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Nuclear Engineers

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Service Branches

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Work Environment

Nuclear engineers work in offices, research laboratories, and power plant control centers, either on land or aboard nuclear-powered ships and submarines.

  • Military Status


  • Average Military Salary



Nuclear engineers direct research and development to capitalize on the energy released in nuclear reactions. In the Military, these engineers oversee projects that apply nuclear technology to weapons systems as well as nuclear power plants. They are responsible for maintaining the security of nuclear weapons, and the safety of all personnel that work with nuclear materials.

Military Training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Nuclear engineers in the Military are given many opportunities to build upon the skills and education they bring with them to the job. Job training for nuclear engineers primarily consists of classroom instruction and on-the-job learning in various training environments. Like other officers, they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities, military structure and etiquette, traditions, and leadership development. Depending on their specialty, job-specific training content may include:

  • Advanced mathematics such as differential equations
  • Nuclear propulsion
  • Thermodynamics
  • Reactor dynamics
  • Systems and components of a nuclear propulsion plant
  • Associate systems of full-scale nuclear plants

Helpful Attributes

  • Interest in concepts and principles of engineering
  • Interest in planning and directing complex research projects
  • Interest in scientific and technical work
  • Interest in working with mathematical formulas

Related Civilian Careers

  • Materials Engineers
  • Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
  • Nuclear Engineers
  • Natural Sciences Managers