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nuke88

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Good afternoon,

I am currently a radiation protection technician student in Tennessee, and I am wondering basically what to expect when I graduate.  A few details about me and the program:

-We will have a 4-6 month internship with TVA, to include work at Watts Bar, Sequoyah, and Browns Ferry nuke plants a month or so after we graduate.
-We will be working primarily with Bartlett to obtain contract jobs to work towards our Senior Tech level
-We will be taking the NUF before we graduate.

About me:
-I was able to attend the NEI Radiation Protection forum in San Diego this year, where I was able to network with some of the higher up's at Bartlett, as well as numerous radiation protection managers from many of the plants.
-I am currently the VP of the American Nuclear Society at my school.
-I also have a 4 year bachelors degree in business finance.

I was wondering,  what is to be expected in terms of job outlook for us, as well as what is the best tactic to make sure we are applying for any available jobs for junior techs.  In other words, what advice do you have for me/us at this point in our radiation protection career?

Thank you!

Offline Rennhack

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #1 on: Dec 18, 2014, 07:44 »
This would be a great time to talk to some of the Alumni from the program.  I have worked with several graduates of that program.

Quote
In other words, what advice do you have for me/us at this point in our radiation protection career?

That's a really broad question.  Spend a few hours reading some posts on this site. Questions along those lines have been answered several times.  In order to get a better answer, you will need to give us a more specific question.

Here it goes again:  The largest employer of Jr RP Technicians is... drum roll please..... Bartlett. 800-225-0385
You can try Atlantic group as well.
Post your resume on NukeWorker.
Check the company sites for the Utilities you are looking to work for.
Send your resume to any company that posts an RP job opening.

When at TVA, Volunteer for everything.  Tell Bartlett you will take any job any where, that you just want to stay employed.

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #2 on: Dec 18, 2014, 11:20 »
That is a great response to my question, however broad the question it may be.  Thank you for recommending the Atlantic group, as well as posting my resume to this website. I wanted to be able to bring some of this information back to my classmates.  Also, I will continue to search the forums for previous expecting/recent graduates that have the same basic questions that I might have. 

Thank you.

Offline Rennhack

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #3 on: Dec 18, 2014, 12:09 »
Don't stop posting the questions. 

I have worked with many graduates of that program.  I would like to see one of them return to give a speech on your subject.
« Last Edit: Dec 18, 2014, 12:11 by Rennhack »

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #4 on: Dec 19, 2014, 05:41 »
It is too bad the 4 year degree in business finance did not pan out.  If you are academic at all you may get bored being a nuc, which are trained and mainly follow procedures.  Once trained, nothing much changes the rest of your career.

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #5 on: Dec 19, 2014, 06:28 »
I agree; it seems that the generic 4 year business degree is not always the way to go.  My friend does radiation protection at our local plant, and he does very well for himself; works hard including working overtime, and getting paid well to put in the hours.  That is what drew me to changing my career to radiation protection.  I will sacrifice being a little bored any day if I am given the opportunity to work a lot and make a decent wage.

Offline OldHP

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #6 on: Dec 19, 2014, 10:35 »
As Mike said this is the time to talk to graduates of the program!  Jason xxxxxx comes to mind, you can find him here, on linkedin, or through one of your instructors!

Or PM me and I'll ask him to get in touch with you!


  Modified for Forum Rule #7 https://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,4700.0.html
« Last Edit: Dec 20, 2014, 09:58 by HydroDave63 »
Humor is a wonderful way to prevent hardening of the attitudes! unknown
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Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #7 on: Dec 20, 2014, 09:30 »
I agree; it seems that the generic 4 year business degree is not always the way to go.  My friend does radiation protection at our local plant, and he does very well for himself; works hard including working overtime, and getting paid well to put in the hours.  That is what drew me to changing my career to radiation protection.  I will sacrifice being a little bored any day if I am given the opportunity to work a lot and make a decent wage.
     Back in the 1920s, people used to work 12+ hour days 6 days a week just to get by. Then came the unions that fought for 8 hour days and put in the law if you work over 40 hours in a week, you got paid time and a half. During World War II everyone worked long shifts as part of the war effort. Once the war was over, and utopia set in where people worked 8 hour days, you could afford a small house, and had leisure time to pursue hobbies.
     You are now coming into an industry that the wages have been stagnant for 10 years and people are working the 72 hour weeks not to thrive; no, we are back in the 1920s just getting by. If you had chosen a job in finance, they are still geared up for 40 hour weeks. When you get stuck in the nuclear rat race, you will find you have nothing to do but work. If you are younger and have a family, your children will hardly know you.  It breaks my heart when I hear mother say, "My children don't want any special gifts, they want me home."
     Outages are getting shorter and shorter. You are not paid for the time you travel to a job and back home if you travel a long distance, and travel pay is capped to cover maybe 500 miles. Once you are stuck on the road working 6 months plus a year, you are unable to even go to school to train to do something else. The job itself has become tedious, with bean counting supervisors ensuring little time for breaks. The slightest mistake can lead to immediate discharge. I've seen it at all the recent outages I have been to. Before you take that final leap, examine what you're getting into.

Offline Old HP

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #8 on: Dec 20, 2014, 02:17 »
And here I thought nobody else had noticed the changes that have occurred in the last 20 years.
Radiation Protection used to be a profession and the plant staff and even the management appreciated good job coverage, now not so much.

Offline jkj

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #9 on: Dec 21, 2014, 11:12 »
     Back in the 1920s, people used to work 12+ hour days 6 days a week just to get by. Then came the unions that fought for 8 hour days and put in the law if you work over 40 hours in a week, you got paid time and a half. During World War II everyone worked long shifts as part of the war effort. Once the war was over, and utopia set in where people worked 8 hour days, you could afford a small house, and had leisure time to pursue hobbies.
     You are now coming into an industry that the wages have been stagnant for 10 years and people are working the 72 hour weeks not to thrive; no, we are back in the 1920s just getting by. If you had chosen a job in finance, they are still geared up for 40 hour weeks. When you get stuck in the nuclear rat race, you will find you have nothing to do but work. If you are younger and have a family, your children will hardly know you.  It breaks my heart when I hear mother say, "My children don't want any special gifts, they want me home."
     Outages are getting shorter and shorter. You are not paid for the time you travel to a job and back home if you travel a long distance, and travel pay is capped to cover maybe 500 miles. Once you are stuck on the road working 6 months plus a year, you are unable to even go to school to train to do something else. The job itself has become tedious, with bean counting supervisors ensuring little time for breaks. The slightest mistake can lead to immediate discharge. I've seen it at all the recent outages I have been to. Before you take that final leap, examine what you're getting into.

 Amen, brother----- If I had a son, (and I do) I would tell him not to get anywhere near this field, unless you are completely desperate. Unfortunately, in this "booming" job market many people are, and that's why this job and most others have declined. It may get better but not in my lifetime. My advice---"don't!"
Words fail me and pictures aren't much better.

