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Offline z.james37

SRO job aspects
« on: Aug 13, 2013, 01:44 »
Hello

There are numerous helpful threads on paths to becoming an SRO and the job duties associated with the job.  I am interested in getting more information on the other aspects of the job (as identified below) specifically at Exelon.  I am grateful for any feedback.   

1.  How many hours a day/week are put in during normal operation and during outages.

2.  While "working" - are you busy the whole time addressing issues that come up or are there periods where nothing needs to be done immediately and you can grab a book (work related) in case you want to look up things that interest you or if you want to prepare for the qualifying exams.  Another way of asking this question - how long do you actually need to address typical duties in a shift...I guess you can stretch it out to fill the shift...but let us assume this is not the goal.

3. Has the compensation been affected by recent turbulence in the electricity market (Exelon cut the dividend a few months ago and is making less money as a whole compared to 5 years ago).

4. Just out of curiosity - how often do you see an SRO that came in from an engineering firm.  I work at an engineering firm and see a ton of SROs in consulting roles.  From my perspective this job is appealing because you gain unparalleled knowledge about a plant...but since so many SROs change their careers there have to be some major negatives about a job like that (e.g. shift work...which does not matter to me).   

Thanks

Offline CT-Mike

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #1 on: Aug 13, 2013, 08:54 »
Hello

There are numerous helpful threads on paths to becoming an SRO and the job duties associated with the job.  I am interested in getting more information on the other aspects of the job (as identified below) specifically at Exelon.  I am grateful for any feedback.  

1.  How many hours a day/week are put in during normal operation and during outages.

I week 12 hour shifts on a 5 week rotation when online, although one of the weeks is a 32 hr 4 day training week. We work 4 on 1 off during outages, so either 60 or 72 hours/week.

Quote
2.  While "working" - are you busy the whole time addressing issues that come up or are there periods where nothing needs to be done immediately and you can grab a book (work related) in case you want to look up things that interest you or if you want to prepare for the qualifying exams.  Another way of asking this question - how long do you actually need to address typical duties in a shift...I guess you can stretch it out to fill the shift...but let us assume this is not the goal.

Depends on if you are the CRS or work control, depends on whether you are talking nights or days, and the day of the week. Weekends are typically slower, but work control on Sunday night is pretty busy tagging systems preparing for Monday morning work. Day shift during the week is pretty busy with everyone doing their surveillances.

Quote
3. Has the compensation been affected by recent turbulence in the electricity market (Exelon cut the dividend a few months ago and is making less money as a whole compared to 5 years ago).

I don't work for Exelon, but my salary has gone up every year.

Quote
4. Just out of curiosity - how often do you see an SRO that came in from an engineering firm.  I work at an engineering firm and see a ton of SROs in consulting roles.  From my perspective this job is appealing because you gain unparalleled knowledge about a plant...but since so many SROs change their careers there have to be some major negatives about a job like that (e.g. shift work...which does not matter to me).    

Thanks

Typically to be an SRO candidate as an engineer you have to have 2 years on-site working in engineering before being eligible.
« Last Edit: Aug 13, 2013, 08:57 by CT-Mike »

Offline Higgs

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Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #2 on: Aug 13, 2013, 09:30 »
To add to what Mike said, here's where you can find SRO eligibility requirements;

http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,33141.0.html


As far as pay/benefits..., the closer to the reactor that you are, the more "safe" your pay is. I won't say benefits, because the company can, and does, cut those. I left Exelon in 2010, and they were cutting 401K matching, medical, and annual incentive bonuses then. Probably more by now. So is my current company.

However, my salary, requal, and license bonus is pretty bullet proof. Ops won't typically take pay cuts or freezes like everyone else. At least not from what I've seen at Exelon and FE.

YMMV

Justin
"How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic.” - Ted Nugent

Offline cheme09

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #3 on: Aug 14, 2013, 10:14 »
As far as pay/benefits..., the closer to the reactor that you are, the more "safe" your pay is.

