Nuclear process engineers are responsible for designing and managing the safe and productive running of nuclear power stations.
The Role
  • Designing and building new nuclear plants and equipment
  • Monitoring and measuring radiation levels
  • Disposing of nuclear waste safely
  • Carrying out maintenance work
  • Making sure that the plant structure complies with legislation
  • Supervising power station technicians
  • Decommissioning any sites which are shut down including dismantling any structures or buildings and making sure that any radioactive material is safely disposed of
  • Handling radioactive material safely
  • Supplying electricity to the UK through nuclear power plants, producing energy for business and domestic use
  • In processing and power station operations, you could work a seven-day shift system, which includes weekends, evenings and nights
  • If you are working in a research and development role you would usually work standard office hours, typically 40 hours a week
  • Newly trained Nuclear Process Engineers can earn in the region of £25,000 to £30,000 per year
  • Trained with experience Nuclear Process Engineers can earn in the region of £30,000 to £60,000
  • Senior Nuclear Process Engineers can earn in excess of £60,000 a year
Salaries typically range depending on location and level of responsibility.
Qualifications & Training
To get into this job you will usually need an HNC/HND, foundation degree or degree in a relevant subject such as chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, maths, physics or electrical engineering. There is also a small number of university courses specific to nuclear engineering and nuclear decommissioning. Some employers also look for postgraduate qualifications. To get onto an engineering or science degree, you will usually need at least five GCSEs grades 9-4 (A-C) or their Scottish and Welsh equivalents, plus three A-levels including maths and a science subject. For some jobs in the nuclear industry you may be required to go through a security vetting process.