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Offline jhodges

So is having a degree necessary?
« on: Jan 10, 2016, 07:15 »
i want to got to school for radiation protection tech but Im wondering is it better to have an associate or bachelor degree?

Offline tolstoy

Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 11, 2016, 07:02 »
All of the new folks coming to the site where I work have some kind of four year degree. Typically RP or chemistry. I don't know if you can still finagle your way into a job or not. Back in the stone age when I started you could find al the work you wanted as long as you could breathe and stay awake long enough to find somewhere to sleep in containment. Those days are long gone.

For whatever you want to do get the best degree or certification that you can. Even if it's not a golden ticket today it will be necessary for you to advance.

Offline hamsamich

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Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 11, 2016, 12:55 »
 i would go bachelors because most of the new techs coming in have 2 year degrees.  plus you would have a bachelors and there are higher level jobs you can get when you have more experience that "highly desire" a 4 year degree.  that 4 year degree should get you interviews once you get your foot in the door coupled with some experience.  with a 4 year degree in radiation protection im sure a contract company can get you experience somehow.  there are no guarantees; for instance I know Duke gives people with 2 year degrees from a certain school priority on outage jobs/intern jobs (JRs).  I think that school is Chattanooga State.  just put in for everything and call the world once you get your degree.   4 year degree you can't go wrong.

Offline jhodges

Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 13, 2016, 03:32 »
thanks all :)

Offline RFaunt

Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 14, 2016, 05:45 »
In addendum to hamsamich's post, Duke is partnered with Spartanburg Community College in SC for a 2-year degree. Duke instructors teach the RP courses, and two internships are a part of the program. That's the route I went when I got out of the Marines, and I had my choice of job offers after graduation. My military experience may have played a part in that as well, but I work with two others from my program who had only the experience of the Associates program.

Chatt State has a very good 2-year program based on what I know from a good friend who went there. I believe their internship experience was with TVA, but he now works full time in ALARA for Exelon.

If you're looking at a Bachelor of Science, Bloomsburg University in PA has a Health Physics program that offers internships with some of the Pennsylvania nuclear plants. I also know of one at Francis Marion in Florence, SC that partners with Duke and VC Summer.

It depends on what you're looking to do. 2 year degrees are becoming the norm for new personnel getting into the RP tech market. Getting an RP degree from one of the schools in the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program (NUCP) is typically enough to at least land steady outage work with Bartlett starting off. I know from a few of my interviews after graduation that a couple of the corporations are starting to use a AAS degree as a preferred qualification for house positions. A Bachelor's degree will qualify you for some staff level positions. Decide what route you want and then figure out what you're willing to do (ie relocating, committing 2 years or 4 years for education).

If you haven't already seen the list of schools in the NUCP, I'm attaching a link for you to look over. If you have questions, let me know through here or a PM. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

http://www.nei.org/CorporateSite/media/filefolder/Policy/NUCP/NUCPschools.pdf?ext=.pdf
« Last Edit: Jan 14, 2016, 05:47 by RFaunt »
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." ~ Isaac Newton

rlbinc

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Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 20, 2016, 10:29 »
No.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 20, 2016, 12:26 »
i want to got to school for radiation protection tech but Im wondering is it better to have an associate or bachelor degree?
define "better".
an ass degree puts you two work too years early.
a bach degree may qual yew fore higher paying positions.
know degree puts yu inn the work place now.
define "better".
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

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

Offline Naysayer1203

Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 21, 2016, 12:54 »
Having good contacts is just as good as having a degree starting out IMO.  I started as a deconner with Bartlett, then used contacts that I had through family in the business to get hired into Exelon in their Jr program.  Worked my way up to ALARA and to Supervisor from there.  Having tuition reimbursement helps once you are hired on but with outages and a family, its hard to find the time.  Having the NRRPT can get me as high as I want in RP, you don't need a degree to be RPM if that is what your long term goals are.  Typically to go higher than that, you will need a license and/or degree based on what I have been told.

Best of luck!

Offline Radwraith

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Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 26, 2016, 03:33 »
Having good contacts is just as good as having a degree starting out IMO.  I started as a deconner with Bartlett, then used contacts that I had through family in the business to get hired into Exelon in their Jr program.  Worked my way up to ALARA and to Supervisor from there.  Having tuition reimbursement helps once you are hired on but with outages and a family, its hard to find the time.  Having the NRRPT can get me as high as I want in RP, you don't need a degree to be RPM if that is what your long term goals are.  Typically to go higher than that, you will need a license and/or degree based on what I have been told.