"Never take no cut-offs, and hurry along as fast as you can."-- (Virginia Reed; member of Donner party.)

surf50

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #10 on: Dec 21, 2014, 04:25 »
Yes, everyone's noticed the changes over the last 20 years in this business (as well as practically every other business), but what Nuke88 seems to be saying is his buddy has a good job as a house tech, and he wants in on it, too.

Quote
My friend does radiation protection at our local plant, and he does very well for himself; works hard including working overtime, and getting paid well to put in the hours.  That is what drew me to changing my career to radiation protection.  I will sacrifice being a little bored any day if I am given the opportunity to work a lot and make a decent wage.

I say go for it; being a house tech (for me) was a great experience and financially rewarding. And being bored is only an issue if you sit in the breakroom too long. ;D

As far as being a road tech, well, it's a fine part time gig, but I wouldn't want to have to make a living at it.

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #11 on: Dec 22, 2014, 12:47 »
Until now, aside from it being somewhat difficult to find work starting out as a junior tech, on the road work sounds great because it seems there is a lot of money to be made.  Also, people are saying that you never see your family, but as a junior, I most likely will be working strictly outage work, which means basically half the year off.  I would love to work throughout the year, but that seems to be the nature of things.  And if I got a house job, at least I could provide for a family and make a great wage.  To be honest, that is what I want to do, IS WORK!   And you think that the rat race is just in nuclear, well try having a basic business degree;  2000 fish (people) all trying to take a bite at 1 piece of food (a job/promotion/ect.), all while getting paid a wage that is below what is needed to have any sort of freedom.  Cube life is just not for me.

I appreciate the advice, and I certainly want to know the positives and negatives of the industry.  However, I have chosen to get into rad protection with the intentions of succeeding, working long hours, and making great money to provide for a family.  If I have to be on the road for 2 months, so be it.

Offline Old HP

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #12 on: Dec 22, 2014, 02:18 »
Grasshopper,

It sounds like you have made up your mind from the other side of the fence. The grass is always greener on the opposite side from where you are standing.
Yes you can make a living as a road tech and be home 6 months of the year, however there are prices to pay for that goal.  It can take 4-6 years to cross the required experience line to become a 3.1 ANSI  Sr. Tech. There are a lot of Jr. Techs that give up before reaching the 3 year qualification. Also once you do become a Sr. Tech you will notice that the divorce rate for road techs is VERY high ( due to only being home 6 months  a year). The availability of jobs will be decreasing as more plants are shut down and placed in Safe Store (not many decommissioning jobs in the next 10 years).
If you do make it past 18.1 qualification you will notice that there is not a lot of opportunity for real on the job training due to short outages and time pressure, ( I know there is no time pressure, or so I have been told over in 30 years worth of outages ).  The system has generated a lot of Techs that do not have the experience or ability to cover high risk jobs due to the above mentioned time pressure issues.
Enough of the real world stuff.  I hope you are successful in achieving whatever goals you set for yourself and that the grass is greener for you on the nuclear side of the fence.


                                            Old HP
 

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #13 on: Dec 22, 2014, 04:33 »
Thank you.  I appreciate the information.  With the all this talk regarding looming shut downs of plants, divorce rates skyrocketing for traveling tech's, no jobs, working too much, not finding enough work, ect.., I will still push forward.  I feel as though a few of my friends have been able to do very well in radiation protection in my area, and I still feel confident in my choice.  Once again however, thank you for the info!

Offline Marlin

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #14 on: Dec 22, 2014, 04:51 »
Thank you.  I appreciate the information.  With the all this talk regarding looming shut downs of plants, divorce rates skyrocketing for traveling tech's, no jobs, working too much, not finding enough work, ect.., I will still push forward.  I feel as though a few of my friends have been able to do very well in radiation protection in my area, and I still feel confident in my choice.  Once again however, thank you for the info!

I think Old HP gave you some sage advice however kudos on the positive attitude.




Offline indoprime

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #15 on: Dec 22, 2014, 05:46 »
Nuke88,

Congrats on the Business degree, I'm sure that it will serve you well later on in life. You may want to start your own company one day.  As for becoming a Migrant Nuclear Worker, the first three or so years are very HARD. Not a lot of jobs out there for Jr's., or even 18.1's.

Road life is fun and exciting when you first start out. New plants, new people, new places to see.  However, if you have a family waiting for you at home, that excitement goes away pretty quick. 

Maybe you'll get some hours toward being a Sr, once you complete your coursework (1000hrs?)- if you havent already.  The fact that you have a 4-yr degree should help as well.  (about another 1000 hrs?)

I think being an 18.1 is 4000 hrs. If you have an opportunity to take a long term (9month - 1yr) DOE gig, DO IT! That's another 1000 hr's under your belt.  Bartlett has a lot of DOE jobs available. 
Excuses are tools of the incompetent which create monuments of nothingness, Those who specialize in their uses seldom achieve anything.

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #16 on: Dec 22, 2014, 06:52 »

I appreciate the advice, and I certainly want to know the positives and negatives of the industry.  However, I have chosen to get into rad protection with the intentions of succeeding, working long hours, and making great money to provide for a family.  If I have to be on the road for 2 months, so be it.

I can agree with the long hours, but the great money ship may have sailed.  If you are referring to outages, I spent exactly 1 month on, consisting of 2 weeks straight time followed by 2 week time and 1/2.  I take home a walloping bonus of $116 after taxes.    You must leave your family and stay in dives to get to keep as much per diem as possible.  Finally, as you age in the business your health suffers prematurely.  Many friends I knew in the business left through death.  People who travel have the highest divorce rate because of the separation.  The job itself, the recruiters do not back you if you make a mistake, even minor ones.  I saw at least one or two thrown under the bus.  It used to be a business of low hanging fruit; now the grapes are souring and with the flood of workers, you will see lower skilled jobs catching up, like $15 minimum wage in Seattle.  I used to fly to a job and rent a car.  The rental rates doubled and our per diem has not kept up.  Some employers like Excelon say they pay full mileage;  That is only if you drive. If you fly they only pay the ticket.  It would be wise to have a back up career handy.  I used to be a teacher so I could go back if things don't improve soon.

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #17 on: Dec 22, 2014, 07:36 »
content 1, what area of the country do you live if you do not mind me asking.  Do you think it might be a lack of work, or decent work, in your surrounding area?

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #18 on: Dec 22, 2014, 08:44 »
I live on the west coast near San Francisco.  We recently lost San Onofre so the work is on the east coast.  My main problem is not  the distance, it is the short outages.  I was working at Duane Arnold in the turbine building on day shift.  We do some free releasing.  A night shift Senior was discharged when an item was brought in, then later sent back out because it was not needed.  He forgot to do direct frisks in the pressure to keep things moving.  Someone noticed he didn't do the directs on what was really a clean item; he was down the road that day.  It is like the old Bartlett saying, we don't make the same mistake twice.  That is because you are fired on the first one.  I had two years of law school in my past, and I have found the education comes in handy if someone tries to frame you.

