Career Path > Navy:Getting Out

Other jobs to consider for LELTs/MMs


Rad Sponge:

After a thorough search for jobs I can say that if you want to stay nuke/ELT stuff, but don't want to play with commerical reactors, consider these possible fields (I am listing companies for which I have interviewed with or have direct knowledge, there are most definitely lots more)

Medical industry: need Health Physicists to supervise the production of nuclear medicine and environmental monitoring of production area: Hot products, cold products, manipulators, cyclotrons, cool stuff.

Companies: Tyco-Mallinckrodt love Navy LELTs with degrees (does not have to be Eng degree)

Pharmaceutical: need MMs to monitor manufacturing plants and perform some chemistry on waste water and boiling water

Companies: Merck (hired a LELT w/ 8 years to be one of 3 supervisors in the GA area: 65-75K factoring in OT), Novo Nordisk (looking for a Maint tech in Clayton, NC 15 miles east of Raleigh: 55K start factoring in OT)

Research: U of Missouri MURR looking for HPs and operators. Starting pay is not great, like 15-22/hr, but with a degree in eng or science there is definite upward mobility. Lots of operators go to college there. They have a good deal with the U of MO at Columbia to intergrate RO job and student. Example: my buddy, an MM, got out at 6 and got a job operating, became SRO, got his BS, and moved into management. I heard they like traditional 4 year degrees, but that was an unofficial statement.


NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology has the Center for Neutron Research. It operates under the Dept of Commerce and will be operating easily for the next 20+ years. They are looking for operators with 6+ years Navy Nuke and the equivalent of 2 years of engineering training (Navy counts). It is an expensive area and it would be the perfect job for a single Nuke. Everyone who works there in operations is ex-Navy and some have been there 20+ years. There are very few openings because no one ever leaves. Starting pay is around 50K and jumps up to around 60K after qualifying SRO which takes 6-12 months on this plant. There is oppurtunity for professional level engineering work which can gain you entry into the professional pay scale vs. the technician pay scale which is what you are hired into regardless of education. A min of 60 credits of directly applicable college work in Math, Science, Engineering accredited by an accredited college is req for applying for professional pay scale. I was told that Thomas Edison is not looked upin favorably by the HR dept at NIST, but that was an unofficial statement.

You can find this job here:

Warning: Gaithersburg, MD (20 miles NW of DC) and the surrounding area is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. A basic 2/1 or 3/2 house is 400K and up, no bull. Most operators commute 30-50 miles from Western Maryland, WV, NW Virginia, etc.
Like I said, perfect for the single nuke or married with no kids or retired with a pension looking for work.

Good luck with the hunt.


Good info, sponge.

Good Luck with your new line of work.

Just a little tidbit of info to add.  If you are considering medical, a medical physics type job might be worth your while too.  A dosimetrist on the medical side will start about 60-80K with certification.  The certification seems easy enough, however I've only seen one school with an online course and you would have to find a clinic in your area with a Certified Medical Dosimetrist to do your clinicals.  Medical Physicist would be a good one too, they are the supervisors of the dosimetrist.  Theyr'e career track requires a M.S. or PhD at the least though.  GA Tech does an online program for an M.S. in Medical Physics, but when I emailed the program coordinator, he just spat back the program requirements instead of addressing the navy nuke's unique situation compared to normal college students. Medical Physicists make between 120-150K a year too.  And there is a residency requirement but most hospitals I looked at tend to pay about 50K and its only a 2 year requirement. Just more and more options............

Ordinary Joe:
Not a scientific survey but my wife and I both hired into a major telecom as electronics technicians with nothing but our navy nuke backgrounds (EM and LELT).  It started at about 45 and up to 65 in 4 years.  There were enterance exams but nothing if your an above average nukes.


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