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

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for nuclear engineers in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. There are currently 400 working nuclear engineers in North Carolina; this should grow by 9% to 440 working nuclear engineers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for nuclear engineers, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.9% over the next eight years. 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.

Income for nuclear engineers is about $44 hourly or $91,600 yearly on average in North Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $46 hourly or $97,080 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering, people working as nuclear engineers in North Carolina earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Engineering nationally. Jobs in this field include: radiation engineer, nuclear criticality safety engineer, and responsible system engineer.

The Raleigh area is home to twenty-nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Raleigh where you can get a degree as a nuclear engineer. Nuclear engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a nuclear engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Nuclear Engineer

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 Raleigh 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Nuclear Engineer Training

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.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina photo by Jmturner

Raleigh is located in Wake County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 392,552, which has grown by 42.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Raleigh, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Raleigh are valued at $217,600 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, 1,685 new homes were built in Raleigh, down from 3,224 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Raleigh are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 44.9% of Raleigh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Raleigh is 7.2%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Raleigh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Highland Church, Hillcrest Church and Wake Chapel are all churches located in Raleigh. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Raleigh is home to the North Ridge Country Club and the Pamlico Junction as well as Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest and Rothgeb Park. Visitors to Raleigh can choose from Hampton Inn - Capital Blvd. North, Best Western Raleigh Inn and Diamond Hospitality Inc for temporary stays in the area.