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #19 on: Dec 23, 2014, 08:03 »
      I just did the math, and a lot of other techs will come to the same conclusion.  I have basically been on the road since 2003 and did so because the pay was good and the per diem saved was good, plus the fact you could stay off the road 1/2 the year living on unemployment.  I have accepted a job this spring that I may cancel due to the actual take home money received.  It used to be I could fly out to a site, rent a car for a little over a hundred a week and rent a room cheaply.  Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, the car rates have tripled and have consistently been so for the last year.  You may get a rate slightly cheaper if you rent for a whole month, unless you find yourself laid off early.  With the flattening of the per diem, at $110 per week, when I subtract food, a car rental, and a room it will effectively make the per diem a wash, or break even.
     Now, take the wage.  Assuming pay of $29/hour of the non-outage week you get a gross of $1160 or net roughly of $928.  Compare that to my unemployment of $571, I am only net-netting $357 that week, or roughly $8.90 per hour, less than minimum wage in my state.  When comparing an act, you must weigh against the alternatives.  We don't go on the road to see the sights; we are mercenaries.  Now, take the subsequent weeks of 6 12 hour days, where all you do is work and sleep, your gross $29*88, or $2552 gross or $1914/week.  Subtract unemployment and your net-net is $1343/week or $18.65 per hour.
At some places like Seattle, the minimum wage is $15/hour.  You are effectively driving across country for 3 days unpaid each way, with the exception of being paid travel of $750 (Many capped out at $500) putting wear and tear on your car, or flying to only beak even with per diem, to only earn effectively $3.65 per hour more than minimum wage?  You are away from your family for months on end to mainly pay the hotels, car rentals and restaurants?  You can't recover those times like when your baby firsts walks, or talks from your motel room. 
     Some will say there is a flaw in my logic, that I am adding unemployment in the mix.  If you don't take all your unemployment, it is lost so the calculation is valid.  I knew this tipping point would someday come, with the wages repressed and our costs going up.
     The situation is more pronounced if you make a lower income, such as deconnners.  Yes, you can lower costs by double/tripling up on rooms and eat at McDonalds and die young.
     In an industry where the alternatives to road life are about the same, why do it?  Take the time and get a good local job.

Offline GLW

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #20 on: Dec 23, 2014, 08:27 »
FYI -

technically, per diem saved is income and is therefore per diem to be taxed,...

unemployment pay was never intended to be vacation pay,...

......at $110 per week, when I subtract food, a car rental, and a room it will effectively make the per diem a wash, or break even....

it's supposed to be,...

just leave it at that,...

_____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ ___



I would not advertise some things on public forums,...

there were braggarts on these boards (and other boards) about the erstwhile "Massachusetts Unemployment Deal" who justified ignoring "the intent" by manipulating "the legal",...

Massachusetts fixed that,...

the legal and the intent are now aligned,...

no more deal,...

do what you will,...

I strongly advise against poking the bear,...

especially on public forums,...

it embarrasses the bear and that pisses the bear off,...

especially when the income numbers being tossed about are only pipe dreams for about 50% of the American public (median, average, quantiles, you do the math),...

"poor little rich nukeworkers",....
« Last Edit: Dec 23, 2014, 08:38 by GLW »

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

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #21 on: Dec 23, 2014, 08:58 »
Therefore your added reasoning, such as excess per diem should be taxed, unemployment not meant to be vacation etc., are further reasons to show the  industry is no longer a profitable career choice.  I  am not poking the bear, I am leaving the woods when bear hunting became too costly.  What would I like to see happen?  Pay and per diem to go up to make it worthwhile to travel again.  This is not a campaign, only an explanation that workers will vote their feet and go into other lines of work when they have a similar epiphany.  When it becomes harder to staff outages, or the only ones that go are no longer the cream of the crop of society, people will understand we can do math for more than calculating an air sample.  I was formerly a law student and teacher, I left for the money, I will leave again with the other erudite techs the industry has been benefited by; It doesn't take a lot of brainpower to pass the NUF, but some procedure exams are not for the novice.  It takes one good mistake to shut down the industry with another 3 mile island by the less qualified.

Offline GLW

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #22 on: Dec 23, 2014, 12:51 »
For RP Graduates in Tennessee:

The minimum wage in Seattle is irrelevant,...

The highest (in the nation) cost of living in the SanFran Bay area is irrelevant,...

There are essentially no honest mistakes any longer because in the modern era where INPO promoted massive investments into massive procedure libraries result in almost any mistake being a procedure violation, honest or not,....

We always remember the colleague terminated for a procedure violation, we rarely remember the colleagues "coached" or "counseled" because it is not as dramatic and is often none of our need to know anyways,...

The terminations are almost always preceded or followed by an O.E., and O.Es are need to know ad nauseum,....

Everybodies divorce rate is high, the road does not cause divorce, we all know folks who divorced years back and are on second or third marriages to cute young things, are still on the road, and yet somehow keep it in their pants currently, the road did not change, they did,.....

Every couple has to develop that balance of road versus house work that succeeds for them,.....

If you start RP and you like RP the coin will follow, if you would rather be a teacher or a lawyer and only do RP because the coin can be good without a vocational commitment, then during those times when the coin is lean your skillset may not be deep enough to allow continued coin success,...

But, if you have an affinity for it, you will have built your skillset beyond clearing and smearing and you will have coin options,....

if you do not have that affinity you may slide into writing maintenance procedures and be happy at that,....

Or may just become a GOB,....

Your choice,.....

« Last Edit: Dec 23, 2014, 12:54 by GLW »

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

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #23 on: Dec 23, 2014, 03:21 »
For RP Graduates in Tennessee:

There are essentially no honest mistakes any longer because in the modern era where INPO promoted massive investments into massive procedure libraries result in almost any mistake being a procedure violation, honest or not,....

We always remember the colleague terminated for a procedure violation, we rarely remember the colleagues "coached" or "counseled" because it is not as dramatic and is often none of our need to know anyways,...

The terminations are almost always preceded or followed by an O.E., and O.Es are need to know ad nauseum,....
If you start RP and you like RP the coin will follow, if you would rather be a teacher or a lawyer and only do RP because the coin can be good without a vocational commitment, then during those times when the coin is lean your skillset may not be deep enough to allow continued coin success,...

But, if you have an affinity for it, you will have built your skillset beyond clearing and smearing and you will have coin options,....

if you do not have that affinity you may slide into writing maintenance procedures and be happy at that,....

Or may just become a GOB,....

Your choice,.....


I would say all are only in it for the coin.  Proof? I ask anybody if they won the big lottery, would they keep working.  I got 100% choice to leave.  If I were a professor at a university, the money wouldn't move me.  I'd be a rich professor verses an average one.  Why?  You said it in your post.  We are so procedure driven to remove the need for most of us to think.  It is a job, but not a real career.  With the threat of making any mistake hanging over us, the job is no longer fun.  With the freezing, in essence, of our wages there is no reason to strive.  So we work for bosses who are under the gun to get unrealistic amounts of work accomplished and lay us off at the earliest instance.  I am only saying this like a "Captain Obvious."  When people leave the business until things change nobody should be surprised.  This whole thread talked about someone being proud of being an HP; I only post this as someone in the business who plans to try other things.  In your post you did not counter any of the financial things I stated.  It has become not so great of a career choice for the costs given to be there.

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #24 on: Dec 23, 2014, 05:30 »
The reason why I asked what part of the country you were from was specifically because I feel there is a different in the markets in Georgia/Tennessee/South Carolina than there is in California.  Where Nuke energy is very tough to run politically and thus financially on the West Coast, it seems that there is somewhat of a relative boom in the market here in the south (Vogtle, Watts Bar unit 2, ect). 
I was able to take a tour of San Onofre during the radiation protection forum, and it seemed the nuclear spirits in that part of the country were unfortunately low, whereas the managers presenting on behalf of Southern power and others were very optimistic. 

Like I stated, I am just a student, but I feel like your location plays a big part in the opportunity.  Correct me if I am wrong.  Also, a few of my friends have been making OUTSTANDING salaries in RP here in the south, with only a few years under their belt.   

I guess I am determined to be one of the optimistic ones!

Offline Rennhack

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #25 on: Dec 23, 2014, 05:43 »
I guess I am determined to be one of the optimistic ones!

If you look at Content1's post history, you will he that he is a very negative person, with nothing good to say about nuclear careers. So, consider the source.

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #26 on: Dec 23, 2014, 06:54 »
If you look at Content1's post history, you will he that he is a very negative person, with nothing good to say about nuclear careers. So, consider the source.

Argumentum ad hominem against the messenger verses proving to me where my observations are wrong is the purpose of forums.  It doesn't help to have a series of cheerleader posts if reality is what is called for.   My eyes are open about the state of the business.  Some may thank me someday for the frank appraisal and make other career choices not based on "Nuke Hype."

Offline Rennhack

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #27 on: Dec 23, 2014, 07:34 »
Argumentum ad hominem against the messenger verses proving to me where my observations are wrong is the purpose of forums.  It doesn't help to have a series of cheerleader posts if reality is what is called for.   My eyes are open about the state of the business.  Some may thank me someday for the frank appraisal and make other career choices not based on "Nuke Hype."

I just get sick of all the negativity.  If you want to be anti nuke, go some where else.  This is a job site FOR nuke workers. Not a site AGAINST nuke work.

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #28 on: Dec 23, 2014, 09:06 »
Argumentum ad hominem against the messenger verses proving to me where my observations are wrong is the purpose of forums.  It doesn't help to have a series of cheerleader posts if reality is what is called for.   My eyes are open about the state of the business.  Some may thank me someday for the frank appraisal and make other career choices not based on "Nuke Hype."

Shift turnover at the last outage... ;)

« Last Edit: Dec 24, 2014, 01:31 by HydroDave63 »

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #29 on: Dec 23, 2014, 11:07 »
I just get sick of all the negativity.  If you want to be anti nuke, go some where else.  This is a job site FOR nuke workers. Not a site AGAINST nuke work.

You made the sale.  I will leave the nuke business, at least as a traveling tech, and I no longer have a reason to post.  Thanks for the encouragement.  My family thanks you too, Administrator.  They welcome me back, and I get to see my grandchild grow.  I am sure my recruiter will understand.

ski2313

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #30 on: Dec 24, 2014, 01:37 »
You are now coming into an industry that the wages have been stagnant for 10 years and people are working the 72 hour weeks not to thrive; no, we are back in the 1920s just getting by.

I assure you that there are individuals out there who would beg to make what you make. If you are just getting by, that is your own fault, not the company's.

The rental rates doubled and our per diem has not kept up.  Some employers like Excelon say they pay full mileage;  That is only if you drive. If you fly they only pay the ticket.

This one made me snort coffee out my nose.  +K

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #31 on: Dec 24, 2014, 05:24 »
If you refer to my original post, I did the math on a job I am turning down.  At home my rent, utility rates, food continues to rise while the pay doesn't.  I guess we'll let that begging RP get lucky; however, many will join me on sitting out outages when they make the same discovery and simply fade out of the business.  There is always somebody out there willing to do anything for the money, whatever the amount.  The quality of the tech will diminish with the wages; you get what you pay for.

Offline fiveeleven

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #32 on: Dec 24, 2014, 06:46 »
  and I get to see my grandchild grow. 
All right - more happy, positive people on the horizon. Great.

Offline RFaunt

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #33 on: Dec 24, 2014, 12:41 »
My respect and gratitude to everyone who has offered their advice, opinions, and wisdom on this topic. I had the pleasure of meeting the OP and making his acquaintance over the summer at the NEI forum, and I look forward to meeting up with him down the road as we navigate this world of RP. While some may find posters like Content1 discouraging, I welcome it. Though his views may not jibe with the vision of the Admin when he created this site, it does serve a purpose in giving a different perspective from his side of RP work and life. For those determined to still go forth, they do so knowing that there are those in the field who aren't happy with the situation and have legitimate gripes. Proceed at your own peril or risk. We may not want posters chasing away potential and future nukeworkers on the forum, but those posters are no different than the guys from the barracks who told me how much my time at a new unit would suck upon checking in. They'll be at every job site and every assignment. There are many situations we can't control in life; we do, however, have control over how we react to them. There's a positive to every situation. For Content1, it's spending more time at home with his family if he gets out of the nuclear business.

Personally, coming to this business wasn't about the money. I came from the Marine Corps and we weren't the highest paid employees on the wage scale. I pursued the education and the business because it's something I honestly enjoyed -- the science behind it all, the opportunity to delve deeper and learn the answers to why instead of being content with how -- not because I wanted to be a millionaire. I've met a lot of very intelligent people, both on this board and in my personal interactions, who know more than I can ever hope to about RP because of unique experiences, and I want to be a sponge, absorbing as much as I can. I would never recommend money being the sole or most heavily weighted deciding factor. I do know that some of the wages being made by house, contract, and traveling road techs would turn a lot of hard-working American folks green with envy. No, not everyone is making 6 figures a year. Wages may not be what they used to when inflation and rising costs are factored in. Unless someone on this forum has been forced into poverty by the changing conditions, I don't think we'll see eye to eye on that matter. I've seen poverty firsthand. I've been homeless and slept in a car for weeks at a time. Any grass is greener than tan cloth interior in a cramped backseat and daily communal showers. There are a lot of people who would love to have the financial complaints that we're talking about here. While things may not be as good as what some of you were accustomed to before, it's infinitely better than some of the places I've been in my lifetime.

