Idaho State University College of Technology is offering students a two year associate degree, program to prepare them for one of the most high demand jobs in the world. Nuclear operations coordinator and instructor Mike Fort says that they get students in the program ready for entry level positions in the energy industry.
"What we are training students here, is to go out into the commercial nuclear power industry and be a non-licensed operator at a commercial nuclear power plant,” said, Mike Fort, Nuclear Operations and ISU Instructor.
Students in the program, start here in the lab and within 2 years are making exceptional starting salaries.
"Entry level, where you first start, if you get into the reactor, operator pipeline, probably starting out in the low $30 to $35 an hour, is where they will start out at. Where you peak at, if you go right into the reactor, operator pipeline, then in 5 to 7 years, you are looking at making a little over One hundred thousand dollars,” Fort says.
"The more I look into it, we have presentations, different companies come in and give presentations, and they are looking for people specifically from this program and they start talking about wages and that kind of stuff, it just gets more exciting every semester I go into it,” said, ISU College of Technology student, Brandon Corrigan.
Mark says there is also job opportunities in the industry in this area. 5 out of the 9 students that graduated from the program are employed at the Idaho National Lab.
" There are several facilities out there that can use a nuclear operations graduates to fill those needs. A majority of the class of graduates are working at the INL right now,” added Fort.
Mike says not only can the field in energy be a high paying career, but it also has job security.
"So there is always somebody there, so even in times where they are laying people off, the operators don't get laid off because you have to have them there, they have to be there to maintain their reactor,” concluded Fort.