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Career and Education Opportunities for Nuclear Engineers in Columbia, South Carolina

If you want to be a nuclear engineer, the Columbia, South Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 960 jobs for nuclear engineers in South Carolina and this is projected to grow by 25% to 1,200 jobs by 2016. This is better than 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 $45 hourly or $95,510 yearly on average in South Carolina and about $46 hourly or $97,080 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Nuclear engineers earn more than people working in the category of Engineering generally in South Carolina and more than people in the Engineering category nationally. Nuclear engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: nuclear equipment research engineer, engineer, and generation engineer.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a nuclear engineer. The most common level of education for nuclear engineers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Columbia 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.
  • 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.


University of South Carolina-Columbia - Columbia, SC

University of South Carolina-Columbia, , Columbia, SC 29208. University of South Carolina-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,500 students and an admission rate of 59%. University of South Carolina-Columbia has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Nuclear Engineering which graduated three and one 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: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.