Employment of nuclear technicians is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations. Most growth will be due to higher demand for nuclear energy, stemming from overall growth in energy demand and greater interest in energy sources that do not emit greenhouse gases.
Demand for technicians should grow because of higher levels of production at existing nuclear power plants, as well as new nuclear power plant operations.
Greater interest in nuclear energy also is expected to increase demand for research in nuclear physics and nuclear engineering. Technicians will be needed to help scientists and engineers develop smaller and more efficient reactors, as well as fuels that are safer, last longer, and produce less waste.
Technicians are also expected to be in demand to develop nuclear medical technology, enforce waste management safety standards, and work in defense-related areas such as nuclear security.
Nuclear technicians should have good job opportunities over the next decade. In the nuclear power industry, many openings should arise from technicians who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition