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Offline Already Gone

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Yeah, the post was long, but it sums up your misconceptions totally.  You are crazy.  You are miles ahead of a lot of Senior HP's.  When I got out of the Navy, I only had 8 years in, was a Sub ELT/LELT the whole time with a ton of shipyard experience.  I was discharged on Friday, and working as a SHP on Monday.  I had to help some of the other Senior Techs pass the exam.  They had been Senior HP's for years.

The only qualification to be a "Senior" HP is 3000 or 6000 hours as a tech and the ability to pass a fundamentals exam every few years or so.  Most people spend those hours sitting at control points or changing out the bags of laundry and trash at the Step-off-pads.  Many SHP's sweat that exam every time they take it - you have no need to sweat it.

If you are NRRPT, (and not every Navy Nuke qualifies ...I didn't ... right out of the Navy) you are more than qualified to be a Senior HP.

This is NOT going to be your choice.  Chances are that someone looking to fill a Sr. HP slot (and probably billing someone else at the appropriate rate) is not going to cater to your insecurity and hire you at a lower grade unless they are staffing a job that is full and looking to get you cheap.  They are going to want you to fill the job that you are qualified for, even if they pay you less than you are worth.  My daughter is qualified as a Junior HP.  She has never seen a nuke plant, does not know what a microcurie is, and wouldn't know which end of a meter to point at the source.  She is still as qualified to be  JHP as she needs to be.  You didn't do all you have done, and pass the NRRPT to compete with Candace the Hooters Girl for a job.

A bit of advice from a brother nuke:  NEVER sell yourself short.  Nobody wants someone who is overqualified.  There is such a thing, and for good reason.  You have untapped ability that goes waaaaay beyond Senior HP quals.  SHP should be the LOWEST starting point that you should consider.

Now, I know that I have verbally slapped a bunch of Navy nukes here for expecting to come out and start at the top - ahead of people who have years more experience and higher quals - but, you shouldn't sell yourself short either.  SHP is no big deal.
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Offline Rennhack

Even if I do pass the NRRPT, and even if I do happen to squeeze into all the SHP prereqs, I'm thinking that I oughtta tackle my first-ever outage going in as Jr HP.  Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I'm just plain dumb for thinking such thoughts

I don't know how familiar you are with Troy, but he is always right (literally).

Don't sell your self short.  Take the highest paying job you can get.  When youy get hired as a Sr HP, just ask thousands of questions.  They don't expect you to know everything already, they just expect youy to ask enought questions to do the job they ask you to do.  Be upfront, and let them know you are not familiar with their power plant, and need some peer coaching.

Everything will be just fine, and you'll become a gold member with some of that extra cash from being a Sr HP.

Offline G-reg

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Thanks - I really appreciate the feedback & info!  My number one concern (or insecurity, if you will) was walking into my first job, not meeting the bar, and then consequently discovering that my first job was also my last.  So, thank you for pointing out where that bar really is.  As long as new-guy questions aren't frowned upon (within obvious reason, of course), then I'm in!

BTW, I did sign up for Gold Member.  The way I figure, this site just helped me avoid walking into a mistake (of my own making) which would have cost me the same $$$ as approximately 100 years of Gold membership.  (Don'cha have a Lifetime Membership option?)  ;D

I am still wondering one thing about the NRRPT:  In the past, has anybody ever been allowed to take the exam straight out of the canoe club?  Or do you have to put in time on the commercial/DOE side first?

Thanks again for the advice/info!
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Offline hamsamich

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I don't have near the experience (7 yr ELT/RCSS) you do and i did my first one as an SHP.  I was fine.  People will try to make you feel like you don't know what you are doing at times (someone tried to give me crap my first outage because I didn't know how to use or even know what a "power visor" was), but your navy training is excellent, and 95% of the time it will make you fail conservative.  I had worked in Commercial plants though, just not as an HP, so that helped.  But I had also not done HP stuff since 1995 and I started doing outages in 2005, so that was a plus and a minus.  Have confidence, listen to the others and temper that with your excellent experience and training; you will be fine.  If you don't know what a power visor is, ask.  If you don't know what an RM14 is, then you are in trouble, get it?  Don't expect to see an ANPDR27, do you guys still use those?   :D

Offline Rennhack

BTW, I did sign up for Gold Member.  The way I figure, this site just helped me avoid walking into a mistake (of my own making) which would have cost me the same $$$ as approximately 100 years of Gold membership.  (Don'cha have a Lifetime Membership option?)  ;D

I am still wondering one thing about the NRRPT:  In the past, has anybody ever been allowed to take the exam straight out of the canoe club?  Or do you have to put in time on the commercial/DOE side first?

