Nuclear Engineering: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Job Types

Nuclear Design Engineering

Nuclear Design Engineer

There are various roles available from Principal to Design Engineer. in all of the Mechanical, EC&I, Analysis, Process and CS&A functions. All roles revolve around the production of designs that satisfy a technical specification. They need to be supported by providing verification and validation of these designs, participating in any radiological and conventional safety reviews and providing relevant required documentation which will be used to take the design from paper to realisation and completion.

Salary: xxxxx per year

Job Satisfaction: Very High

Transferability: Very High

Education: Degree 

Job Growth: High

Personality: xxxx

1. Job Description
2. Typical Day At Work
3. Responsibilities
4. Working Life
5. Is This Right For Me
6. Related Careers

Job Description

Design Engineer - An engineer's profile in the UK Nuclear Industry is very much job specific regarding qualifications and experience. The aim of the site is not to go into the details of each specific job role. The best place to look for job descriptions is on the job advertisements themselves. We've pre-searched a couple of them below for you to find out further information.


It is however worth considering that as a minimum the below will usually be included within the criteria for a candidate to demonstrate that they:

  • Hold an Engineering qualification such as NHC/HND

  • Are or on the way to becoming a chartered engineer

  • Have worked previously in a design project environment - ideally in the nuclear industry

  • Are proficient in the use of the required software (AutoCad, ProE, Inventor)

  • Meet the vetting requirements.

Typical Day At Work

A typical day has changed quite a lot for a design engineer since COVID-19 came about. Many engineers benefit from now have a commute to the office every day. Most design engineers can work from home, which was not expected at all before March!

Ordinarily, a day will start with catching up with any emails or messages received, followed by team meetings, 1-1s and communications with other employees within the company, which are pretty much all done virtually now.

Most days entails a morning routine before connecting to a VPN and remote desktop to access a CAD machine so that you can use the relevant software to making drawings or changes to them.

In most cases, you will be able to utilise the senior design engineers to help with any problems that I come across and gain ideas/experience from them.

Other Responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Nuclear Design Engineers also need to manage the expectations of their key stakeholders. These include the end-users, financial sponsor, their own senior management and their wider delivery team. Much of an engineer in nuclear's time is spend in design reviews, providing status updates and managing key relationships.

Separately, many Engineers provide support to others in the form of training, advising and mentoring. Often with a technical decision having made the choice to enter management 5-10 years into their career, the experience of the typical engineer is perfect to support the next generation of workers. 

Working Life

Working Hours:

Standard 37.5 hour week

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical week, although contracted to 37.5 hours per week it is not unusual for a Design Engineer to regularly work between 42 and 45 hours per week. 

Much of a design engineers 9 to 5 is split between attending meetings or design reviews and working to create, amend or review designs.

Is This Right For Me

Best Personality for this career:


You can read more about these career personality types here.

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Related career information

Engineer, Nuclear Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Process Engineer, CE&I Engineer, EC&I Engineer, CS&A Engineer, 

Similar careers

Engineers, Nuclear Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Process Engineers, CE&I Engineers, EC&I Engineers, CS&A Engineers, 

Additional resources