Engineering - Nuclear Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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Does the idea of securing the future safety of the UK's power supply appeal to you? Would you like to have a critical role in developing new medical diagnosis techniques?

Nuclear engineering involves working with atomic particles and a career in this area can be very diverse.

Nuclear engineers often work for the government and could be involved in designing a new nuclear reactor, devising a safe system for storing nuclear waste or studying radioactivity. But nuclear engineering is not just about power stations - graduates interested in a career in this area could also focus on medicine, defence or research.

In medicine, nuclear engineers are concerned with studying the effects of radiation on the human body and developing treatments and diagnosis techniques for a range of illnesses and conditions. Some engineers in this field prefer laboratory-based research and theory and may work for government-sponsored organisations or educational institutions studying atomic particles and radiation.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

A relevant degree in an engineering discipline is vital to get a job in nuclear engineering. Unsurprisingly, those with science qualifications are also popular with employers. Many nuclear engineers will also complete a postgraduate course before going into employment.

The degrees that will allow you to get a graduate mechanical engineering job include:
  • Nuclear engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Electrical engineering
Nuclear engineering is the area of engineering concerned with the breakdown and fusion of atomic nuclei, based on the principles of nuclear physics. A nuclear engineering course will ensure students are equipped to enter the nuclear industry, with sufficient training in everything from the build and design of nuclear power plants to safely decommissioning and disposing of nuclear waste.

Students on a nuclear engineering programme can expect to take core modules in nuclear chemical engineering, reactor physics and nuclear safety management.

What skills do I need?TOP ^

Nuclear engineers need to be excellent problem solvers, calm under pressure and be excellent planners.

As you will be involved in the safety and running of nuclear power stations, you will need to be aware of health and safety issues and be up to date with procedures.

Some skills that would be useful for a graduate nuclear engineering role include:
What graduate nuclear engineering jobs can I do?

Nuclear engineers will always be in demand as we look at ways to develop new energy sources. Graduates from nuclear engineering programmes typically go straight into the nuclear industry working as technicians and industry professionals.

Your first job after your course will probably be one of team working on a specific engineering project. The more you progress through the career, the more you will be able to pick your own projects and head your teams.

Going into academia and taking a PhD or further study is also a popular route.

Some jobs include:
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Chemical engineer
  • Production manager
  • Quality manager
  • Analytical chemist
Average nuclear engineering salaries

Nuclear engineering graduates often start with salaries of around £20,000, which can rapidly progress to more than £50,000 with experience.
  • Nuclear engineer: £20,000 - £50,000
  • Aeronautical engineer: £20,000 - £65,000
  • Drilling agent: £30,000 - £100,000
  • Mechanical engineer: £20,000 - £55,000
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