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Offline Rennhack

NRRPT
« on: Nov 09, 2015, 10:05 »
As of February 22, 2014:

In the United States, the NRRPT exam has been taken 9,660 times in the 38 years since the first test in 1976.  5,287 (55%) passed and 4,373 have failed.

The number of candidates sitting for the test has declined since its peak in 1992 (1,090) to 114 in 2013.

50% of all candidates took it in the early 90's (1990-1996)

Why did so many people take the NRRPT Exam in the early 90's?  Why are so few people taking it these days?  

« Last Edit: Nov 09, 2015, 10:09 by Rennhack »

Offline SloGlo

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #1 on: Nov 09, 2015, 10:11 »
Inna 90s, premium pay went two nrrpt cert holders. two day there is know such benefit.
« Last Edit: Nov 09, 2015, 10:12 by SloGlo »
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Offline RDTroja

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #2 on: Nov 10, 2015, 06:40 »
Inna 90s, premium pay went two nrrpt cert holders. two day there is know such benefit.
What he said tried to say.

Where is the benefit? I have had to take the NUF despite passing the NRRPT. I originally took it because the utility I worked for at the time wanted me to have it and was willing to pay for it (and even sponsored it on site.) For a few years it was worth an extra $1/hr. Now...not so much.
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Offline retired nuke

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #3 on: Nov 10, 2015, 06:46 »
I was one of those early 90s NRRPT testers.
It gave me $1/hr for a few years.
It made it easier to get ALARA work.
It got me out of the NU test for a while.
But bottom line, after a while I let the active membership drop - didn't provide any more benefit. Even with the utility paying the membership, it wasn't worth the paperwork.
Studying for the test, I refreshed a lot of theory I learned at Rad High in Ocala. Very little of it do I use today. Skipping the NU test didn't matter to me - it never took me more than 20 minutes to complete anyway (NRRPT took an hour).
Nowadays, DOE / dirt jobs / house jobs post that they like to see it - it's proof of a certain level of theory understanding. But in the real world.... it doesn't show that you have common sense.
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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #4 on: Nov 10, 2015, 12:06 »
When I took the test in 1981, I was concerned about rumors that the NRC was looking at some sort of certification for road techs as part of their revamping of 10CFR20.  That didn't come to pass but I did manage to pass the test the first time.  Then I let it lapse in the early 2000's while pursuing an alternate career.  Oh well.  I had to take the exam again in 2009 to regain my active status . . . and managed to pass a second time.  For as much time as I put into studying for it both times, I'll hang on to it for a while yet.

Offline Smart People

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #5 on: Nov 10, 2015, 07:25 »
A lot of companies still like to see NRRPT on the resume. On many job postings on this site, NRRPT is a desired qualification. It still helps boost the resume when someone is looking to move out of the technician level. It is also still worth about 40 credits with Thomas Edison and some other colleges.

However the extra pay for having the NRRPT seems to have disappeared and doesn't have very much incentive for those staying on the technician level.
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Offline SloGlo

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #6 on: Nov 11, 2015, 08:04 »
it does give bragging rites...
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Offline Rennhack

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #7 on: Nov 11, 2015, 06:44 »
it does give bragging rites...

Mine is bigger than yours?

Offline SloGlo

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #8 on: Nov 11, 2015, 09:58 »
Mine is bigger than yours?

good bee...my "nappe radii range parallel tesseract" due two my block head.

yores?
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Offline RFaunt

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #9 on: Feb 03, 2016, 10:04 »
I'll preface this question by saying that I've read through many of the earlier posts regarding the NRRPT. Mike recommended the Rad-Ware software, and there was positive feedback from those who had used it. Unfortunately, I can no longer find that software through the shop (a little googling found an obit for Dr. O'Dou which may provide some explanation). What software is currently available and recommended for studying for the NRRPT? I've looked at Datachem, and I'm also familiar with the recommendation Gollnick's Basic Radiation Protection Technology book as a study guide. I'm hoping to get some feedback from those who have used the software and/or study guides and their overall opinion of their usefulness in preparing them to pass. Thanks in advance for the assistance/rebuff.

Note: I have looked at the Suggested Study Material on the NRRPT.org website. Before I buy anything, I'd like to know if it is worth the investment.
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Offline Marlin

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #10 on: Feb 03, 2016, 10:47 »
Why did so many people take the NRRPT Exam in the early 90's?  Why are so few people taking it these days?  