There are a lot of opportunities out there for people wishing to pursue the field. DOE, commercial, contract, and labs are all available. The education doesn't have to stop. If you want more opportunities, shoot for CHP. Branch into the business side of the house. Perhaps instructing and teaching are desirable. The point is that a person with drive and ambition can still find a successful living in this field. If that individual doesn't want to be a traveling tech for 30 years, then there are other options. Content1's postings provide pretty solid reasons for not going that route, so they had benefit. I wish you well going forward and thank you for all the hard work you've put into this industry. Merry Christmas to all of you, and thank you for taking the time to answer questions and lend your wisdom.
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." ~ Isaac Newton

Content1

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #34 on: Dec 24, 2014, 03:12 »
I've great respect for Marines, they saved us during WWII and the less popular wars; they are the cream of the crop.  I was ex-navy and didn't play with guns.  Good luck and know if you ever want a change there are places to go.

nuke88

  • Guest
Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #35 on: Dec 26, 2014, 12:02 »
My respect and gratitude to everyone who has offered their advice, opinions, and wisdom on this topic. I had the pleasure of meeting the OP and making his acquaintance over the summer at the NEI forum, and I look forward to meeting up with him down the road as we navigate this world of RP. While some may find posters like Content1 discouraging, I welcome it. Though his views may not jibe with the vision of the Admin when he created this site, it does serve a purpose in giving a different perspective from his side of RP work and life. For those determined to still go forth, they do so knowing that there are those in the field who aren't happy with the situation and have legitimate gripes. Proceed at your own peril or risk. We may not want posters chasing away potential and future nukeworkers on the forum, but those posters are no different than the guys from the barracks who told me how much my time at a new unit would suck upon checking in. They'll be at every job site and every assignment. There are many situations we can't control in life; we do, however, have control over how we react to them. There's a positive to every situation. For Content1, it's spending more time at home with his family if he gets out of the nuclear business.

Personally, coming to this business wasn't about the money. I came from the Marine Corps and we weren't the highest paid employees on the wage scale. I pursued the education and the business because it's something I honestly enjoyed -- the science behind it all, the opportunity to delve deeper and learn the answers to why instead of being content with how -- not because I wanted to be a millionaire. I've met a lot of very intelligent people, both on this board and in my personal interactions, who know more than I can ever hope to about RP because of unique experiences, and I want to be a sponge, absorbing as much as I can. I would never recommend money being the sole or most heavily weighted deciding factor. I do know that some of the wages being made by house, contract, and traveling road techs would turn a lot of hard-working American folks green with envy. No, not everyone is making 6 figures a year. Wages may not be what they used to when inflation and rising costs are factored in. Unless someone on this forum has been forced into poverty by the changing conditions, I don't think we'll see eye to eye on that matter. I've seen poverty firsthand. I've been homeless and slept in a car for weeks at a time. Any grass is greener than tan cloth interior in a cramped backseat and daily communal showers. There are a lot of people who would love to have the financial complaints that we're talking about here. While things may not be as good as what some of you were accustomed to before, it's infinitely better than some of the places I've been in my lifetime.

There are a lot of opportunities out there for people wishing to pursue the field. DOE, commercial, contract, and labs are all available. The education doesn't have to stop. If you want more opportunities, shoot for CHP. Branch into the business side of the house. Perhaps instructing and teaching are desirable. The point is that a person with drive and ambition can still find a successful living in this field. If that individual doesn't want to be a traveling tech for 30 years, then there are other options. Content1's postings provide pretty solid reasons for not going that route, so they had benefit. I wish you well going forward and thank you for all the hard work you've put into this industry. Merry Christmas to all of you, and thank you for taking the time to answer questions and lend your wisdom.

I also want to thank everyone for your insight, wisdom, and advice on my questions.  As my good friend RFaunt stated, the purpose of the post was to gain an understanding of all positive and negative outcomes of of jumping full throttle into the industry.  During the Radiation Protection forum, as well as discussing with various friends and acquaintances currently employed in commercial nuke power , I have heard mostly success stories.  I am highly determined to achieve that level of success in nuke power regardless of the negative perspectives, primarily because I have a genuine interest in the industry and what I have learned and seen thus far. RFaunt and I are very determined individuals, and I am sure we both will find our own level of success in Radiation Protection.   

Offline Cecelia

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #36 on: Dec 31, 2014, 11:05 »
No one wants to discourage a new HP from being the best in their field. But as another old HP and also being one of the first few women who came in to the field, my ideals were shattered and reset often enough. It became personal to change the status quo from a field void of respected women to being one that who could stand for her ideals.

That being said, year 34 is nearly over. The Old HP may not have said things to your liking but it was said in honesty. Greed and poor economy go hand in hand.  Yes the power plants have learned to be efficient. Yes they purposely under staff and cut corners today to save money and time. HP work means time to them.

But here is my short list of things to consider.

Outage schedules are not staggered such that you work six months a year. And though some do when you speak to them about where they live it will make sense as to why it could be possible. They live close to several plants usually. As a rule its one outage in spring and one in fall.  Two months to five months of work per year. So better have plan B.

A junior will be kept a jr as long as the contracting company can get away with it.  They dont care about your goals or education. They want experience doing job coverage and they are not wanting to spend money on you to train you.

I would say 6-9 years working part time is the real time it will take. So consider your age and add 9 and try to imagine how you will live on part time work until then. This is reality.

Persistence and diligence always moves things. One reason I still fight for change and make reports to the regulators and dont play politics. I am a lifetime learner. I am not bored with nuclear, I am disgusted with the position nuclear is now faced with.  We are going from a nuclear family to a dysfunctional family where greed rules.  And those with jobs wont jeopardize their jobs to help you. They will remain silent. But that is not my profile. I work as hard to make changes in this field as I do managing my career.

Lots of sage advice has been given to you. I strongly advise you to consider what you have been told. You have not lived on the road the way we do. Have not been cheated or lied to by employers, faced the long hours, the life and come home to find that home changed while you worked hard. Home is where you are even if working on the road. Otherwise you are working and putting life on hold. Hard to even that one out. And spouses rarely will travel, home school kids, keep the hours and most importantly understand your work schedule as well as the consumed person you become working the outage hours. It is all consuming. You wont hold up better than others. All suffer during outages. Its hard work and it gets harder to keep the pace.

On a final word, the cut back on job coverage at power plants is the new trend. Do the work of what 3 techs use to do, job coverage is not done, avoid posting with ideas of "open controls", survey reports go unwritten. They hurry every job, cram training, cut every corner they imagine. Right now they have taken things over the cliff. So new juniors are being groomed to accept their new way of radiation protection. You will be groomed.

I would say if you are willing to do what is right against all odds, you will find something you seek. Otherwise becoming just another new age drone is a position you cant pay me to take. Our job is to protect people, not make money for the plant by by passing the safety of others.   I wont compromise human safeguards. Consequently I have to do the hard business of reporting to the NRC and push back hard at every turn.

