Nuclear Engineer

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Nuclear engineers develop and apply nuclear energy for a variety of purposes, including power generation and defence.

Nuclear engineers encompass all disciplines of engineering including civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical and industrial, as well as specialist areas, such as nuclear safety case, health/radiation physics, shielding, reactor physics and waste engineering.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

The starting salary for nuclear engineers at graduate entry is usually around £25,000 to £28,000 a year. With experience this can rise to £30,000 to £50,000 a year. More senior engineers can earn from £65,000 a year.

Graduates in the 'nucleargraduates' scheme earn £26,000 per year in year one, rising to £27,000 in year two. They also receive a £1,000 'Golden Hello' bonus.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Jobs in nuclear engineering are relatively small in number. They are advertised in the national press, on the internet and through specialist agencies such as nuclearsector jobs. Short term contracts are quite common and some nuclear engineers work on a freelance basis.

What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be able to:


Getting On

More Information

The Engineering Council sets and maintains the standards of the engineering profession in the UK.

The Tomorrow’s Engineers website has more information on careers in engineering.

According to the Nuclear Institute website, it is forecast that an additional 110,000 workers are needed by 2021 to meet industry demands.

nucleargraduates is a scheme designed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and involves a number of sponsors and partners. It aims to meet to workforce needs of the nuclear industry by employing and training graduates. See the nucleargraduates website for details.


Courtesy of EDF


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Tel: 01925 515200
Twitter: @cogent_skills

Cogent is the Sector Skills Council for the science industries.

Engineering Council
Tel: 020 3206 0500
Twitter: @EngCouncil

Twitter: @_EngineeringUK

Enginuity (formerly SEMTA)
Tel: 0845 643 9001
Twitter: @Enginuity_Org

Nuclear Institute
Tel: 020 7816 2600
Twitter: @NuclearInst

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