Powerful Career Paths in the Nuclear Industry

Did you know the U.S. nuclear energy industry supports approximately 100,000 quality, high-paying American jobs?

And, did you know the majority of workers employed by the nuclear energy industry are non-nuclear engineers?

There are job opportunities across the country for folks with high school diplomas to those with doctorates. Nuclear utilities and other nuclear companies employ all types of workers to support their operations – from computer engineers and plant operators to pipefitters and accountants.

Types of Careers in the Nuclear Energy Industry

Engineers Specialists Technicians and Skilled Trades Workers
Civil/structural Accountants Carpenters
Electrical Analysts Construction trades and related workers
Materials Business management experts Electricians
Mechanical Chemists Engineering technicians
Nuclear Document control experts Heavy equipment operators
Computer Health physicists Machinists
Instrumentation and control Information technology experts Maintenance technicians
Fire protection Occupational safety, including radiation safety experts Millwrights
Systems Plant operators (licensed and non-licensed) Pipefitters
Project management Statistics/probabilistic risk assessment experts Science technicians
  Training specialists Security officers
  Communication specialists Welders

Of the 100,000 currently employed in the industry, it is expected as many as 20,000 new, highly skilled workers will be needed in the next five years to operate and maintain existing reactors. Several factors are driving this need, including:

  • New nuclear plants (one reactor creates up to 3,500 jobs at peak construction, and a new nuclear facility creates about 500 permanent jobs per 1,000 megawatts of electricity generating capacity – compared to 50 for a wind farm and 50 for a natural gas plant)

  • License renewal (73 of the nation’s 100 nuclear reactors have renewed their operating licenses and will continue producing electricity for decades)

  • Retirements among existing workforce (about half of the industry’s workforce will be eligible to retire over the next 10 years)


To meet this need, recruiting the next generation of workers is a major focus for the U.S. nuclear energy industry. Through the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program, the industry partners with more than 30 community colleges to recruit and train students in a standardized way for employment at nuclear facilities. The industry also focuses recruitment on students from universities, labor apprenticeships and U.S. military personnel – especially graduates of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program – to fill specialized positions.

For more information on careers in the nuclear energy industry, refer to the following links:

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