Some managers told me the same thing when I was an intern.  For the most part, I feel like it's pretty much true.  But as for lucrative pay...you should see how much we pay vendors.  Having that nuclear stamp on equipment and services automatically boosts the price anywhere from 4-10x normal.

mwdavis

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Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #4 on: Aug 14, 2013, 10:01 »
I recently obtained my SRO License at an Exelon plant and echo everything CT-Mike has posted. Some shifts are less busy than others, but when you add in required employee observations, misc. assignments and schedule reviews for upcoming work weeks I have yet to come across a shift where I felt that spending time any length of time studying would be appropriate. The one thing I would add is that, at least at the plant I am at, the work schedule is voted on by the Bargaining Unit so it is subject to change year to year and management follows the schedule voted into effect.

Offline z.james37

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #5 on: Aug 15, 2013, 10:44 »
Guys - thanks for  your reply/input.


I have also noticed that a big job factor is studying for the exams.  Doesn't this get a lot easier with time and becomes a non-issue after a few years (think 5-10 years) at a site?  It seems to me that the job is really demanding for newer SROs but that the job gets easier (i.e. less stressful) with time spent on site.   This is what I was trying to understand why all these senior guys (ex SROs) leave the plants to get these consulting jobs at a point in their career where they can perform their SRO duties easily and most efficiently (with little stress).  Since SROs make decent wage money should not be issue for a career change.  These guys also do not get leadership roles (e.g. manager/VP) but remain consultants - so power/status is not the reason for changing either....must be just a push for a lifestyle change..

Offline storm13

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #6 on: Aug 15, 2013, 12:24 »
I work for a research reactor, rather than the power world, and I've only been licensed for about a year but here's my 2 cents...

I have also noticed that a big job factor is studying for the exams.  Doesn't this get a lot easier with time and becomes a non-issue after a few years (think 5-10 years) at a site? 

It's attitudes like this that cause people to fail requal exams.  Our requal exam always has had a fair amount of material that we just don't deal with on a day-in, day-out basis.  If you don't study and prepare, you WILL fail.

Quote
It seems to me that the job is really demanding for newer SROs but that the job gets easier (i.e. less stressful) with time spent on site.   This is what I was trying to understand why all these senior guys (ex SROs) leave the plants to get these consulting jobs at a point in their career where they can perform their SRO duties easily and most efficiently (with little stress). 
You're not just worried about yourself as an SRO.  You've always got RO's (some of them very junior) that you've got to watch out for and help.  Not bad guys, just guys who haven't seen evolutions before, and who need help, whether they know it or not.  If you feel like SRO is an easy job, you're probably not doing it right.
Quote
Since SROs make decent wage money should not be issue for a career change.  These guys also do not get leadership roles (e.g. manager/VP) but remain consultants - so power/status is not the reason for changing either....must be just a push for a lifestyle change.. [\quote]  There is something to be said to be in a work environment where you only have to be responsible for yourself. 

Offline jams723

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #7 on: Aug 15, 2013, 04:29 »
Really? Typically SROs do have opportunities to advance to manager positions.  Also, you will not find a senior leader position that has not at one time held a SRO license or a SRO Certification.

Of course there are no guarantees and promotion is highly competitive.


Guys - thanks for  your reply/input.


Since SROs make decent wage money should not be issue for a career change.  These guys also do not get leadership roles (e.g. manager/VP) but remain consultants - so power/status is not the reason for changing either....must be just a push for a lifestyle change..

Offline z.james37

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #8 on: Aug 15, 2013, 05:48 »
Really? Typically SROs do have opportunities to advance to manager positions.  Also, you will not find a senior leader position that has not at one time held a SRO license or a SRO Certification.

Of course there are no guarantees and promotion is highly competitive.



jams- that must be the case at utilities.  From my experience (engineering firms) , SROs come in as consultants/contractors. Engineering firms do not typically hire managers from the outside (they are developed within the company).

Offline Higgs

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Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #9 on: Aug 15, 2013, 08:11 »
Guys - thanks for  your reply/input.


I have also noticed that a big job factor is studying for the exams.  Doesn't this get a lot easier with time and becomes a non-issue after a few years (think 5-10 years) at a site?  It seems to me that the job is really demanding for newer SROs but that the job gets easier (i.e. less stressful) with time spent on site.   This is what I was trying to understand why all these senior guys (ex SROs) leave the plants to get these consulting jobs at a point in their career where they can perform their SRO duties easily and most efficiently (with little stress).  Since SROs make decent wage money should not be issue for a career change.  These guys also do not get leadership roles (e.g. manager/VP) but remain consultants - so power/status is not the reason for changing either....must be just a push for a lifestyle change..


