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Summary Report for:
19-4051.02 - Nuclear Monitoring Technicians

Collect and test samples to monitor results of nuclear experiments and contamination of humans, facilities, and environment.

Sample of reported job titles: Chemistry Technician, Health Physics Technician (HP Technician), Nuclear Chemistry Technician, Radiation Control Technician (Radcon Technician), Radiation Protection Specialist (RP Specialist), Radiation Protection Technician (RP Technician), Radiation Technician, Radiochemical Technician, Senior Health Physics Technician, Senior Radiation Protection Technician

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Calculate safe radiation exposure times for personnel using plant contamination readings and prescribed safe levels of radiation.
  • Inform supervisors when individual exposures or area radiation levels approach maximum permissible limits.
  • Monitor personnel to determine the amounts and intensities of radiation exposure.
  • Provide initial response to abnormal events or to alarms from radiation monitoring equipment.
  • Collect samples of air, water, gases, or solids to determine radioactivity levels of contamination.
  • Instruct personnel in radiation safety procedures and demonstrate use of protective clothing and equipment.
  • Determine intensities and types of radiation in work areas, equipment, or materials, using radiation detectors or other instruments.
  • Set up equipment that automatically detects area radiation deviations and test detection equipment to ensure its accuracy.
  • Determine or recommend radioactive decontamination procedures, according to the size and nature of equipment and the degree of contamination.
  • Place radioactive waste, such as sweepings and broken sample bottles, into containers for disposal.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Dosimeters — Dose rate monitors; Neutron dose-rate meters; Whole body counters
Gamma counters — Area gamma monitors; Gamma ray detectors; Sodium Iodide NaI scintillation detectors
Radiation detectors — Digital ratemeters; Neutron detectors; Portable survey radiation meters; Radiological detectors
Respirators — Air purifying respirators; Airline respirators; Atmosphere supplying respirators; Pressure demand respirators
Spectrometers — Gamma ray spectrometers; Multichannel analyzers; Portable spectroscopes

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — Gamma waste assay system GWAS software; Radiological assessment display and control system RADACS; RESRAD *
Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Microsoft Word

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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Skills

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Abilities

Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

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Work Activities

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Exposed to Radiation — How often does this job require exposure to radiation?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
31   Associate's degree
24   Some college, no degree
17   Bachelor's degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Nuclear Engineering Technology/Technician
Physics/Astronomy — Radiation Protection/Health Physics Technician

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

Interest code: RCI

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

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Work Values

Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Nuclear Technicians.
Employment data collected from Nuclear Technicians.
Industry data collected from Nuclear Technicians.

Median wages (2013) $34.91 hourly, $72,610 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 8,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 4,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Nuclear Technicians external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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