   My  [2cents] is relevance. With stronger and more evolved internal programs and influences of oversight and standardization industry wide. In addition how many people encounter non-ionzing radiations other than in academic, medical, and DOE environments. It is a broad scope registration applied to narrow employment.
   All that being said for advancement into mid-level positions it shows initiative and a base competency when compared to someone without it.

Offline tolstoy

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #11 on: Feb 04, 2016, 06:24 »
   My  [2cents] is relevance. With stronger and more evolved internal programs and influences of oversight and standardization industry wide. In addition how many people encounter non-ionzing radiations other than in academic, medical, and DOE environments. It is a broad scope registration applied to narrow employment.
   All that being said for advancement into mid-level positions it shows initiative and a base competency when compared to someone without it.

I leaned on Datachem and Cember. When you can skim correctly through the DataChem software just like you did in the fourth grade with multiplication flashcards the NRRPT will be a breeze. I used Cember and Bevalacqua to bone up on theory.  I also used DataChem as an overview of study for the CHP test - also good but a deeper understanding of theory is needed.

My two cents about taking the NRRPT. The world that we live in is more and more competitive. I know a few old guys who were hired in a bar when someone asked if they wanted to make a few thousand bucks jumping generators. After picking up their 2 REM they decided to stick around and be HPs. Thus the manta "Two weeks ago I couldn't spell HP and now I are one!" Now you need every bit of help you can. Everything else being equal if you wave a piece of paper that proves you really do know how an ion chamber instrument works you might get a leg up. No guarantees but today everything helps.

Offline fiveeleven

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #12 on: Feb 04, 2016, 07:07 »
Where I camest from, we weren't offered detector theory in the 4th grade. We did have the Ion twins who we called the Ion pair. At least it was something. None of the smattering of the 5287 personnel that I have had occasion to converse with, nor did I personally feel, that the exam was a "breeze". Perhaps the 4373 individuals should have paid a little more attention in 4th grade, or pursued a path to rocket science. I did all my studying indoors in the warmth of the hearth, so I had no need for a bevalacqua.
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2016, 08:28 by fiveeleven »

Offline meadus

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #13 on: Aug 11, 2016, 01:47 »
The Health Physics Society has been seeing double digit percentage drops in membership as well as the NRRPT, and I think it's a lot of factors.  There's the aging out of a lot of the older generation, which has been looming, and that crowd was driving a lot of the newer folks into taking the certification exam.  There's the decrease in colleges offering HP degrees, making it so that there aren't those new grads ready to ace the theory parts of the exam right off the bat rearing and ready to go.  And of course the pay has been stagnant while the fracking and natural gas boom has been siphoning off TONS of people from the HP field, considering they are desperate for people who know anything about PPE and have the slightest clue what RCRA/HAZWOPER stand for, meaning the pay can be a lot higher if you're willing to risk jumping into a boom/bust industry (and plenty of folks are now that it's booming).

Offline Marlin

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #14 on: Aug 11, 2016, 04:31 »
The Health Physics Society has been seeing double digit percentage drops in membership as well as the NRRPT, and I think it's a lot of factors.  There's the aging out of a lot of the older generation, which has been looming, and that crowd was driving a lot of the newer folks into taking the certification exam.  There's the decrease in colleges offering HP degrees, making it so that there aren't those new grads ready to ace the theory parts of the exam right off the bat rearing and ready to go.  And of course the pay has been stagnant while the fracking and natural gas boom has been siphoning off TONS of people from the HP field, considering they are desperate for people who know anything about PPE and have the slightest clue what RCRA/HAZWOPER stand for, meaning the pay can be a lot higher if you're willing to risk jumping into a boom/bust industry (and plenty of folks are now that it's booming).

   Would the decline coincide with the start of CEUs. I think the NRRPT loses value after a number of years as resume and experience trump it's usefulness. Just my opinion and experience, but then I took it more for the personal satisfaction at the time (1985). There was a very hazy definition of what a Rad Tech was and the NRRPT took away that stigma that you were a technician only if you met the standard of the facility you were working in. When experience was a key factor and it could differ greatly even from power plant to power plant much less other radiological environments. NRRPT was driven more from the DOE side of the fence back then though intended to cover RadPro across industry lines including radiography, medical etc.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #15 on: Aug 11, 2016, 09:23 »
"In addition how many people encounter non-ionzing radiations other than in academic, medical, and DOE environments. "

gist axe enny s.p.f. user.
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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #16 on: Aug 11, 2016, 09:26 »
Thus the manta "Two weeks ago I couldn't spell HP and now I are one."

due knot remember this phrase ever bean used in the first person. usually used as a derogatory portrayal of an udder tech's intellectual prowess.
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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #17 on: Aug 11, 2016, 09:37 »
"Where I camest from, we weren't offered detector theory in the 4th grade."

aye got detector theory pre  forth grade... awl six census where covered. 😉

"We did have the Ion twins..."

they moved too my skool in tent grade 😉
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

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Offline ipregen

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #18 on: Aug 15, 2016, 11:36 »
When I took the test in 1981, I was concerned about rumors that the NRC was looking at some sort of certification for road techs as part of their revamping of 10CFR20.  That didn't come to pass but I did manage to pass the test the first time.  Then I let it lapse in the early 2000's while pursuing an alternate career.  Oh well.  I had to take the exam again in 2009 to regain my active status . . . and managed to pass a second time.  For as much time as I put into studying for it both times, I'll hang on to it for a while yet.

Same here. I saw the continuing dues as a revenue generator for the board with little benefit for me. I don't need it for what I do now.

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #19 on: Aug 16, 2016, 07:53 »
Actually, I've been surprised at the number of Techs who feel that their NRRPT status should exempt them from the routine requalification exams.  I'm not sure what my knowledge level 30 years ago has to do with today.  While it does proffer some degree of bragging rights, it, like any other exam, only measures your ability to pass an exam.  It is not necessarily an indicator of one's abilities as a functional Tech in the field.  Nevertheless, I'll still recommend taking the NRRPT exam to all the Technicians and, as a general statement, put a little more reliance on someone who has taken and passed the exam versus someone who has not.

Before you all jump on me for that statement, please note that I said it was a "general statement".  I can name several RRPTs that I wouldn't trust to turn a meter on let alone actually use it properly.  At the same time, I can also name several Techs that couldn't pass the exam if they had to but are excellent in the field.  That statement can be made for almost any certification program.

Offline GLW

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #20 on: Aug 16, 2016, 09:56 »
..............Before you all jump on me for that statement, please note that I said it was a "general statement".  I can name several RRPTs that I wouldn't trust to turn a meter on let alone actually use it properly.  At the same time, I can also name several Techs that couldn't pass the exam if they had to but are excellent in the field.  That statement can be made for almost any certification program.

IIRC (it's been a long, long time) there were "references" or "sponsors" or "mentors" who were required to attest to the experience of the candidate as part of the application package.

If those persons are still required, and if those persons do not take their attestation seriously, then the NRRPT does become a sheepskin for folks who can test well but not implement well, known once upon a time as "head smart and hand stupid".

There are remedies to all this, yet without a standardized, coast to coast, "brotherhood", the vagaries of the radiation protection workforce will remain something akin to herding cats.

I think, actually I know, the cats like it this way.  8)



Why did so many people take the NRRPT Exam in the early 90's?  Why are so few people taking it these days? 


IMNSHO:

there were 2 big pushes beginning in the late 80s and dissipating in the mid 90s:

1st - the brotherhood push, aka IBEW this or that, or the posers out of D.C., which tried to herd the cats into a bargaining unit,...

2nd - the "industry" counterpush which established the perception of the cat population as a herd of non-aligned, registered or certified "semi professional freelancers" who earned work based on their individual ability with contract companies acting as little more than "Kelly Girls" who wrote the paychecks and administered the regulated costs (FICA, IRS, etcetera),...
         to this end; getting behind any type of registration, testing, core quals, etcetera in the here and now works out better in the long term than dealing with a bargaining unit for the interminable future,...
         it also serves to fracture the united brotherhood, if the best, most experienced and brightest are doing better for themselves without a brotherhood, then those self-motivated, individuals with the stronger skillsets are not as likely to be involved in the organizing efforts,...
         which deprives the organizing efforts of the valuable assistance and influence of it's best and brightest amongst the broader population of the cat herd,...

do not get me wrong: the industry knows how to work with a union effectively, but, in most cases, it is simpler to deal with an individual cat than a cat bargaining unit, and simpler tends to be less costly,...

if one reviews the graph in the opening post the influences stated in this post are either fairly correct or a really cool coincidence, as the NRRPT numbers before and after the influences outlined in this post are consistent in their similarity,...

enjoy the day,.... 8)
« Last Edit: Aug 16, 2016, 10:17 by GLW »

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

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #21 on: Aug 16, 2016, 12:23 »
IIRC (it's been a long, long time) there were "references" or "sponsors" or "mentors" who were required to attest to the experience of the candidate as part of the application package.

