What is working as a ET Nuke like?
I’ve really been looking into going into the Navy and trying to become a Electrical Technician in the Nuclear field after graduating college and was just wondering if anyone had experience working in or with someone in that field.
My coworker is a former Navy and nuclear officer and he wrote up the below:
My working background is in nuclear (operations while in the Navy, also design, supply chain, SigSigma process improvement). Nuclear operations is a fast-paced environment and requires constant training, both reading and hands-on. This applies both in and out of the military. The reason is that you have to maintain a high level of proficiency so you can be comfortable that you can correctly react to any unforeseen situation. Literally lives depend on you. This applies as ET, EM, ELT, SROs, all the way to management.
That said, a few things to note:
- Obviously that level of preparedness comes with very well salaries (Certified personnel can easily find themselves well in the 6-figures). This also applies in the Navy (significant bonuses on top of base pay) and outside the military as well.
- Knowing that your preparation is literally helping people by providing power while keeping them safe is extremely rewarding experience.
- As you may know, the Navy's nuclear program is generally considered an elite program. As such you can expect more challenging admittance and training process.
Hope this helps!
The naval nuclear field is very challenging but can be very rewarding as well. The first question I want to ask you is; have you considered becoming a naval nuclear officer? Navy nuclear ETs do great work and are essential to reactor safety and controls, but as an officer, you would be a supervisor to your reactor operator, as well as multiple other watch stations. With a 4yr degree, you qualify to be the leader of an orchestra instead of a singular part. This role would also include a much higher salary. Just something to consider. The Navy is always short handed when it comes to nuclear power operators, so whichever you choose, will fill a huge gap in capability.
I wish you luck!