When most people talk about the career they want to have, you expect to hear doctor, teacher, lawyer, or business owner. But maybe you don’t want to go with the typical flow and decide to do something different. Perhaps you’ve come to the realization that you want to be a nuclear engineer. This career is one that’s not commonly talked about, but it’s certainly one of the more unique jobs available. Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a nuclear engineer.
What is a Nuclear Engineer?
A nuclear engineer is someone who researches and develops various ways to that nuclear energy can be utilized. The role is quite diverse. Alongside finding new ways to use this type of energy, they also do the following:
- Collect data pertaining to potential mishaps to make it easier to avoid them
- Oversee the design and development of various equipment, like radiation shielding
- Perform tests to know if using the nuclear energy is applicable
- Ensure all the equipment and instruments are maintained
- Training new recruits and showing them how to use the equipment properly
As a nuclear engineer, you’ll mainly work in office settings. But your work environment depends on where you’re placed in the field. Some engineers may be deployed into a power plant while others are situated in a laboratory.
The Education Requirements
Joining this profession isn’t as simple as becoming a mechanic or HVAC technician. The education requirements are strict, and for good reason. Nuclear energy can have devastating results if it’s not handled properly. You really need to be at the top of your game. Luckily, your program is designed to ensure just that. You need to have a good understanding of physics, math, calculus and chemistry. Once you’ve completed high school, you must then earn a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering. Your credentials should come from the ABET. ABET is short for Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology.
If you want to aim for a high-ranking position, you can acquire a master’s or PhD in the field. Though this degree is expensive, there are plenty of ways to get help with the related costs. You can use a free scholarship search and application platform to gain access to personalized matching and thousands of scholarships and grants. You’ll also be able to build your own profile, which will help when you’re trying to get hired.
Get Your License
Much like becoming a real estate investor or nurse, there are licensing requirements for this sector. Once your education is complete, your next step before getting hired involves getting your state license. This is a requirement most states have, but the logistics will depend on where you live. You’ll have to check your state’s requirements before applying. This license will certify you as a PE, or professional engineer. If you currently have a bachelor’s degree, you have to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. It costs around $200 and takes hours to complete. We recommend studying and refreshing your knowledge before taking it.