Nuclear Engineer Salaries

The median annual wage for nuclear engineers is $102,220. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $65,570, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $152,420.

The median annual wages for nuclear engineers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Engineering services$111,070
Scientific research and development services109,000
Electric power generation103,270
Federal government, excluding postal service92,320

The majority of nuclear engineers work full time, and about 1 in 3 work more than 40 hours per week. Their schedules may vary with the industries in which they work.

Job Outlook for Nuclear Engineers

Employment of nuclear engineers is projected to grow 4 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment is projected to decline in electric power generation, but projected to increase in research and development in engineering, and in management, scientific, and technical consulting services.

Traditionally, utilities that own or build nuclear power plants have employed the greatest number of nuclear engineers. However, utilities are opting more and more to switch power generation over to cheaper natural gas. In addition, the increasing viability of renewable energy is putting pressure on the economics of traditional nuclear power generation.

Developments in nuclear medicine, diagnostic imaging, and cancer treatment also will drive demand for nuclear engineers, to develop new methods for treatment.

Job Prospects for Nuclear Engineers

Job prospects are expected to be relatively limited. Openings should stem from operating extensions being granted to older nuclear power plants. Those with training in developing fields, such as nuclear medicine, should have better prospects.

Employment projections data for Nuclear Engineers, 2016-26
Occupational TitleEmployment, 2016Projected Employment, 2026Change, 2016-26
Nuclear engineers17,70018,4004700

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