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dga212spam

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Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« on: Apr 14, 2006, 07:53 »
Wow, what a community of knowledge here!  I graduated from NYU ugrad Stern business program with  degrees in finance & accounting 2years ago. I then spent 2 years working as an analyst on wallstreet and am considering a career change- going nuclear.

I did AP sciences and scored really well back in HS, AP Chem - 5, Calc B - 5, Physics C - 5/4 (Mech/EM). I also got a 1310 on my SAT.  Unfortunately I didn't do any science in college, and I had a low gpa (2.7).  Although, there is a strict curve at Stern.   I really think I made a career mistake by going to ugrad business school (although it was a great program). 

I can see that there is a coming construction boom in nuclear (17 new reactors in application here in the US) after not building ANY for decades.

What is the best way to get into the field?  I would considered going Navy, as that would help me get the most technical experience the most rapidly. 

1)  What are the chances for a guy with my background getting into NUPOC as an officer?
2) If I can't go officer what is the difference in level of training and experience with the Nukes?  Do officers learn more about the technology?  Do they do better after the Navy than enlisted guys?
3)  What the chances I can convince a power company to train me?  Do they need guys with finance degrees in the reactor room? (i doubt it but hey they hired Homer Simpson right?).
4)  What do people earn in this field?  Or more precisely, what kind of career path can a guy like me get on?

Thanks to all in advance, great site!
« Last Edit: Apr 15, 2006, 12:22 by Roll Tide »

thenuttyneutron

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Re: Going Nuke (how?)
« Reply #1 on: Apr 15, 2006, 04:59 »
I can't help on the Navy side.  Utilities like to hire navy nukes.  The requirements for becoming an operator with just a college degree, I assume that is what you want from your post about the control room, you will need a BS in a science.  Engineering is the most common type I see.  I do however know a few people with just an associates degree in a science. 

The pay is great if you can handle the rolling shift work and the long hours of an outage.  The rate at which you can get paid on a outage schedule per week exceeds $120k per year if you are an hourly worker.  But this does not keep up forever.  On a 36/48 hour work week cycle expect to start making about 44k-50k a year.  This all depends on the employer.  Some places are better than others about pay.

The degree is not the only barrier.  You must pass a test called the POSS and get unescorted access to a nuke plant.  If you did as well as 1300 on the SAT, I think you can pass the POSS.  Search the site and you will see more info about it.  The background is big too.  You better have a clean record for the last 5 year at a minimum and don't lie about anything on the paper work.  They will also do a head check on you.  The MMPI is a popular test they give.

If you can pass all this and get into a plant as an AO, you will be good to go.  The only way to get in the control room is with a licence.  The license takes about 1&1/2-2 years of class room/simulator training to earn.  With a 4 year degree in a science, you can go the instant SRO route after 3 years of being a qualified operator.  The other way is move up through the ranks and just become a reactor operator.  It is not easy to get in.  These plants are multi-billion dollar machines and they can't afford to let just anyone operate them.

Offline Roll Tide

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #2 on: Apr 15, 2006, 12:25 »
See if Big Blue (Bartlett) will pick you up as a Jr. HP or a deconner for an outage.
They advertise here (heck, the big man even posts here!)

I know you are interested in an exciting career; give it an outage season and then commit one way or the other. I hate it when people go through a long period of training and relocate their families, but then find out they hate the job.
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Offline Roll Tide

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #3 on: Apr 18, 2006, 07:41 »
So that this thread will be useful to someone else in the future, I split the Navy responses off to the other topic started by dga12spam

The Navy is a great way to get nuclear experience, but it is not the only way. Look into direct commercial hires before you talk to the Navy recruiter.
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Offline Roll Tide

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #4 on: Apr 18, 2006, 10:31 »
That would have been great info when I was looking at the Navy. 


No one can ever take that experience away from you. It is valuable, especially in the commercial nuclear field. While there were hardships in the Navy, at least there is a payback.
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Rancidlunchmeat

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2006, 10:16 »
Well, here you go Honeycomb.  It's your opportunity to jump all over somebody else now! Seems like those long layovers gotcha  bit cranky, eh?  Or maybe the carrier you work for is going bankrupt and trying to steal your pension? My father just retired (March) from Northwest after suffering through the Eastern strike, so whatever it is, I feel your pain.
 
Anyway, I was under the impression this was the correct place to post this: I have a BA in Psychology, an MA in Experimental Psychology, and I've been working my entire career in Finance.  (Psychology was always of interest, Finance always paid the bills).  My girlfriend works at SBC (formerly PacBell currently AT&T), and was checking the PG&E website for openings because her job is about to be phased out.  They had an opening for a Nuclear Plant Operator, which had no preq's, but only 'preferred qualifications'.  She applied online, had to answer some questions over the phone, and then told me that I should apply for what is a far better paying job in a far better location.

I currently live in Fresno, CA and earn $42k as a staff accountant, and the job is at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo and pays around $55k.  So it's an upgrade in earnings but a tremendous upgrade in location.
 
To make a long story short, after I applied online and answered some questions, they immediately scheduled me for testing.  I have a test scheduled a week from Saturday.  They told me to wear 'comfortable clothes' (I imagine I'll have to demonstrate I can lift and move 50 pounds), and also told me to check out the POSS testing guide.

Well, their POSS testing guide doesn't exist.  It's a link to the Edison Electric website that also doesn't have a guide but provides an online test.  That's how I found Nukeworker.com.  My question is this:

Which of the study guides you have on here do I need to become familiar with in order to pass the POSS test?  Is it comprised of all the CORE guides? Is it the CORE guides plus the NGET guide? Is it just the NGET? Is it the CORE, the CORE Level 2, and the NGET?

