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Tokarev

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Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« on: Dec 14, 2016, 08:07 »
Hello everyone!   Note: HP/RPT = "Health Physicist or Radiation Protection Technician".


   I am a teenager, but I am of the minority of not evil teenagers.  (For example, I recently carried on an adult conversation about Potassium Nitrate.)


   I want to be a HP/RPT (Health Physicist/Radiation Protection Technician)... really bad.  I will be graduating before long, and I have already started on some college classes. 


   But my dilemma is, what should I major in?   






   QUICK READ, LONG STORY SHORT:


   To increase my chances of being a HP/RPT, should I  get a B.S in CHEMISTRY or BIOLOGY?



THE LONG STORY:


   I would get a degree in Health Physics, if it were not for the fact that all of the few places left that teach it, are on the wrong side of the country.  So, I have to get some education by other means. 


   I took an amazing tour of Plant Hatch, and met the head HP instructor, Mr. Wade M█████.  Concerning what to major in, he recommended biology.  But the chemist, who was there also, recommended chemistry because if I could not get in is an HP/RPT, I could get in as a chemist.


   I think what she was getting at was: Plants hire chemists, but they don't really hire biologists.


   Personally, I like chemistry WAY more than biology, but there is one more problem:
   The nearest little college has 4 year biology, but they do not have 4 year chemistry, so that means 2 years at Georgia Southern University, which means lots and lots of $$$$$$. [size=78%]



   And breathe.  Any information you can give me at all, that would make my day.  Anything to help me get in the field.


   Thank you all so much, and God bless!
[/size]
« Last Edit: Dec 15, 2016, 03:30 by Tokarev »

Offline GLW

Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 14, 2016, 09:17 »
chemistry is the first, best option, chemical engineering, not some watered down chemistry applications curriculum,...

chemistry will require you to master the higher math skillsets, math disciplines you will later need to be a Health Physicist,...

understanding that chemical engineer is a very difficult goal to set for yourself, and potentially expensive,...

you can begin with biology, but eventually, at some later date, you will have to master the math to be a Physicist,...

and many persons have done just that and been very successful,...

it all depends on how you want to progress in your career, you can frontload on the education and then develop your experience, or you can gain education and experience as you progress along in complimentary, parallel paths,...

either journey has advantages and challenges and pitfalls, you gotta choose because you gotta walk it,...

now, if you aspire to be a technician, and be a technician soon, then biology will be just fine,...

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

Tokarev

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 14, 2016, 09:45 »
Thank you so much!  You have made my week!

Math is hard for me, but I have made it this far, and I will overcome it.

I would like to advance to the highest form of HP (whatever that may be) one day. 


I would love to be making money while getting education, as in the parallel path idea, because then there is little to no debt! ;D

Offline peteshonkwiler

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 14, 2016, 12:04 »
I know technicians with both undergraduate degrees. I know only one person with a Masters in HP. That person has a Bachelors in Biology.
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Tokarev

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 15, 2016, 08:45 »
Thank you all so much!

Offline Bonds 25

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 15, 2016, 01:37 »
"I want to be a HP/RPT (Health Physicist/Radiation Protection Technician)"

Keep in mind (if you don't already know)....Health Physicist and Radiation Protection Technician are not the same. Health Physics Technician and Radiation Protection Technician are universal. In the commercial world....when somebody says "HP" it means Health Physics Technician.
"But I Dont Wanna Be A Pirate" - Jerry Seinfeld

Tokarev

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #6 on: Dec 15, 2016, 03:21 »
"I want to be a HP/RPT (Health Physicist/Radiation Protection Technician)"

Keep in mind (if you don't already know)....Health Physicist and Radiation Protection Technician are not the same. Health Physics Technician and Radiation Protection Technician are universal. In the commercial world....when somebody says "HP" it means Health Physics Technician.


I know.  I am not sure which specific one I want to be.  HP/RPT was my way of saying "Health Physics Technician or Radiation Protection Tech".
« Last Edit: Dec 15, 2016, 03:28 by Tokarev »

Offline Bonds 25

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #7 on: Dec 15, 2016, 04:09 »
Depends.....you wanna be hands on calculator (Health Physicist) in an office or hands on meter out in the field (RP Tech)?

Now the question lacking political correctness.

