Nuclear Technicians

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Also known as:
Nuclear Monitoring Technician, Nuclear Technician, Radiation Protection Technician, Radiochemical Technician

Video transcript

Nuclear technology is a new field, but it already has a wide range of applications, so nuclear technicians work in a variety of places - for the military, the government, public utilities, private companies, universities, and hospitals. Some have 4-year science and math degrees. Others have two years of specialized training, earning an associate's degree in applied science.

On the job, nuclear technicians operate nuclear test and research equipment, monitor radiation, or assist nuclear engineers and physicists in research. They might operate remote control equipment to manipulate radioactive materials or materials to be exposed to radioactivity.

Safety procedures must be carefully followed to ensure the risk of exposure to radiation stays low. Often, nuclear processes require round-the-clock attendants, so night and weekend work is common. But the workplace is, by necessity, clean and orderly, and the work itself can be very important to individuals, communities, even nations.


Assist nuclear physicists, nuclear engineers, or other scientists in laboratory, power generation, or electricity production activities. May operate, maintain, or provide quality control for nuclear testing and research equipment. May monitor radiation.

Daily tasks

Modify, devise, or maintain nuclear equipment used in operations.

Test plant equipment to ensure it is operating properly.

Follow nuclear equipment operational policies and procedures that ensure environmental safety.

Apply safety tags to equipment needing maintenance.

Conduct surveillance testing to determine safety of nuclear equipment.

Follow policies and procedures for radiation workers to ensure personnel safety.

Monitor nuclear reactor equipment performance to identify operational inefficiencies, hazards, or needs for maintenance or repair.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.