If those persons are still required, and if those persons do not take their attestation seriously, then the NRRPT does become a sheepskin for folks who can test well but not implement well, known once upon a time as "head smart and hand stupid".


You're right - there are supposed to be sponsors who attest to the individual's experience.  However, I know for a fact that some of those sponsors - including past NRRPT board members - did NOT take that role seriously and were willing to recommend people who did not meet the basic criteria of 5 years, hands-on, meter-carrying experience.  I almost resigned from the NRRPT over one such incident but, fortunately, that individual "reconsidered" his position.

Offline SpyCat

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #22 on: Aug 16, 2016, 12:57 »
I hear ya, Chimera.  Last year, an "RP" took the exam so he could gain college credit & beef up his resume.  I chuckled at his attempt... but then he Passed.  He didn't know what a PIC was.  I'll take the CHP exam, if I can use his proctor.
What really smokes me, is cases like this tend to cheapen my NRRPT.  I suggest the NRRPT stick to those old standards.

Offline absentminded

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #23 on: Aug 20, 2016, 10:24 »
I studied for three months while working a 12 hr rotating shift,drank a lot of energy drinks,learned a lot, and passed. Its a difficult test. Where I worked ,Savannah River Site, I was invited to a staff meeting,given a card (not card stock,just cropped copy paper) with misspelled words,and got applause from some mid level managers. I was exempted from one reqall exam. Some of my pears respected it while some ridiculed the effort. It made no difference in pay or opportunity. Despite the fact that NRRPT used to be written into the DOE literature. I was never encouraged by site personnel to do this. Years ago,prior to cert in 2009,I told folks I wanted to do it, and so I did. Its a good thing.
I have since encouraged many folks to take the test and have talked to a couple of groups of techs about taking the exam. This what I tell folks:"you should obtain certification for your personal edification. Do not expect monetary gain,promotion, or even the respect and admiration of your fellow techs. Its about a little more self respect. If you are like me you will learn a lot. "
The discussion about good at tests,bad in the field vs bad at test, good in the field is a good one. We have all known both types. I am absent minded,O can learn and take a test well but i forget quickly and rely on solid field practices. After all, in a 5Rem general field trying to save a person dose from an even greater point source you are not thinking theory, you are thinking back up,put that down, lets go. no you cant take that with you,lets have this discussion outside, yes its suposed to beep like that.
The moral is, you will learn a lot and, if you are not already, you will become aware of the larger body of information that is health physics. And maybe,just maybe, it will make you a better tech.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #24 on: Aug 22, 2016, 09:22 »
duz any buddy have knowledge offa nuke plant wit nrrpt registration using that registration two move over too the other venues incompast by the testing such as medical?
quando omni flunkus moritati

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Offline GLW

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #25 on: Aug 22, 2016, 09:47 »
duz any buddy have knowledge offa nuke plant wit nrrpt registration using that registration two move over too the other venues incompast by the testing such as medical?

Not much other than college credits,...

The medical side is certified, licensed, apprenticed, etcetera under individual state regulations,...

the certification organizations include SNMMI, NMTCB, ARRT, MDCB, ARDMS, NMTCB and an alphabet soup of other gov and paragov organizations,...

the NRRPT is typically not given credit as "job related" as it is a broad scope registry,....

most medical certifications are narrow scope and therefore more intensive than NRRPT,...

as stated at the top, it can help with college and continuing education credits,...

most medical types are not fond of nor do they see much relevance of the commercial, transportation, and other non-medical aspects of the NRRPT,...

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

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #26 on: Aug 22, 2016, 12:07 »
When I took it and passed in 1991 I was told it was a lifetime certification as long as I paid my dues. Then they came out with the maintenance plan that benefited mostly permanent techs that could complete the requirements through their house training programs. So I quit paying the dues since working multiple careers, safety  along with RP prevented me from meeting the requirements. I think the NRRPT should have grandfathered the people this promise was made to when they began this program.

Offline GLW

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #27 on: Aug 22, 2016, 12:22 »
When I took it and passed in 1991 I was told it was a lifetime certification as long as I paid my dues. Then they came out with the maintenance plan that benefited mostly permanent techs that could complete the requirements through their house training programs. So I quit paying the dues since working multiple careers, safety  along with RP prevented me from meeting the requirements. I think the NRRPT should have grandfathered the people this promise was made to when they began this program.

the fiduciary goal of all certification and licensing associations is to generate association revenue out of those who generate personal revenue via the licensing / certification program,...

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

Offline SloGlo

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #28 on: Aug 23, 2016, 12:51 »
Not much other than college credits,...