You wanna be a nerd or a stud muffin?
"But I Dont Wanna Be A Pirate" - Jerry Seinfeld

Tokarev

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #8 on: Dec 15, 2016, 04:11 »
I want to do field work, so an RPT in that case.

Tokarev

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #9 on: Dec 15, 2016, 04:11 »
Well everyone, I would like to thank you all for all you have done.  I am going to only read from now on, but I'll be baaaaaack... in about 4 years when I have my Biology B.S, and working at a plant.

Once again, thank you all, and have a good one!

Tokarev

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #10 on: Dec 15, 2016, 04:18 »
yewed save alot of time wit hp/rp. that "tea" makes four problems.
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dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

Offline SoldierBear

Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #11 on: Dec 16, 2016, 04:56 »
If you are just trying to become a tech, you won't even need a 4 year degree. There are plenty of schools around the country that offer 2 year technical degrees that usually act as feeder schools for their local nuke plants. If you wanted to move beyond that and become a CHP or something along those lines, it's worth also considering a Physics degree depending on the curriculum of the school. But between Biology and Chemistry my vote goes towards Chemistry.

Offline retired nuke

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2017, 07:49 »
Keep in mind that you are entering (at least in commercial power) a dying industry. The only new plants, are a very few being built in the south. There is an aging workforce, so you would likely "get in" but as the industry closes, you may be faced with changing careers in middle age.
Of course, concentrating on the waste / decommissioning end of the industry may be long term successful. But Safestor methods could delay a lot of that for decades...

Good luck
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Offline scotoma

Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2017, 08:56 »
What is your final destination? If you want to be a field technician, a 4 year degree may be overkill. A technician needs to start somewhere, get the provided OJT, get the 3+ yrs experience and you are there. If you want to go on to supervision and management, the degree will be necessary. If you want to go to upper management, you'll need operations experience also. HouseDad said that it is a dying industry. Don't let that discourage you because the HPTs are old and retiring just as fast. Besides decommissioning, there are remediations, research, and medical. And you never know when some nitwit might set off a nuclear explosion or dirty bomb somewhere.

Offline ipregen

Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2017, 11:47 »
Maybe you should take a look at the future of jobs before you decide what you want to do. The website Occupational Outlook Handbook is run by the government and may help you decide. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/

It's great that you want to be a HP/RPT but its a shrinking field.

SCMasterchef

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Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2017, 12:03 »
This young person is getting a lot of information that may or may not help them.  First of all, it is a correct statement that the nuclear industry, at least in this country, may be a dying business, however, that said the work associated with the long term decommissioning activities is not a dying business.  The number of technicians required for decommissioning could become a factor of numbers, fewer techs for decom versus operations.  Therefore it may be of benefit for this person to look at schools such as GA Tech, Purdue, and similar others having a credited Nuclear Engineering degree program.  It is important to remember that if the individual gets a science based undergrad, say biology, it may be more difficult for them to get accepted into a post-grad Nuclear Engineering degree if they have not attended the under grad program at that school.  Long term wise Nuclear Engineering has a far higher advancement opportunity as well as a diversification opportunity than with a under grad Biology degree.  This person could look at the situation from a worker bee in Radiation Protection to a future Queen bee in RP/HP standpoint.  The financial numbers are extremely different and the long term opportunity is even greater.  Kid think of the future and not of the afternoon, because the future is yours and nobody can make the decision for you.  I, as a non-degreed oldtimer in this business, can only wish you the best.  Use the brain that you obviously have now to make your decision.  Relying on someone else's opinion can lead you in the wrong direction for your future life.  Best wishes.

Offline bsdnuke

Re: Advice for a HP want-to-be?
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2017, 06:02 »
My 2 cents. If you are inclined, you might consider one of the military options either Navy nuclear program which after serving could get you into RP or Operations at a nuclear plant. Or, Army where if you place into either a 68S (enlisted) or other and express an interest in a 72A (Health Physicist) over time you could get the degree on Uncle Sam. I am retiring from the 20th CBRNE Command (civilian) and can provide you more information offline (bsdnuke@gmail.com).

Another option is medical health physics which includes several disciplines as a technician (ARRT, Nuclear Medicine, etc) or try to get the degree and do medical physics (radiation therapy). These all have viable future and pay well if you can see yourself in that environment. (It wasn't in the cards for me, I tried).

This forum is usually just linked into power plant health physics but there is a large opportunity other than reactor HP and decommissioning.

 


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