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Nuke Power

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RCT Value
« on: Sep 15, 2008, 05:53 »
OK didnt want to step on any tails right off the bat so I did my searches and didnt quite find what I was looking for.

I plant to leave the Navy in about 2yrs and am making plans way ahead.   My only problem is deciding where I want to go when I get out.

My question is this.

Will the fact that I am qualed RCT increase my chances of being hired as an RCT as a civ any easier or faster?
Is this qual able to be applied to any other career?

Also
Is there more money and advancement to be had as an RCT or in other fields.  I dont want to be some of the guys that I have met that have been a plain old rct for 10yrs not making much more then when they started.  Upward mobility is important to me.

Kevin


Offline HydroDave63

Re: RCT Value
« Reply #1 on: Sep 15, 2008, 06:03 »
I dont want to be some of the guys that I have met that have been a plain old rct for 10yrs not making much more then when they started.  Upward mobility is important to me.

Kevin

Perhaps they are good at what they do, and enjoy the work and their current coworkers? Who are you to judge that they are 'plain old' anyhow?

alexio

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #2 on: Sep 15, 2008, 06:07 »
Keven,

Getting hired as a technician will not be an issue since you will be ex-navy, but many of plants are always looking for aux operators and that will give you more room for forward advancement. Palo Verde is looking for operators now for a class in January.

Good luck

Bruce

Offline HydroDave63

Re: RCT Value
« Reply #3 on: Sep 15, 2008, 07:12 »
Okay, first things first;

I'll bump your karma back up to zero, hydrodave has a thing about smiting nubs, you'll have to talk to him about it,...

and learn to search better, maybe that's why hydro tagged you,... ;)

Nawww, this one was for attitude about "plain old' techs. 10 yard penalty for lack of humility. My -K nubsmites are on a 24 hour probation, so if someone explains/apologizes, I plus them back up.

On topic: One nuclear employer that always has lots of management openings is Exelon. Why that is......  your mileage may vary ;)

Offline Smooth Operator

Re: RCT Value
« Reply #4 on: Sep 15, 2008, 10:18 »
Nawww, this one was for attitude about "plain old' techs. 10 yard penalty for lack of humility. My -K nubsmites are on a 24 hour probation, so if someone explains/apologizes, I plus them back up.

On topic: One nuclear employer that always has lots of management openings is Exelon. Why that is......  your mileage may vary ;)

If you choose Exelon and have dreams of management, be prepared to work 50-60 hours/week, at least. That is first hand observations. Its not a plant thing, its an Exelon thing. Exelon operates on a fleet management model. There may be a few cultural differences between plants, between departments, but from what I have see, young first line supervisors burn the midnight oil.

P.S. A lot of 10 year Just techs are pulling in 100K, 120K, and so on and then some, so feel free to change your perceptions. And actually you may have to put in 10 years in some places before moving on to management.

Nuke Power

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #5 on: Sep 16, 2008, 05:03 »
Well most of the 10yr rtcs i know have been stuck in the shipyard that long doing refuels and what ever else they get thrown to them.  I also know they can make 6 digit incomes.  Kudos to them.  Im just saying its not for me.  Its well and good to use it to get the foot in the door but its not the life for me.  I am trying to determin the proper route to take and money is not always the deciding factor.  Job satisfaction is more important to me when deciding upon a career, which is one of the reasons I asked about mobility in the rct field. I dont want to end up working like some of those guys for 10 yrs.  10 more years of control point BS will make me crazy.

So far it is appearing like I will go ops though.  Better mobility from what I hear from a few friends.  Especially if you want to get into ro and sro.

Just wanted to see what you guys thought about the advancement in the field.

As for plain old rct.  Is there a difference between the civilian RCT I am working along side and me?  Well except for the over time and pay? 

Offline Smooth Operator

Re: RCT Value
« Reply #6 on: Sep 16, 2008, 06:11 »
In my limited experience, I would say the Shipyard is 180 from Commercial Nuke Plant HP. I am thinking in the Shipyard you are dealing mostly with military contractors, Navy ELTs, NR, and NRC all rolled into one. I can imagine that sucking.

I think you will find a better world in commercial HP, but I will let you make that determination and I am sure more experienced shipyard folks and commercial HPs could assist you.

The closest you get to a shipyard availability in a nuke plant is a refueling outage and that is less than 45 days and there are no military bureaucrats/NR to deal with. There is time pressure, but I have not felt the pressure like I did back in the Navy.

In a nuke plant, Operations is typically the largest group. HP/Chem are typically the smallest. Do the math. I would say all would be good choices for advancement over the next 10 years as new plants come on line and older folks retire.

I am speaking from a non-Union perspective (whole nuther thread). In a non-Union plant, you don't have to officially worry about "seniority" and bidding on jobs, so a motivated hard charger may be able to move up faster (opinion only).

Also, in OPs, there is typically 2-3 years between license class, so you may have to wait a few classes before moving up.

There are so many factors, but I bet anywhere you could build your own career if you put forth the effort.


Offline RDTroja

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #7 on: Sep 17, 2008, 09:27 »
I have been in commercial nukes for about 35 years, mostly in HP of some form or another (technician, trainer, Rad Engineer, ALARA Coordinator, etc.) I never worked in a shipyard, but I can tell you this: I have worked with dozens of HPs that got their start in shipyards as civilians that came to the power side. I have never heard of one that went back to the shipyard. I am willing to bet there is a reason for that.