The bolded is strictly a person by person trait. I, having only been in this industry for 6 years, and standing licensed duties at this plant for the last 6 months, am very comfortable in the control room. But then, I was that way in the Navy, too. I just seem to "get it." In contrast, there are guys that have been doing it much longer, and remind me of this;





Although it would seem that it should get easier, there really is no putting into words how stressful the job really can be. You have a huge responsibility to shoulder, not everyone handles the load the same way.

Justin
"How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic.” - Ted Nugent

Offline jams723

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #10 on: Aug 15, 2013, 09:13 »
jams- that must be the case at utilities.  From my experience (engineering firms) , SROs come in as consultants/contractors. Engineering firms do not typically hire managers from the outside (they are developed within the company).

Sure, But you asked about getting a SRO License and then made the statement about not advancing.  I did not note you qualified the post with remain in a consulting role.  The typical SRO that goes the contractor route has retired from a utility and is padding his/ her retirement and does not want the headache of a manager position in an engineering firm.


Offline hiddencamper

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #11 on: Aug 15, 2013, 11:41 »
since people are talking about requirements to become SRO, and advancement.

First off, as someone who's seen the informal list of requirements for moving into SLT/management roles and up, almost all of the SLT positions require a cert at a minimum. So the license is a huge bump.

Secondly, for engineers becoming an SRO at an exelon plant, here's what you'll need (I just got in to ILT).
6 months on site minimum. 3 years of "responsible power plant experience" at a comparable reactor type. This generally refers to time that you are actually fully qualified to perform your job function, not just time working at a plant. Up to 2 of this MAY be substituted for your degree, but they don't like doing that and I think it goes against your ranking for selection. You also need an engineering/sciences degree from an ABET accredited university. If you have mech/EE/Nuke degree your fine. If you have chemical engineering, or a number of other things, they will need to look at it more.

I would recommend getting on site as a system engineer, getting very active in troubleshooting and making yourself known, and taking a shot at it once you've learned about the plant you want to be at....if you are trying to get in through engineering. It is uncommon for them to take an external hire to ILT, who is also an engineer (not an operator), but it does happen.

Good luck

Offline Contract SRO

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #12 on: Aug 19, 2013, 02:09 »
Guys - thanks for  your reply/input.


I have also noticed that a big job factor is studying for the exams.  Doesn't this get a lot easier with time and becomes a non-issue after a few years (think 5-10 years) at a site?  It seems to me that the job is really demanding for newer SROs but that the job gets easier (i.e. less stressful) with time spent on site.   This is what I was trying to understand why all these senior guys (ex SROs) leave the plants to get these consulting jobs at a point in their career where they can perform their SRO duties easily and most efficiently (with little stress).  Since SROs make decent wage money should not be issue for a career change.  These guys also do not get leadership roles (e.g. manager/VP) but remain consultants - so power/status is not the reason for changing either....must be just a push for a lifestyle change..


I will have to weigh in on this one........Performing as an SRO on shift does not leave time to study.  Your paid to make power (electricity) and keep a plant running including all the administrative responsibilities.  The industry continues to add layers of work without ever removing outdated requirements.  So your study time is during your training week which is pretty full with requal classroom topics and simulator scenarios with minimal study time planned in to the schedule.  Therefore your study time may often be on your own time with no pay for it.  I don't want to be rude but your comment "with little stress" indicates you have minimal clue of what it is like to be in a control room on a day to day bases.

SROs do make good wages but money is not what it is all about.  As a consultant I do not live under stress to get my job done yesterday.  I am paid to get a job done and given the time to accomplish it successfully.  I make good money as a consultant but one thing to remember is that you have no job security.  I have been told "because we are millions of dollars over budget that tomorrow is your last day".  I also have to provide all the benefits out of my pay that were a part of my/your total benefit package as an inhouse employee.  I have no complaint about that but that is why the rates that are charged for consultants are what they are.

The other thing that many find out the hard way is that often to get off days or vacation your trading days with your fellow SROs because there are very few plants that are manned with enough  people to cover time off.

I do not want to cause you to not want to consider nuclear power.  It has been good to me and my family.  But I will also tell you that the best time of my working career has been the last five years that I have been working as a consultant.

Fermi2

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Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #13 on: Aug 19, 2013, 03:28 »
My favorite part was stretching out your activities to fill the shift.

Offline z.james37

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #14 on: Aug 19, 2013, 06:15 »




Contract SRO - you must have been one of these...sorry could not resist.  Thanks for your feedback though.  Also notice that your SRO background greatly helps you with your consulting job now.  If you went into consulting without your plant experience I bet you would find consulting a lot more stressful...you are asked do to stuff with limited manhours and a deadline..if you know what you are doing all is good but if you have to learn as you go...well, you do the learning on your own... 

Offline Contract SRO

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #15 on: Aug 20, 2013, 07:11 »
Contract SRO - you must have been one of these...sorry could not resist.  Thanks for your feedback though.  Also notice that your SRO background greatly helps you with your consulting job now.  If you went into consulting without your plant experience I bet you would find consulting a lot more stressful...you are asked do to stuff with limited manhours and a deadline..if you know what you are doing all is good but if you have to learn as you go...well, you do the learning on your own... 

Everyone has their own situation that led them to contracting.  If you want to know mine, I will share it in private email but I do not share personal information in a public forum.

My SRO is what allowed me to work as a consultant.  Without it I would not have been hired by companies to perform the work they were needing.  That is one of the main purposes for hiring consultants/contractors, getting someone with experience who can come in to your facility and begin work without a great deal of learn as you go.

Fermi2

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Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #16 on: Aug 20, 2013, 10:54 »
Contract SRO - you must have been one of these...sorry could not resist.  Thanks for your feedback though.  Also notice that your SRO background greatly helps you with your consulting job now.  If you went into consulting without your plant experience I bet you would find consulting a lot more stressful...you are asked do to stuff with limited manhours and a deadline..if you know what you are doing all is good but if you have to learn as you go...well, you do the learning on your own... 

Without ever having been an SRO how could you possibly make that statement??

Offline z.james37

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #17 on: Aug 20, 2013, 12:58 »
Without ever having been an SRO how could you possibly make that statement??

Which statement – there are multiple statements quoted.  I am assuming you are questioning my assertion that “...if you went into consulting without your plant experience I bet you would find consulting a lot more stressful…”

This is based on years of working with all types of engineers (including SROs) and tracking the quality and manhours spent on various tasks.  Comparable tasks by SROs tend to be done smoothly and efficiently (all possible issues tend to be identified in the beginning and addressed in a timely manner).  With engineers that went to work for engineering companies directly out of school (no plant experience other than an occasional walkdowns) there seem to be more issues into the project because there is lack of understanding how systems interact and what is potentially impacted…when the reviews come in toward the end of the project unaddressed questions are raised…project completion risk increases…things are rushed to meet the deadlines and quality suffers..people are asked to work a lot (sometimes without pay because of budget issues) and get unhappy.  These are generalizations (there are exeptions) but are representative from my experience.  Engineers starting out are most affected and are under pressure because they are expected to catch up quickly on their own time (as Contract SRO pointed out – when clients hire consulting companies the expectation is that team members know what they are doing and no manhours are allotted for learning). 

Note also that as a consulting engineer the typical assignment duration is about two months.  Working for a company (not an independent contractor), you do not pick what you do – you do whatever project there is so that you remain billable.  This means that the work you perform varies and is not always stuff you have done before.  Practical experience/background greatly helps to minimize the time you need to catch up and do your work. 

Fermi2

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Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #18 on: Aug 20, 2013, 02:40 »
Which statement – there are multiple statements quoted.  I am assuming you are questioning my assertion that “...if you went into consulting without your plant experience I bet you would find consulting a lot more stressful…”

This is based on years of working with all types of engineers (including SROs) and tracking the quality and manhours spent on various tasks.  Comparable tasks by SROs tend to be done smoothly and efficiently (all possible issues tend to be identified in the beginning and addressed in a timely manner).  With engineers that went to work for engineering companies directly out of school (no plant experience other than an occasional walkdowns) there seem to be more issues into the project because there is lack of understanding how systems interact and what is potentially impacted…when the reviews come in toward the end of the project unaddressed questions are raised…project completion risk increases…things are rushed to meet the deadlines and quality suffers..people are asked to work a lot (sometimes without pay because of budget issues) and get unhappy.  These are generalizations (there are exeptions) but are representative from my experience.  Engineers starting out are most affected and are under pressure because they are expected to catch up quickly on their own time (as Contract SRO pointed out – when clients hire consulting companies the expectation is that team members know what they are doing and no manhours are allotted for learning). 

