Energy Nuclear Technician
Salary Range Jobs Available
$62,800 - $120,800 500+

What Does a Nuclear Technician Do?

If you’re interested in science and technology, consider becoming a nuclear technician. These specialized technicians, also called nuclear mechanics or nuclear techs, work in nuclear energy production or nuclear research.

Technicians ensure nuclear reactors and other equipment are operated safely and efficiently. They monitor the levels of radiation produced. They also repair and maintain equipment used at the facility. 

Other duties depend on the kind of facility where a technician works. At nuclear power plants, for example, technicians monitor nuclear waste storage and disposal. There are also specific types of nuclear technicians. 

Operating technicians work at nuclear power plants where they monitor reactors and system performance. They also measure radiation levels in water. 

Radiation protection technicians are more focused on radiation contamination and keeping people in and around a nuclear facility safe. They use specialized equipment, such as Geiger counters and dosimeters, to continuously measure radiation levels. They also create decontamination plans to respond to a leak.  

Some nuclear technicians work in labs. They help engineers and scientists conduct research. That could mean nuclear medicine, developing new types of reactors and fuel or even working with particle accelerators. 

Sound interesting? Keep on reading to learn more. 

A nuclear technician monitors screens in the control room.
The U.S. produces about one-fifth of its electricity from nuclear power. (Credit: DANAI KHAMPIRANON/Shutterstock)

Responsibilities

  • Monitor the performance of nuclear reactors and other equipment 
  • Operate and maintain radiation monitoring equipment and measure radiation levels
  • Test for radioactive contamination
  • Collect and test samples of air, water and soil 
  • Follow all safety procedures, including wearing special gear such as hardhats and protective suits
  • Instruct other personnel on radiation safety

How To Become A Nuclear Technician: FAQs

The bottom line:

Not everyone can make it in this career, but if you love science and technology, it could be a good fit. You’ll work with nuclear engineers, physicists and other scientists to either produce a vital energy source or to work on important research.

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