Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Tobes, Mar 27, 2012.
Is it possible to have a career in naval reactors after USNA?
Well my father worked on submarine nuclear reactors back in the 80s as a civilian. The navy paid for all his training and respective certs. After he fulfilled his contract he worked for a civilian nuclear power-plant as a control operator and was making six figures by the late 80s. Not exactly naval reactors but it's relevant.
Very possible. There's usually some horror stories going around every year about midshipmen being voluntold to select submarines.
You still have to maintain very good academics though.
If you want to go into naval reactors after USNA, it should be no problem if your grades and USNA class rank (OOM) are good enough. Some SWOs and all sub officers go through nuke school, but they go at different points in their careers.
Sub officers do all of their training first, straight out of USNA or other college. SWOs are deployed first for ~18 months before going to any Navy school, either SWO school, or both SWO and nuke school.
As a SWO, the only nuke ships are carriers, so that's where you would be assigned after finishing nuke school.
Absolutely... either in submarines or in the Surface fleet on carriers. As mentioned above different pipelines for the two communities as to when they attend nuclear school. The Nuclear field also generally receives generous bonuses throughout their careers to remain on active duty. Other billets that nuclear trained officers can have are as instructors at the nuc school or prototype, a tour at Navy Reactors in DC, and also in acquisition type billets where new ships are being built with reactors. After the Navy nuclear officers are in high demand for work at civilian nuclear power plants, Nuclear Research Lab, and a few other places. They are always in high demand and make very good money after the Navy.
Thank you for the replies.
Right now I am planning on doing submarines, but am fascinated by reactor design which is typically done in DC from what I have read. Is it easy to go from active duty submarines to Naval reactors in DC? or would that typically be done as part of the shore tours in a submariners career cycle?
I was not a submariner so I cannot speak directly to it so I can only speak to what my friends have done. Naval Reactors would be a shore tour. I suppose anything is possible, but like all things, needs of the Navy is first and foremost. There are alot of shore tours out there and what you end up with depends on the needs of the Navy, timing, and what is best for your career. Some shore tours are more advantageous for careers than others. Someone from the submarine field would have to speak to if Naval Reactors was a good shore tour or not and how hard it is to get sent there.
To pile on to the info above, there is the Nuclear Engineering Duty Officer (EDO) program. EDOs are a dedicated engineering community who work on both design and maintenance of Navy engineering systems across various types of platforms (nuclear carrier, surface ships, etc.). Lots of naval reactor work...
See this link - and it's worth backing out to read about the other parts of the Navy nuclear community.
If you first become a nuclear submarine/surface officer through USNA or other commissioning source, there will be opportunities to laterally transfer into the EDO community.
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