Health Physicist

Health Physicists with NRC are involved with multiple phases of radiation protection, health analysis and risk assessment as they impact the licensing, operation and decommissioning of nuclear facilities.
  • Their responsibilities extend to the possession, use, transport, transfer and disposal of by-product, source and special nucleal material.
  • Their work is technically complex, often requiring knowledge and experience in multidisciplinary scientific fields, statistics and epidemiology.
  • Research assignments accomplished by Health Physicists contribute to the safe impact of environmental radiation and medical, academic and industrial uses of radiation.
Their technical reviews form the basis for justifying recommendations that impact safe licensing, operational enhancements, and decommissioning monitoring actions.
photo of a woman wearing a white lab coat standing in front of a large microscope and look down at a computer tablet she is holding in her left hand, with a latex glove.

Quotes from current or former employees in this position:

“I like the variety of work we do as health physicists. It’s very fulfilling”

“You have to be inquisitive—Explain this to me.  Help me to understand.”

  • Incumbents are skilled researchers, analysts and assessors of technical information.
  • They have knowledge and experience in various scientific areas, including radiation physics and biology, radiation detection and measurement, internal and external dosimetry and environmental radiation.
  • Their knowledge of medical, academic and industrial uses of radiation is extensive and enables them to develop regulations and analyze complex regulatory issues.
  • Their thorough analysis of complex radiation hazards results in recommendations on standards for design, testing, operation and decommissioning of facilities and equipment.
Health Physicists range in grade from GG-9-15, depending upon the level of duties and responsibilities.
  • Accomplishes technical reviews and manages projects researching health physics-related and radiation protection issues associated with licensing decisions for siting, operating, monitoring and decommissioning NRC-licensed facilities and disposal of radioactive waste
  • Provides technical support for rulemaking, NRC guidance, industry review guides and national and international health and safety protection standards
  • Prepares written reports, including safety evaluations of licensing applications, regulations involved and the rationale as to why the application is acceptable
  • Makes presentations to explain the content and conclusions of inspections and regulatory reviews of sites and equipment
  • Develops schedules and coordinates and monitors progress of technical assignments and results of discussions with contractors and proposed licensees
  • Maintains effective working relationships with research contractors, researchers in academia, industry and other government agencies
  • Advises agency management
  • Performs regulatory and technical reviews and analysis of radiation assessments
  • Prepares studies and reports contributing to the development of a regulatory framework relating to radiation protection and protection of health
  • Leads research programs in radiation and health impacts on people and the environment
  • Investigates issues and presents problem-solving alternatives
  • Functions as a project manager, developing work schedules and monitoring progress
  • Provides guidance to technical staff
  • Coordinates input and collaborates with internal and external stakeholders
  • Interacts with staff of international organizations and other technical staff of state and local bodies to review national and international standards for the protection of workers, the public and the environment from hazards related to nuclear materials
  • Participates in public hearings explaining complex issues in an understandable manner
  • Headquarters—Offices/Divisions, Rockville, MD
  • Regions—King of Prussia, PA; Atlanta, GA; Lisle, IL; Arlington, TX
  • Technical Training Center—Chattanooga, TN
  • A strong questioning attitude and desire and ability to resolve those questions
  • Ability to get to root causes
  • Strong verbal and conversational communication skills
  • Ability to self-manage and work autonomously
  • Strong logic thinking and reasoning ability
  • Research ability
  • Analytical and evaluative abilities
  • Organizational skills
  • Highly detail-oriented
  • Ability to develop work plans and manage large technical projects
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with high-level technical staff
  • Effective listening ability
  • Oral and written communication skills to present complex technical information   
  • Interpersonal skill at all levels
  • Knowledge of health physics, radiation physics, radiation biology, internal and external dosimetry, radiation detection and measurement, environmental radiation and the medical, academic and industrial uses of radiation
  • Knowledge of the administration of scientific contracts to keep within timing and budgetary limits
  • Knowledge of Federal contracting acquisition provisions
  • Knowledge of agency policies, rules and regulations relative to environmental impact activities
Candidates for Health Physicist opportunities can be found in the following types of NRC jobs:
  • Engineer
  • Physical Scientist
View Current NRC Vacancies and explore the possibilities!

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, March 14, 2022