Friday, January 09, 2009

Nuclear Engineer: A Manly (?) Kind of Job

nuclear-engineer It is no secret that energy is the life blood of this country. Energy holds the key to the environment, the economy, and national security. My career in nuclear is more than just a paycheck to me. Every night when I go to sleep, I rest easy knowing I am doing my part.

That comes from Jack Gamble, writing at the Art of Manliness blog. He’s a systems engineer, or more specifically, a control rod drive system manager. He doesn’t say at which plant he works, which raises a concern, but his piece is utterly benign (plus he has his own blog, Babeled, which covers nuclear subjects.) The aim is in the title of the post, So You Want My Job, and Gamble does a good turn describing opportunities in the nuclear industry. And there are a lot of those:

There are opportunities galore in the nuclear industry right now. These days are referred to as “The Nuclear Renaissance” due to the rekindled interest in nuclear as an alternative to fossil fuels (known to us as “Dirt Burners”). There are plans in place to build new nuclear power plants all over the country. Also, it is estimated that as much as 40% of the current nuclear workforce will retire in the next 5-10 years. This of course means there are plenty of jobs in nuclear available (for both blue and white collar workers). [Gamble considers himself blue collar.]

Pays well, too, we hear.

He offers observations obvious to us, but not to everyone:

Usually the first thing people ask me is something like “isn’t that dangerous?” or “aren’t you scared of radiation?” Truth be told, in one year’s time I will receive less radiation working at a nuclear plant than a US Congressmen receives in the US Capitol Building.

Which is true. And how did he get his job?

Believe it or not, I landed this job by applying through Monster.com.

Now, we’re not endorsing Monster.com over any other service, but it suggests that the industry is casting a pretty wide net, which is all to the good.

Read the whole thing. The Art of Manliness blog is actually a lot more interesting than you would first guess – much more Best Life than Maxim in approach – perhaps a bit quirky in its seeming desire to revive a masculine style embodied by Mad Men.

One thing we know for sure: jobs are jobs, and plenty of women do this kind of work.

Jack Gamble himself. Visit his blog and take a look around. He covers a lot of the same topics we do, but from the perspective of a plant worker.

1 comment:

Man Overboard said...

Hey Mark, this is Jack. Thanks for your kind words and the link to Babeled.

I'll address the issue of why I left out where exactly I work.

Anyone close to the industry is well aware that the media in general is hostile towards nuclear(although I see this slowly changing for the better). I am by no means authorized to speak on behalf of my plant or company as we have well paid public relations officers who do that very well.

Therefore I tread very carefully in the blogosphere when I write about nuclear as I must be very careful to not cross that imaginary line that might negatively impact my company or my plant (or career). I offer what limited insight I can and do my best to combat the intervenors and their junk science, but I stop at that.

Thanks again and keep up the good work here!