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Starting pay for Operators with Navy Nuclear Experience
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Starting pay for Operators with Navy Nuclear Experience

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Author Topic: Starting pay for Operators with Navy Nuclear Experience  (Read 26601 times)
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NavynukeMM1
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« on: Mar 25, 2009, 03:05 »

What do operators start out making with Navy Nuke Experience? Does it matter how long you were in the Navy? Does it matter if you qualified PPWS/EWS?

Also, was told it's possible to get the GI bill while in the "training" phase of your job (first 6-12 months). Is this correct?
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 25, 2009, 03:25 »

Commercial operators will start out at the same rate (in most cases) with or without Navy Nuke experience.  If the plant is a Union plant the wages are already spelled out in a contract.  Starting pay is in the $25-$30/hr range depending on location.

Hope this helps and Thanks for your service. 
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 25, 2009, 04:52 »

You can get the VA education benefits for OJT while going through NLO schooling.  The new GI Bill, post 9-11, will not include OJT benefits, so you would have had to pay for the old GI Bill ($100/month for 12 months) and not switch over to the new one.  The VA website has the forms you need to fill out and the supervision at your plant should know how to fill out the forms.  I know the benefits diminish in value after a set period of time. 
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 25, 2009, 05:12 »

I don't know all the information for collecting GI Bill benefits.  It's classified as OJT, which affords you the chance to collect.  
I found some info from http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/rates/CH30/ch30rates080108.htm :

Apprenticeship and On-Job Training  

Training Period/Monthly rate
 
First six months of training-$990.75
Second six months of training-$726.55
Remaining pursuit of training-$462.35
 
No Dependents/One Dependent/Two Dependents/Each additional dependent
 
1st six months of pursuit of program-$1093.50/$1105.88/$1116.75/$5.25
 2nd six months- $782.93/$792.28/$799.98/$3.85
 3rd six months- $486.15/$492.28/$497.00/$2.45
 Remaining pursuit of program- $474.25/$480.03/$485.28/$2.45
 
I think the first set of rates might be applicable to flight training, and the second set of rates is what you'd be concerned with.  The best thing to do would be to talk to the VA, or someone who is receiving benefits.

Having PPWS/EWS 5 or 6 years of qualified experience can qualify you for an SRO position.  This would start at a much higher rate, and is typically salary, than an AO or NLO position.  Usually SROs get around 6 figures with bonuses.  
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NavynukeMM1
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 25, 2009, 05:33 »

Having PPWS/EWS 5 or 6 years of qualified experience can qualify you for an SRO position.  This would start at a much higher rate, and is typically salary, than an AO or NLO position.  Usually SROs get around 6 figures with bonuses.  

I've heard that direct SRO is not a good way to go. From what I've heard, there is a high failure (not getting licensed in time required) for this program. Is that true or is that something to consider? I qualified PPWS onboard ENTERPRISE (the Navy's most complex plant design) and have well over the 5 years in the supervisory watchstations. Trust me, the thought of the quick money right away is tempting. Do you know what SRO trainees make until licensed?
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NavynukeMM1
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 25, 2009, 05:35 »

Commercial operators will start out at the same rate (in most cases) with or without Navy Nuke experience.  If the plant is a Union plant the wages are already spelled out in a contract.  Starting pay is in the $25-$30/hr range depending on location.

Hope this helps and Thanks for your service. 

I've stuck out the Navy for nearly 20 years because I wanted to "do my part". I've had fun and the only thing I regret is that I missed a lot when my kids were young.

