There is plenty of scope for development when working as a nuclear engineer, as this is a field which is constantly evolving and progressing. If you are interested in advancing your career within this discipline, then there a few points which you should bear in mind.
Before you can think about advancing your career, you will need to know the basics of this profession and work at getting vital experience. In order to launch a career within this field, you will need to have attained a degree in a relevant subject, such as maths, physics, or engineering. Whilst few universities offer a degree in nuclear engineering, a qualification in chemical, electrical or mechanical engineering will set you on the right track.
You may also be accepted onto a graduate training scheme or apprenticeship, which will provide you with valuable experience and the opportunity take a more hands-on approach to the industry. This can also be a good way to make useful contacts, who may help you in advancing your career at a later date.
As a graduate nuclear engineer or trainee, you could expect to earn between £20,000 and £25,000 per year. However, more experienced nuclear engineers tend to enjoy salaries of between £30,000 and £50,000, or more. This is just one incentive towards advancing your career as a nuclear engineer; you will also broaden your knowledge and understanding of the industry, giving you more opportunities to work on exciting and innovative projects.
Improving Your Prospects
Once you have qualified as a nuclear engineer you can begin to look at ways in which you will be able to establish and advance your career within this field. Even once you have reached an influential or senior position within the nuclear engineering industry, you should take the chance to expand upon your knowledge and skills whenever possible. If you are a member of a professional engineering body, then you may be eligible for any development opportunities or courses which they have to offer. Whilst many such opportunities may apply to engineering in general, the National Skills Academy for Nuclear offer information about specialist training providers which can assist in developing your career within this specific discipline.
Engineering employers are often keen to encourage training and development within their workforce, so you may have the opportunity to shadow senior engineers or complete in-house courses related to a specific area of you nuclear engineering role whilst at work. In addition, the Nuclear Technology Education Consortium (NTEC) professional development programme can be useful for those looking to take the next step up the career ladder and may also be supported by employers.
Once you have worked within the engineering industry for several years, you may want to aspire towards achieving Incorporated or Chartered Engineer status, which is highly regarded by industry professionals throughout the UK and around the world. The Institution of Nuclear Engineers is authorised to register Chartered Engineers and this can provide a further boost to your salary, as well as your future career prospects.
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