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Career and Education Opportunities for Nuclear Engineers in Durham, North Carolina

Nuclear engineers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Durham, North Carolina area. About 400 people are currently employed as nuclear engineers in North Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 9% to about 440 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for nuclear engineers are expected to grow by about 10.9%. Nuclear engineers generally conduct research on nuclear engineering problems or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and utilization of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

Nuclear engineers earn approximately $44 per hour or $91,600 per year on average in North Carolina. Nationally they average about $46 per hour or $97,080 annually. Nuclear engineers earn more than people working in the category of Engineering generally in North Carolina and more than people in the Engineering category nationally. Nuclear engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: nuclear test reactor program coordinator, nuclear equipment design engineer, and weapons designer.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Durham where you can study to be a nuclear engineer, among twenty-six schools of higher education total in the Durham area. The most common level of education for nuclear engineers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a nuclear engineer if you already have a high school diploma.


Nuclear Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, nuclear engineers conduct research on nuclear engineering problems or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and utilization of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

Nuclear engineers keep abreast of developments and changes in the nuclear field by reading technical journals and by independent study and research. Finally, nuclear engineers monitor nuclear facility operations to pinpoint any layout or operation practices that violate safety regulations and laws or that could jeopardize the safety of operations.

Every day, nuclear engineers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they prioritize information for further consideration.

It is important for nuclear engineers to examine accidents to obtain data that can be used to lay out preventive measures. They are often called upon to write operational instructions to be used in nuclear plant operation and nuclear fuel and waste handling and disposal. They also synthesize analyses of test results, and use the results to ready technical reports of findings and recommendations. They are sometimes expected to layout and develop nuclear equipment such as reactor cores and associated instrumentation and control mechanisms. Somewhat less frequently, nuclear engineers are also expected to initiate corrective actions or order plant shutdowns in emergency situations.

They also have to be able to direct operating and maintenance efforts of operational nuclear power plants to insure efficiency and conformity to safety standards And finally, they sometimes have to synthesize analyses of test results, and use the results to ready technical reports of findings and recommendations.

Like many other jobs, nuclear engineers must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Durham include:

  • Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
  • Agricultural Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.
  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.


North Carolina State University at Raleigh - Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State University at Raleigh, 2101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27695-7001. North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a large university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,871 students and an admission rate of 60%. North Carolina State University at Raleigh has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Nuclear Engineering which graduated five, sixteen, and five students respectively in 2008.


Registered Radiation Protection Technologist: A Radiation Protection Technologist is a person engaged in providing radiation protection to the radiation worker, the general public, and the environment from the effects of ionizing radiation.

For more information, see the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina photo by Specious

Durham is situated in Durham County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 223,284, which has grown by 19.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Durham, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Durham are valued at $187,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,082 new homes were built in Durham, down from 1,574 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Durham are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 41.8% of Durham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Durham is 7.3%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Durham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Laymans Church, Holy Infant Church and Homestead Heights Church are among the churches located in Durham. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Durham is home to the Hope Valley Country Club and the Union Building as well as Durham County Stadium and Northgate Park. Shopping centers in the area include South Square Mall, Lakewood Shopping Center and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Durham can choose from Brownestone Inn, Durham-Days Inn ) and Hilton Durham for temporary stays in the area.