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How To Start A Career In Nuclear Science

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Nuclear science is the study of radiation and its effects on various materials. It is also the study of the atomic world. 

Nuclear science is critical to understanding our universe and the world. When we understand how atoms connect, interact, and bond better with other atoms, new materials and more efficient drugs can be developed.

What Do Nuclear Scientists Do?

A common career in nuclear science is nuclear engineering. As a nuclear engineer, you would work on nuclear-powered devices that process and use nuclear energy to measure nuclear power benefits and effects. 

Nuclear scientists design nuclear-powered vehicles such as spaceships and focus on developing related technologies such as fusion energy. 

nuclear science

Some of the specific job roles include:

  • Testing the behavior of nuclear fuels 
  • Developing or improving theoretical nuclear models 
  • Refining accident prevention protocols 
  • Monitoring nuclear reactor operations 
  • Designing nuclear facilities 
  • Managing emergencies 
  • Ensuring that a facility complies with safety guidelines 
  • Performing construction project appraisals and budgeting

Careers In Nuclear Science

As a nuclear scientist, you can conduct independent research and publish your results in peer-reviewed scientific journals, you can also present at conferences or write books. 

Being a teacher can also be a career path for nuclear scientists. You will have responsibilities such as teaching, supervising students, and directing academic research projects. Teaching also include developing a curriculum, grading student work, delivering lectures, and conducting class discussions.

nuclear science

Some Other Careers Include

  • Nuclear Technician

Nuclear technicians support other specialists in radiation protection. They also help with research, operate nuclear test equipment, or remotely maneuver radioactive materials.

  • Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear engineers work in laboratories, factories, universities, and government agencies. They often work in teams with other scientists and focus on a variety of projects related to nuclear energy such as developing electricity and energy sources, creating environmental guidelines, and exploring new possibilities in radiology. 

Nuclear engineers often work in nuclear power plants, the aerospace industry, and the military.

  • Medical Physicist

Medical physicists oversee quality control and the safe use of nuclear medicine equipment. They also work on the design of new technologies for use in diagnostics. Medical physicists often help doctors plan radiation treatment for cancer patients.

Educational Requirements

You must have at least a bachelor’s degree in nuclear sciences to qualify for entry-level jobs. A master’s degree will broaden your access to job opportunities, especially in more advanced positions.

Nuclear scientists in training must take the fundamental engineering exams. To be a licensed nuclear scientist, you must have at least a minimum of 4 years of work experience to be qualified to take the professional nuclear engineering exam.

Nuclear scientists can also consider taking some professional nuclear engineering certificates such as the American Board of Science In Nuclear Medicine and Graduate Certificate In Nuclear Security. Several nuclear science schools and universities offer graduate certificates or other certificates in the nuclear sciences field.

nuclear science

Yearly Earning

Nuclear scientists earn an average annual salary of $ 107,600. Nuclear scientists’ employment is expected to increase by 11%.

Careers Related To Nuclear Science

  • Oncology
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Material Science
  • Computer Science
  • Software Development
  • Nuclear Power Plant Operation
  • Nuclear Chemist

University Spotlight: Degree Options In Nuclear Science


If you need further guidance on degree options and career paths in Nuclear Science to study or counselling regarding schools to apply to for your degree, please click here to chat with our counsellors. 


Read Related Article: Chemical Engineering | Top Careers You Can Explore With A Degree In Chemical Engineering

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