Nuclear safety inspectors help keep people safe from the damaging effects of radiation. These safety inspectors typically work for government agencies and examine nuclear power plants to ensure that the plants are meeting federal and state safety guidelines. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies nuclear safety inspectors as occupational health and safety specialists. There were 54,680 specialists employed in the United States in 2010 across a variety of industries. Salaries for nuclear safety inspectors tend to vary by location and employer.
Nuclear safety inspectors, along with other health and safety specialists, made average salaries of $65,610 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary earned by these specialists was $64,660 per year. Those in the middle half of the pay scale earned salaries that ranged from $49,410 to $80,430 annually. The lowest paid inspectors made salaries of $38,780, while those at the top of the inspector food chain made $94,180 or more on an annual basis.
Who the nuclear safety inspector works for plays a role in determining how much he is paid. According to the BLS, those working for the federal government earned an average salary of $77,120 per year in 2010. State government employees earned substantially less at an average of $59,960, while local government employees made slightly less than that at $57,440 per year.
Geographic location also provides a fairly reliable indicator of what the nuclear safety inspector can expect to make. For instance, the highest paid occupational health and safety specialists worked in the District of Columbia, earning average salaries of $87,280 per year in 2010. However, those employed in Texas, the state with the largest number of workers in this field, made an average of $63,440. Those in California earned an average of $75,630, while those in New York made $62,600.
The number of jobs for nuclear safety inspectors and other occupational health and safety technicians should grow by approximately 11 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Increased emphasis on nuclear safety will prompt growth for nuclear inspectors as new government regulations make it necessary for those working in the nuclear power field to make changes to comply.
2016 Salary Information for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
Occupational health and safety specialists earned a median annual salary of $70,920 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, occupational health and safety specialists earned a 25th percentile salary of $54,320, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $88,050, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 83,700 people were employed in the U.S. as occupational health and safety specialists.