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Offline a.elmalah91

Nuclear Operator vs Engineer Dilemma
« on: Aug 27, 2015, 03:37 »
Hi, I am a nuclear engineering technology graduate from Thomas Edison State College (TESC). Before joining TESC, however, I was a nuclear engineering student in Egypt. I always wanted to have an engineering path, but after moving to the U.S., I failed to transfer to a nuclear engineering school. Thus, after I graduated last March, I started applying for Entry level Engineering, Engineering associate, or any other engineering job that might accept my technology degree.

That did not work! I am still unemployed till that moment. So, I've started having my masters degree in nuclear engineering from Penn state university this fall (Just started this week). Nevertheless, and all of the sudden, I got an unexpected call from an employer two days ago regarding an opening as an Auxiliary Operator. Now I am not sure what to do. Operations is not something that I was hoping to get. At the same time, the pay is perfect, I will get actual experience, and I didn't get any other offer anyway. 

I am afraid that I might get stuck in operations, and not be able to have an engineering job in the future if I took this job.

1. Is that something that I should be worried about?
2. Can I use my experience as an Aux. Operator to get an engineering job in the future after having my masters?
3. How many years do you think I will be expected to keep working as an AO? Do I have to sign a contract or anything?
4. How is the working conditions as an AO? Do you think I will be able to study for Masters beside doing this job?
5. Also, If I decided to go for the interview next week, would you recommend that I don't mention my masters? I guess that if they knew that I am having an engineering degree they might not hire me!

I hope someone can help me with that dilemma. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Offline Higgs

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Re: Nuclear Operator vs Engineer Dilemma
« Reply #1 on: Aug 27, 2015, 11:11 »

1. Is that something that I should be worried about?
2. Can I use my experience as an Aux. Operator to get an engineering job in the future after having my masters?
3. How many years do you think I will be expected to keep working as an AO? Do I have to sign a contract or anything?
4. How is the working conditions as an AO? Do you think I will be able to study for Masters beside doing this job?
5. Also, If I decided to go for the interview next week, would you recommend that I don't mention my masters? I guess that if they knew that I am having an engineering degree they might not hire me!

I hope someone can help me with that dilemma. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

1. Maybe. Good chance you'll be stuck in ops. One thing for sure is that they're never going to hire you into engineering with only a tech degree.
2. Maybe.
3. Every place is different. There's no contract though. You'll take a huge pay cut going from ops to engineering.
4. Sometimes busy, sometimes not. Yes.
5. Nonsense. The only reason they called you is because of the technology degree (it's not an engineering degree). Furthering your education can only help you.

Justin
« Last Edit: Aug 27, 2015, 05:53 by Higgs »
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Offline hamsamich

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Re: Nuclear Operator vs Engineer Dilemma
« Reply #2 on: Aug 28, 2015, 01:50 »
As long as you don't mind moving I would think any nuclear plant experience would help you get an Engineering job at a nuke once you get a degree in nuclear engineering.  Your Thomas Ed degree isn't that.  You need a degree in nuclear engineering, not a tech degree.  for instance, penn state has a degree in nuclear engineering.  Not nuclear engineering technology.

Offline STGN

Re: Nuclear Operator vs Engineer Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: Oct 05, 2015, 12:00 »

1. Is that something that I should be worried about?
2. Can I use my experience as an Aux. Operator to get an engineering job in the future after having my masters?
3. How many years do you think I will be expected to keep working as an AO? Do I have to sign a contract or anything?
4. How is the working conditions as an AO? Do you think I will be able to study for Masters beside doing this job?
5. Also, If I decided to go for the interview next week, would you recommend that I don't mention my masters? I guess that if they knew that I am having an engineering degree they might not hire me!

I hope someone can help me with that dilemma. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

4.  Depending on where you work dictates how busy you'll be.  Personally, I doubt you'll feel much like studying following a set of 12 hour shifts.  At my plant, we also work our AO's like rented mules.  They stay busy, mostly because we don't have enough of them.  There is no time to study for a masters degree while at work.


Offline tolstoy

Re: Nuclear Operator vs Engineer Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: Oct 05, 2015, 06:26 »
1. Maybe. Good chance you'll be stuck in ops. One thing for sure is that they're never going to hire you into engineering with only a tech degree.
2. Maybe.
3. Every place is different. There's no contract though. You'll take a huge pay cut going from ops to engineering.
4. Sometimes busy, sometimes not. Yes.
5. Nonsense. The only reason they called you is because of the technology degree (it's not an engineering degree). Furthering your education can only help you.

Justin

Higgs hits the nail on the head in point 1. There is only one path that points to engineering and that is to have an accredited engineering degree from an accredited school that will allow you to work toward your PE stamp. Your TE degree won't help you with that nor will working in OPS.

If this is what you want you should go back to school - Penn State is a great school - and complete an engineering degree. There will be plenty of time and plenty of money later. Assuming that you can still get a job in nuclear engineering. Might want to study Mandarin as well...

 


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