Thanks for the donation.  I can't answer the NRRPT question, but I'll try to get someone from the NRRPT board to respond.

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I know I'm repeating myself, but it has been a while.
The most I ever got for NRRPT was $1/hr.  I would have gotten the same $1/hr anyway because I had been a Sr. HP for greater than 7 years.
Since it costs money to maintain your NRRPT registration (Dues, memberships to HP Society or ANS, CEU's) and I never missed a job for not being current, and I got the same money as a current NRRPT tech, and some sites don't care if you are current as long as you have the certificate, I let it lapse 13 years ago.  As far as I'm concerned it is worthless - monetarily.  However, I am speaking as an employee.
Speaking as an employer, I wouldn't hire an HP who didn't have it or couldn't get it.  That changes things considerably.
In my opinion, it is worth at least $5/hr above any other tech on your list - including the ones who have 7+ years of experience.  So, if you are paying an additional $1/hr for 7 year Seniors, you should be paying at least $6/hr more for NRRPT with 7 years.  No NRRPT registered tech should be getting less than $30/hr.

I guess I don't agree here BeerCourt.  As an 'employer', you say you wouldn't hire a tech without it?  If you are the 'employer', you are going to have to consider many other factors when staffing up including budget and possible litigation issues.  We both know that we would cringe at paying a tech $30.00 /hr to watch a monitor because they don't have the skills (or competency) to cover the higher risk work such as S/G's , UV, or any real LHRA stuff, right?  There out there man, we just hate to admit it.  We say stuff like......"Oh, these monitors and this Exit Point is very important because it is our last line of defense and I'm glad you are here to help us".  Truth is..............that person is not going in my plant and sure as hell isn't going to cover any HRA/LHRA work.  It sucks, but it happens every day and we all know at least one technician that fits this bill.  
I'm just against paying a person $30/hr because he/she has a piece of paper and then HAVING to paying LESS $$$$$ to the tech who is in the field, in the worst radiological conditions, saving lives, mitigating OPEX Events, and doing what's right.  

In my opinion, the 'registry' is over-done.  I don't believe that having a NRRPT wall plate will make you a better technician, a better supervisor, or a better manager.  In most cases, those with the NRRPT Cert are great techs - but not all and not enough to make monitary policy changes.
We need another way of recognizing and rewarding the tech's that do make a difference.  I am all-in for that.  

If it wasn't obvious by now.....................I don't have a NRRPT Cert myself.  I was never really interested in chasing it down when I was younger (as it is a little harder to get when you are on the road) and by now, some 25 years later...............I still don't see the point or the benefit in my particular case.  If I see it on someones resume, thats okay because it is another way of showing or saying "I care".  However, that candidate will need to bring alot more to the table to get the 'knod' and the offer than a membership card.

rotag

Offline Already Gone

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Read more closely.  You missed the "...or couldn't get it"  The ability is more valuable to me than the certificate.  I let mine lapse almost a decade ago.  I got it, that's all that matters to me.  I got the 30 semester hours, that is all the monetary benefit that I wanted from it.  I'm not willing to pay $6.00 an hour to someone I don't trust, let alone $30.  I use the word "should" a lot in that post.  A lot of things "should" be different.  A tech "should" be worth what his qualifications say he is worth.  NRRPT certificates only mean that you passed a test once upon a time.  What they "should" mean is that you were vetted by the qualification process before you ever sat for the test.  Unfortunately, lots of power plants are very proud of those plaques with the names of all their NRRPT technicians on them.  They want them to be full of names.  So, when it comes time to sign a recommendation, they sign as many as they can instead of asking whether the tech was really qualified.  What you end up with is a bunch of technicians who are qualified "on paper" to take the exam, who took a prep course (which is a virtual guarantee of passing the exam) from someone on the board of examiners, and passed the test.

