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Nuclear Safety Professional Development Program

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How does the program work?

The Nuclear Safety Professional Development Program (NSPDP) is a two-year program for a select few outstanding individuals from across the nation who will enter into a career with one of the country's most progressive Federal agencies: the NRC. If selected, you will work in one of three major training and development tracks: Engineering, Scientific, or Health Physics. The objective of this program is to provide you with both a broad and a specialized perspective of our operations. During the two-year NSPDP program, you will complete at least two rotational work assignments of at least 90 days each. An NSPDP participant who successfully pursues the program, will be promoted each year and, when completed, placed in a career ladder position.

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How do I qualify?

You should have both superior academic standing and a high potential for achievement in challenging professional assignments. You may qualify either as (1) a recent graduate with a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in

  • Engineering
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Materials Science
  • Earth Science (geology, hydrology, seismology, etc.)
  • Health Physics or
  • another academic discipline that supports the NRC's mission

Or as (2) a student who is earning an undergraduate degree (within one year of applying for our NSPDP program) in an appropriate engineering, scientific, or technical field.

NRC generally assesses applicants on the following factors:

  • Grade point average based on a 4.0 scale
  • Honors and awards received
  • Extracurricular or work-related activities
  • Interpersonal skills (written/verbal communication, listening, presentation, etc.)
  • Candidate interviews

Other than academic qualifications, an applicant must:

  • hold U.S. citizenship;
  • undergo a background investigation, as do all NRC employees; and
  • know that the NRC is a "zero-tolerance" agency with regard to illegal drug usage.

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At what pay level will I be hired?

If selected, you will be hired at one of three pay levels. Although education and experience may be combined for each grade level, usual qualifications for each grade are as follows:

  • For a GG-7, a four-year bachelor's degree in an appropriate engineering, scientific, or technical field, plus at least a 3.0 grade point average overall or a 3.5 grade point average in the major.
  • For a GG-9, a master's or equivalent degree.
  • For a GG-11, a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.

A candidate who successfully completes the program has promotion potential to the GG-13 pay level.

Is the salary competitive?

The salary is very competitive and a likely salary progression scenario for the next four years is located on our Web site at the Nuclear Safety Professional Development Pay Program. Each selectee will receive a signing bonus (recruitment incentive) of 10% of the starting salary. To learn about other reasons to choose NRC, see our Employee Benefits page.

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Where will I work?

Employees in the NSPDP program will work either at our headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C., or in one of our four Regional Office locations: Region I, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia; Region II, Atlanta, Georgia; Region III, Lisle, Illinois, just outside Chicago; or Region IV, Arlington, Texas, near Dallas (see our Location page).

How do I apply?

The next Nuclear Safety Professional Development Program (NSPDP) vacancy announcement will be posted in Fall 2008.

The NRC's online job application system, NRCareers, has been integrated with USAJOBS. You can search for current job openings exit icon in USAJOBS. If you would like more information, see NRCareers--Online Job Application System or How to Apply.

For more information, see our Contact Us About Employment page and select "Professional Development Programs."

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Thursday, March 06, 2008