Best of luck!

My slightly more cynical experience is this: Unless you've been in the business since the Stone age it is absolutely essential to have friends or family in the business! Degrees are totally irrelevant unless you're applying for a Superintendent's job or higher!
Remember the seven P's: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance!

chuckdhuff

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Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 26, 2016, 09:46 »
My slightly more cynical experience is this: Unless you've been in the business since the Stone age it is absolutely essential to have friends or family in the business! Degrees are totally irrelevant unless you're applying for a Superintendent's job or higher!

There is definitely an element of truth to this statement.

Bottom line is that the deciding factor on whether to get a degree or not should be dependent on how far up the ladder you are aiming for. If you can be satisfied with a first line supervisory role you can reach it with a high school diploma, strong work ethic, and moderate people skills. If you desire to be a manager or higher get the degree.  [2cents]

Offline hamsamich

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Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 26, 2016, 12:51 »
in large part i agree.  but some plants have agreements with colleges and I know some who had no friends and family but got in simply because they attended/got 2 year degrees from the college connected to the company.  Duke is the biggest place I have seen this.  So it seems a degree can help get in, and a degree can get you time towards getting your 3.1, and going after bigger jobs like RPM or Plant-HP it can help.  I think it could also help get a JR job when maybe a Decon job might be more likely offered to "friends and family without a degree".  Plus if you have the same amount of experience as others (once you get some) and are going for a house job it would probably help having a degree as long as other things were equal and you have good references.  But yes I think the easiest and most utilized way is to know someone.

If you want to go to college anyway I'd get at least the 2-year but if you have a connection and just want to work, use the connection.  I'd get the bachelor as long as you want the 4-year college experience, but an AS in RP from a college that is specifically connected to a company with nuclear power plants could be just as useful and get you an automatic "tryout" as a new JR.  you have to do your research and contact some colleges near nuclear power plants, like chattanooga state and spartanburg.  I believe a college called Linn State has something to.  Ocala FL maybe?  I'd find them all and call them all and see what the 2-4 year outlook on the programs are because sometimes the JR programs get flooded and you could be waiting a couple years for one of the JR jobs.  Calling the associated utility after you talk to the college may get you a better/more honest answer also because those colleges are out to make $$$. 

Offline tolstoy

Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 27, 2016, 08:54 »
Get yourself a real BSci degree from a real college or university. Unless you want to squeeze into the field and do four or five three-week outages a year.

I don't know how old you are or what your plans are but why wouldn't you set yourself up for the best possible future? When four or five or fifteen more sites close up what will you do with your two year certificate and eight outages as a Jr tech? What's the beef against education?

Offline Rerun

Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 27, 2016, 10:55 »
When I left TVA in 2013 they were hiring everyone except Senior Reactor Operators from Chattanooga State. TVA had a program there taught by either TVA or ex TVa people.

Offline hamsamich

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Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 27, 2016, 01:59 »
I agree with that sentiment also Tolstoy but the problem is a BS doesn't do what it used to do for you to pull in more money, unless you get a specific degree with a specific job in mind and you've done your homework. Then it's still a crap shoot. (look at the  petroleum industry right now). Plenty of info on that out on the net with plenty of student loan horror stories.   It helps but may not be worth it in many cases.  I also agree that getting into the RP world may not be the smartest move in today's nuclear industry, but if that's what the OP wants I'll give him my .02$.  There's worse things you could do.  There's a case to be made that plumbing, or heating and air could be the place to be instead of a 4 year degree.

That being said I'm all about the college experience and I think it is worth while even if it only marginally increases your paycheck when all things are considered.  Heard nothing but good things about Chatt State from many people.

chuckdhuff

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Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 27, 2016, 02:22 »
I'm all for higher education so long as it helps meet your end goal on employment. In fact I wish I had went further with it now. I guess my opinion would be that the OP, or anyone else out there, needs to evaluate where they want to be, if it is reasonably achievable, and what level of education will enable them to reach that goal. Just need to make sure that in doing so, your likely to get a return on investment.
« Last Edit: Jan 27, 2016, 05:14 by ksheed12 »

Offline Rerun

Re: So is having a degree necessary?
« Reply #15 on: Jan 27, 2016, 03:14 »
Here is the great thing about Chatt State. The classes don't accept a lot of people and for 8 weeks in the summer the kids get paid to be at the nukes.

 


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