If you have 5 years as a Sr. HP and you can't get the NRRPT, considering how low the bar is for getting it, you shouldn't be working as an HP.  Now, if paying for the course and the exam fees are an issue, that is not an indication that you lack ability; it is an indication that you are not a house tech who can get the employer to pay the way.  Unless you are going to need the college credits for a degree, taking the NRRPT on your own dime makes no financial sense whatsoever.  By the time you pay for the exam, and the prep course, and the study materials, you won't work enough hours in those two years to do better than break even.  At $1/hr times two years at 25 weeks a year at 72 hours a week, you end up with 4400 dollars.  That assumes that every job will pay the $1 bonus, and that you are not otherwise qualified for that bonus.  It assumes that you get 72 hours every week, and that you actually work 25 weeks in both years.  It assumes that you take the exam at exactly the 5 year point and get your results almost immediately.  If you are a full-timer at 40 hours a week, it comes out to the same amount.  Once you hit your 7 year point it becomes moot because those utilities pay you the $1/hr anyway.

Of course, the fees for the exam and membership are tax deductible to the extent that they exceed 2% of your AGI.  If you are tracking your expenses properly, you should be able to deduct at least some of the cost.  And, if passing the NRRPT is a condition of getting a promotion or a real pay raise (not the roadie $1 bonus) I say do it if you can.

The original question is how much is it worth in dollars to be an NRRPT.  The answer is : It depends.  If you are looking to get a job that requires it, it is worth tens of thousands of dollars.  If you are working as a roadie, it ain't worth a bucket of cold spit.  If you are a house mouse, who cares??? It won't cost you anything anyway so take it!!
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Offline Rennhack

I am still wondering one thing about the NRRPT:  In the past, has anybody ever been allowed to take the exam straight out of the canoe club?  Or do you have to put in time on the commercial/DOE side first?

I talked to a friend of mine that is on the NRRPT board, and his responce was:
Quote
Yes, he should qualify easily, however, he must complete the application to be officially evaluated.

Offline RDTroja

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Here is my experience with the NRRPT. I took it in 1991 at the plant where I was employed (I was a 'house' instructor) and since I was working for the utility, they paid for it ($125, I think.) The reason I took it was to 1) see if I could pass it and 2) stop having to answer the question people were constantly asking (Why aren't you NRRPT certified?). Also 3) the test was being given 10 minutes from my house and 4) I was the designated escort for the test proctor.

The cost to me was $0. I then got out of the HP field (mostly, at least) and didn't swing a meter again for about 11 years. When I went back on the road, I got $2/hr ($3 on overtime) at the Excelon sites I just happened to work in. Even if I had to pay the original fee of $125 and another $100 or so to travel and take the test, I would have far more than made up for that on my first outage. So I was already ahead of the game after one outage.

I disagree that anyone with 5 years should be able to pass the test (unless they have really changed it since 1991) because most of the contractors just don't get the theory training that the test requires. There is not a lot of  'practical' stuff on the test, there is (or was) a lot of theory. Maybe the house techs have the training, but the contractors do not. I have also not personally worked in a lot of plants that pay more for a 7-year senior than any other senior. With the number of years I have, I would love to see a progressive scale, but I have not seen any of it... maybe it is just the plants I have worked.

There are plants that require their technicians to be able to pass the test after a certain number of years, or they can be terminated. I do not know how many there are, but there is at least one.... I taught there.

The bottom line (for me) is that I took the test as a personal challenge and it paid me back far more than it would have cost me if I had paid for it myself. If you have a decent theory background and can take tests (an art form in itself) you will pass and it can pay you back whatever it costs you. There is no reason not to take it IMHO, and it just may get you something might not otherwise be available to you.
« Last Edit: Dec 17, 2007, 03:10 by RDTroja »
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Offline G-reg

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If you don't know what an RM14 is, then you are in trouble, get it?  Don't expect to see an ANPDR27, do you guys still use those?   :D

I've never personally held an RM-14, but I saw the picture in the "Meters" quiz on this website; I was kind of surprised by how technologically advanced most of the meters weren't...  What do they do, paint 'em a different color and call them "the next generation"?   :)

The AN/PDR-27's have all been phased out, as have been all of the AN/PDR-45's.  We've got a new toy to play with, the "Multi-Function Radiac (MFR)".  I didn't see a picture of it in the "Meters" quiz, so I'll post a couple photos of one when I get the chance.  We call them AN/PDQ-1's.  You can hook up a gamma rad probe to it, and PRESTO it becomes an AN/PDQ-3.  Or you can hook up a frisker probe to it instead, and then it becomes an AN/PDQ-4.  Big Navy just started issuing out the alpha probes for it (AN/PDQ-5 in that configuration), so the old AN/PDR-56's are going away also.  Next to hit the streets will be a shielded/directional probe, at which point the AN/PDR-66's will be gone, too.  Rumor has it that they're trying to come up with a neutron probe also (but getting their butts kicked by it) so they can eventually get rid of AN/PDR-70's too.  The MFR's have a digit display which will automatically change to display the correct units depending on which type of probe you've got plugged in at the time.  So far they're rugged enough, but the readings are really drifty - sometimes you can hold the probe perfectly still and watch the reading jump up and down by 50% (sometimes even more).

