Nuclear engineer

Nuclear engineers are responsible for the safe running of nuclear power stations.

Average salary (a year)

£24,000 Starter

to

£70,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a Nuclear engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a graduate training scheme

University

You can do a degree in a subject like:

  • nuclear engineering
  • chemical engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • maths
  • physics
  • electrical engineering

Some employers will expect you to have a relevant postgraduate qualification.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C)
  • 3 A levels including maths and a science subject
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Apprenticeship

You could get into the industry through a nuclear scientist or engineer degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a degree apprenticeship

More information

Other routes

You may be able to start on a graduate training scheme, like Nuclear Graduates, run by nuclear industry employers.

You'll normally need a degree in a science or engineering subject to apply for a place.

More information

Career tips

You may need to relocate for work, as many power stations are in remote areas.

Further information

You can find details about careers in the the nuclear industry through Cogent.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of physics
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • design skills and knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • designing and building new plants and equipment
  • monitoring and measuring radiation levels
  • carrying out maintenance work
  • making sure that the plant structure meets legal requirements
  • being responsible for security and safety
  • supervising power station technicians
  • planning safe methods of nuclear waste disposal

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory, in an office or in a control room.

You may need to wear safety clothing.

Career path and progression

You could move into research, or university teaching. You could also work freelance.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Nuclear Engineering Degree Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £10,500.00 Annually
  • Location: Reading RG7 4PR

Nuclear Degree Apprentice

  • Wage : £19,356.00 Annually
  • Location: Bootle L20 7HS

Courses In England

ECITB L3 Dip in Integrated Nuclear Engineering & Science (16-18)

  • Provider: Bridgwater and Taunton College
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Bridgwater

Level 3 Integrated Diploma in Nuclear Engineering & Science

  • Provider: LAKES COLLEGE WEST CUMBRIA
  • Start date: 31 July 2020
  • Location: WORKINGTON

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