Help | Contact Us
NukeWorker.com
NukeWorker Menu Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree

Author Topic: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree  (Read 8473 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline rdm0711

Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« on: Feb 05, 2011, 04:50 »
I graduated from Penn State last May with a B.S. in nuclear engineering, a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Italian.  I know it is a strange mix so you don't need to tell me that.

I have had only two interviews in the last 9 months, one with Areva who told me that my comm degree made me look like a poor engineer because they didn't think I could sit behind a desk all day.  The other with a contracting company, Altran, who said that I was very charismatic and enthusiastic during the interview, however, they didn't feel the position was right for me because it is going to be a very boring job and I wouldn't like it.

Does having a dual degree really make me look bad?  Should I just get rid of it on my resume and just say I spent 7 years in college because I didn't know what I wanted to do.  Do I need to go into an interview with a depressed and boring look on my face to be credible as an engineer? 

My friend says that there might be as many as 80 students graduating in nuclear from Penn State this May which means that in 4 months I will also have to compete with 80+ fresh minds right out of college on top of every other college grad in the country.  It will be over a year since I've done any engineering.  Can anyone give me some advice?  I'm already 130k in loan debt so I don't really want to go back to get a masters but if I have to then I will.  Thanks in advance!

-Rich

Sun Dog

  • Guest
Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #1 on: Feb 05, 2011, 06:38 »
I graduated from Penn State last May with a B.S. in nuclear engineering, a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Italian.  I know it is a strange mix so you don't need to tell me that.

I have had only two interviews in the last 9 months, one with Areva who told me that my comm degree made me look like a poor engineer because they didn't think I could sit behind a desk all day.  The other with a contracting company, Altran, who said that I was very charismatic and enthusiastic during the interview, however, they didn't feel the position was right for me because it is going to be a very boring job and I wouldn't like it.

Does having a dual degree really make me look bad?  Should I just get rid of it on my resume and just say I spent 7 years in college because I didn't know what I wanted to do.  Do I need to go into an interview with a depressed and boring look on my face to be credible as an engineer? 

My friend says that there might be as many as 80 students graduating in nuclear from Penn State this May which means that in 4 months I will also have to compete with 80+ fresh minds right out of college on top of every other college grad in the country.  It will be over a year since I've done any engineering.  Can anyone give me some advice?  I'm already 130k in loan debt so I don't really want to go back to get a masters but if I have to then I will.  Thanks in advance!

-Rich

Join the Navy.

JustinHEMI05

  • Guest
Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #2 on: Feb 05, 2011, 06:40 »
Skip engineering, join an ops crew at a power plant. ;D You'll make more and won't be bored. :)

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #3 on: Feb 05, 2011, 08:02 »
Skip engineering, join an ops crew at a power plant. ;D You'll make more and won't be bored. :)

I concur. For one, you get cash flow and immediate (after training) in-plant operational experience. Once you are in-house for a couple years at a large utility there will be positions in the world of the polyester-clad palace that will be wowed by your multi-faceted education. Jobs for which they wouldn't likely take an applicant with no experience from off the street, but an internal candidate would be in a great position. You may get a couple odd looks from the Ops supervisors doing the operator interview, but it won't be a disqualifying bias, just curiousity. Most every nuclear utility is behind the demographic curve in hiring competent staff that can pass a piss test, POSS test and GFES. Good luck!

Offline cheme09

Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #4 on: Feb 05, 2011, 08:04 »
Skip engineering, join an ops crew at a power plant. ;D You'll make more and won't be bored. :)

I've been thinking long and hard about ops lately.  I have a BS Chem Eng, and getting a MS Nuclear Eng right now.  Interning for a utility now doing office engineering work and crave a more operational job.  Have tried NUPOC a couple times and not granted an interview bc of my undergrad grades.  Doing well in the MS and still going to submit at least one more NUPOC app while I'm still in school (recruiter says as long as I'm working towards a degree, I can submit all I want).  But I've been looking at my utilities job postings and have seen them hire for NLO's a couple times in the past few months.

What is your thought of a MS Nuclear Eng applying for a NLO position?  I know I want an operational type job and I know I want an SRO.  Should I keep an eye out for something more engineering related - systems eng, reactor eng, etc then try to get into an SRO class?  Is going from grad school to NLO a bad idea?  If going in NLO, how long until one starts earning a comparable salary to an engineer?

Sorry, don't mean to jack the thread, but this whole ops thing has generated a lot of questions for me.  If I was in your situation, I would apply to the navy.  But that's just because I want to be in the Navy.  If you haven't yet looked into it, it's worth a look.

