Nuclear Engineers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, Overview

Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear Engineers conduct research on nuclear engineering projects or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

Becoming One
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

Job description

Nuclear Engineers conduct research on nuclear engineering projects or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

  • Initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.
  • Monitor nuclear facility operations to identify any design, construction, or operation practices that violate safety regulations and laws or that could jeopardize the safety of operations.
  • Design or develop nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores, radiation shielding, or associated instrumentation or control mechanisms.
  • Examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to design preventive measures.
Read more about what does a Nuclear Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$110790 per year

Average hourly wage
$53 per hour

Nuclear Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $68560 and $85840 while the more experienced ones can earn over $129000 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
MD $66 $137,930
NM $66 $136,310
CA $64 $132,180
ID $62 $128,270
TN $61 $126,300

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Nuclear Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like MD. Right now, the highest paying states for Nuclear Engineers are MD, NM, CA, ID and TN.

However, a higher pay at MD doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at MD might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Nuclear Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

We asked other Nuclear Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Nuclear Engineering
Read more about how to become a Nuclear Engineer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Nuclear Engineer.

Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
One of the highest paid careers in the world
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

67% of Nuclear Engineers said they were satisfied with their job and 67% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Learn more about Nuclear Engineers

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