Interest in CO2-free energy production, the availability of reliable electricity, and energy independence are among the factors driving interest in nuclear as an energy source. Nuclear energy is the only electricity source that can generate electricity 24/7 reliably, efficiently, and with no greenhouse-gas emissions. The nuclear industry also offers job opportunities at all levels. These are good, stable careers for skilled workers and professionals with a broad range of backgrounds. Each nuclear power reactor needs approximately 450 skilled workers with technical backgrounds, and two-thirds of these require an associate’s degree from a two-year institution, preferably with a technical nuclear specialization.
The typical nuclear power plant also hires engineers from many different disciplines. In addition to nuclear engineering majors, individuals earning undergraduate degrees in mechanical, chemical, civil, environmental, and electrical engineering—as well as engineering technology and engineering physics—who gain a good understanding of nuclear power plant technology are needed throughout the nuclear industry.