Its a sacrifice I make, have made and will make again. Staying true to what is right is harder than you know. So the respect that needs to be given to those sharing with you should be given. It is advice from hard experience.

Good Luck Grasshopper

 

Content1

  • Guest
Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #37 on: Jan 01, 2015, 03:06 »
No one wants to discourage a new HP from being the best in their field. But as another old HP and also being one of the first few women who came in to the field, my ideals were shattered and reset often enough. It became personal to change the status quo from a field void of respected women to being one that who could stand for her ideals.

That being said, year 34 is nearly over. The Old HP may not have said things to your liking but it was said in honesty. Greed and poor economy go hand in hand.  Yes the power plants have learned to be efficient. Yes they purposely under staff and cut corners today to save money and time. HP work means time to them.

But here is my short list of things to consider.

Outage schedules are not staggered such that you work six months a year. And though some do when you speak to them about where they live it will make sense as to why it could be possible. They live close to several plants usually. As a rule its one outage in spring and one in fall.  Two months to five months of work per year. So better have plan B.

A junior will be kept a jr as long as the contracting company can get away with it.  They dont care about your goals or education. They want experience doing job coverage and they are not wanting to spend money on you to train you.

I would say 6-9 years working part time is the real time it will take. So consider your age and add 9 and try to imagine how you will live on part time work until then. This is reality.

Persistence and diligence always moves things. One reason I still fight for change and make reports to the regulators and dont play politics. I am a lifetime learner. I am not bored with nuclear, I am disgusted with the position nuclear is now faced with.  We are going from a nuclear family to a dysfunctional family where greed rules.  And those with jobs wont jeopardize their jobs to help you. They will remain silent. But that is not my profile. I work as hard to make changes in this field as I do managing my career.

Lots of sage advice has been given to you. I strongly advise you to consider what you have been told. You have not lived on the road the way we do. Have not been cheated or lied to by employers, faced the long hours, the life and come home to find that home changed while you worked hard. Home is where you are even if working on the road. Otherwise you are working and putting life on hold. Hard to even that one out. And spouses rarely will travel, home school kids, keep the hours and most importantly understand your work schedule as well as the consumed person you become working the outage hours. It is all consuming. You wont hold up better than others. All suffer during outages. Its hard work and it gets harder to keep the pace.

On a final word, the cut back on job coverage at power plants is the new trend. Do the work of what 3 techs use to do, job coverage is not done, avoid posting with ideas of "open controls", survey reports go unwritten. They hurry every job, cram training, cut every corner they imagine. Right now they have taken things over the cliff. So new juniors are being groomed to accept their new way of radiation protection. You will be groomed.

I would say if you are willing to do what is right against all odds, you will find something you seek. Otherwise becoming just another new age drone is a position you cant pay me to take. Our job is to protect people, not make money for the plant by by passing the safety of others.   I wont compromise human safeguards. Consequently I have to do the hard business of reporting to the NRC and push back hard at every turn.

Its a sacrifice I make, have made and will make again. Staying true to what is right is harder than you know. So the respect that needs to be given to those sharing with you should be given. It is advice from hard experience.

Good Luck Grasshopper

 

Very good exposition on the state of the business.  I am a little farther down the road, I found myself being congratulated for having a questioning attitude at jobs, then seeing shifting the work to other RP's techs who aren't as vocal about the rules.  I will give one safety example of many.  We all have had confined space training and know when you are in a confined space you are supposed to have had the space air checked, a monitor at the entrance logging people in and out, and ventilation if you aren't continuously monitoring the space.   At Duane Arnold, day shift, I was an RP in the turbine building.  I noticed a big group of new techs were about to enter the condenser and I had to ask:  Where is the outside monitor, how are you in communication to those inside, where is the personnel log, and the sign either saying non-permitted or permitted confined space.  None of this was being done and I was a pain to them (They were not directly in my work area), but I couldn't live with myself if someone died.  They eventually stopped the work long enough to follow the rules while I was around.  I was made to feel I was the nervous nelly for simply wanting to enforce OSHA laws, such as "Mind your own business RP!"  People who  enforce safety. let alone RP practices, are fought.  I don't see any documentation of free releases, breaches of contaminated systems etc.  It is just production, production and cross your fingers nobody gets hurt.

Offline Rennhack

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #38 on: Jan 01, 2015, 11:16 »
Interesting, I've been an RP and Safety for over 25 years, and I've NEVER had a problem with people following the rules.  Maybe it's just you.

Content1

  • Guest
Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #39 on: Jan 01, 2015, 03:21 »
Interesting, I've been an RP and Safety for over 25 years, and I've NEVER had a problem with people following the rules.  Maybe it's just you.

If you studied my posts over the years, you would I may be zealous as I once was with fusion, but I have no need to fabricate stories; there are enough incidents I have seen to testify truthfully.  If you have no evidence of the cutting of personnel, slacking in safety practices all in the name of production, you must have never worked for Excelon.  At the age of 59 I have no reason nor desire lie.  I added my warnings because I care what happens to people.

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #40 on: Jan 01, 2015, 03:56 »
If you studied my posts over the years, you would I may be zealous as I once was with fusion, but I have no need to fabricate stories; there are enough incidents I have seen to testify truthfully.  If you have no evidence of the cutting of personnel, slacking in safety practices all in the name of production, you must have never worked for Excelon.  At the age of 59 I have no reason nor desire lie.  I added my warnings because I care what happens to people.

Exelon operates power plants and sells electricity.

Novartis makes a patch called Exelon for the treatment of Alzheimer's (like spelling the name of Exelon)

For nuclear safety concerns, there is always the NRC SCWE page

http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/safety-culture/scwe.html

Enjoy!

Content1

  • Guest
Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #41 on: Jan 01, 2015, 06:21 »
That is what the forum staff does, all argumentum ad hominem and never, short of simply denying there is a problem in our industry (It must be you).  Maybe such methods of argumentation and bullying feels good, but it convinces nobody.  All you desire is to drive opposition away.  Maybe that is your intention.

Offline RDTroja

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #42 on: Jan 01, 2015, 07:51 »
That is what the forum staff does, all argumentum ad hominem and never, short of simply denying there is a problem in our industry (It must be you).  Maybe such methods of argumentation and bullying feels good, but it convinces nobody.  All you desire is to drive opposition away.  Maybe that is your intention.

Only from the perspective of people that continuously think they are being picked on.

Of course that is only from the perspective of a non-Forum Staff member.

If one man calls you an ass, ignore him. If two men call you an ass, contemplate. If three men call you an ass, get yourself a saddle.
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Offline Bonds 25

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #43 on: Jan 02, 2015, 11:11 »
I love saving humans from the DEADLY effects of ionizing radiation. Following the LNT model I figure I've saved 100's of lives over the years keeping worker's dose ALARA.  ;)

I do it for the money
I do it for the benefits
I do it because I'm Pro-Nuke!!

