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Author Topic: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant  (Read 5326 times)

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Offline NuclearCowboy17

Good day to you all!

My background is in Health Physics, but since I am looking for more information on power plants, I thought this be the best place for the topic of concern. I have read a lot the posts and have taking away some of the shared wisdom, however many of the posts are years old and in the ever changing environment I thought a new thread might post some new light.

A little history of myself: I am an Ex-ELT, RO at a research reactor, have a BS and MS in health physics, passed Part I of CHP and taking part II summer 2014. Since school I was at a National Lab, and now and the lead Rad type in an Emergency Planning group within the Naval Nuclear Power Program for my respective site. Due to the constant budget hoopla, over bearing restrictions, etc. I have discussed the possibility of changing gears to the utility area with my mentor, who has held several managerial positions at power plants, but there is only so much I can discuss with him.

What I would like to ask is what type of positions someone with my background should look into. I have found the nomenclature (such as Rad Tech) to carry very different meaning that what I am used to, so asking the folks that have been there, and still there would be the fastest and most efficient method to get from A to B. I have seen a few posting out there for some EP type positions and have inquired about them. The HP type openings are more elusive in terms of meeting qualifications, since most are just the bare minimum to start as a jr. Tech.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated and thanks for taking the time to respond.



  • Guest
Re: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 11:51 »
First question; "Are you looking for permanent or contract employment in the commercial industry?"  Second, "Are you looking to work in the commercial side of the business or the DOE side of the business?"  These are important questions to ask yourself before pushing out on the market.  With a BS and MS and half way into a CHP you are not looking to get into the Rad Tech arena, to educated and less financial opportunity.  You need to stay in the HP professional realm of things.  A good starting point would be Marie Rossi, of Bartlett Nuclear, if looking for contract work.  If looking for permanent positions, select Companies such as Exelon, Entergy, Duke, and search their career opportunities on line.  Most of the large commercial utilities do not accept random resume submittals.  Generally only if they have posted positions either on their own websites or on other internet websites such as this one.  DOE sites require some additional work to locate and define the site primary contractors.  Good luck

Offline NuclearCowboy17

Re: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 01:20 »

Thank you for your comments and valid questions please see answers below.

The current plan is to seek something on the commercial side of the business, I have been involved with government in some for or another since I joined the navy. With the current fiscal situation the commercial sides seems to be a bit more stable and financially sound ( by no means guaranteed. I am also looking for a permanent type position, something I can get to and get involved for the long hauls (+10 years minimum).

I have been reviewing the websites you recommended over the last few months, and have found a few desirable positions and some I even put in for, but there is where some of the confusion comes from. A good example would be a few of the openings have titles associated such a jr/sr/specialist/staff. At my current employer a specialist is a non-exempt only title, but the qualifications listed are certainly more professional in nature online. Also there maybe a transition point from non-exempt to exempt much earlier in ones career that I am unaware of. I have been monitoring the jobs boards closely and that has help tremendously, my intention with this post was to fill in some of the gaps and gain insight on what the different titles mean and require.

In this specific case time is on my side, I am not itching to leave my current job, but from what I gather there will be little to nothing done once I complete the CHP process and that yields a significant gap in pay and responsibility.

Also, any additional personnel you or anyone could recommend would be appreciated. I found one individual (Duke Nuker) that has a similar position, but when I tried to PM it got kicked back for inbox being full. 

Thank you again for your response.


  • Guest
Re: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 08:05 »
If you are not in a hurry, get your CHP first.  Once the CHP it will open a tremendous amount of opportunity.  When the CHP is final start searching the web for Health Phyicist positions.  You may have to use the vendor list on some of the most common webs for nuclear employers but they are there.  Nothing wrong with using a recruiter to help search just don't get into the paying out of your pocket gimmick that many use.  Make the utility pay the recruiter costs otherwise don't use them find someone else.

Offline fiveeleven

Re: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 09:29 »
I would think with your current credentials that you are in a pretty good position to obtain commercial power plant employment. Most operating plants have a 3-5 member group of Health Physicists in the RP dept. give or take a few for number of units at the site. You could easily get in with your current resume and then pursue your further qualifications while employed and on the companys nickel. These places love having " Doctors" on their staff, so you could be looking at CHP2, ABHP 1,2 and then the Doctor handle if so inclined - great place to be. Our good friends at INPO have proposed upping the ante on all things E-Plan related, most notably the intensity ,frequency, and reality of drill scenarios, of course all a result of the goings on to the East. This whole situation hasnt really started at the plants yet, its still in the "how we goona implent this" phase at the house of bricks, but the RP segment of the E-Plan will soon be an even better place to be than it is now. Good Luck.  MM2/ELT USS NIMITZ CVN-68 80-84. BOHICA
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 09:31 by fiveeleven »

Offline NuclearCowboy17

Re: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 12:13 »

That is some great information, especially the numbers. But if may ask you, and anyone else that would like to chime in, what would be the title for the positions you speak of? I am assuming, and maybe way off, but Tech would not be consider in these types. Would a Specialist be in this realm, I have also seen staff and other terms of similar nature? Personally speaking I dont care if tech is in the title, it is somewhat a moot for me since I have officially qualified to take the exam.

As for the EP comments, judging from my mentors past experience and stating that a lot of EP groups are 1 or 2 people, it does seem the plants are expanding that to some extent. The last one I inquired about had 4+manager and looking for another, so it seems they are starting to beef up the groups. I have seen similar type occurrences at my current employer as well. Certainly seem the industry is putting much more focus on the EP side of the house, of course a direct result of the Fukushima.

On a quasi related note, how will the plant closings out west effect the current job market in terms of plant hiring? I would assume the is a rare influx in the amount of personnel looking for employment, but again I am not an expert in these type of things.


To your comments, finishing my CHP is top priority and I will at least sit for Part II before I would start anything new unless absolutely necessary. I have been dedicating time on the exam for over 2 years, and I am not going to give up on that now. Especially since like you say it will open up many doors. Which is why I am just starting to look and determine the best path forward. No need to rush into this, whenever the next move comes, it is for the long term so I would like it to be the right one. At this moment, if something good pops up I look into it to, but the opportunity will be more open once I have the designation. In that regard I may ask for some more information on the recruiter comment, I have never used nor looked into one in the past.

Again thank you for you time.

Again I thank you.


  • Guest
Re: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 03:01 »
As I indicated earlier, I would, in your shoes, avoid positions having the term tech or specialist.  Look more into Certified HP or Certified Health Physicist.  More pay, more responsibility but better future.  EP is a good get but be careful when in this area because you can get stuck in an EP slot that does not utilize your education and thus does not pay as well.  Research the Recruiter aspect.  There are other sites that can direct you to Nuclear recruiters.

Offline GLW

Re: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 03:16 »
check your PMs,...

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


  • Guest
Re: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2014, 08:32 »
Also try Rad Engineer or Radiological Engineer

Offline mars88

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Re: Getting the Professional Level HP work at Power Plant
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014, 11:56 »
And as soon as you're done with the above, ditch it all to become a CIH--many more opportunities and the exam is much easier.

Don't confine yourself to the nuclear world just because your degree is in health physics.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 11:58 by mars88 »


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