How a Nuke Can Make $100k Right Out of the Navy

Navy Nuke Job Finder interviewed an industry insider to find out how Nukes are doing in today’s job market, what the best jobs are for ex-Navy Nukes, and just how much money does a Navy Nuke make after the Navy. You’re going to want to read this one because you might not be making as much money as you could be. It turns out the average ex-Navy Nuke is making…

Well, we’ll get into the specifics of money soon enough. For now I would like to introduce Dottie Lands Bowling of DB Consulting. Dottie has been a recruiter for 16 years. She received her training while working for a Recruiting Agency that primarily placed military personnel. Many of the Recruiters and Managers that worked with her were ex-Military Personnel, mostly ex-Navy. After 6 years working here, Dottie struck out on her own and set up shop as an Independent Recruiter. Dottie opened DB Consulting in 2002 and focuses on recruiting military candidates across the U. S. DB Consulting specializes in helping military personnel make the transition from military to careers in the private sector.

Dottie allowed me to interview her and get her take on the state of all things regarding Navy Nukes, and Careers for Ex-Navy Nukes (see Dottie’s Profile Pic below).

Can you briefly describe the process that you employ to find a job for a candidate?

Unlike some recruiters I do not “collect” resumes. I usually contact a candidate only with a vetted job opportunity to discuss with him or her.   I market my business consulting services to medium sized companies and large corporations.  When I uncover opportunities, I begin the “discovery” process.  I do not just use the standard job description prepared by the company.  If at all possible I speak with the direct hiring manager/interviewer to gain detailed insight into not only minimum requirements but also expectations of the person hired for the position.   I also try to determine the company environment, management style, and anything that will help the candidate succeed not just in the interview but help them thrive there if they accept the job.

How often do you work with U.S. Navy Nukes?

It is rare for a week to go by without me speaking to or at least reviewing the resume of a Navy nuke.

Geographically, what are the top 4 locations that you are placing candidates in?

Southeast U.S., Gulf of Mexico, the west coast, northern Midwest.

What types of jobs do you commonly place engineering and technical personnel in?

I place people most frequently in field service in the power and energy industries, with a good number in heavy manufacturing.  In the past 16 years, most of my candidates were hired into jobs in repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting of generators, diesel engines, turbines, and manufacturing equipment.  Where this is done ranges from shipboard to offshore platforms to nuclear power plants.  Some of these jobs are at tech level, some in supervision, some as degreed engineers.

Is there a difference between the types of jobs that you place Nukes in versus other technical candidates?

Not so different, with the exception of the nuclear power industry itself, naturally.  I place non-nuclear MMs and EMs with hands-on skills on similar equipment (pumps, hydraulics, electrical equipment).  The main difference between nukes and other techs is that the nukes generally have an edge in competition, mainly due to their advanced training and schooling.

What advantage, if any, does a Nuke with a Four-Year or an Engineering Degree have over a Nuke without a degree when looking for a job?

Just as with a non-military candidate, a completed education is an indication that a person was willing and able to finish a course of action or project.  In more concrete terms, most companies want (or require) a degreed engineer in a position with an “Engineer” title.  Additionally most, if not all, strongly prefer or require supervisors and managers to be degreed.  So if someone expects to be promoted, more often than not, they will need a degree.  And it definitely impacts income over the course of a lifetime.

Some of the Nukes that I work with want to work at a commercial nuclear plant and others do not want to go anywhere near the Nuclear Industry. What is your experience, if any, working with the commercial nuclear industry? What distinctions do you make between candidates looking for work in the Nuclear Industry versus those who are just looking for work outside of the Nuclear Industry?

Although I have worked within the Nuclear Industry throughout my career and am doing so currently, it has not been my sole focus.  My Nuclear Industry experience has varied from placing techs to my current search for an Access Control Supervisor.   Many seek work in nuclear power for the higher compensation.  Others want to put their invested years of training and experience to work on nuclear equipment.  Some of the candidates who say they prefer not to work in the nuclear industry have told me they have health concerns.  The people with whom I have spoken, who are pursuing a career in the nuclear power industry, as a whole, are very independent, driven, and confident individuals.

 A lot of the Nukes I work with feel that they may be qualified for a job as an engineer, even though they do not have an engineering degree. How likely is it that a company will hire a nuke into a position normally reserved for entry-level engineering degree candidates? Have you seen this done recently or ever?

As a rule, most companies will not hire someone for a job when the title includes “Engineer” unless that person has an engineering degree.  I will not say it never happens but I have not seen it happen often.

Before we talk about How Much Money a Nuke Can Make Right Out of the Navy, how does the job market look for Navy Nukes entering the work force in the next 3 months?

It looks strong.  Although the economy is not in a great place we still need to produce energy, equipment still has to be maintained and repaired, and companies are still in need of qualified, dependable people with strong skills.  And they are in desperate need of employees with clean backgrounds and a good work ethic, a rapidly disappearing commodity.  The reality, especially in nuclear power, is that the workforce is depleting due to the massive number of retiring baby boomers.

Generally speaking, what are the highest paying jobs for Navy Nukes right now, and about how much are those jobs paying?

The highest paying jobs remain in nuclear power, however, I have placed non-degreed techs, outside the nuclear power industry, whose first year’s compensation exceeded $75,000.  A non-degreed RO, EWS qualified, could feasibly start out between $90K and $100K a year with additional bonuses available.

Thank you for your time Dottie. If a visitor to Navy Nuke Job Finder wants to work with DB Consulting, what is the best way to contact you?

Visit Dottie’s Linked In Profile.

Visit the Official Website of DB Consulting.

Dottie also has a blog that you should read when you are not hanging out at Navy Nuke Job Finder. Last, but not least, you can follow Dottie on Twitter.

If you want to be interviewed by, or write for, Navy Nuke Job Finder contact me here.

Here’s Why You Need to Join the Navy Nuke Job Finder Newsletter


My Network is growing every day. I get more and more requests for the best Navy Nukes.  I can’t help you, if you do not join my network. You may not need a job today, but someday you might, and I guarantee you that when that time comes, you will want access to my network.

Click Here to Join the Navy Nuke Newsletter.

And for goodness sakes man leave a comment, I need some feedback…do it for your country.

Author: navynukejobfinder

I did six years as a surface nuke ET. Then college, then grad school. Now I moderate this forum. Gooooooo navy!