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Nuclear engineer Apprenticeships

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Helping you find a career as a Nuclear engineer

The role of a nuclear engineer is to design, build, coordinate or decommission nuclear power stations. They are also required to contribute to the research and development of the various processes and instruments used to generate nuclear energy.


What does a Nuclear engineer do?
On a day-to-day basis, nuclear engineers are typically expected to carry out the following tasks:

  • Write operational instructions on nuclear plant processes for other members of staff to follow

  • Take corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergencies

  • Discuss engineering issues with other departments and outside specialists

  • Use mathematical and computer models, and run pilot projects to try out new ideas

  • Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, and associated instrumentation

  • Plan and implement the decommissioning of plants at the end of their life cycle, including the safe disposal of dangerous radioactive materials

  • Examine nuclear accidents and utilise the data to create plans

  • Monitor nuclear facility operations to identify any design, construction, or operation practices that violate safety regulations and laws

  • Writing reports

  • Project planning

  • Direct operating or maintenance activities of operational nuclear power plants to ensure that they meet safety standards

  • Respond to security concerns regarding the use, transport, storage and disposal of radioactive materials

  • Interpret data and respond to emerging issues to ensure equipment is always working properly

  • Adhere to health and safety procedures and regulations

  • Analyse energy transmission, conversion and storage systems

Skills & interests required for a Nuclear engineer
Nuclear engineers work with incredibly dangerous materials and therefore need to be highly safety conscious, as well as following instructions to the letter. The key skills required for nuclear engineers are both technical (e.g. using computer-assisted design software) and theoretical - nuclear engineers need to understand the physical properties of nuclear materials.
- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Communication
- Data Analysis
- Engineering
- Microsoft Office
- Problem Solving
- Project Engineering
- Research skills
What hours does a Nuclear engineer typically do?
Working hours of a nuclear engineer vary. Engineers working within project management or design, research and development will typically work 9am to 5pm.

Nuclear engineers working in a processing or power station is different because these facilities run on a 24-hour schedule. Therefore, shift work on a seven-day rota, including weekends, evenings and nights may apply.
What environment is a Nuclear engineer based in?
You could be based in an office or at a power station, and you will also spend time visiting construction sites.
How much does a Nuclear engineer travel?
Nuclear engineers are sometimes required to attend conferences or travel abroad to meet with partners or visit sites.
How much does a Nuclear engineer get paid?
Nuclear engineer salaries start on around £15,000 to £20,000 per annum. Apprentices typically start on a similar wage.

Graduate trainee nuclear engineer can be expected to start on a salary between £20,000 and £28,000 per annum.

Experienced nuclear engineers can earn from £30,000 to £65,000+ per annum.
What qualifications does a Nuclear engineer need?
Nuclear engineers generally have a degree in an engineering or science subject. Employers in the nuclear power sector will offer degree apprenticeship schemes designed to secure your degree qualification while working in a supporting capacity.
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