All in all, they're not too bad, and I was kind of surprised that the "Meters" quiz had mostly analog displays and X1/X10/X100 switches.  Are you guys using newfangled digital auto-ranging radiacs much over on your side of the fence?

(P.S.  Yes, this is off-topic...)
« Last Edit: Dec 17, 2007, 05:12 by G-reg »
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Offline G-reg

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I talked to a friend of mine that is on the NRRPT board, and his responce was:
Yes, he should qualify easily, however, he must complete the application to be officially evaluated.

YESSSSSS!!!

Thanks, man!
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Offline Already Gone

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I abhor digital meters in the field.  I don't have time to mentally process numbers when I am approaching a screaming hot valve, or if the rates change suddenly.  I want the meter on the range that was selected  by me and only me, and I want to see needle deflection.  Math is for later when you are writing up the survey.
Sounds to me like  you have a version of the Eberline ESP series meter.  Very versatile, but hard to manipulate the buttons with gloves on.

BTW, here's your first lesson in civilian nuke :  We never use the word radiac.  Radiac is a smelly decon solution used for cleaning tools.  I don't even know if they make it any more.  Everything here is a meter.  Very few places (TMI and Oyster Creek are the only ones I know) other than Navy and DOE use the term RadCon either.  RadCon is a smelly foam used for deconning people.  It resembles shaving cream.  We say RadPro, Radiation Protection, Health Physics, HP, RP, and sometimes Rad Safety.
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Offline Already Gone

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Here is my experience with the NRRPT. I took it in 1991 at the plant where I was employed (I was a 'house' instructor) and since I was working for the utility, they paid for it ($125, I think.) The reason I took it was to 1) see if I could pass it and 2) stop having to answer the question people were constantly asking (Why aren't you NRRPT certified?). Also 3) the test was being given 10 minutes from my house and 4) I was the designated escort for the test proctor.

The cost to me was $0. I then got out of the HP field (mostly, at least) and didn't swing a meter again for about 11 years. When I went back on the road, I got $2/hr ($3 on overtime) at the Excelon sites I just happened to work in. Even if I had to pay the original fee of $125 and another $100 or so to travel and take the test, I would have far more than made up for that on my first outage. So I was already ahead of the game after one outage.

I disagree that anyone with 5 years should be able to pass the test (unless they have really changed it since 1991) because most of the contractors just don't get the theory training that the test requires. There is not a lot of  'practical' stuff on the test, there is (or was) a lot of theory. Maybe the house techs have the training, but the contractors do not. I have also not personally worked in a lot of plants that pay more for a 7-year senior than any other senior. With the number of years I have, I would love to see a progressive scale, but I have not seen any of it... maybe it is just the plants I have worked.

There are plants that require their technicians to be able to pass the test after a certain number of years, or they can be terminated. I do not know how many there are, but there is at least one.... I taught there.

The bottom line (for me) is that I took the test as a personal challenge and it paid me back far more than it would have cost me if I had paid for it myself. If you have a decent theory background and can take tests (an art form in itself) you will pass and it can pay you back whatever it costs you. There is no reason not to take it IMHO, and it just may get you something might not otherwise be available to you.

If you didn't have to pay for the prep course, you got off cheap.  Frankly, I can't understand anybody passing this test without the prep course or a lot of studying stuff that they never see or do.  Conversely, I can't see anyone who has taken the good prep course not passing it. 

Anyway, my position is that there are lots of reasons to take the exam, and lots of ways to pay for it, but paying the whole cost yourself just to get a pay raise is not a good investment.  You either have to get someone else to pay for it, or get something else out of it.
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Offline RDTroja

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If you didn't have to pay for the prep course, you got off cheap.  Frankly, I can't understand anybody passing this test without the prep course or a lot of studying stuff that they never see or do.  Conversely, I can't see anyone who has taken the good prep course not passing it. 

Anyway, my position is that there are lots of reasons to take the exam, and lots of ways to pay for it, but paying the whole cost yourself just to get a pay raise is not a good investment.  You either have to get someone else to pay for it, or get something else out of it.

I didn't pay for the prep course because I didn't take it... I also didn't study for it. (Yes, I know. I almost backed out of taking the test, but took it anyway.) I didn't take the test for more money but it did work out that way. Guess its just another way I fall out of the norm.
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I have seen an increase in both hourly rate and the bonus for being NRRPT.

I took the exam because I wanted to see how I faired against what I thought was an industry standard at the time.  I alos used it as a tool to focus on my weak points (yeah and I still have many).

Funny thing about the exam I took... all my calculations but one were Co60 navy thumbrule verifiable. 

Ill maintain my Nrrpt and continue towards a degree and CHP cert...then get outta the business.  I think Im gonna statr cooking again.

Good luck to all that want to take the exam.

Offline Already Gone

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If you're looking for pure monitary value of the NRRPT, it's worth a year of college.  How much does a year of college cost? 

It would be interesting to know how many NRRPT members used this asset to get their degree.

Anybody have any stats?

Melissa

Excelsior College will give you the same 30 semester hours for completing the RP training program at a US nuclear plant.   They will even give you more of them as upper level credits than they do for NRRPT. 
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Offline Already Gone

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I have seen an increase in both hourly rate and the bonus for being NRRPT.

I took the exam because I wanted to see how I faired against what I thought was an industry standard at the time.  I alos used it as a tool to focus on my weak points (yeah and I still have many).

Funny thing about the exam I took... all my calculations but one were Co60 navy thumbrule verifiable. 

Ill maintain my Nrrpt and continue towards a degree and CHP cert...then get outta the business.  I think Im gonna statr cooking again.

Good luck to all that want to take the exam.

I have nuked out those thumbrules many times and found them to be really accurate except for the most common one - the curie/meter/rem rule is off by a bunch if Co-60 is the only nuclide. They should call it the curie/meter/2rem rule.
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LaFeet

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Yeah  I notice that too some years back.

Offline UncaBuffalo

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I have seen an increase in both hourly rate and the bonus for being NRRPT.

I've noticed that, too.  Both outages I'm going to this fall are paying $2/hour extra for NRRPT...but only if you are 'active'.  That's the first time anyone's ever even asked if I was 'active'.  I'd paid my dues & kept my training up-to-date for the past umpteen years, so kind of nice to be getting a little something for it...
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Offline RDTroja

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I've noticed that, too.  Both outages I'm going to this fall are paying $2/hour extra for NRRPT...but only if you are 'active'.  That's the first time anyone's ever even asked if I was 'active'.  I'd paid my dues & kept my training up-to-date for the past umpteen years, so kind of nice to be getting a little something for it...

Exelon has always made the bonus for 'active' NRRPT... I found that out through a lot of confusion. No one had asked me if I was active, just if I had passed the test. When the money didn't show up for three paychecks in a row after promises to fix the problem, someone stumbled on the real reason... I was not active. $100 later, I was active again and got the $2/hr... a good trade.
"I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly eat a network executive or a politician."

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Offline Laundry Man

Beer Court,
The term Radiac is used at Oyster.  It refers to the instrument group or lack there of.
LM

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Exelon has always made the bonus for 'active' NRRPT... I found that out through a lot of confusion. No one had asked me if I was active, just if I had passed the test. When the money didn't show up for three paychecks in a row after promises to fix the problem, someone stumbled on the real reason... I was not active. $100 later, I was active again and got the $2/hr... a good trade.

   ...active membership can be readily verified on the website...


Offline Already Gone

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Beer Court,
The term Radiac is used at Oyster.  It refers to the instrument group or lack there of.
LM

There you go -- the exception that proves the rule.  Oyster does everything else the stone-age way, why not this too?  Is the RadCon office still in that old garage?
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Offline Laundry Man

Sadly the Radcon Office is still in the "temporary" building on the north side of the plant.  Plans are to build a permanent building on the north side to one day hold RP and craft.  Hope they get relicensed so this dream comes true.
LM

exocom

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  I have seen House techs that were spoon fed prep courses, given at least 40 hours of paid self study time on top of being paid for taking the prep course and still failed the NRRPT.  I am sure some of these people were playing games, but then again there were several of these people that could not pass the test after being registered was changed from an "Oh that's nice" to an expectation on their performance reviews.

 


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