Nuclear Monitoring Technicians
Collect and test samples to monitor results of nuclear experiments and contamination of humans, facilities, and environment.
Sample of reported job titles: Health Physics Technician (HP Tech), Nuclear Chemistry Technician, Radiation Control Technician (Radcon Technician), Radiation Protection Specialist (RP Specialist), Radiation Protection Technician (RPT), Radiation Technician, Radiochemical Technician
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Brief workers on radiation levels in work areas.
- Calculate safe radiation exposure times for personnel using plant contamination readings and prescribed safe levels of radiation.
- Monitor personnel to determine the amounts and intensities of radiation exposure.
- Inform supervisors when individual exposures or area radiation levels approach maximum permissible limits.
- Provide initial response to abnormal events or to alarms from radiation monitoring equipment.
- Determine intensities and types of radiation in work areas, equipment, or materials, using radiation detectors or other instruments.
- Instruct personnel in radiation safety procedures and demonstrate use of protective clothing and equipment.
- Collect samples of air, water, gases, or solids to determine radioactivity levels of contamination.
- Analyze samples, such as air or water samples, for contaminants or other elements.
- Determine or recommend radioactive decontamination procedures, according to the size and nature of equipment and the degree of contamination.
- Set up equipment that automatically detects area radiation deviations and test detection equipment to ensure its accuracy.
- Prepare reports describing contamination tests, material or equipment decontaminated, or methods used in decontamination processes.
- Place radioactive waste, such as sweepings or broken sample bottles, into containers for shipping or disposal.
- Decontaminate objects by cleaning with soap or solvents or by abrading with wire brushes, buffing wheels, or sandblasting machines.
- Enter data into computers to record characteristics of nuclear events or to locate coordinates of particles.
- Calibrate and maintain chemical instrumentation sensing elements and sampling system equipment, using calibration instruments and hand tools.
- Immerse samples in chemical compounds to prepare them for testing.
- Confer with scientists directing projects to determine significant events to monitor during tests.
- Operate manipulators from outside cells to move specimens into or out of shielded containers, to remove specimens from cells, or to place specimens on benches or equipment work stations.
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- Analytical or scientific software — Gamma waste assay system GWAS; Radiological assessment display and control system RADACS; RESRAD
- Application server software — Google Compute Engine (GCE)
- Data base user interface and query software — Structured query language SQL
- Development environment software — Microsoft Azure
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Industrial control software — Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software ; Wonderware InTouch
- Object or component oriented development software — Oracle Java
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows ; Microsoft Windows Server
- Platform interconnectivity software — Connectivity software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
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- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Communicate safety or hazard information to others.
- Measure radiation levels.
- Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.
- Collect environmental data or samples.
- Analyze environmental data.
- Record research or operational data.
- Advise others on management of emergencies or hazardous situations or materials.
- Set up laboratory or field equipment.
- Calibrate scientific or technical equipment.
- Maintain laboratory or technical equipment.
- Prepare operational reports.
- Clean objects.
- Prepare biological samples for testing or analysis.
- Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists.
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- Face-to-Face Discussions — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 86% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Radiation — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 65% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 68% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Contact With Others — 54% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 66% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 49% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 64% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 32% responded “Very important results.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “Some freedom.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 40% responded “Very important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 31% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 40% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Time Pressure — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 42% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to High Places — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 34% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Standing — 55% responded “About half the time.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|27||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: RCI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Nuclear Technicians.
Employment data for Nuclear Technicians.
Industry data for Nuclear Technicians.
|Median wages (2020)||$40.48 hourly, $84,190 annual|
|Employment (2020)||6,600 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||700|
|Top industries (2020)||
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American National Standards Institute
- American Nuclear Society
- American Society for Nondestructive Testing
- Center for Energy Workforce Development
- Get Into Energy
- Health Physics Society
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists
- North American Young Generation in Nuclear
- Nuclear Energy Institute
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Nuclear technicians
- Women in Nuclear
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