Nuclear Trained Electronics Technician (ETN)

Navy Enlisted Rating (Job) Description

Navy Submarine Duty
Watchstanders wait their turn for lunch, which is served in the Galley. Official Navy Photo

The Nuclear Training Electronic Technician for "Nuke ET" must qualify for, and enlist under the Navy's Nuclear Field Program to join this high tech job.

Nuclear-trained ETs perform duties in nuclear propulsion plants operating reactor control, propulsion and power generation systems. The character of NF jobs is mentally stimulating and offers career growth. The NF provides opportunities to work closely with specialists in the nuclear, technology, and engineering fields.

Nuclear-trained ETs operate reactor control, propulsion, and power generation systems in nuclear propulsion plants. Nuclear Trained Electronics Technician - The Nuke ET rating A school is 6 months. Nuclear-trained ETs operate reactor control, propulsion, and power generation systems in nuclear propulsion plants.

Working Environment

The Nuclear Field program trains personnel for nuclear submarines and nuclear surface ship assignments. No promise can be made regarding the type of duty assigned. MMs may be required to perform some heavy physical work. They must be able to work closely with others and, in some cases, with limited supervision.

A-School (Job School) Information

  • ET Rating A School, Charleston, SC -- 6 months
  • Nuke Power School School, Charleston, SC -- 6 months
  • Nuclear Power Training Unit, Ballston Spa, NY or Charleston, SC -- 6 months

Navy Enlisting Requirements for the Nuclear Trained ET

The Nuclear Training career path is the most academically challenging enlisted rating in the Navy. In fact, it offers the highest specialty pay and reenlistment bonuses of the Navy and requires intensive training the first few years of service for the recruit seeking the Nuclear Training career path. Students in the nuclear career path must be motivated self-starters with a keen understanding of advanced math and sciences. 

ASVAB Score Requirement:

  • AR + MK + EI + GS + NAPT = 290
  • OR AR + MK + VE + MC + NAPT = 290
  • (Note: NAPT = "Navy Advanced Programs Test." It's the Navy's Nuclear Power Aptitude Test."
  • For current enlistees, applying to retrain: AR + MK + EI + GS >= 252 OR AR + MK + VE + MC >= 252
  • Security Clearance Requirement: Secret

Other Requirements

  • Must have a normal color perception
  • Must have normal hearing (see below)
  • 72-month obligation
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Must Meet Criteria for Nuclear Field Enlistment Program
  • Must meet test score criteria (no waivers) and other criteria set forth in NAVMILPERSCOMINST 1306.11 (series).
  • Must be high school graduate (GED not acceptable), and have completed at least one year of algebra with a minimum grade of "C". Transcripts (or certified copy) must be filed in service record when enlisted.

About the Nuke ET Job and Continued Training

Once you finish Nuke school, you will go to your first sea command. Your main job is qualifying. You will qualify to stand duty with the reactor power plant. Taking information (logging) and relaying this information to the officer in charge. Also communicating with the officer in charge of the plant to the people out in the plant doing their job will also be a major part of your first duties as the new guy in the submarine or nuclear-powered ship. 

Within your first sea tour, you will continue qualifying and reach the major responsibilities of the Reactor Operator (RO) and Shutdown Reactor Operator (SRO). This process can take several months to a year or more, but once you are qualified, you are now able to test or fix any reactor safety-related equipment. 

The best way to describe the job of the Nuke ET is if something breaks, you cannot take it to the shop to get fixed. The Nuke ET is the shop when you go out to sea. Many Nuke ETs have a strong foundation in the applied engineering field through years of education and training, that easily apply to completing your engineering degree when you decide to go to college after or even during your enlistment.

Promotion and Sea / Shore Tours

Advancement (promotion) opportunity and career progression are directly linked to a rating's manning level (i.e., personnel in undermanned ratings have greater promotion opportunity than those in overmanned ratings).

Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating

  • First Sea Tour: 54 months
  • First Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Second Sea Tour: 60 months
  • Second Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Third Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Third Shore Tour: 36months
  • Fourth Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Forth Shore Tour: 36 months

Note: Sea tours and shore tours for sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 months ashore until retirement.