Skip to main content

Nuclear Jobs and Salaries


Notice anything about the green bars in the graphic at right?  What caught our eye was the huge bar for "Nuclear power tech" in Texas.  So what's the story?  Is everything bigger in Texas?

The graphic appeared in the Wall Street Journal on June 24 in an article on the value of two-year and four-year college degrees.  Authors Mark Peters and Douglas Belkin cited recent studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the American Institutes for Research.  The green bar that caught our eye is based on data presented in the AIR report.  It shows the first-year earnings of graduates of Associate's degree programs in nuclear technology in Texas as averaging more than $98,000. 

The report is not clear about the specific jobs tied to the reported first-year earnings by nuclear technology graduates in Texas.  (There are two nuclear power plants in Texas: Comanche Peak in Glen Rose, and South Texas Project in Bay City, offering thousands of well paying jobs.)  The report also does not indicate how many graduates' salary reports are included in the average of $98,000. Our data on salaries for entry-level technical positions in the nuclear power industry nationwide, taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, show figures that were somewhat lower than that for most positions in 2012.  Thus, one should take the AIR figures with the same proviso that comes with mileage stickers on new cars, "Your individual experience may vary."  That said, the report is a useful reminder that jobs in the nuclear field pay well, and in many locations and disciplines, very well, indeed.

(For more information on jobs in the nuclear profession see our blog posts from June 11, 2014 and March 27, 2012 and the Careers & Education section of our website.)

Comments

S.A. Kiteman said…
Please note that the "bachelor's" earnings is for ALL the states bachelors. This would include bachelors of basket-weaving, Slobovian lit-ra-chur, and left handed sign language.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…