Accelerator Operator

Take charge of particle accelerator machines during experiments.
picture of Accelerator Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$41,000 – $94,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Accelerator Operators do?

An experienced Accelerator Operator conducts controlled experiments using massive particle accelerators. What’s that mean? Basically, as an Accelerator Operator, you force subatomic particles to zoom around at incredible speeds. This allows Scientists to study them and expand our knowledge of energy, matter, and the universe.

This is one of the most intense and powerful careers in physics or engineering that you can possibly pursue. So prepare for a lot of training. You are required to know everything about both the controls of a particle accelerator and all the related machinery.

During your initial assignment as an accelerator operator, you will be called an “Operator 1.” For about six months, you will receive intensive training on how to operate the accelerator’s controls. From there, you will ease into the regular duties of helping out with experiments, maintenance, and other routine operations of the facility.

Your career path as an Accelerator Operator will only take you higher and higher up the chain. As an Operator 2, you will eventually find yourself training and supervising new Operator 1s. As the experiments performed at your facility change and grow, you will be expected to keep up with the changes, and broaden your knowledge and experience.

Be prepared for a dynamic, innovative workplace.

Should I be an Accelerator Operator?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Nuclear Auxiliary Operator, Station Operator

    How to become an Accelerator Operator

    Most Accelerator Operators have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:k9kpaa&chl=no+college+%2824%25%29|certificate+%2841%25%29|associate%27s+%2824%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2810%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,24,41
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