Nuclear Health Physics Technician

DESCRIPTION
Nuclear health physics technicians perform activities that protect employees that work in environments that contain radioactive materials, such as nuclear power plants, healthcare facilities, and research facilities. Technicians are responsible for assessing and monitoring radiation levels of personnel, equipment and various environments.

Nuclear health physics technicians ensure workplace safety by designing and implementing safety procedures to maintain the health and safety of workers.

Technicians monitor nuclear activity of materials and processes and collect and analyze radioactivity data. They enforce regulatory guidelines and perform frequent safety inspections. To perform their jobs, nuclear health physics technicians use a wide array of technical equipment such as radiation detection and measuring devices, and miscellaneous personal protective equipment.

Nuclear health physics technicians are responsible for decontamination procedures. These procedures place technicians in radioactive environments which require the use of specialized personal protective equipment and specialized operating procedures.

Technicians are responsible for keeping accurate records and creating reports and updating procedures and manuals as needed.

Technicians may also be responsible for maintaining inventory on various safety items, devices and equipment.

EMPLOYERS
Nuclear health physics technicians work for government agencies, nuclear power generating plants, medical institutions and scientific, regulatory and technical services firms.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Most employers require individuals to have some postsecondary education or training. Many technicians complete an associate’s degree program in health physics or a related science field. Some technicians attain specialization in specific areas through the completion of baccalaureate and advanced degrees.

LINKS TO CAREER/INDUSTRY RESOURCES
O*NET Online: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-4051.02
Health Physics Society (HPS): http://hps.org/
International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA): http://www.irpa.net/
International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP): http://www.icrp.org/index.asp

Photos courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

ABOUT US

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