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RT00003

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Hi,

I was a Navy nuke eons ago (late 80's), now I'm wondering if it's too late to get back in the game.

History:

-qualified reactor operator and reactor technician on carrier plant (only served original 6-year term), also ETMS graduate
-received AAS degree in Nuclear Power in early 90's
-unable to find a job in nuclear field so I did non-nuclear work until late 90's
-received BS in Chemical Engineering in 2003
-went to grad school for MS in Chemical Engineering but got hired as Development/Research Engineer for small engineering research company (coal/energy-related field) before finishing
-company folded at end of 2008
-received MS in Chemical Engineering recently

I was a pretty good reactor operator back in the day but I'm not sure if that is what I should do if I can get back in.

Any advice or suggestions?  Is this a pipe dream?

Offline G-reg

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 02:19 »
By "back in the game" and "back in", are you talking about going back to Navy Nuclear Power?

My first thought there goes to your current age.  Some crude estimating puts you in your early 40's, which will be a serious obstacle - probably even a nonstarter (but then again there are more waivers than you can shake a stick at nowadays).  The only way to be sure is to talk to a Navy Recruiter.  Better yet talk to more than one Navy Recruiter, in case the first one you meet isn't quite on the mark.

Have you checked on jobs in the commercial/DOE side of nuclear recently?
"But that's just my opinion - I could be wrong."
  -  Dennis Miller

RT00003

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 03:22 »
Guess I wasn't very clear, but I have no intention/desire of going back in the Navy (plus I know I am a little long in the tooth for that).  I am strictly interested in a commercial nuclear job.

I would be interested in working in engineering or operations; whatever my experience/education would make me a good fit for.





Fermi2

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2009, 03:39 »
Janitor

rlbinc

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 02:57 »
Things have changed alot since the 80's. I got old, for example.
But, if you feel you are up to it, apply, interview, and see what happens.

Good Luck.

IPREGEN

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2009, 01:55 »
In this world or deregulation, nuclear power plant work is not what it used to be. Don't overlook opportunities at non-nuclear facilities and utilities. It adds many more opportunities for jobs and advancement. Just being someone that was a Naval Nuke tells employers you have some smarts and a good background.

Fermi2

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 02:07 »
In this world or deregulation, nuclear power plant work is not what it used to be. Don't overlook opportunities at non-nuclear facilities and utilities. It adds many more opportunities for jobs and advancement. Just being someone that was a Naval Nuke tells employers you have some smarts and a good background.

No, it doesn't.

Offline Marlin

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2009, 02:34 »
In this world or deregulation, nuclear power plant work is not what it used to be. Don't overlook opportunities at non-nuclear facilities and utilities. It adds many more opportunities for jobs and advancement. Just being someone that was a Naval Nuke tells employers you have some smarts and a good background.

That is provided they know what a Nuke is.

No, it doesn't.

   Having chosen not to wear the golden handcuffs of a nuclear plant operator, I think I can say yes it does. You will hear the same from staffing recruiters and contractors that supply manpower to a variety of disciplines. Having been a job shopper for most of my nuclear career in a wide variety of positions I can say that my Navy Nuke background has been influential in many of the jobs I have gotten and none of them were in operations.

Fermi2

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2009, 02:56 »
No, it doesn't tell anyone you have any smarts or a good background. What it does tell me is someone was able to regurgitate a standard answer 62.5% of the time, hardly indicative of smarts or a good background.

Offline Marlin

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2009, 03:37 »
No, it doesn't tell anyone you have any smarts or a good background. What it does tell me is someone was able to regurgitate a standard answer 62.5% of the time, hardly indicative of smarts or a good background.

   Most people don't qualify for entry much less completing the course, unbiased evaluators would be aware of this and the standards used. I don't know what your hard spot is with ex Navy nukes but you clearly have a very negative bias which seems strange since you were one. You are way off base on this one, and I don't think that is just my personal opinion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Nuclear_Power_School

Naval Nuclear Power School is a nuclear engineering school operated by the U.S. Navy to train enlisted sailors, officers, KAPL civilians and Bettis civilians for shipboard nuclear power plant operation and maintenance of surface ships and submarines in the U.S. nuclear navy. Due to its depth and fast pace, it is regarded as the one of the most difficult academic programs in the country.[


  

Offline sovbob

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2009, 03:45 »
Wikipedia, the infallible resource.
"Everyone's entitled to be stupid now and then, but you're abusing the privilege."

Offline Marlin

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2009, 04:13 »
Wikipedia, the infallible resource.

Granted Wikipedia has had some issues but it also has about the same accuracy as any other Encyclopedic source.

So:

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/navy/l/blnukeschool.htm

They come with IQs off the charts and ASVAB scores that number higher than their life expectancy, but that's what a 22-year-old needs to succeed when he's asked to run a nuclear power plant on a U.S. Navy warship

JustinHEMI05

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2009, 10:27 »
I, for one, am thankful that the SM that hired me thought my experience was worth something.  8)

Justin

RT00003

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2009, 11:28 »
Thanks for all the advice gentlemen.  It is much appreciated.

It seems that my little engineering company has (maybe briefly) revived itself.  I got called back for a client meeting two days after my post here; we have a project for the next few months anyway and seems like prospects for more.

Admittedly this situation seems a bit shaky so I will keep checking out nuke jobs.

