Are you qualified to be a nuclear reactor operator (civilian) if you are a Navy "Nuke" electronics technician?

I'm interested in joining the Navy and becoming a nuclear-trained Electronics Technician (ET). You know, operating the reactor on an aircraft carrier. For my actual career, I want to be a nuclear reactor operator, so you can see how the two coincide.

My question: If I do end up becoming a Navy Nuke ET, will I be qualified as a civilian nuclear reactor operator (at a nuclear power plant) WITHOUT any further college education?

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I suggest you go take a look on and you will see for yourself that there are plenty of people making in excess of $100K in operations without a degree and also that there are plenty of jobs. You have to wonder about the motivation of people with a sour grapes attitude who are one here all day, every day doing nothing but answer Yahoo questions and all they do with their time is answer questions. Makes you if they washed out of the Navy nuclear program like about half of them do and are badmouthing it. If you are serious you want to qualify for Engineering Watch Supervisor (EWS) or preferably even Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW).

    Here is a day one entry level job in the civilian world that was just posted that is $60K a year for a 6 year Navy guy with no degree and that is based on straight hours without counting overtime or bonus.

    That is without even being qualified as RO or licensed as a SRO and without having an engineering degree.

  • 8 years ago

    You can be a nuclear power operator trainee

    Nuclear power trainees, do not actually have to have any college, although most companies require at least an associate degree in electronics or the equivalent

    2. You will not be hired as a fully qualified operator, but as a trainee and go though the training program

    3. The big issue, is actually getting the trainee job

    there are far more nuclear power navy techs leaving the navy each year, than there are jobs at nuclear power plants

    IE: there are a fixed number of nuclear power plants and nuclear power operators in the US

    and being a good job, people tend to stay once hired

    so there are very few openings every year

    Ive seen TVA go several years without hiring any new trainees

    4. Note: you see people in here try and tell people they will make $100,000+ per year as a nuc operator

    well thats just pure BS

    The top out wage for a Journeyman nuc power operator is around $55,000 a year

    Heck, nuclear engineers are only making $60,000 a year and thats for experienced engineers

  • soo
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

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