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15 Best States For Nuclear Engineers

If you have a degree in nuclear engineering and you are looking for a job, check out these best states for nuclear engineers. It is better to move to another state than to be struggling and starving engineer. Those things are reserved for artists.

Before we turn to specifics, let’s first check out some facts about the nuclear engineers taken from Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In 2014, there were around 16,800 employed nuclear engineers nationwide. We do, however, have some bad news. It is estimated that employment of nuclear engineers will drop for about 4% in the period from 2014 to 2024, meaning there will be 700 fewer jobs.  The major factor that will determine the number of jobs available will be the construction of new nuclear power plants that may be limited due to rising construction costs. Job opportunities will be harder to come by, but there will be some openings due to retirements. If you are expert for nuclear medicine, your chances to find a job will be substantially bigger.

Best States For Nuclear Engineers


In 2016, nuclear engineers earned $102,220 per year (annual median wage) or $49.14 per hour. The lowest paid 10% were earning less than $65,570 while the highest paid 10% earned $152,420 on average. These figures are very tempting, especially when compared to, let’s say, environmental engineers. You can read more about them on our list of 25 Best States for Environmental Engineers.

Majority of nuclear engineers, more than 40%, work in Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution industry.  Around 17% work for Federal Government while Scientific Research and Development Services industry with 16% rounds up the top 3 industries with the largest number of nuclear engineers. Virginia employs the largest number of nuclear engineers, trailed by Washington and Pennsylvania.

Now, let’s talk about the methodology we used to create our list of best states for nuclear engineers. We decided to take three factors into consideration: annual median wage (Bureau of Labor Statistics), projected job growth rates (Projections Central) and costs of living (Missouri Economy). We ranked the separately for each of these factors and then combined all rankings into our IM Score. That’s how we got our list. Let’s check it out now.