FYI, I graduated summa or magna from 3 different degree programs.  I can regurgitate the correct answer a hell of a lot better than 62.5% of the time.

Offline Madcow43

Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2009, 01:07 »
I saw some people suggesting you look into ops at a non-nuke plant.  That's where I went after the Navy.  It is definitely different from a nuke plant, and from what I have heard from some people I know who went to nuke plants, the pay is not as good.  If a non-nuke power plant is something you are still thinking about, I might be able to answer some of you questions, feel free to PM me. 

Fermi2

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2009, 03:56 »
RT

As much as Broadzilla rants and raves about Navy Nukes one fact can't help but be brought up.  He was one too.  So when he rip's us he is ripping himself.  Except he thinks of himself better than any of us in terms of escaping this past plague (being Navy Nuke) without so much as a scratch.  I would guess he used his Navy Experience on a Resume when he got out.  I would go so far as to say he thought it made him a better candidate than others because of it too.  The difference is that now he thinks you are an idiot if you do that.  I doubt he would admit it but he puts his pants on just like you do.  One leg at a time.  In my EVIL world there is no difference between him and you post Navy.

Where does that leave you?  You can run and hide due to your unworthiness or You can be every bite as good or better if you apply yourself just like he did.  I would recommend you avoid the "smarter than thou" water though.

Get yourself positioned for Ops.  You will like it better in the long haul.  Maybe you would like Ops at a non-nuclear plant too.  Your call.

You've got the resume to pull it off.

When I hired in I didn't put Navy Nuke on my resume. It did absolutely nothing for getting me into this industry OR any success I've had since I've been in it.

Mike

JustinHEMI05

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2009, 01:21 »
Ohhhhh Noooooooo seems someone used someone's words against them Mr. Bill!

RT'3 I recommend you use your Navy Nuke experience on your resume.  It's as valuable as the Degree IMHO.  Go with what you know.

You know, Mr Bill was a favorite of mine growing up. Thanks for rekindling those memories with the spot on, no nonsense advice you give around here. Welcome to nuke worker!

Justin

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2009, 06:49 »
So, what did you put down for your experience for your Navy time?  JANITOR!?!?!?

"Would that be .... an eeeeevill Janitor ?"

On-topic: I think what BZ is trying to convey, although in a caustic and subtle way, is that the aura of 'I'm an ex-nuke, you should hand me the highest paying job (or you forum people should give me hand-over-fist instructions on how to apply)' is a tiresome fallacy. It was a good rule of thumb for those nukes back in the days of Nautilus and Rickover, but today ..not so much.

I have also had the displeasure of interviewing prospective new hires who: were ex-Nukes, didn't prepare for the interview, knew little to nothing about the position we were looking to fill and yet expected a couple softball questions , sea-story, ring-clink and adulation for being an ex-Nuke. And those resumes/candidates got pumped to SAN3 as well.

JustinHEMI05

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2009, 11:16 »
"Would that be .... an eeeeevill Janitor ?"

On-topic: I think what BZ is trying to convey, although in a caustic and subtle way, is that the aura of 'I'm an ex-nuke, you should hand me the highest paying job (or you forum people should give me hand-over-fist instructions on how to apply)' is a tiresome fallacy. It was a good rule of thumb for those nukes back in the days of Nautilus and Rickover, but today ..not so much.

I have also had the displeasure of interviewing prospective new hires who: were ex-Nukes, didn't prepare for the interview, knew little to nothing about the position we were looking to fill and yet expected a couple softball questions , sea-story, ring-clink and adulation for being an ex-Nuke. And those resumes/candidates got pumped to SAN3 as well.

I agree that is what he is trying to say. Much to the chagrin of many navy nukes, no one is waiting outside the gates looking to hand you a 6 figure job.

Justin

Offline tr

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2009, 06:12 »
RT00003, since you went to school for Chemical Engineering, you should also consider looking beyond the standard Ops job that people here recommend so often.  Every nuclear plant has a chemistry department, and some sort of engineering department.  Vendors like Westinghouse, GE, and AREVA use lots of chemical engineers, both in their design organizations and in their fuel fabrication plants.  You would probably be a good fit for any of these positions as well.

Fermi2

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2009, 07:46 »
When I was in the Navy I used my leave time to get a 3rd Class Boiler Operator license from the State of Ohio.
I used that and my college time.
Then anyone who interviews me knows within minutes I'm the best man for any job. I'm that good.

Mike

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2009, 10:02 »
Then anyone who interviews me knows within minutes I'm the best man for any job. I'm that good.

(Broadzilla) is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

http://www.mooviees.com/3372/quotes

Offline jams723

Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2009, 10:34 »
(Broadzilla) is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

http://www.mooviees.com/3372/quotes


You forgot modest *laughs*.  But I agree he is a good guy!  First rate in my book.

Offline RDTroja

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2009, 12:16 »
When I hired in I didn't put Navy Nuke on my resume. It did absolutely nothing for getting me into this industry OR any success I've had since I've been in it.

Mike

Funny, most employers consider leaving important information off of a resume to be just as bad as putting false information on. There goes that whole integrity issue...
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Offline elwood

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Re: Another ex-Navy nuke pondering getting back in
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2009, 12:09 »
Anybody who has gotten an Ohio boiler operator license understands what BZ is talking about.  It is not an easy license to get and having one will definitely get your foot in the door. At my previous plant it was required to operate the aux boiler and alot of people had trouble getting it. 

 


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