Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Salary
Men account for the majority of Nuclear Power Reactor Operators in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $65K per year. The specific employer and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most people on this career path report moderate levels of job satisfaction. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to most. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Job Description for Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
A nuclear power reactor operator is responsible for ensuring the safe generation of consumer-usable energy from a nuclear plant. The operator's job typically involves monitoring various systems and making adjustments as needed to keep them within optimal ranges, and they must also be able to perform routine operations to safely shut systems down for maintenance or refueling. They should also be fluent in the computer software used to handle each of these tasks.Read More...
The most important task of nuclear power reactor operators is the monitoring of the reactor itself. They observe all temperatures and energy output, and then use a computer terminal to make as-needed adjustments for cooling and maintain a safe, steady flow of electricity to the power grid. They also help ensure that all critical operations stay within safe and optimal ranges at all times; if readings outside these ranges are detected, the operators have particular steps and protocols to follow to reduce or cease operations and refer the situation to supervisors.
Nuclear power reactor operators also participate in maintenance work. For specified periods of time, reactors must be shut down, flushed, and restarted to ensure ongoing safe operation, and those in this position participate in the careful step-by-step shutdown of specific systems to ensure that routine operations are carried out in a safe manner for everyone involved.
Nuclear power is obviously not without risk, and a nuclear power reactor operator plays a key role in ensuring its safe use. Most reactor operators do not need a full university degree for lower levels of responsibility, but should have some technical training in machine operation and be able to pass certification to obtain the position. An engineering degree can be highly beneficial, as some federal requirements for senior operators and supervisors may include it. Reactor operators typically work in a computer monitoring station, and shift-work may take place during the day, evening, or even overnight.
Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Tasks
- Prepare clearances from drawings and prints.
- Maintain proper lubrication of equipment.
- Perform equipment switching and tagging for clearance operations.
- Monitor plant parameters to ensure safe operation of reactor and turbine systems.
- Instruct, plan, and direct the work of non-licensed operators.
Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Just about half of the top paying company's median, U.S. Navy offers a median salary of just $60K, consistently last on the pay scale ladder by far.
Pay by Experience Level for Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
The average inexperienced worker earns $70K. It's worth noting that someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a smaller median salary of $66K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $87K in this role. Nuclear Power Reactor Operators who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $99K.