Nuclear Equipment Operation Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Operates equipment used for the release, control, or utilization of nuclear energy to assist scientists in laboratory or production activities.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production Process Development pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Follows nuclear equipment operational policies and procedures that ensure environmental safety.
  • Conducts surveillance testing to determine safety of nuclear equipment.
  • Monitors nuclear reactor equipment performance to identify operational inefficiencies, hazards, or needs for maintenance or repair.
  • Tests plant equipment to ensure it is operating properly.
  • Applies safety tags to equipment needing maintenance.
  • Follows policies and procedures for radiation workers to ensure personnel safety.
  • Modifies, devises, or maintains nuclear equipment used in operations.
  • Monitors instruments, gauges, or recording devices under direction of nuclear experimenters.
  • Performs testing, maintenance, repair, or upgrading of accelerator systems.
  • Adjusts controls of equipment to control particle beam movement, pulse rates, energy or intensity, or radiation, according to specifications.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Exposed to radiation more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Auxiliary Operator --
  • Equipment Operator --
  • Licensed Nuclear Operator --
  • Non-Licensed Nuclear Equipment Operator (NLO) --
  • Non-Licensed Nuclear Plant Operator (NLO) --
  • Nuclear Auxiliary Operator --
  • Nuclear Equipment Operator (NEO) --
  • Nuclear Plant Equipment Operator (NAPEO) --
  • Operations Technician --
  • Systems Operator --