Nuclear Operations Program

The Nuclear Operations Program (NOP) offers entry-level positions for qualified candidates, challenging you to combine your technical and interpersonal skills. This fast track program is not a desk job. It's a dynamic, hands-on environment where you will spend most of your time supervising the operation and maintenance of a naval nuclear power plant as well as working one-on-one with Navy personnel in a challenging technical training environment. You can expect career advancement in a setting that fosters critical problem solving, decision-making, team building and personnel development. The Naval Nuclear Laboratory is looking for confident engineers with the right combination of academic talent and interpersonal skills who are in search of technical leadership positions.

Responsibilities of NOP Engineers include the training of naval personnel who will serve the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Fleet and the coordination of the complex maintenance and testing activities in the prototype plants and support facilities. You will develop the multidisciplinary competence required to lead a team of approximately 50 professionals in a dynamic operations environment.

The Program

Candidates for the program are needed throughout the year. The initial assignment involves a comprehensive fifteen-month training program. The first six months are spent in a graduate level academic environment at the Naval Nuclear Power School located in historic Charleston, South Carolina. Here candidates are exposed to a broadening technical background of fundamental concepts relating to naval nuclear propulsion plants. Courses include Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow, Chemistry, Materials, Radiological Fundamentals, Reactor Dynamics and Reactor Plant Operations. The remaining nine months of the training program include on-the-job hands-on training at one of the following locations:

  • Charleston, South Carolina – in one of two converted naval nuclear submarines
  • West Milton, New York – in one of two operating prototype plants

After completion of the training program, engineers assume responsibility for coordinating complex maintenance and testing activities in the plant and support facilities, training future naval personnel, and developing the multidisciplinary competence required to lead a team of approximately 50 people. The broad experience gained in the Nuclear Operations Program sets a solid foundation to launch individuals into a variety of careers and to become major contributors within our world class engineering and scientific communities. It is here that cutting edge technologies are used to envision, design and deliver the Navy's future propulsion capabilities. All candidates must be U.S. citizens and will be subject to a federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified material.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor of science degree in mechanical, electrical, nuclear or chemical engineering with strong academic excellence; other technical disciplines may also be considered.

If interested, candidates may apply through the Naval Nuclear Laboratory Job Search. 

Herminio, Electrical Engineer
"Working at NNL as an electrical engineer has been an amazing, challenging, and rewarding career. I have worked in many areas of equipment design, testing, and training, and have worked side by side with Navy crews in the lab and onboard the ships. These experiences have given me the firsthand opportunity to see the impact my work has on the Sailors who protect our freedom, and the meaningful contributions that I make to the security of our nation."
Electrical Engineer