I'm an HP...........because that's the path I was offered.

I'm a house tech......because I made a VERY good decision 7 years ago
"But I Dont Wanna Be A Pirate" - Jerry Seinfeld

Offline GLW

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #44 on: Jan 02, 2015, 02:48 »
Very good exposition on the state of the business.  I am a little farther down the road, I found myself being congratulated for having a questioning attitude at jobs, then seeing shifting the work to other RP's techs who aren't as vocal about the rules.  I will give one safety example of many.  We all have had confined space training and know when you are in a confined space you are supposed to have had the space air checked, a monitor at the entrance logging people in and out, and ventilation if you aren't continuously monitoring the space.   At Duane Arnold, day shift, I was an RP in the turbine building.  I noticed a big group of new techs were about to enter the condenser and I had to ask:  Where is the outside monitor, how are you in communication to those inside, where is the personnel log, and the sign either saying non-permitted or permitted confined space.  None of this was being done and I was a pain to them (They were not directly in my work area), but I couldn't live with myself if someone died.  They eventually stopped the work long enough to follow the rules while I was around.  I was made to feel I was the nervous nelly for simply wanting to enforce OSHA laws, such as "Mind your own business RP!"  People who  enforce safety. let alone RP practices, are fought.  I don't see any documentation of free releases, breaches of contaminated systems etc.  It is just production, production and cross your fingers nobody gets hurt.

For the OP and his ilk; a different perspective and personal career history:

I have rarely been congratulated for having a questioning attitude,...

I have been recognized for identifying a demonstrable challenge, researching the fiducial technical points and documents which assure it is a demonstrable challenge, and providing one or more plausible solutions to the challenge,...

My methods for stopping jobs or identifying challenges have never resulted in other colleagues having to shoulder more burden to keep me out of the mix up, indeed, I have ended up with additional collateral duties foisted upon me because I have a good eye for detail and an appreciation for constructive ways to keep things moving as opposed to shutting them down,...

And I embraced those collateral duties even when my compensation rate remained static, because I enjoy most every facet of my vocation and I like to gain better skills and different skills all the time,...

I refrain from embarrassing any group of guys with multiple questions about what they should have been doing and what they know better than to try and do, and to impress them with what I know about what they're doing, because we've all been through GET and CBT and CST and we all know what we should do,.... ergo, the multiple questions interrogation routine is never really a good team builder,...

Stop a job because it's wrong, get the cog supervisor on the floor to fix the job then move on to your job as quickly, drama free and "just business" like as possible,...

The "I couldn't live with myself should someone have died" histrionics are transparent to everybody involved, and nobody likes it, or likes that a person does it,... ergo, other people avoid it (the histrionics),...

20% of most work groups are a problem for everybody else for everything else, if your job is compliance monitoring and intervention (e.g. job coverage RP), that 20% will focus on you as the bane of all things productive and progressive,...

If you can't hack that 20% challenging your very existence on the work site (and they do) you're in the wrong line of work, or at least the wrong aspect of RP work when that aspect includes interaction and intervention on the deck plate level,...

For the OP and his ilk;

The best job coverage RPs follow the Andy Griffith archetype,...

The worst job coverage RPs think they are SWAT,...

If you need me to elaborate,...PM me,...

for the record; do not get into the habit of associating place names with compliance issues on social media outlets,...

If you need me to elaborate,...PM me,...

your friendly neighborhood cheerleader for all things RP (except those ALARA freaks  :P ),...

ETD!!!!!!   :P ;) :) 8)

almost forgot,...

[4beercourt - (sic)]

plus edits for removing absolute(s) - absolutes should not be used blithely - my bad
« Last Edit: Jan 02, 2015, 05:24 by GLW »

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

Offline OldHP

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #45 on: Jan 02, 2015, 05:46 »
I also want to thank everyone for your insight, wisdom, and advice on my questions.  As my good friend RFaunt stated, the purpose of the post was to gain an understanding of all positive and negative outcomes of of jumping full throttle into the industry.  During the Radiation Protection forum, as well as discussing with various friends and acquaintances currently employed in commercial nuke power , I have heard mostly success stories.  I am highly determined to achieve that level of success in nuke power regardless of the negative perspectives, primarily because I have a genuine interest in the industry and what I have learned and seen thus far. RFaunt and I are very determined individuals, and I am sure we both will find our own level of success in Radiation Protection.   

I think we've slipped a little away from the OP's question, but not unusual.  [oops] [whistle]

However, keep in mind a questioning attitude (always welcomed) and a negative attitude (never welcomed), are not one and the same!  [train]

Interesting, I've been an RP and Safety for over 25 years, and I've NEVER had a problem with people following the rules.  Maybe it's just you.

I've been in the RP/HP/Safety field for twice+ the time Mike has, but have had the same experience, sometimes you have to explain the rules a couple of times, but then you don't have the problem again.  (That would be GLW's 20%!)

For the OP:  Again, PM me if you want to contact very successful graduates of your program (it didn't take them 9 years to make Sr., I know several!

your friendly neighborhood cheerleader for all things RP (except those ALARA freaks  :P ),...

I agree, except I'd call it the ALAP freaks, ALARA is good, it's what we always have done, even when it didn't have a name!  :old:
Humor is a wonderful way to prevent hardening of the attitudes! unknown
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Offline GLW

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #46 on: Jan 02, 2015, 06:10 »
............I agree, except I'd call it the ALAP freaks, ALARA is good, it's what we always have done, even when it didn't have a name!  :old:

agreed,...

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

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #47 on: Jan 27, 2015, 08:48 »
I wanted to thank everyone for giving me all of this information.  Although I did not expect the question to start such heated debates and differences of opinions, it was exactly what I needed to hear in terms of different perspectives.  This thread has allowed me to get in touch with some specific individuals which have elaborated on what they stated in the thread, and has also allowed me to get a much better understanding on the state of the industry.  Every one of you was a great help to answering my original question!

radrat

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #48 on: Jan 27, 2015, 10:29 »
keep in mind that some people will use any means necessary to get their point across. Negative or positive.


That being said, there are opportunities out there that if you give it an honest go, will allow you to reap the rewards. Not only monetary, but also self satisfaction. The practical nature will now comes into play as you gain some confidence in the real world. Really you have some choices,
work as a road tech- Takes a long time now to get to Sr RP status due to length of outages and market flooding from various schools
Apply for a house position Power generation or DOE/DOD- Good time to get in as they will want to mold you into the tech they want you to be at their facility
your not only marketable for RP but you could try Operations, Chemistry or some other associated field.

After traveling for the last 27 years; if I were in your shoes, would try to settle down at a facility and see how it fits. There is a lot of compition out there for positions, however you now have a degree and that will look favorable on you.. Good Luck!!!!