Wow, seems like being in the Navy Nuke program didn't really help? We start out at same pay and non-experience operators? I do understand the plant designs are totally different though.
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NavynukeMM1
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 25, 2009, 07:20 »


And, from what I've read and seen you don't have any qualification that makes you better suited for direct SRO than any other navy nuke.  It's apples and oranges shipmate.

jwh

I see mixed "reviews", but looks like the direct SRO spots (if I was even offered one) would be biting off a bit much. After 20 years of the constant Navy nuke stress (the constant ORSE-MTT-ORSE-MTT-ORSE....etc), I am looking forward to a good paying job where I am not worrying about the next outside review.
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 25, 2009, 08:47 »

I see mixed "reviews", but looks like the direct SRO spots (if I was even offered one) would be biting off a bit much.
Let me say this much about the instant SRO spots available.  Make sure the "path" you are considering is lined with a "great" training program.  The instant path is TOUGH.
I too have over twenty years Navy experience on multiple platforms.  Qualified many supervisory positions, and responsible for training supervisors.  My engineering experience, I thought, would make the transition from Navy to commercial that much easier...I mean, how hard can it be?  Right?  Reactor, steam, electricity...it will be easy! Angry Angry Angry  I am undergoing the process right now and it is difficult.
Broadzilla has some of the best analogies of navy nuclear to commercial, but he is right.   It is a tough row to hoe.  [Can I say hoe?]  Cheesy
Can it be done?  Absolutely.  But as I said, you are going to put in some extremely long hours and no Nuke school doesn't even compare.  Hope this helps.
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 26, 2009, 12:53 »

I've stuck out the Navy for nearly 20 years because I wanted to "do my part". I've had fun and the only thing I regret is that I missed a lot when my kids were young.

Wow, seems like being in the Navy Nuke program didn't really help? We start out at same pay and non-experience operators? I do understand the plant designs are totally different though.

What exactly have you done besides manipulate a Start Up Source?
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 26, 2009, 08:58 »

MM1, the instant route is doable, but it is very hard.  And I think your years of operations on board any vessel at the PPWS level will help a little, but it would be better if that time had been in EOS internalizing the quick response of steam demand, Tave, Rx Power, and all the other interactions.  Notice, I said it would help a little.  When we're running simulator drills, and I see Rx pressure going down, or turbine output going down, I don't have to consider long what could be making it happen.  We have that minor advantage... It's a lead over the others that really doesn't last long, and pales when compared to their knowledge of plant systems and groups. 

As for money... I can only give you a snap shot.  While in class, about 85 per year, and 20 in bonuses spread over the class period as you successfully complete phases.  Once you graduate, about 94, with 1000/month license bonus, and 600 or so per month for being on shift. 

Our license class runs 18 months.  GFES, which is like a mini-nuke school is first, and it's more like a pre-school.  You don't pass the multiple-choice test at the end, you don't go on.  Here, you will have an advantage, cause you have theory.  You already know from those miserable years of standing Heise gage watch that piston pos disp pumps put out a rougher pressure output than a rotary PDP.  You have Rx Theory, and though it's different, it really is no big deal. 

Then you'll have systems.  Lets see...  Let me look...  About 70 systems, everything from turbine building oily drains to ESFAS (Engineered Safety Features Actuation Systems).  Some are easy, some suck!  I still don't have a good handle on every single process rad monitor.  And as soon as you learn something, pile something else on top of it.  I thought my all nighter days were behind me, but noooo.  I've pulled many in the last year.  Then there's Normal ops, Off Normals, Emergency Procedures...  I have about 500 pages of Emergency procedures and background documents to be tested on tomorrow for the last 2 weeks.  4 hours per day in the classroom, 4 hours in the simulator. 

There is a slight adversarial relationship that exists with training.  Some instructors are GOLD.  Some have the attitude that you're damn well blessed to be in their program, and you better act like it.  And if there is ANY doubt, any at all, that you will not pass the NRC exam... Then game over, thanks for trying, and go back to where you came from, or maybe we'll find you another place in the company.  Because it looks bad for the company to send you to take the NRC exam, and you fail.  Reflects badly upon the company, you see? 

But, you can do it.  You simply make up your mind that you're going to get that license, you're going to TAKE it from them, and they can't stop you, and do whatever it takes.  Because for me, at least, it's worth it. 

