech degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 397.

There are 3 schools offering degrees in nuclear and radiological technicians in the United States. Explore this or one of our many other custom nuclear tech rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Nuclear & Radiological Technicians

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.

Prior Education for a Nuclear Tech Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific nuclear tech careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Nuclear & Radiological Technicians Degree

There are many different nuclear tech degrees levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a master's in nuclear and radiological technicians to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. The time it takes to complete a nuclear tech degree varies depending on the program.

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. People currently working in careers related to nuclear tech tend obtained the following education levels.

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 one to two year certificate. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in nuclear and radiological technicians have received.


This of course varies depending on which nuclear tech career you choose.

Career Opportunities for Nuclear Tech Majors

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 Nuclear Tech Grads Make?

Recently graduated nuclear and radiological technicians students earned an average of $49,500 in 2017-2018. 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.


Highest Paid Nuclear Tech Careers

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 39 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.

Study Areas in Nuclear & Radiological Technicians

Nuclear & Radiological Technicians is one of 4 different types of Science Technologies / Technicians programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Physical Science Technicians 2,922
Other Science Technologies/Technicians 2,313
Biology & Biotech Lab Technician 786
General Science Technologies/Technicians 127

View All Nuclear Tech Related Majors >


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