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Offline koonce.jordan

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I cannot seem to find answers to this question, so I am hoping for some type of direction.  I am a former shiny side Nuke MM who served on the Truman.  Did a combat deployment, did some time in the yards and then got out in a little less than 4 years because of my weight, still an honorable discharge.  Since getting out, finding a job as a maintenance tech has been very easy both via a headhunter and by applying to jobs myself.  I have had 2 jobs as a maintenance tech and am going to school for Industrial Maintenance with concentrations in Mechanical and Electrical as well as Robotics.  I will be graduating with those 3 Associate's degrees hopefully at the end of next summer, so about this time next year.  I love maintenance, but I loved being a Nuke.  I hated all of the politics associated with it, but I desperately wish I could have stayed in.  I want to be in the Nuclear field as an operator or doing maintenance, but I have no idea where to start.  I have a nuclear plant in my home town (TVA's Brown's Ferry), but I cannot get any info on when they would have any SGPO classes so I've pretty much given up on TVA at this point.  What do I need to do to get the process started?  It's not like I can just go and apply for nuclear operator, right?  I have no problem moving, and if the right opportunity came up, I would even leave before I finished school as much as I would like to finish.  I loved operating, but could definitely do maintenance, I just want to be in the nuclear field.  I feel ridiculous having received all of my training and not being able to get in the field that I love so much.  I know that are civilian tests to take, but do I take that and then get contacted by a plant?  Is there somewhere I can call in a company to find out if they have jobs open for this?  It seems like every site I go to tells me all about a nuclear operator and what they do, but no where can I actually apply.  I just need some help.  I know I can get a good job as a maintenance tech somewhere in a regular plant, but I know my whole life I will still be drawn to the nuclear field.

Offline NukEMCarp1252

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My recommendation is to make a list of the plants that you want to work at.  Unfortunately, in our current political environment, I'm sorry to say that some plants may be at risk right now, so do your homework.  Depending on what you are looking for, this may not be bad.  Some plants are looking for people to work for a period of a time and are even offering bonuses because they know that they cannot offer long term job security.
  Also, some plants are union, which may make it more difficult to get it, especially maintenance.  You may have to get into the union first to be really considered for certain position. 
I don't necessarily see a problem getting a job based on your short exit from the Navy, but be prepared to discuss it because any nuke will notice it. 
One thing to consider, applying with a contractor company that provides man power for outages and doing the circuit to get your foot in.  Once you are working at a plant, even for a refueling outage, you can easily start networking and getting that inside track on when and who they will be hiring. 
Good luck and keep your head up.  It is worth the trouble to work in this industry. 

Offline Nuclear NASCAR

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  Also, some plants are union, which may make it more difficult to get it, especially maintenance.  You may have to get into the union first to be really considered for certain position. 

In most cases you will join the Union when hired into a plant.  Depending on the plant getting into maintenance might have a prerequisite of prior verifiable experience or an associates degree in the discipline.  Hiring into a company at another location (non-nuclear) is also another consideration as it might give bidding rights into nuclear sites ahead of hiring off the street. 
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge."

  -Bertrand Russell

Offline ipregen

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Go to any utilities company website and search careers. here is the link to Exelon, over 300 postings.

Offline hamsamich

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TVA is a tough nut to crack...they are strange about hiring compared to other nuclear plants.  Reminds me of how some DOE sites pick RP techs.  Seems to be no rhyme or reason to it at times unless they really need people (like BF needs gobs of RP techs every once in awhile).  Keep applying at TVA if you really want to work there, but you might never be hired.  To get a foot in the door in commercial nuclear power, try nuclear plants that are shutting down soon...people will be fleeing them and you can pick up some short term experience which could be parlayed into a more permanent job elsewhere down the road.  Get a cheap apartment and hunker down.  I've been cold called twice already by them (recruiters) looking for chemistry and RP.   I'm sure they need other people, but maintenance is a popular job so that will probably be tougher.


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