According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who want to be nuclear technicians most commonly need an associate's degree or vocational certificate in nuclear technology (www.bls.gov). Power plant companies may also sponsor degree and certificate programs in order to train future or current employees.
10 Schools with Nuclear Technology Programs
These institutions offer programs for aspiring nuclear technicians.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition* (2015-2016)|
|Arkansas Tech University||Russellville, AK||4-year, Public||Associate's||$6,192 In-state; $11,352 Out-of-state|
|New Mexico Junior College||Hobbs, NM||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,704 In-state; $1,898 Out-of-state|
|Augusta Technical College||Augusta, GA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,644 In-state; $4,780 Out-of-state|
|Bismarck State College||Bismarck, ND||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$3,604 In-state; $8,383 Out-of-state|
|Central Virginia Community College||Lynchburg, VA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,470 In-state; $10,308 Out-of-state|
|College of Southern Maryland||La Plata, MD||2-year, Public||Associate's||$6,111 In-state; $7,911 Out-of-state|
|Columbia Basin College||Pasco, WA||4-year, Public||Associate's||$4,194 In-state; $6,189 Out-of-state|
|Flint Hills Technical College||Emporia, KS||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$5,720|
|Luzerne County Community College||Nanticoke, PA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$8,700 In-state; $12,630 Out-of-state|
|Idaho State University||Pocatello, ID||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$6,784 In-state; $20,182 out-of-state|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
When comparing nuclear technician programs these are some factors to keep in mind.
- Associate's degree programs may have broader education requirements, while certificate programs focus primarily on career knowledge and skills.
- Look for programs that offer hands-on training via lab coursework, internships, or cooperative work programs.
- Review the school's facilities to ensure that they have the latest technology available to students.
- Consider if the schools assist graduates seeking employment in their field.
Certificate in Nuclear Technology
Unlike certificates in other fields, nuclear technician training certificate programs often take up to two years of study to complete. Some certificate programs may also have admission requirements, such as a prior associate's degree in process technology. For this reason, those who are looking to transfer their career to the nuclear industry may choose certificate programs.
Associate of Applied Science in Nuclear Power or Engineering Technology
Associate's degree programs in nuclear technology are 2-year programs with requirements in both general education courses, such as math, chemistry or computer programming, and advanced nuclear power and engineering technology courses. Students may have opportunities to participate in internships or field experiences.
Many engineering technology or nuclear power technology programs are offered as certificate or associate's degree programs, although it's also possible to pursue a bachelor's degree and graduate studies in relevant fields. Students may want to consider which program level fits best with their goals, and review the school facilities, the program's opportunities for hands-on experience, and the tuition costs before choosing a school.