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #49 on: Jan 30, 2015, 02:59 »
I certainly want to be as flexible as possible and do the road tech thing for as long as I need to, however an in house job also sounds appealing. I feel as though the house jobs will be very difficult to impossible to get in at the beginning, but that is ok with me.  Bottom line, I am just ready to start working in a field that seems very exciting and pays well.  I current job situation is cube life, and I am itching to become a technician ASAP!  From there, I will see what the future holds.

Offline Nichole

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #50 on: Jan 31, 2015, 06:12 »
I've noticed the conversation has focused on the commercial power plants. I just wanted to point out that you might also consider working for the Naval Shipyards, as long as you don't mind moving. On the east coast, you could look into Portsmouth and Norfolk, or if you want to check out the other side of the country, you can consider Puget in the beautiful state of Washington. Last time I saw a job posting for physical science technicians (a.k.a. RadCon techs) Puget was hiring 50. Before that, I think it was 80. Just a thought, maybe something you didn't even know existed. But you would make a decent wage, get benefits and even spend a majority of your evenings and weekends at home (after the 5 month training, of course).
« Last Edit: Jan 31, 2015, 07:35 by Nichole »

Offline RFaunt

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #51 on: Feb 01, 2015, 07:58 »
I've noticed the conversation has focused on the commercial power plants. I just wanted to point out that you might also consider working for the Naval Shipyards, as long as you don't mind moving. On the east coast, you could look into Portsmouth and Norfolk, or if you want to check out the other side of the country, you can consider Puget in the beautiful state of Washington. Last time I saw a job posting for physical science technicians (a.k.a. RadCon techs) Puget was hiring 50. Before that, I think it was 80. Just a thought, maybe something you didn't even know existed. But you would make a decent wage, get benefits and even spend a majority of your evenings and weekends at home (after the 5 month training, of course).

Good point, Nichole. I saw those same postings for the physical science techs. Portsmouth and Bremerton were hiring recently, with Bremerton hiring dozens. There are definitely career opportunities available outside of the commercial nuclear and road tech business. Thank you for emphasizing that.  +K
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." ~ Isaac Newton

Offline cole256

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #52 on: Mar 07, 2015, 07:02 »
I certainly want to be as flexible as possible and do the road tech thing for as long as I need to, however an in house job also sounds appealing. I feel as though the house jobs will be very difficult to impossible to get in at the beginning, but that is ok with me.  Bottom line, I am just ready to start working in a field that seems very exciting and pays well.  I current job situation is cube life, and I am itching to become a technician ASAP!  From there, I will see what the future holds.

I love your attitude and professionalism. You must have had GREAT leadership at your school, maybe from your ANS president your first year in the nuke program? He probably was a handsome smart fella! :)

Seriously though follow your heart while using your brain, I just believe if you work hard and treat people right good things will happen. Here's to carrying the torch passed by the previous generation that worked so hard before us!
« Last Edit: Mar 09, 2015, 03:30 by cole256 »

Offline Rennhack

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #53 on: Mar 07, 2015, 07:23 »
He probably was a handsome smart fella!

Don't forget Modest.

Offline cole256

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #54 on: Mar 09, 2015, 03:31 »
Just a little inside joke!

Offline RPhill

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #55 on: Mar 17, 2015, 03:09 »
Ive been in the RP work force for only ~4 years since I got out of school.  I'll pick up Sr Tech in a few short months.  The advice you're getting on this forum is ALL true...the positive and negative. My advice:  It's exceptionally hard out here on the road.  The money isn't always good. Sometimes it's great but you're a fool to expect it.  Be willing to go anywhere and do anything and be prepared for having ZERO work for a long long time.  Have a backup plan.  Be prepared to get screwed over by some employers and don't be naive about the "good employers"...this is a business.  It's sink or swim.  Whether you're a good tech or a terrible tech will make absolutely no difference to most employers.  You're just a body to bill for.   Sometimes you have to resolve yourself to becoming a body that gets paid versus a body who starves.   I applied to ~150 jobs and sent resumes to countless companies before I found a job.  I heard back from <1% of those applications and resume submissions but my determination paid off eventually.  And eventually I found some good companies out there who appreciate hard work, desire to learn, a good fundamental base of knowledge.  But this industry is becoming watered down with stupid very quickly and my advice is to do what I do...find an old guy at every job you work and get every last bit of knowledge you can from him and don't forget it!!!   Be careful who you make friends with out here too bc once you're on the road it's dog eat dog.  On the same note, (be very careful) find some young and hungry techs who have their ducks in a row and keep in touch with them all the time.  Help each other find work.  Never turn down a job unless you have one that's better or lasts longer.  Save your money!!!  Have a nest egg to get yourself wherever you need to go and cover hotel, gas, and all your other bills and expenses for a minimum of 2 weeks.  Also, Good Luck!  You'll need all of it you can get! 

Ps.  I wouldn't trade this life for anything.  I absolutely love what I do for work even when I hate it. 

nukewood

  • Guest
Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #56 on: Mar 19, 2015, 07:55 »
I have been roadteching for over 35 years and am very thankful for God's provision. Attitude is everything. Most of the young grads are facing a tough road, but if you sow good seed you will reap a bountiful harvest, if you persevere. This industry has enabled me to pay back a $250.000 bankruptcy, reestablish a lumber business that had previously failed. It has enabled me and my family to travel the world and minister God's grace in Honduras, Belize, Israel, and even Russia. Now , as I am semi-retired, the freedom is there to work a little more as I choose, with a large group of good folks that I have known for years. Believe me young people, you are being watched. Work honestly and you will be rewarded.

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #57 on: Aug 24, 2015, 09:23 »
I wanted to come back to this topic and let you all know that I have accepted a full time position with Exelon.  I feel that my 4 year Bachelor of Science degree, and my RP degree, as well as my various contributions to the positions I have already worked helped me obtain this position.  There are jobs out there, and I am extremely blessed and excited to start. 

Offline UncaBuffalo

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #58 on: Aug 24, 2015, 11:34 »
I wanted to come back to this topic and let you all know that I have accepted a full time position with Exelon.  I feel that my 4 year Bachelor of Science degree, and my RP degree, as well as my various contributions to the positions I have already worked helped me obtain this position.  There are jobs out there, and I am extremely blessed and excited to start. 

Congrats!   :)
The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days. -Ray Wylie Hubbard

nuke88

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #59 on: Aug 24, 2015, 05:42 »
Thank you !!

Offline RFaunt

Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #60 on: Aug 25, 2015, 08:45 »
Congratulations, man! Welcome to the family!
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." ~ Isaac Newton

Offline Bonds 25

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Re: Radiation Protection Technician Graduate Advice !
« Reply #61 on: Aug 25, 2015, 12:02 »
Which Plant? Exelon owns a couple.....
"But I Dont Wanna Be A Pirate" - Jerry Seinfeld

 


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