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6 science-related degrees that can help you get into nuclear

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

The nuclear industry is working hard to produce low-carbon power supplies for the country, providing a range of opportunities for university graduates getting started in their careers.

Although there are a range of degrees which focus on aspects of nuclear science and engineering (some of which are post-graduate), it’s not necessarily the case that you need a degree with a nuclear focus to work in the industry . Want to know which science degrees could help you build a career in the nuclear industry? Then read on to find out:

1) Physics There are lots of opportunities for physics graduates in the nuclear industry, from conducting scientific research to assisting with the nuts and bolts of designing nuclear reactors and decommissioning them.

2) Electrical engineering With a degree in electrical engineering, you could be analysing instrumentation and control equipment; coming up with solutions to enable equipment to be operated for the life of a plant and coming up with designs for new equipment too.

3) Chemical engineering Chemical engineering is another key degree sought after by the nuclear industry, with this under your belt you could build a career analysing and identify the vulnerabilities of nuclear systems and much more besides

4) Civil Engineering With civil engineering qualifications you could forge a career in the nuclear industry working on many of the civil works aspects of nuclear power developments, like that at Hinkley Point C. There, civil engineers are working on the build of 8 Emergency Diesel Generators, a crucial aspect of the power stations overall construction.

5) Mechanical Engineering As a mechanical engineer in the nuclear industry, you’d have opportunities to work on the design of complex components and equipment for the sector. You could be working on plant design or power system design, drawing on areas such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, structural mechanics and other disciplines.

6) Environmental Science Opportunities also exist within the industry for environmental scientists, in fact evaluating the environmental impact and ensuring the safe operation of power stations couldn’t be more important. As an environmental scientist, you would be working to identify, control, or eliminate potential sources of pollutants or hazards affecting the environment or public health.

The majority of graduates entering the nuclear industry having engineering or science backgrounds, though not necessarily nuclear related. From evaluating the environmental impact of nuclear power plants to the intricacies of building a nuclear reactor (or decommissioning one), the opportunities for science graduates in the nuclear industry are numerous and varied.

However, remember too, that employers of a certain size will also be looking for graduates with good degrees in a range of disciplines to provide the professional support services that they need as a sizable business, from accountancy to legal and HR expertise. Some employers will simply be looking for graduates of a good calibr e and provide them with the specialist in-house training needed for the industry.

So get into nuclear today for a range of exciting career opportunities.


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