Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

Operate or control nuclear reactors. Move control rods, start and stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, and record data in logs. Implement emergency procedures when needed. May respond to abnormalities, determine cause, and recommend corrective action.
Also called: Nuclear Control Operator, Nuclear Reactor Operator, Nuclear Station Operator (NSO), Reactor Operator (RO)


    Math and Science
  • physics
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
    Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
  • product and service development
    Safety and Government
  • public safety and security


    Basic Skills
  • reading work related information
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
    Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
    People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
    Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • order or arrange things
    Visual Understanding
  • quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
  • see hidden patterns
  • pay attention to something without being distracted


Description: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
    They do well at jobs that need
  • Attention to Detail
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Adaptability/Flexibility


    Data base user interface and query software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Plant information data entry software
    Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
    Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office


    high school diploma/GED
    certificate after high school


The largest employers of power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers were as follows:
Power plant operators 34,900%
Power distributors and dispatchers 11,700%
Nuclear power reactor operators 6,400%


The median annual wage for power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers was $83,020 in May 2018. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,580, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $113,250.
Nuclear power reactor operators $94,350
Power distributors and dispatchers $86,410
Power plant operators $79,610

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