Nuclear technician

Alternative titles for this job include Nuclear operating technician, radiation protection technician

Nuclear technicians maintain equipment and monitor radiation levels in nuclear power stations.

Average salary (a year)

£23,000 Starter


£38,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 week

You could work

days / nights / weekends on shifts

How to become a nuclear technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship


You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • nuclear engineering
  • electrical or electronic engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • physics

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You can do a college course to learn some of the skills you'll need to get into this job. Courses include:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering
  • Level 3 Diploma in Integrated Nuclear Engineering and Science
  • Level 3 Diploma in Maintenance Engineering Technology
  • Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Nuclear Engineering

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and science
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More information


You can do a nuclear technician higher apprenticeship.

You can also start a maintenance and operations engineering advanced apprenticeship, then get further training on the job to work in nuclear facilities.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent qualifications, for a higher or a degree apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including maths, English, science, design and technology, or equivalent qualifications, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

More information

Career tips

You can find employers on the Nuclear Industry Association jobs map.

Further information

You can learn more about working as a nuclear technician from Nuclear Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • knowledge of physics
  • observation and recording skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

You'll usually need a driving licence to get to work outside of public transport hours.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • carrying out planned maintenance work
  • finding faults and fixing them
  • installing new equipment and systems
  • monitoring radiation levels in and around the power plant
  • running regular inspections and safety checks
  • working with staff on emergency procedures
  • removing equipment from power stations that have shut down
  • decontaminating machinery

Working environment

You could work in a power plant, at a research facility or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be physically active and humid.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You could become a maintenance shift supervisor, radiation safety adviser or nuclear engineer.

You could also use your skills to move into other engineering or power industries, or work in hospitals, maintaining radiotherapy and medical imaging equipment.

Current opportunities

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