There are two sides to HP in the commercial world -- house tech and road tech -- and while they both take the same skill set to be successful, it takes a 'different' sort of individual to be a road tech. It all depends what you want to do and how you want to live. There is enough variety out there that almost anyone can find what they want.

I have one suggestion for you that will probably cause some debate. I think almost all of the skilled workers (technicians, operators and engineers) in a nuclear plant would benefit from starting out in HP. I am certain that having that background will give you a different perspective and make you a better worker no matter what your skill or craft. Maybe only for a year or even just 6 months. You will gain an insight that will serve you well no matter what your ultimate career path.
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jowlman

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #8 on: Sep 18, 2008, 01:12 »
One thing that I will add to this thread. Depending upon the plant's management structure. A tech going from hourly union to salaried management, may actually take a pay cut when all is said and done at the end of the year. I know of one tech at one plant that in the early 90's took home more money than the RPM. It made for one happy tech and one angry RPM.

Offline Smart People

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #9 on: Sep 18, 2008, 02:07 »
I have one suggestion for you that will probably cause some debate. I think almost all of the skilled workers (technicians, operators and engineers) in a nuclear plant would benefit from starting out in HP. I am certain that having that background will give you a different perspective and make you a better worker no matter what your skill or craft. Maybe only for a year or even just 6 months. You will gain an insight that will serve you well no matter what your ultimate career path.

I would wonder if there is an HP that would disagree. It would make life much easier if everybody we worked with and covered had an idea of where we come from.
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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #10 on: Sep 18, 2008, 02:42 »
I would wonder if there is an HP that would disagree. It would make life much easier if everybody we worked with and covered had an idea of where we come from.

The only reason that I would disagree is because there have been some that I know that think that because they were HPs that I owe then some sort of "professional courtesy".  They then think that this means I should let them go with no oversight and when they get crapped up, I shouldn't coach them or write up the PCR. 

Most "ex-HPs" don't do this and they know that when we give them conditions and constraints, it's for their own well being.

Offline RDTroja

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #11 on: Sep 18, 2008, 03:01 »
I would wonder if there is an HP that would disagree. It would make life much easier if everybody we worked with and covered had an idea of where we come from.

While that is true, it is not really what I meant. With a background in (or at least fundamental knowledge of) HP/RP a worker is going to be able to perform his job more efficiently in the RCA. There will be fewer stopped jobs, holdups, personnel contaminations, and other surprises if a person can at least have a better understanding of HP principles while doing the job or planning it.

As for the 'professional courtesy' part, that is also right... once per person if handled properly.
"I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly eat a network executive or a politician."

                                  -Marty Feldman

"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to understand that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
                                  -Ronald Reagan

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.

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Offline dinutt

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #12 on: Sep 18, 2008, 04:24 »
Kevin I see you still have a -K ....ok I didn't really care for your comment on the plain old 10  yr RCT ...I will say this you are looking ahead ,shows your drive and where you may end up after  your 2 years left  of searching. Best of luck to you with your career ! OPS may be your best option but agree with RDtroja getting a background in HP for a short time  first .. :D
Di

cal403

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #13 on: Nov 25, 2008, 10:58 »
If you are seeking employment @ a DOE site, being former NAVY and a quald RCT will definately help.  You'll just have to site qual.

illegalsmile

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #14 on: Nov 26, 2008, 09:32 »
If you are seeking employment @ a DOE site, being former NAVY and a quald RCT will definately help.  You'll just have to site qual.
Unless things have changed considerably since I rehabbed  ;), techs new to the DOE still have to pass their 'Core Test.'
I know that Exelon has a lot of former RCT's who've moved to other positions and maintian their RP quals so they can cover some of the work they and their crews perform.

Offline girlnuke

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Re: RCT Value
« Reply #15 on: Nov 28, 2008, 07:38 »
I have been in commercial nukes for about 35 years, mostly in HP of some form or another (technician, trainer, Rad Engineer, ALARA Coordinator, etc.) I never worked in a shipyard, but I can tell you this: I have worked with dozens of HPs that got their start in shipyards as civilians that came to the power side. I have never heard of one that went back to the shipyard. I am willing to bet there is a reason for that.

There are two sides to HP in the commercial world -- house tech and road tech -- and while they both take the same skill set to be successful, it takes a 'different' sort of individual to be a road tech. It all depends what you want to do and how you want to live. There is enough variety out there that almost anyone can find what they want.

I have one suggestion for you that will probably cause some debate. I think almost all of the skilled workers (technicians, operators and engineers) in a nuclear plant would benefit from starting out in HP. I am certain that having that background will give you a different perspective and make you a better worker no matter what your skill or craft. Maybe only for a year or even just 6 months. You will gain an insight that will serve you well no matter what your ultimate career path.



I was a Navy RCT for 4 yrs, road tech for 16, then I went and signed-up with the shipyard.  In the 7 years I've been here 4 other RATS hired on and none of them work here anymore, they all went back on the road. Hell, we had to go to RCT school for nearly six months in Norfolk to become "qualified" shipyard  RCTs (all had 20+ yrs exp). I came here because I was a single parent and the road life was just too much for my child. I personally don't think a Navy RCT these days is prepared to work as an RP on the outside.   I can tell you that it's really frustrating to go back in time every day when you go to work.  I mean they just started using electronic dosimeters this year!!   

 


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