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Career and Education Opportunities for Nuclear Engineers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

For those living in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, there are many career and education opportunities for nuclear engineers. About 2,050 people are currently employed as nuclear engineers in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow 3% to about 2,100 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.

A person working as a nuclear engineer can expect to earn about $47 per hour or $97,890 yearly on average in Pennsylvania and about $46 hourly or $97,080 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering, people working as nuclear engineers in Pennsylvania earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Engineering nationally. People working as nuclear engineers can fill a number of jobs, such as: nuclear power plant engineer, criticality safety engineer, and atomic process engineer.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a nuclear engineer. Given that the most common education level 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.

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 Pittsburgh include:

  • 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

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,562 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus has a less than one year program in Nuclear Engineering which graduated eleven students 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.

LICENSES

Professional Engineer

Licensing agency: Department of State
Address: Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Professional Engineer, Land Surveyors & Geo Board, 124 Pine Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: (717) 783-7049
Website: Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs Professional Engineer, Land Surveyors & Geo Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.