Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

Keep a nuclear power reactor under control.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$58,000 – $102,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Nuclear Power Reactor Operators do?

Powering every building that uses electricity is the responsibility of a massive power grid running from power plants to cities and countryside alike. These power grids are like anthills sending out worker ants in the form of electricity to turn on the lights when someone flips a switch. Yet electricity is more organized and controlled than ants could ever be, thanks to the Nuclear Power Reactor Operator who watches over all those scurrying electric currents and controls their output.

Your work as a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator complements that of a Nuclear Power Plant Operator. While the latter is in charge of directing where electricity goes, you’re the one person who can control how reactive the reactor is. This means you make sure the reactor provides a steady stream of power instead of going out in a blaze of glory.

To keep the nuclear power reactor under control, the Nuclear Power Reactor Operator has access to a wide selection of buttons and levers that play a role in adjusting turbines, monitoring output, and controlling the speed of the reaction. During your workday, you watch readouts and keep records. When the reactor needs adjusting, you make the necessary changes.

In the end, your job is similar to that of a car’s engine. While the Driver knows how to steer the car, they can’t power it. You are that engine providing just enough power to keep everything running. When more power is needed, you supply it, and if things heat up too much, you reel it in.


Should I be a Nuclear Power Reactor 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.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Licensed Nuclear Control Room Operator, NLO, NPO, NSO, Nuclear Control Operator See More

    How to Become a
    Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

    Most Nuclear Power Reactor Operators have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:9nwuaa&chl=no+college+%2836%25%29|certificate+%2823%25%29|associate%27s+%2828%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2812%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,36,36
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