You might be a new driver just out of school, a veteran, or someone who is thinking about driving. If you are a veteran, you know that the pay varies based on several factors, including terrain, location, and how dangerous the load is. You can increase your pay rate by hauling more dangerous loads, such as flammable or nuclear materials. Hauling nuclear materials, including bombs, is a top-secret job – and one of the toughest jobs out there.
The Differences in Hauling Nuclear Materials
Those who are part of the fleet that transports nuclear weapons and materials answer to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which was established in 2000. The Office of Secure Transportation, which is part of the NNSA, is part of the NNSA, a faction of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
In many ways, the job is just like other trucking jobs with routine driving and long hours on the road. However, you are not just some person driving a load that you need to deliver on time. You are a piece of a larger operation. Additionally, every vehicle in the convoy has federal agents who share everything, including security, communications and driving.
The entity that hires you is the DOE. The government agency hires nuclear drivers year-round. You can find these jobs listed on USAJobs.gov. They are listed three to four times each year, and the jobs stay up for one to two weeks, so you have to constantly check the site if you want to become a nuclear driver.
You must have law enforcement experience or military experience to apply.
Training to Be a Nuclear Courier
New drivers should be able to fully manage a truck, even in the worst conditions. You have to complete 18 weeks of special training at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas – nuclear materials courier basic training. You must take and pass the course in order to keep your job. The training is comparable to the specialized training military members receive after boot camp.
During training, you will receive:
- Driver training for the fundamental skills for driving OST transport vehicles.
- Firearms training. You must be able to qualify with the OST’s primary weapons during day and night conditions on courses approved by the Department of Energy.
- Training to obtain your CDL – you must be able to pass all of the driving performance tests.
- Pass testing for small-unit tactics that are tailored to your job.
Additionally, you will receive training on the Advanced Radio Enterprise System and training for control tactics used by law enforcement and federal agent legal authorities.
You must also be able to pass several written exams, a physical fitness test, and several performance tests. Finally, you must be able to qualify for a security clearance for the Department of Energy. You will then go through intense performance testing in a convoy, including force-on-force exercises.
The DOE accepts about 20 students per training class and holds training classes as many as three times per year. Only about 45 to 50 out of 60 people graduate every year.
The DOE tries to hold three NMC training classes per year, with each class containing 20 NMC candidates. You can find more information on training here. As of 2021, salaries range from $41,723 to $103,309 per year.