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Oswego Career Ladders - Operations Engineer

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Operations Engineer

Industry: Energy
Area: Nuclear

Operations Engineers analyze plant performance and prepare procedures for a plant's components, systems and reactor to generate energy, using their knowledge of the plant as a whole. They require a diverse level of knowledge and expertise, including such areas as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, reactor physics and chemistry.

Work Settings

A nuclear power plant is not all that different from coal, oil, or gas fired plants. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), part of our government, licenses the use of nuclear material and inspects users to make sure they follow the rules for safety.


Typically, the educational requirements for an operating engineer are less rigorous than nuclear engineers. A bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering is one qualification, while others with only high school diplomas get their training through the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Plant Program.

Job Outlook

Operations Engineers are expected to have employment growth about as fast as the average for all occupations though 2014. 


The average salary for Operations Engineers is $53,000 and the median salary is $49,000. The entry level salary is $32,000. Wages for experienced Operations Engineers are $64,000.

Work Schedule

Many engineers work a standard 40-hour week. At times, deadlines or design standards may bring extra pressure to a job, requiring engineers to work longer hours.

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