Nuclear technicians assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production. They operate special equipment used in these activities and monitor the levels of radiation that are produced.
In nuclear power plants, nuclear technicians typically work in offices and control rooms where they use computers and other equipment to monitor and help operate nuclear reactors. Most nuclear technicians work full-time, variable schedules in the nuclear power industry. Their schedules may include working nights, holidays, and weekends. Nuclear technicians must take safety precautions to avoid exposure to radiation.
Nuclear technicians typically need an associate's degree in nuclear science or a nuclear-related technology. Nuclear technicians also go through extensive on-the-job training.
The median annual wage for nuclear technicians was $80,260 in May 2015.
Employment of nuclear technicians is projected to decline 5 percent from 2014 to 2024. Although technicians will be needed to help maintain and upgrade the existing stock of nuclear power plants, traditional forms of power generation will likely come under increasing pressure from alternative forms of energy.
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