Career Path > Navy:Getting Out

Navy man decision time


I just found this web site.  I can't believe I've never seen it before.  I'm reaching a point in my naval career where I need to decide on whether to retire or go to shore duty.  I'm currently and E-8 with about 21 years in.  I'm eligible for E-9 this year and eligible for shore duty in 2006.  I notice that this web site is geared towards a lot of travelling.  Though I'm not against travel, I'd like to settle down when I retire from the Navy.  Here are my questions:
1.  Are there better areas of the country to home base out of if a guy goes into the nuclear field?
2.  I sense similar resentment towards "headhunters" as some of my juniors sense towards the Navy now.  Is the civilian sector the same (i.e. are there lots of people who hate their jobs and aren't afraid to tell you so)? 
3.  How does the system work?  Are you looking for work constantly or are you part of a crew that goes from work site to work site?
4.  Are the jobs mostly RadCon related?

Again, great web site!
Derek Murray

Already Gone:
Not everything is as it seems as seen through the lens of one site.
It's not "headhunters" that we have the problem with.  Basically, most of the work inside large power plants is done by contractors.  Most jobs are not filled by headhunters, but hired out temporarily.  We are just complaining about how the contract companies treat their employees.
Since a large percentage of the membership consists of contract RP (Radcon is a military acronym like CINCLANT or COMSUBLANT.  Unfortunately it has filtered into parts of the civilian nuclear world due to the overwhelming influence of the Navy on us.The more common terms in the civilian sector are Rad Protection and it's older brother, Health Physics.) technicians, the discourse here is centered in this area, and does not reflect the industry overall. 
The decision is all yours.  If money plays any part, consider that your pension will increase by your making E-9 and staying in longer.  Over the rest of your life, that increase in pension might almost equal the increase in pay that you will get in your first three weeks out of the Navy.  The sooner you get out, the sooner you can start working toward that second pension (assuming you can find a job that still offers a pension that you don't fund yourself).

I agree with  Beercourt, but there are many opportunities that don't involve contracted work or Radiation protection. Many utilities are continually looking for experinced Maintenance and Operations Supervisors. The pension situation for new hires is steadily getting worse so please carefully assess your military benefits status.
 Your biggest asset will be any former co workers who are already placed that you can network with. In my experience if you know somebody at an organization you have a better chance of placement.
 There is both kinds of work available. right now some utilities are using a variety of methods to replace employees with full retirement benefits with people that wind up with less benefits (ie; no retired medical).     
There is another website  which can give you better access to various recruiters in more industries, but it seems to be a rule that they not be mentioned here.
  Anyway good luck

Roll Tide:

--- Quote from: emcsmurray on Jan 01, 2005, 06:46 ---1.  Are there better areas of the country to home base out of if a guy goes into the nuclear field?

--- End quote ---

If you are considering working outages, they are heavily scheduled spring and fall with nearly none scheduled summer and winter. If you want to live in a particular area, check which plants are within commuting distance (for example I live in Northeast AL within 120 miles of all of TVA plants) or within driving range if you had a weekend off (for example I am within 250 miles of Southern plants, Duke's Oconee, and SCE&G). Then talk to the recruiter for those sites to make sure you will be accepted there. For RADCON, it is Bartlett in almost every case.

If you are ready to stick your nose back in the training grind, you would be a good candidate for an OPS program. You would probably have to start as NLO (non-licensed operator).

In 1984 the rental tech business was wide open. You worked as much (or as little) as you wanted. I'd have said yes then, get into this business (but we didn't have this here Internet).  Now, you'd be plum loco to try and get into this field, because there is barely one left. Hell, you only got one HP rental tech outfit out there anymore... ya'll used to have a hundred of them companies to call. If you're lucky now, people land a gig somewhere at a long term in-house job. If not, you're gonna be chasing too few jobs from some no benefit paying outfit, ridiculously short assignments (you'll be still unpacking your bed roll when they give ya a pink slip), competing against returnees who go to these same nuke plants every time.  Look here, land a permanent job with someone respectable (get it in writing), or stay in and look for a field where you can settle down. Ya ain't gonna be able to do that pardner if you want to earn a living as a rental tech right now.


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