JustinHEMI05

  • Guest
Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #5 on: Feb 05, 2011, 08:18 »
You should go NLO. There are people with more advanced degrees than you as NLOs. It will typically be the faster path to SRO, from what I have seen, and it as all but guaranteed. If you have degrees and want to be an SRO, you WILL be an SRO (assuming you pass, of course). If you go into engineering, there is no guarantee that they will pick you up for a class. Every site and utility is different though, so YMMV. I am just basing that on the 2 plants I worked at. As an NLO, you WILL make more than an entry level engineer at a plant.

Offline OldHP

  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 502
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 276
  • Gender: Male
  • Tell Recruiters to use NukeWorker.com
Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #6 on: Feb 05, 2011, 11:13 »
You should go NLO. There are people with more advanced degrees than you as NLOs. It will typically be the faster path to SRO, from what I have seen, and it as all but guaranteed. If you have degrees and want to be an SRO, you WILL be an SRO (assuming you pass, of course). If you go into engineering, there is no guarantee that they will pick you up for a class. Every site and utility is different though, so YMMV. I am just basing that on the 2 plants I worked at. As an NLO, you WILL make more than an entry level engineer at a plant.

 [pigfly]
There are not a whole lot of NE PHDs (the more advanced degree) working as NLOs.   :P ;D ;D
Humor is a wonderful way to prevent hardening of the attitudes! unknown
The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. Regan

Offline Smooth Operator

Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #7 on: Feb 06, 2011, 06:28 »
Just curious,

Why did you learn Italian?

Seems like French would partner better with Nuclear than Italian.

Areva might of liked that.

And I concur, just go OPS.


JustinHEMI05

  • Guest
Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #8 on: Feb 06, 2011, 10:49 »
[pigfly]
There are not a whole lot of NE PHDs (the more advanced degree) working as NLOs.   :P ;D ;D

You know what I mean. I meant masters in this that or the other, or more advanced than NE and BA in something elst. He doesn't have his yet. Hell, in my current class there is a guy with a BS in NE and Math (more advanced than his). And yes, there are quite a few of them at my plant, and yes, I get your joke and agree, that there aren't phDs walking around in scrubs.
« Last Edit: Feb 06, 2011, 10:52 by JustinHEMI »

thenuttyneutron

  • Guest
Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #9 on: Feb 07, 2011, 01:45 »
I graduated from Penn State last May with a B.S. in nuclear engineering, a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Italian.  I know it is a strange mix so you don't need to tell me that.

I have had only two interviews in the last 9 months, one with Areva who told me that my comm degree made me look like a poor engineer because they didn't think I could sit behind a desk all day.  The other with a contracting company, Altran, who said that I was very charismatic and enthusiastic during the interview, however, they didn't feel the position was right for me because it is going to be a very boring job and I wouldn't like it.

Does having a dual degree really make me look bad?  Should I just get rid of it on my resume and just say I spent 7 years in college because I didn't know what I wanted to do.  Do I need to go into an interview with a depressed and boring look on my face to be credible as an engineer?  

My friend says that there might be as many as 80 students graduating in nuclear from Penn State this May which means that in 4 months I will also have to compete with 80+ fresh minds right out of college on top of every other college grad in the country.  It will be over a year since I've done any engineering.  Can anyone give me some advice?  I'm already 130k in loan debt so I don't really want to go back to get a masters but if I have to then I will.  Thanks in advance!

-Rich

Dang!  There were 202 people total in the country that earned BS degree in Nuclear Engineering when I graduated back in 2004.  It seems like it suddenly became very popular.  I think there was a big bump in the numbers of people enrolling because it became the hot topic a few years back.  

I agree with Justinhemi only on the "go OPS" part.  I am a RO and the job is not all that exciting.  Besides watching the machine run, all I do on a daily basis is perform Surveillance Tests and add a little bit of water to the side of the plant that I am on.  

I still have not had my first "exciting" day after 2 years of being licensed.  I came close during the shift of a misaligned rod, but an off shift guy had taken the watch at turnover for a proficiency watch.  I missed all the fun of driving the plant to 45% power.  

In this business, you don't want excitement anyway.  Excitement in the plant means staying over past turnover to make a statement and they are not in any fun.  The only excitement that I get is in the simulator during an evaluated drill and that is no fun either.  Non-evaluated drills are a lot of fun though and they can be stimulating.  The whole idea of a License not being on the line takes the pressure off of you.  

