Seeking a New Opportunity in the Nuclear Industry

I am currently working in the oil and gas industry out of Ohio as a field engineer who travels extensively throughout the Northeast region. I graduated Penn State in 2012 with a Nuclear Engineering degree and a minor in Engineering Mechanics. I'd like to get into the nuclear industry, even though it is rather slow right now; but so is the industry I'm currently in.

After being in a position that requires 100% of travel all these years, I would like to transition to the Pittsburgh, PA area (within 50 miles works as well) at a more stable career. I still enjoy traveling, but would like to keep it under 50% of the time. The trouble I'm having is convincing people I'm worth it when my experience isn't nuclear-related and every job posting seems to have 5+ years of experience required with experience needed in rather specialized programs (I still apply to these postings anyway, just in case they are willing to take a chance on me).

If anyone out there has any tips for searching for careers in the nuclear industry, I'm all ears. I am aware of the major players around that area and have applied to many positions, but was wondering if anyone knows of any available opportunities from smaller companies that I may have overlooked. Or if people could give me some insight into some starting positions that could help get my foot in the door to grow later. I know expanding my searches to other areas would help, but I am currently just trying for the Pittsburgh area for personal reasons.

A quick summary of my skills and qualifications are below. (Many of the skills I picked up from my previous job that I interned at for all 4 years of college and worked full time for 2 years after that before swapping to where I am now.)

  • B.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering with a minor in Engineering Mechanics from Penn State University, May 2012.
  • Proficient in the use of CAD modeling applications, MS Office and Project, Rhinoceros 3D, AutoCAD, and MATLAB.
  • Skilled in the creation of 3D CAD models of numerous systems, such as a nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological sensor system.
  • Experienced in the testing of various products and prototypes, such as a modular surveillance system, for the U.S. Government.
  • Experienced in the creation of project plans and monitoring of progress in their execution.
  • Demonstrated excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Thanks, everyone!

3 Replies

  • I realize that it's not in the Pittsburgh area, but Shine Medical Technologies is looking for engineers. They are building a plant in Southern WI not too far from Chicago to make medical isotopes using a process that doesn't require a nuclear reactor. Exciting times for someone early in their career.

    Best of luck to you!
  • Anonymous
    I quickly skimmed your post and happened to have this pulled up. Small company that just had this opening. Best of luck!

    Mechanical Design Engineer
  • I've actually already applied to that position!

    I'm currently I'm only looking around the Pittsburgh, PA area for personal reasons. Plus I do make great money and save a lot at my current job, so I can afford to be a little picky right now haha. But if I can't find anything over the next year, then I'll expand to other locations and definitely check Shine Med out at that time! Sucks that two of the bigger companies I was looking into are either having issues or not hiring at all. Westinghouse is going through bankruptcy, which could be a good time to get in and move up through the positions quickly if they do it right, but it's rather risky on that front. And EQT (one of the biggest natural gas players) just bought out another company and halted all hiring 4 days after my interview with them for a position I was almost guaranteed to get. Such is my luck so far haha.

    But I have been applying all over. The main nuclear companies or nuclear partner companies I routinely check are the Naval Nuclear Lab, BWX Technologies, BPMI, and Rolls Royce Nuclear. Anyone have any other companies that I could add to this list? There are a bunch other non-nuclear I check regularly too.
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