Nuclear engineers are concerned with accessing, using, and controlling the energy released when the nucleus of an atom is split. The process of splitting atoms, called fission, produces a nuclear reaction, which creates radiation in addition to nuclear energy. Nuclear energy and radiation has many uses. Some engineers design, develop, and operate nuclear power plants, which are used to generate electricity and power navy ships. Others specialize in developing nuclear weapons, medical uses for radioactive materials, and disposal faci...
Minimum Education Level
Nuclear engineers earned a median income of $113,460 in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The department also reports that the highest paid 10 percent of nuclear engineers earned more than $179,430, while the lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $71,860 annually. Nuclear engineers working for the federal government had an annual average of $94,610. Findings of a 2020 salary su...
In general, nuclear engineering is a technically demanding and politically volatile field. Those who work daily at power plants perhaps incur the most stress because they are responsible for preventing large-scale accidents involving radiation. Those who work directly with nuclear energy face risks associated with radiation contamination. Engineers handling the disposal of hazardous material al...
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment growth for nuclear engineers is expected to show little or no change through 2028. Most openings will arise as nuclear engineers transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. However, good opportunities for nuclear engineers should still exist because the small number of nuclear engineering graduates is likely to be in balance with...