I thank you in advance for your helpful replies.   :)

 

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2006, 10:26 »
Your best bet for POSS information is to do a search (which I'm betting you're already doing) using POSS as the criteria.  There is a ton of valuable info here regarding the POSS test.  Do a search on Amazon.com for study guides on spatial relations tests.  I've been told by some of my coworkers that the ones listed there have been the biggest help to them in passing the POSS.

Welcome to Nukeworker, and hopefully the industry in a little while!
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Fermi2

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2006, 01:03 »
Go to a book store. Get one of those study guides for the ASVAB and take the tests in there at a rapid rate. It works.

Mike

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2006, 07:03 »
I have never had to prove I could lift 50 pounds in an exam or interview. They just want to make sure you are comfortable for the exam, similar to the advice given by ACT / SAT / GRE exam administrators.

The CORE exam guides are preparation for something you aren't looking for, working at DOE as Radiological Controls. Don't worry about that.


Here is a link to the POSS practice exams


http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,7685.0.html


Here is a link to discussions on the POSS

http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,5224.0/all.html


And follow-up with any other questions you have. Many people here would love to answer the questions that get good workers into our ranks.

ROLL TIDE!
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Rancidlunchmeat

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2006, 10:53 »
Hey, Rolltide.. Thanks a lot.
 
And Jesus, what an idiot I am, for not realizing you're a ' bama fan until I read your signature... uhh. duh!
 
Mike Shula, eh? Good luck with that one.  (sorry, lived in S. Fla most of my life so I'm hip to the whole "shula" deal, and usually it equates more to a.. oh.. let's say "KENNEDY" deal than anything else)
 
Anyway.. those links that you gave me sent me to either a book on Amazon.com (might be usefully, I don't know.. not enough time left to find out) or the Edison Electric test that I had referenced in my original message.
 
NASCAR said that the biggest help to the POSS test was books or study guides on 'spatial realtions' which is all well and good, except that after that Broadzilla said that I should take some tests or study guides on the ASVAB (which I took when I was a junior in high school and the recruiter's wouldn't leave me alone for 5 years afterwards..) which leads me to the conclusion... is this POSS test like the LSAT?
 
Sure.. I can't pass the BAR.  That's not in question, I've never been to Law School.  But the LSAT? That's a test of essentially basic reasoning skils and I can score high enough on that test to get into any law school in the Nation.  (And.. I did, and I have.. I just don't have the money to go to law school.. don't really want to be a lawyer.. and don't have the GPA prior to my Graduate Studies in Psychology in order to get a scholarship... and even if I could.. again.. I don't want to be a lawyer!)

But in terms of passing the 'qualifiying test' to get into the school where they teach you how to be a lawyer?  It's not a problem.
 
So... Is the POSS test like THAT? Is it like the ASVAB or the LSAT? Where you don't need to know any sort of specifics about the industry, and only need to be able to do basic logic, math, and reasoning ability in order to pass?
 
Or do I need to know industry-specific information in order to get 100% on the POSS?
 
Again.. like I said.. I'm "Competing" against people who have actually BEEN in the Navy, worked on Nuclear Subs, etc.. I would imagine that their experience would give them an advantage somewhere down the line.. But does it give them an advantage on THIS TEST?

Do you know what I mean?
 
I realize the only reason that I'm in "the mix" is because I've got a Bachelors's and a Masters's in Psychology, which are both heavy in science.  But apparently, they take "paid for degrees" just as seriously as they take "years of experience actually doing it".
 

Fermi2

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2006, 03:34 »
It's not nuke specific. It's more along the lines of the LSAT (which I passed about 18 years ago)

If you can read, do math and algebra, read a graph, and figure out when gear 1 turns this way gear 2 will turn a certain way you should be able to pass. The questions are very much like the ASVAB which is why I advise using it as a study guide.

Mike

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2006, 07:08 »
Rancid,

I lived in S. Fla as well; if it works it's called a dynasty. If not, well, I guess we can be happy he's not a Bowden!  :o

Mike (BZ) is right on. ASVAB study guides are much more relevant than LSAT. Take a look at the other posts on the board; many people have been surprised at how many questions are thrown at you. I am one of the fastest test-takers anywhere (I was informally reprimanded for turning in my NRC license exam so fast) and I was challenged to finish most of the sections.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
.....
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

aturner

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2006, 04:27 »
Rancid,

I just got finished taking the test this weekend.  I, also like Roll Tide, have always been a fast test-taker.  When I walked out, I believe my head was spinning a bit.  I pride myself on my fast math skills and computation.  The first section was a 4 minute section on conversions.  I never made it to the last 3 or 4 problems.  It could've been devastating for me but I knew ahead of time that time would be slim on each section.  With that knowledge, I made sure every answer I put was correct while still trying to be as fast as possible.   I feel really good about it, but I also studied the ASVAB study guide for two weeks prior.  Personally, it was the BEST resource I had.  The links above are very helpful and there is alot of information to be found on this site.  Use it to your advantage!!


Good Luck!!



Offline tonynuke

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Re: Going Commercial Nuke (how?)
« Reply #13 on: Sep 03, 2006, 10:10 »
Word is, most outages are short this fall.....good time to get in, cuz big blue is still lookin!   Ours is staffed, but the rumor mill says that most arent.

 


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