Discover your career path in the energy industry.

Learn where your interests will take you. Explore the meaningful work in which you can immerse yourself. Set your sites on what you can learn and the increasing responsibilities that can be yours. See how you will be challenged and what will you accomplish.

2 people talking outside power plant
Career Pathway Spotlight - Nuclear Power Plant Operator
Career Pathway Spotlights-mobile_Nuclear Power Plant Operator

*Compensation averages should be used as a guide. There are numerous factors that impact actual compensation. These estimates do not include over-time, which can be a sizeable addition to base pay. Years of service and training recommendations should also be used as a guide. Company requirements vary.

Note: Some energy companies may require pre-employment testing. Please check the job requirements. These may include an EEI Pre-Employment Test or a Physical Abilities Test.

Become a Nuclear Power Plant Operator

Starting off as an Operator in Training:

What will you do?

  • Provide assistance to plant operators by reading gauges, checking equipment
  • Make work area safe
  • Install and maintain equipment based on manufacturer’s specifications
  • Read instrumentation schematics to diagnose circuit trouble
  • Work toward becoming licensed operator as you advance, train and test in the operations areas

What knowledge / skills / abilities will you need?

  • Be able to quickly learn and retain information about the plant and systems
  • Ability to work within a team
  • Be able to lift heavy equipment
  • Listen and follow directions
  • Be comfortable with heights
  • Be able to work in noisy conditions
  • Math skills including algebra, trigonometry, and geometry
  • Come to work on time and prepared
  • Physical ability to climb stairs and ladders
  • Apply knowledge obtained during training in the work environment
  • Work with various types of test equipment, including multi-meters
  • Work with various types of tools
  • Read and follow detailed procedures
  • Document work being done
  • Communicate with control room and other departments

Reactor Operator:

What will you do?

  • Ensure generating equipment runs when needed
  • Prepare daily reports on operating conditions

What knowledge / skills / abilities will you need?

  • Use information to diagnose and solve problems
  • Manage multiple tasks at one time
  • Understand all plant systems and be able to communicate that in verbal and written form
  • Comprehend entire systems and how they function
  • Foresee system implications of malfunctions or of own actions
  • Anticipate required future conditions in numerous interacting systems

Senior Reactor Operator:

What will you do?

  • Prepare and place systems and components in and out of service to support normal and off-normal system operations
  • Conduct plant walk-downs and inspections
  • Identify plant problems and generate trouble tickets
  • Maintain operations logs, reports and records regarding equipment performance
  • Take action required to address abnormal occurrences

What knowledge / skills / abilities will you need?

  • Knowledge about state and federal regulations, guidelines, controls and procedures to protect the public and plant workers
  • Implement and maintain effective planning and operating practices to maximize efficient operation
  • Supervise plant operations
  • Direct and implement emergency operation procedures and event reporting
  • Licensing will be required after training
Energy Inustry Careers Offer_DESKTOP
Woman on computer examining reactor

Courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory

Margarita Villa

“I’m a very hands-on person, so my favorite part of the day is when I can do site inspections and lay eyes on a project and get to see people face to face and see them installing what I’ve designed and learn how it’s working or about any challenges they have or how it can be done better.”

Margarita Villa
Mechanical Design Engineer
Exelon Nuclear