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The Average Nuclear Engineer Salary UK - The Salary Of A Nuclear Engineer In 2021?

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

The term "Engineering" is generally broad. A quick google search of "become an engineer in the nuclear industry" brings up an extensive range of varying results. So, it is good to be clear in what is meant by engineering when considering your "nuclear engineer salary" google search.

We include the following disciplines associated with the design elements of nuclear projects as Engineering.

  • Mechanical,

  • Electrical, Control and Instrumentation (EC&I), Electrical Engineers,

  • Process,

  • Civil, Structural and Architectural (CS&A), and

  • Analysis.

We have not included the functions of Project Management, Quality, Health, Safety & Environmental (QHSE), Manufacture and Site Works. They have different pay grades than the salary of a nuclear engineer. We've also concentrated on the UK here and not the United States.

Nuclear Engineering Salary UK

Design Engineering

The Role

There is a wide range of roles available depending on the project outcomes that are being completed. Construction projects required different skills sets from those undertaking research and development. Nuclear engineer employees from Principals, to Design Engineers, to Graduates, are offered across all functions.

Nuclear Engineering's objective is the production of designs that satisfy the technical specification and user requirements. This is achieved by providing verification and validation. By participating in any radiological and conventional safety reviews considering the radioactive material involved in the work. By providing the required documentation. All to enable the project to take the design from paper to realisation and ultimate implementation. Nuclear power is building new nuclear power stations, designing nuclear reactors, decommissioning old, legacy facilities, and supporting the nuclear deterrent programme.

The Profile

The required qualifications and experience of an engineer in the UK Nuclear Industry are very much job-specific. These details are, of course, important to you when considering your future career move. We find that the best place to do your research is to view job specifications within live job advertisements.

To help you with this, we recommend searching Energy Jobline. Have a look around, click on the ones of interest to find out further information on the specific requirements of anyone's role.

It is worth noting that as a minimum, the below five requirements will be included within the criteria:

  • You will need an Engineering qualification such as NHC/HND.

  • You will usually be required to be or be willing to work towards becoming a chartered engineer.

  • If sector jumping, you will have worked previously in a design project environment - ideally in a regulated industry.

  • You are proficient in the use of the required software (AutoCAD, ProE, Inventor)

  • You have or will be able to meet the vetting requirements.

Getting Into Nuclear

In recent years many engineering roles within the UK nuclear industry have been closed to workers from other sectors. However, the increase in demand for resources within the Nuclear New Build (NNB) projects coupled with an ageing workforce means that the industry needs to broaden non-nuclear engineers' opportunities. This has led to the creation of the Nuclear Sector Deal, introducing the term ‘Sector Jumping’. This is your opportunity to find a nuclear engineer salary in the UK.

Sector Jumping Into The UK Nuclear Industry

If you believe that you have the skills and experience to bag yourself a role, it is worth checking out the Nuclear Skills Academy for Nuclear's (NSAN) Nuclear Skills Passport (NS4P). The NS4P is a competency framework that gives you the means to demonstrate that you are SQEP (a Suitably, Qualified and Experienced Person) to work in the nuclear industry without having worked in the industry before.

Credit: NSAN

It is also worth checking out our Nuclear Career Hub, where we provide you with an overview of the nuclear roles available to you, a summary of the industry and links to critical resources. We also have an online guide to creating a CV tailored for the nuclear industry, along with tips on starting or changing your career path.

We find that many people are surprised by the broad range of opportunities in the UK Nuclear Industry. This is particularly true in the Engineering Function. In the recent announcement of the Green Recovery plan, nuclear featured prominently. There has never been a better time to get into nuclear.

So what are the salaries like in Nuclear Engineering?

Most people reading this site put the search term "nuclear engineer salary" into their search engine. There is nothing wrong with that. It is not the only reason, but the pay is one of the biggest reasons people go to work. We all need to pay the bills at the end of the day.

To quote the late, great Jim Rohn, "your salary is equal to the value that you bring to the marketplace". This is certainly true when working in the nuclear industry in the UK. This explains why there is an excellent chance that you could get yourself a pay rise if you did choose to sector jump to a nuclear engineer salary.

It isn't easy to give a specific value or percentage increase you would get. Still, as a guide, the Telegraph recently reported that starting salaries in nuclear engineering begin at a salary estimated to be around £27,000 per annum. The top 10% earners in the profession (principal engineers) bring home upwards of £110,000 each year. The average salary for all engineers working in nuclear in the UK is close to £40,000 per annum (between £30,000 to £65,000) depending upon your years of experience.

Nuclear Engineer Salary UK


The above salary estimates are based on information that we found at However, 'salaries submitted anonymously' appear, so we can't vouch for the data's validity. £109,000+ as not even the highest salaries do look to be on the high side!

The Six Steps To Get Into Nuclear

At, we regularly hear four main objections about why they have not considered a role in the nuclear industry. These are;

- We don't know you.

- We don't like you.

- We don't have the skills.

- We don't know where to look.

We support the UK nuclear industry in attracting top talent from outsides of the sector, such as oil and gas. We have created a website that has everything that you need to assist you. Head on over to our Get Into Nuclear Career Hub to get started.

If you are raring and ready to go, we recommend reading our Six-Steps to Getting Into Nuclear post. This is a guided programme enabling you to identify your transferable skills and develop a strategy to land the perfect role for you.

The six steps to get into nuclear is a free guide that will provide you with;

  • identifying your strengths,

  • learning more about the nuclear industry and what types of roles would fit your skills,

  • understanding how you can put yourself in front of atomic employers,

  • creating a CV that is tailored to showcase your transferable skills to nuclear employers.

Get Into Nuclear

As always, thanks for reading and supporting us in our aim of providing the answer to the question "so how can I get into nuclear?" to as many people as possible.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can Get Into Nuclear click on the most relevant link to you below:

- Find out more about the nuclear industry in general
- Develop a nuclear CV and job seeking strategy

Alternatively, if you are a nuclear business or nuclear employer check out our range of nuclear client services that we offer.


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