The pay is good and there are many openings for OPS.  Eventually there will be other opportunities and you should be able to make the jump to something else in the utility.
« Last Edit: Feb 07, 2011, 01:48 by Nutty Neutron »

Cycoticpenguin

  • Guest
Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #10 on: Feb 07, 2011, 04:45 »
Why has no one brought STA positions, seems like it would be great for these two in the thread. They can move to SRO fairly quickly from there if they wanted to do the swap.

At least do the direct RO positions some plants are offering nowadays.

JustinHEMI05

  • Guest
Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #11 on: Feb 07, 2011, 09:00 »
Why has no one brought STA positions, seems like it would be great for these two in the thread. They can move to SRO fairly quickly from there if they wanted to do the swap.

At least do the direct RO positions some plants are offering nowadays.

No one hires for STAs anymore, that I know of. Most utilities are moving away from non-licensed STAs.

Offline rdm0711

Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #12 on: Feb 08, 2011, 03:20 »
I have a friend that is an RO at TMI right now.  Says it's boring as Hell but he makes a lot of money.  I guess I will look into that.  Do I need to pass the tests BEFORE I apply for RO positions or do I get the job and then they train me?

I thought about the navy but they say I have to lose 40 lbs and theres no way that is going to happen.

I learned Italian because I'm Italian, and I hate French.  And I hate Areva!  LOL

Thanks for all your input guys!

-Rich

Offline cheme09

Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #13 on: Feb 08, 2011, 05:00 »
You should go NLO. There are people with more advanced degrees than you as NLOs. It will typically be the faster path to SRO, from what I have seen, and it as all but guaranteed. If you have degrees and want to be an SRO, you WILL be an SRO (assuming you pass, of course). If you go into engineering, there is no guarantee that they will pick you up for a class. Every site and utility is different though, so YMMV. I am just basing that on the 2 plants I worked at. As an NLO, you WILL make more than an entry level engineer at a plant.

When you say an NLO "WILL make more than an entry level engineer," I assume that is taking into account the overtime earned.  I understand as an RO, overtime can be optional and some OT is to be expected, but just how much is normal?

I appreciate the info here.  If I don't make it into the Navy, I'll seriously consider applying for an NLO spot.

JustinHEMI05

  • Guest
Re: Nuc Eng. with a Communications degree
« Reply #14 on: Feb 08, 2011, 05:19 »
I have a friend that is an RO at TMI right now.  Says it's boring as Hell but he makes a lot of money.  I guess I will look into that.  Do I need to pass the tests BEFORE I apply for RO positions or do I get the job and then they train me?

I thought about the navy but they say I have to lose 40 lbs and theres no way that is going to happen.

I learned Italian because I'm Italian, and I hate French.  And I hate Areva!  LOL

Thanks for all your input guys!

-Rich

There are very few, if any, places that higher directly into RO. Exelon does not currently. Besides, I don't think you would qualify for a direct hire RO.

From ACAD 10-001:

"Effective January 1, 2011, this document supersedes ACAD 09-001, Guidelines for Initial
Training and Qualification of Licensed Operators, January 2009. Until January 1, 2011, either
document may be used as the basis for initial licensed operator training and qualification."

"2.1
Reactor Operator (RO) Education and Experience Eligibility Requirements
2.1.1
Education –
The candidate possesses a high school diploma or equivalency certificate.
2.1.2
Experience –
The candidate has at least three years of power plant experience, as defined
by Figure 2-1, and at least six months on site at the facility for which the license is being
sought. Additional nonlicensed operator, commercial reactor operator, or military reactor
operator experience is required, as defined in Figure 2-1. "


When you say an NLO "WILL make more than an entry level engineer," I assume that is taking into account the overtime earned.  I understand as an RO, overtime can be optional and some OT is to be expected, but just how much is normal?

I appreciate the info here.  If I don't make it into the Navy, I'll seriously consider applying for an NLO spot.

I don't know, every place is different. Where I currently work, entry level engineers make less than NLO's in training. When NLOs get out of training, they make 100K or so depending on OT. Work hour rules govern this.
« Last Edit: Feb 08, 2011, 05:36 by JustinHEMI »

 


NukeWorker ™ is a registered trademark of NukeWorker.com ™, LLC © 1996-2021 All rights reserved.
All material on this Web Site, including text, photographs, graphics, code and/or software, are protected by international copyright/trademark laws and treaties. Unauthorized use is not permitted. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute, in any manner, the material on this web site or any portion of it. Doing so will result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use | Code of Conduct | Spam Policy | Advertising Info | Contact Us | Forum Rules | Password Problem?