Note also that as a consulting engineer the typical assignment duration is about two months.  Working for a company (not an independent contractor), you do not pick what you do – you do whatever project there is so that you remain billable.  This means that the work you perform varies and is not always stuff you have done before.  Practical experience/background greatly helps to minimize the time you need to catch up and do your work. 


Look at what you posted about Contract SRO and figure it out. Having been a Shift Manager qualoified SRO twice I'm certain there is very little if anything you can tell me about the job...

Offline MrHazmat

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Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #19 on: Aug 20, 2013, 04:45 »
Look at what you posted about Contract SRO and figure it out. Having been a Shift Manager qualoified SRO twice I'm certain there is very little if anything you can tell me about the job...

OMG A TYPE O!!!!!! ;)
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Offline GLW

Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #20 on: Aug 20, 2013, 04:59 »
Look at what you posted about Contract SRO and figure it out. Having been a Shift Manager qualoified SRO twice I'm certain there is very little if anything you can tell me about the job...

OMG A TYPE O!!!!!! ;)

It's only a typo to the unknowing,...

It is almost a need to know term which is reserved to describe those persons who are qualified and have acheived that innate and undefinable, but recognized, level of proficiency where those described individuals can meld qualified performance with superlative levels of interoperability (aka LOI).

ergo: Qualoified,...

it is a word,...

for those who understand no explanation is needed, for those who do not, no explanation will suffice,... [coffee]
« Last Edit: Aug 20, 2013, 05:05 by GLW »

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Fermi2

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Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #21 on: Aug 20, 2013, 05:51 »
DANG!! That was fat fingers!

My point on this was I objected to someone who knows nothing about being an SRO posting a picture of a guy sweating and saying I bet you are this type...
His fellow SROs and qualified nukes can joke about something like that but in my opinion a snowflake shouldn't. From my dealings with Contract SRO (which are more frequent these days as he is helping to guide me into the contract world) he seems level headed and I know from info he has given me he has an excellent background. EVERY SRO should take EVERYTHING he does while on shift seriously, and that is not sweating.

I've seen some sweat pump SROs do a great job when the crap hits the rotating device. And I've seen SROs who take everything that happens on shift with the grace of an angel totally cave when something happens. We all respond IAW our gifts.

In theend snowflakes should learn to resist prior to poking fun at an SRO or anyone who has qualified in an operating plant regardless of position.

chuckdhuff

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Re: SRO job aspects
« Reply #22 on: Aug 21, 2013, 09:07 »
Without ever having been an SRO how could you possibly make that statement??

Look at what you posted about Contract SRO and figure it out. Having been a Shift Manager qualoified SRO twice I'm certain there is very little if anything you can tell me about the job...

My point on this was I objected to someone who knows nothing about being an SRO posting a picture of a guy sweating and saying I bet you are this type...
His fellow SROs and qualified nukes can joke about something like that but in my opinion a snowflake shouldn't. From my dealings with Contract SRO (which are more frequent these days as he is helping to guide me into the contract world) he seems level headed and I know from info he has given me he has an excellent background. EVERY SRO should take EVERYTHING he does while on shift seriously, and that is not sweating.

I've seen some sweat pump SROs do a great job when the crap hits the rotating device. And I've seen SROs who take everything that happens on shift with the grace of an angel totally cave when something happens. We all respond IAW our gifts.

In theend snowflakes should learn to resist prior to poking fun at an SRO or anyone who has qualified in an operating plant regardless of position.


With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
He pulls the spitting high-tension wires down

Helpless people on subway trains
Scream, bug-eyed, as he looks in on them

He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town

Oh, no, they say he's got to go
Go go Broadzilla
Oh, no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Broadzilla

Oh, no, they say he's got to go
Go go Broadzilla
Oh, no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Broadzilla

 ;)

 


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