Nuclear power reactor operators undergo extensive training before they are able to work unsupervised, because of the dangerous nature of the job. This position requires some education as well as experience working in a nuclear power plant. To become a nuclear power reactor operator, you will need to have skills in math and science. In some countries, you will need to be licensed, so be sure to check with your government to find out about the requirements.
A high school diploma is the minimum level of education required to work as a nuclear power reactor operator. An associate's or bachelor's degree is helpful when looking for a job or trying to move up within a nuclear power plant, particularly in engineering or science. Nuclear power plants offer on-the-job training and classes that can take many months to complete. Operators generally work their way into the position by beginning as equipment or auxiliary operators.
If you want to succeed in this job, you should have a propensity for math and science. The profession requires an understanding of algebra and trigonometry along with physical sciences. Classes are provided during training, but people who naturally understand these subjects are more likely to succeed in the field.
You can apply to a nuclear power plant for a job as an equipment or auxiliary operator. After being hired, you will have to work at the plant for at least a certain amount of time — typically three years — before becoming eligible to become a licensed nuclear power reactor operator. At least one of the years might need to be at the plant where you plan to be licensed as a nuclear power reactor operator.
At this time, training can commence for the role of licensed nuclear power reactor operator. Training usually takes about one year before you can take a test to become fully licensed. It is possible to move to senior licensed nuclear reactor operator after a number of years on the job, and the amount of on-the-job training varies depending on the country where you are working as a nuclear power plant reactor operator.