Career Path > Navy:Getting Out

Navy Nuke Asking For Help

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I am a Master Chief ELT  getting out in May looking to break into civilian nuclear power.  I am newbie here so please forgive me if I commit some serious breach of etiquette.  I spent a few hours looking through the message board and this is what I think I know so far:

1. DOD and DOE security clearences are not readily tranferable, the fact that you hold a DOD clearence only make the process a little quicker.  It does sound like they use the same SF form so you can start working on it while you are still in the NAVY.

2. South Florida is the armpit of the world but the easiest place to break into the business because of the high turnover rate. (That explains why the FPL jobsite has so many open positions)

3. My ELT experience only gets my foot in in the door.

4. There are many disgruntled ex-Navy nukes working in the civilian sector.

The questions I have are:

Can the management and supervisory experience I have get me into that type of position at a plant or do they prefer people with RCT, HP, Chem Tech experience at a civilian plant?

What can I do in the next few months to keep me from looking like a fool if I happen to land one of these positions?

Does anybody have contacts at any plants that they are willing to share?

I am not looking to get rich but I would like to pull down at least 60-65K a year.  I understand that there is alot of overtime available at many plant so hiring in a $25/hr doesnt mean that you wont make considerably more.  I appreciate any and all help.



First of all, thanks for sticking it out and serving your country, I really appreciate it.

You weren't on the TR or at NPTU Charleston anytime in the past 6 years by any chance, were you? :)

Second, I'm by no means an expert, and I myself am still vying for my entry into commercial nuclear power. I'm finishing up some college work right now and will be jumping back into the work force this summer. But, I have learned a *lot* from all the guys/gals here on NukeWorker in the past several months, and I'm working on compiling an FAQ for commercial power newbies, based on what I've learned here.

To your questions: First of all, your ELT experience counts for quite a bit, *especially* if you've been on a decom crew or a ship refueling. Experience during that time counts on a 1 month:1 month basis. Otherwise, being an ELT counts for 12 months of equivalent experience towards the ANSI 3.1 requirements to qualify as a Senior Health Physics Technician, which requires 4 or 5 years of relevent experience (or something close to that).

If you have completed a college degree, that counts for another 12 months, also. That's what I'm counting on to get into commercial power, since I was an EM, which really gets me nowhere in the HP field.

While you're waiting to get out, you might want to study up for the theory exams. Somebody else chime in here, but I *think* you have enough qualified experience to probably take the NRRPT exam, which is the standard certification for civilian HP techs. Also, the Dept. of Energy CORE exam is the gateway to DOE work. This site has practice tests and study guides available in the "Study" section.

I would imagine that your experience  in supervisory roles would count for quite a bit if you found a full time, in-house position at a power plant. A lot of plants have a position called a Shift Technical Specialist or something to that effect, that is basically a supervisory/technical advisor type position, available in Operations departments. As a road tech, I have no clue what is available.

For full-time work and some really good career advice, there is a well respected member of the communityu that is a nuclear recruiter, but I would never label her a "head hunter." Her user name is "NukeRecruiter". You might want to send her a private message here on the system. She helped me out a LOT when trying to figure out what to do to maximize both my Navy nuke experience and college education.

Check out the job boards here, and call directly and talk to the contract companies. The two largest contract companies for HP work are Bartlett and Numanco. They get the vast majority of the contracts for outages.

I hope I'm not breaking etiquette by mentioning this, but another individual you may want to talk to that helped me out a lot is Scott Wolf of the McLain Group in New Orleans. His number is 985-725-0290. He has a lot of experience with military-civilian transitions.

Well, I hope that is a good start.

Good luck, and welcome to CIV DIV!
Take care!

Thanks for the insight, I feel like I have been asleep at the wheel.  I should have started looking into this before now.  I was the first PLELT at MTS-626.  I left NPTU Charleston in 1996.

From the site:
An applicant must have a minimum of five years experience. Training may be substituted for experience if the applicant will submit to the Board information about the program and proof of completion. This information should include curriculum, typical examinations, and passing requirements for radiation related subjects.

Experience credit allowed for formal education, company training programs and applicable military training is cumulative up to a maximum of two years. Note that an applicant may not claim work experience while in formal classroom study.

(Un)Fortunately, depending on your opinion, the NRRPT gives limited experience credit for military time (2 years max) and the HPS gives no credit for enlisted military time towards meeting qualification requirements. 

As for pointing the MMCM in the right direction, the fact that you only want 60-65K a year is good.  Working OT consistently will almost get you there.  The supervisory aspect is less promising, but, depending on your interview skills and how much time you spent improving upon the initial skills the Navy educated you with, you might be a good fit somewhere.

See, with enough time since service our level of disgruntlement can recede to near background levels.

Being a MCMM will make it difficult to swallow teching, where ever the assignment.  Some outfits might consider you for Site Coordinator if your people skills are right.  Auditing and assesment might be an option, but other than INPO, I don't see a long-term market. 

Did you get the sheepskin?  What do you need to finish?  Your experience plus some paper might make a company consider you for staff position.

Good luck.


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