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Author Topic: Interested in getting into field without degrees.  (Read 5701 times)

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Hey all... I'm back. I haven't posted on here in a while becuase life has been so hectic, but it is getting MUCH much better I assure you of that.

Basically, I'm still interested in nukes. A navy nuke who recently got out of the military sparked it again, I'd forgotten just how much I had a passion for this form of power. Right now (for the past 10 months) I've been fixing computers in a retail environment. I am realizing now just how passionately I hate this sort of work (The retail part, not the computer part), and I've been lusting for a nuclear job for a while, even before I started working there... If you'll allow me to rant, retail makes me feel like I have to be a rotten liar to be successful. So basically I am looking for advice from you all. I wrote the NRC who tells me there are tons of opportunities out there but it depends on the plant's owner and the utility company themselves.

I have a high level of skill when it comes to fixing computers and networks, but I have no certifications. I am working on my MCDST for XP and Vista *which the company is paying for*, but my CCNA is far away so I doubt I could get Jr. Network Admin or some sort of internship that way. I wouldn't mind doing the dirty hazardous work in enclosed spaces and all that... Even if it meant decontamination, or something to that effect. I care not whether it's computer networks or manual labor. My problem also lies in that I'm an Illustration major and getting my AAS in that and Advertising Design. This has nothing to do with technical work, even though I can prove aptitude through transcripts/class grades and my ASVAB scores. Would this be a problem?

I would also wonder whether or not outages would affect my ability to go to school part time? Perhaps I could schedule around it.

I'm just looking for some advice... I guess my next step is to write each individual utility company or plant in the region, eh?



  • Guest
Re: Interested in getting into field without degrees.
« Reply #1 on: Jul 29, 2007, 09:28 »
It sounds like you have a lot to offer, not the least of which is your attitude.  It sounds like you enjoy getting what you want out of a situation.  That is not a bad thing.  I would suggest that in addition to contacting your local nuke plant, that you reach out and touch a contractor or two.  I would suggest Bartlett Nuclear or Bartlett Service as they use a wide range of disciplines on a contractual basis.  They used to use computer geeks quite frequently.  They probably still do, I simply have been away from the power plants for awhile and do not know the current employment slots that are being staffed.

Offline Brett LaVigne

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Re: Interested in getting into field without degrees.
« Reply #2 on: Jul 29, 2007, 10:27 »
1-800-225-0385 Bartlett Nuclear.

I have been in and out of this business for the last 18 years in radiation protection, have been relatively successful at making a decent living working only half the year and barely made it through high school.  This business is prime for newbies, if you really want it you can have it provided you are of average intelligence, hard working, willing to take direction and have a lifestyle that allows you to do outage work away from home for a few weeks at a time.  You sound like you have a good deal of determination and willingness to work, I know plenty that don't have either and work plenty.  Shame we couldn't trade one for one for people like you.  Good luck and give Bartlett a call, they will point you in the right direction.  Ask to speak to someone in recruiting and be open to taking what is available without being picky.
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Re: Interested in getting into field without degrees.
« Reply #3 on: Jul 29, 2007, 10:42 »
Thank you for the phone number, I was unfamiliar with how contractors worked, this site has really picked up even more since the last time I was here (probably after I'd turned 17, I'm going on 20 now). I will have to wait until this semester of school is over with of course, as I'm fast on the way to getting my AAS in Illustration, that's a dream I don't want to quite give up. I decided to check the NRC for my region again, and my best options are Limerick or Three Mile Island, as I live in central New Jersey and thus by a hub for all trains, including the SEPTA. Indian Point is also a very good option because of the trains that run to New York City, though I don't know how far out I could take public transportation before it got unreasonable. I'm sure there are frequent traveller deals/passes for that sort of thing.

Not sure how picky one can be location-wise in a contractor job but I'm sure Bartlett would help me.

I have but a few more questions...

-Is Bartlett like a Nuclear equivalent of a temp agency, they find people and place them? So I would submit a resume to them or to the individual power companies? I'm just trying to find all this out now before I call them feeling lost and inquisitive.

-Describe the outage lifestyle. Would I have to travel to other plants far away, or if I was employed regularly at a local plant, would I just spend 72 hour (just a guess) weeks refueling that particular plant? Should I tell Bartlett that travel would be hard becaue of school, or should I tell school that I need to find a particular schedule to work around outage periods? I'm not sure what to do, becuase I am still very interested in my art degree.

A thought occurred to me that I can get into this field after I get out of community college to save money for a higher art school. I know it's a rather silly degree to be pursuing, and wanting to get experience in this field... but this is more of a passionate drive than a monetary one. I'd be making around the same wage as a deconner (Compared to the wage i make now in a retail store) in this area, with the exception that rapid growth is a possibility for once -laugh-. This would be an ESPECIALLY good job to keep while I get my feet wet freelancing illustration and such.

I want to hear your opinions on what I should do school wise though. Should I try to grind community college out first, or find out the outage schedules of the facilities in this region and try to go to school around those (also, online courses are a major option).

Thank you all so much!
- Brittany


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