Nuclear Engineers

Military Career

General Information

Description

Nuclear engineers direct research and development to capitalize on the energy released in nuclear reactions. In the Military, these engineers oversee projects that apply nuclear technology to weapons systems as well as nuclear power plants. They are responsible for maintaining the security of nuclear weapons, and the safety of all personnel that work with nuclear materials.  

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Work Environment

Nuclear engineers work in offices, research laboratories, and power plant control centers, either on land or aboard nuclear-powered ships and submarines.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Comparable Industries

  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
  • Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)
  • Scientific Research and Development Services
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Military Outlook

Service Branches

Jobs in this career field may be available in other service branches. Call or email a particular branch for more info.

  • Army
  • Marine Corps
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard

Military Status

  • Enlisted
    • Hands-on/specialized
    • High school diploma required
  • Officer
    • Managerial/professional
    • College degree required

Military Workforce

Nuclear Engineers in the Military

1,047

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Salary

Average Salary

$120,225

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Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Bachelor's degree 85%
  • Master's degree 7%
  • Post baccalaureate 3%
  • Post-secondary certificate 3%
  • High school 0%
  • Some college 0%
  • Doctoral degree 0%
  • Associate's degree 0%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%

Military training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Nuclear engineers in the Military are given many opportunities to build upon the skills and education they bring with them to the job. Job training for nuclear engineers primarily consists of classroom instruction and on-the-job learning in various training environments. Like other officers, they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities, military structure and etiquette, traditions, and leadership development. Depending on their specialty, job-specific training content may include: Advanced mathematics such as differential equationsNuclear propulsionThermodynamicsReactor dynamicsSystems and components of a nuclear propulsion plantAssociate systems of full-scale nuclear plants

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Knowledge

  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Design
  • Chemistry

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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