Nuclear Engineering Career

Thursday, 3. December 2009

Nuclear engineering is that branch of engineering dealing with the application of the breakdown of atomic nuclei and other sub-atomic physics, based on the principles of nuclear physics. It includes the interaction of nuclear fission systems and components, specifically, nuclear reactors, nuclear power plants, and nuclear weapons. The field also includes the study of nuclear fusion, medical and other applications of radiation, nuclear safety, heat/thermodynamics transport, nuclear fuel, effects of radiation and nuclear proliferation.

The field of nuclear engineering in India has immense career potential for bright and highly qualified engineers in the Atomic Energy and Defence Sectors, Nuclear Medicine and Research and more particularly in the field of civil nuclear energy which will now become the monopoly of foreign MNCs who will enter the field.

Eligibility, Entrance Exams and Courses:

As Nuclear Engineering and Technology (NET) is an interdisciplinary programme, candidates having Bachelor’s degree in any branch of engineering or a Master’s degree in Physics or Mathematics and a valid GATE score are eligible to apply for M.Tech. Degree. For the Ph.D. programme, a Masters degree in any branch of engineering is required. All the above courses are offered by the various Indian Institutes of Technology established by the Govt of India.

In order to pursue a B.E. or B.Tech Course in Electrical, Chemical or Biotechnology Engineering (useful for pursuing M.Tech in Nuclear Science), a candidate must qualify in the higher secondary examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as compulsory subjects with a high percentage of marks.

IIT-JEE is one of the important entrance examinations for engineering courses.

A candidate must fulfill each of the following conditions:

  • Can attempt JEE only twice, in consecutive years.
  • Should have passed (10+2) or equivalent qualifying examination in 2008 or should be appearing in 2009, and secure at least 60% (55% for SC/ST & Physically disabled )
  • Minimum age limit of 25 yrs as on 1st October (30 yrs for SC/ST and PD candidates).

Each State has its own particular eligibility criteria and entrance exams which are usually conducted in the month of May-June. Candidates should ascertain precise details directly from these Institutions.

Top Colleges for Courses in Electrical, Chemical or Biotech Engineering:

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai-600036
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur-208016
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur-721302
  • IIT Delhi,Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016  Ph: 011-26582020, Fax 011-26857659-BE/Btech
  • IIT Mumbai,Powai, Mumbai,Maharashtra – 400076  Ph: +91-22-2572-2545, Fax:+91-22-2572-3480 BE / Btech.
  • IIT Guwahati, Guwahati 781001 (Assam) Ph: 0361-2697088 BE / Btech.

  • Zakir Hussain College of Engineering & Technology, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh-202002
  • Banaras Hindu University, Institute of Technology, Varanasi-221005

Also, Post-graduate courses and Doctoral programmes in Nuclear Medicine are offered to exceptionally bright engineering Graduates by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and other National Institutes of Medical Sciences in various States.

Career Opportunities and Job Prospects:

Highly promising and exciting careers are open to exceptionally talented candidates in the field of Nuclear Engineering but they are mostly limited to the Govt and Defence Sectors and the Public Sector Atomic Research Organizations. Nuclear engineering careers are unlimited in the Developed Western countries but again, entry is highly selective due to security considerations in the case of foreign nationals.


There are really no open benchmarks for salaries in Nuclear engineering careers because it is a highly confidential field. However, it is seen in the advertisements of the Ministry of Defence recruitment of Grade I Scientists that they are paid a salary of about Rs 50,000/- pm at the time of entry into service with Ph.D qualifications in advanced nuclear science subjects.

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