You probably qualified PPWS for a reason.. CRAO's much more satisfying than RAO, CMO more than ERLL.  PPWO was more satisfying for me on Enterprise than was PPWS.  That's the way I feel about having a license.  I hired on here in a craft.  Whenever we have e-plan drills, the selected crafts people from I&C, Mechanical, and Electrical go sit in a room, and every now and then, we're selected out, to go do some task, then we get back, and go sit in the room.  Here, have a cookie while you wait.. Lunch will be provided.  If that's what you want... OK.  For me, it wasn't enough.  I wanted to be a guy who knew  what was going on, and was in the decision making process.  Sure, there's downside.  Everybody will second guess every decision you make.  You are under a bit of a microscope.  But, you want to be in the drivers seat, or you don't.

So, I know you're tired of ORSE MTT cycles...  And you can hire into OPS at the NLO level, and get experience, then go to license class, become a RO, wait a bit, get more experience, then become an SRO.  That's a good path, and your training will help you out.  I really think it will.  It just doesn't have much to do with your starting salary.  Hope that gives some guidance, and feel free to IM me more about license class and the different comanies out there. 

Bill
« Last Edit: Mar 26, 2009, 09:03 by Creeker » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: Mar 26, 2009, 05:44 »

At my plant for NLO's, your starting pay is based on experience. Navy nuke's with 6+ years get the highest starting, followed with those with 4 year degrees, but no experience, followed by navy nukes that got the training, but never made it out to the fleet. It doesn't matter much though since once your fully qualified everyone is paid the same.
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« Reply #11 on: Mar 26, 2009, 06:57 »

Thanks Creeker for the input. 
I am also looking at leaving the Navy early next year.  Having a Thomas Edison Degree and over 6 years EWS I probably could jump right into Direct SRO, but since I plan to be there for the long haul, it seems a better choice to start off at the NLO level and work up.

Madcat
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« Reply #12 on: Mar 26, 2009, 09:46 »

Wow, seems like being in the Navy Nuke program didn't really help?

For clarification, a good background in the nuclear Navy DOES help out with starting salary.

Specifically, a good background in the nuclear Navy will nudge you closer towards the group which actually gets a starting salary (as opposed to the other group still sitting by their phones wondering why they haven't heard from HR yet).

Just looking at it from a different perspective...
« Last Edit: Mar 26, 2009, 09:49 by G-reg » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: Mar 27, 2009, 05:43 »

I was hired into a class of 20 with various backgrounds and all at the same rate of 23 and change. A year after hiring we are at 30 and 3 years after qualifying full NLO we top out at will most likely be 40 and change accounting for yearly COLAs.

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NavynukeMM1
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« Reply #14 on: Mar 27, 2009, 06:12 »

I was hired into a class of 20 with various backgrounds and all at the same rate of 23 and change. A year after hiring we are at 30 and 3 years after qualifying full NLO we top out at will most likely be 40 and change accounting for yearly COLAs.



Which plant are you at Jason?


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« Reply #15 on: Mar 27, 2009, 07:28 »

Limerick Generating Station

Most likely hiring another class this Fall.
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« Reply #16 on: Mar 29, 2009, 09:58 »

IMO opinion (and that is not worth much), do not look so much at pay as compair cost of living, housing commute to and from work ect.  ANO in Russellville, AR is a good area and they are hireing NLOs.  SQN (TVA) near Chattanooga is a good area. 

Make sure wherever you go it is a place your family can live in.
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NavynukeMM1
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« Reply #17 on: Mar 29, 2009, 06:03 »

Ideally, wife and I want to live in the North East (preferably close to Boston) when I retire from the Navy next year. However, my youngest daughter will be starting HS next year, so will need to find a job that pays comparatively to my Navy pay (preferably higher) until she graduates. Surry is about an hour from my house and from what I hear are ALWAYS hiring. I am assuming one of two things...
1) A lot of navy nukes get out of the Navy, get a job there to get the commercial experience and then move on
or
2) Working there SUCKS

Hope it's #1
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« Reply #18 on: Mar 29, 2009, 07:01 »

Bottom line is: thanks for your service and being an ex Navy nuke doesn’t guarantee you a job in civlant. My plant tries to hire 50/50 engineering grads and navy-nukes. Our success rate through license class is about the same for both. We don't run an instant program and for good reason. You may feel that you are the best and brightest but a lot of us out here felt the same way. Bottom line is your experience may get you the interview, but when they laid that BS on you about how much it was worth to be qualified EWS, have training experience, etc. They were practicing for recruiter duty.
Mike
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« Reply #19 on: Mar 29, 2009, 09:29 »

Ideally, wife and I want to live in the North East (preferably close to Boston) when I retire from the Navy next year.

In the Northeast, the closest plants to Boston are:
Pilgrim http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,999.0/all.html,
Millstone http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,12535.0.html,
and Vermont Yankee http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,893.0/all.html.

I can't speak for Pilgrim and VY, but Millstone has been hiring OPS people pretty regularly.
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« Reply #20 on: Mar 29, 2009, 10:17 »

In the Northeast, the closest plants to Boston are:
Pilgrim http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,999.0/all.html,
Millstone http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,12535.0.html,
and Vermont Yankee http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,893.0/all.html.

I can't speak for Pilgrim and VY, but Millstone has been hiring OPS people pretty regularly.

There's also Seabrook in NH right across the MA border.

http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,875.0.html
« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2009, 10:19 by vagabond » Logged

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JustinHEMI05
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« Reply #21 on: Mar 30, 2009, 05:58 »

Let me say this much about the instant SRO spots available.  Make sure the "path" you are considering is lined with a "great" training program.  The instant path is TOUGH.
I too have over twenty years Navy experience on multiple platforms.  Qualified many supervisory positions, and responsible for training supervisors.  My engineering experience, I thought, would make the transition from Navy to commercial that much easier...I mean, how hard can it be?  Right?  Reactor, steam, electricity...it will be easy! Angry Angry Angry  I am undergoing the process right now and it is difficult.
Broadzilla has some of the best analogies of navy nuclear to commercial, but he is right.   It is a tough row to hoe.  [Can I say hoe?]  Cheesy
Can it be done?  Absolutely.  But as I said, you are going to put in some extremely long hours and no Nuke school doesn't even compare.  Hope this helps.

I agree with Mike here. I too am in an instant program and although I am doing just fine, having the experience of being and AO/RO would have been very helpful. At least for me, I feel like I am always one step behind the RO upgrades and AO to RO guys in the class. It sounds like you are looking for an AO job from what you said about not wanting to worry about the next big inspection, anyway. Besides learning how to operate one of these beasts, you spend a good deal of your time memorizing EVERYTHING. Sure, I could be more specific but EVERYTHING just about covers it. If it has a binder, you have to memorize it. Go AO dude, the money will come in short order and you will be a better SRO for it in the future.

Justin
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NavynukeMM1
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« Reply #22 on: Mar 30, 2009, 06:21 »

Thanks G-reg and vagabond for the links about the plants.

Justin, what was your rate in the Navy? Is AO more like an RP/M-div job? I am still a bit confused on what the "duties and responsibilities" of the different positions are.
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JustinHEMI05
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« Reply #23 on: Mar 30, 2009, 06:28 »

I was a 9 year sub MM1/ELT qualified EWS on the boat and EWS/EOOW at hell on Earth prototype.

As an AO, your shiftly duties will include;

-Rounds (ie taking logs). This is done once per shift at the beginning, for the area you are responsible for that day (rotates). Usually takes a couple three hours.
-Minor house keeping along the way. And by minor I mean picking up a piece of trash or wiping up some oil.
-Your portion of any testing going on that day after rounds are done.
-Applying/removing clearances (tagouts).

AO is a mix of all of the rates as you will do stuff involving turning valves, racking in/out breakers and turning on/off electronics. But you will not do the maintenance on any of it.

That is about it (based on my plant, keep in mind).

Justin

« Last Edit: Mar 30, 2009, 06:31 by JustinHEMI » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: Mar 30, 2009, 06:29 »

To me AO was a combination of M-div and E-div. Equipment startup and shutdown breaker racking, monitoring (logtaking). hanging and removing tagouts, running tests and supporting test.  I enjoyed my time as AO.
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