The medical side is certified, licensed, apprenticed, etcetera under individual state regulations,...

the certification organizations include SNMMI, NMTCB, ARRT, MDCB, ARDMS, NMTCB and an alphabet soup of other gov and paragov organizations,...

the NRRPT is typically not given credit as "job related" as it is a broad scope registry,....

most medical certifications are narrow scope and therefore more intensive than NRRPT,...

as stated at the top, it can help with college and continuing education credits,...

most medical types are not fond of nor do they see much relevance of the commercial, transportation, and other non-medical aspects of the NRRPT,...
pritty much sux having udder disciplines rad knowledge included iffen it can't bee used to cross inn two thoses areas. imnsho, of coarse.
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

Offline GLW

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #29 on: Aug 23, 2016, 01:12 »
pritty much sux having udder disciplines rad knowledge included iffen it can't bee used to cross inn two thoses areas. imnsho, of coarse.

you have to go back to who initiated NRRPT and the times when NRRPT was initiated,...

things were different then, and have evolved considerably since then,...

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

Offline SloGlo

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #30 on: Aug 23, 2016, 08:31 »
you have to go back to who initiated NRRPT and the times when NRRPT was initiated,...

things were different then, and have evolved considerably since
you have to go back to who initiated NRRPT and the times when NRRPT was initiated,...

things were different then, and have evolved considerably since then,...
cood bee. butt aye have bin under whelmed bye the hole schmere fore ever.
it's a standard. sew is an associate degree, a navships 108, a d.o.e. core.
nuttin moor.
nuttin less.
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

Offline GLW

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #31 on: Aug 23, 2016, 09:32 »
cood bee. butt aye have bin under whelmed bye the hole schmere fore ever.
it's a standard. sew is an associate degree, a navships 108, a d.o.e. core.
nuttin moor.
nuttin less.

all true, are we done here yet?   :P ;) :) 8)

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

Offline darylrey

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #32 on: Apr 13, 2017, 02:46 »
I agree with absentminded.

I am taking it just to put in the effort and get out of it what I can.  These won't be any money involved and, despite lots of lip-service about supporting anyone who wanted to take it and bringing in a trainer to help study, management here has completely forgotten that I plan to take it.  If I ever plan to move on or up, I assume it will be something to fill my resume up but that is about all. 

So much focus, in the commercial nuclear industry, anyway, is placed on education and training that they seem to forget that learning doesn't only, always, or often even best happen in a classroom setting.  But classroom training and powerpoints are much easiest to point at when the NRC comes to audit your training program, so they persist as the main method of training. 

I just try to study and pick up a little more each time I go through the study guides and books.  Not just for memorization's sake but to try to apply things in the field, however small or nuanced. 
I could remember bremhstralung and advise against shielding a high-energy beta source or remember the half-life of Co-60 and mention that the dose on the resin liner that we are thinking of shipping probably hasn't decreased an appreciable amount.    This application ensures facts, trends, tendencies, and methods stick in the memory and many times that sort of 'intangible' thought or connection, that minutiae, is what makes a tech with practical ability and sense a little more complete.

Offline ipregen

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #33 on: Apr 13, 2017, 03:07 »
When I took the NRRPT it was reimbursed by Bartlett and resulted in an extra $1/hr at many sites. That seems to have gone away. Now it seems like a revenue generator for everyone but the techs. I doubt I would take it under the current system. I can't think of any other time I had to know the permissible leakage from an x-ray machine or what to do if a someone dropped a test tube of polonium.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #34 on: Apr 13, 2017, 04:28 »
...what to do if a someone dropped a test tube of polonium.
quit smoking n using led pencils....
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Offline oldtimer

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #35 on: Jun 11, 2017, 10:24 »
I have seen people that passed the NRRPT test and couldn't count an air sample, cpm/volume, without conversion crutches

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Re: NRRPT
« Reply #36 on: Jun 12, 2017, 02:20 »
I have seen people that passed the NRRPT test and couldn't count an air sample, cpm/volume, without conversion crutches

And, conversely, I've known Techs who didn't stand a chance at passing the NRRPT who were fantastic Techs.

Offline scotoma

Re: NRRPT
« Reply #37 on: Jun 14, 2017, 07:29 »
Learning the material necessary to pass the NRRPT test is a confidence builder. You are then able to talk the talk that may impress your co-workers and satisfy an RPM. You will then be able to effectively confuse engineers, managers, and construction supervisors because radiation protection is a foreign language to them.

 


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