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Old 24.03.2015, 00:36
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hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

Hey all -

I'm trying really hard to find work in Switzerland. I live in the US, I'm looking for a change, and I have some friends in Switzerland (and not many in the rest of Europe) so its where I'm focusing.

My field is radiation safety.. it can also be called health physics. I'm having a really tough time finding anything in this field in Switzerland. I know they don't like radiation much there lately, but there's still a few reactors running, a few universities doing research, etc. I can't seem to find anything open at those places, though I did find a perfect position at CERN, which I of course wasn't eligible for as an American.

Does anyone know any smaller companies that may work with radioactive materials (oil companies, hospitals doing radiation oncology, companies that do radiography, etc) and require a health physics/radiation safety department? Is this set of job skills even something that is particularly in demand in Switzerland?

I have been studying German, but I am nowhere near working-level yet.

Thanks in advance
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Old 24.03.2015, 00:44
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

I can't answer your question about the jobs market in nuclear... But as you've already found out, as a non EU citizen, you are bottom of the list when it comes to hiring and getting a residence permit.

Maybe look at other countries that use a lot of nuclear power? I think Switzerland only has 4 reactors and they are planning to phase them out.
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Old 24.03.2015, 01:19
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

Hi.
I wouldn't be so pessimistic about it. I've seen a lot of job announcements in the field of radiation protection when I was looking for a job. Switzerland is very industrialized with a lot of research facilities. Did you try UN (unjobs.org)?
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Old 31.03.2015, 00:58
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

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I can't answer your question about the jobs market in nuclear... But as you've already found out, as a non EU citizen, you are bottom of the list when it comes to hiring and getting a residence permit.

Maybe look at other countries that use a lot of nuclear power? I think Switzerland only has 4 reactors and they are planning to phase them out.
I've done some looking in Germany, but my main focus in going to Switzerland was the built-in support network of at least having a few friends there already (as well as already starting to learn German, so a German-speaking country is best)

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Hi.
I wouldn't be so pessimistic about it. I've seen a lot of job announcements in the field of radiation protection when I was looking for a job. Switzerland is very industrialized with a lot of research facilities. Did you try UN (unjobs.org)?
I have! The jobs they've had listed there over the past 6 months I have not been qualified for - the closest being the CERN job I was qualified for but not eligible for. Every research facility I look at seems to only be seeking German-speakers or don't have any positions open I would be a good fit for.
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Old 31.03.2015, 01:49
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

Hello,

Perhaps one of these?
http://www.psi.ch/
or
https://www.kernenergie.ch/de/home.html

All the best
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Old 31.03.2015, 10:37
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

I am no expert on this field but a few things to think about or research.

Permit issues will be a huge obstacle. Americans are persona non grata in many ways, combine this with the tightening of immigration, and qualified europeans, and although a specialised field, any employer will have to go through a lot of hoops with no guarantees of ever getting a permit. On this point alone, it may just be very very difficult.

Secondly, I don't know what your qualifications or training are, but it would seem that there are likely different qualifications per national or european bodies on accrediation or training in such field compared to the USA, which always seems to go its own way and adheres to few international standards. Have you looked into if you need equivalency recognition, or further training, of your US qualifications? Could be that what you have is not recognised or have an equivalent here, and thus meaningless. Again, I am no expert here, but this is something that would need to be looked at for such a field I beleive.
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Old 31.03.2015, 15:44
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

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Hello,

Perhaps one of these?
http://www.psi.ch/
or
https://www.kernenergie.ch/de/home.html

All the best
I actually found a few jobs using that second link, thanks! However I already got a rejection.. While they say my education is very good, it's simply unavoidable that I'm required to be able to speak "perfect" German. I guess I'm going to have to just focus on that for now. How many years would you guys anticipate that taking? I'm willing to take intensive courses
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Old 31.03.2015, 17:44
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

Or these people-

http://www.nagra.ch/en
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Old 31.03.2015, 17:52
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

Decommissioning reactors would increase the demand for health physics professionals, so don't give up too soon. Language is going to be a barrier, however, so while your learning, use your industry contacts to research a little more where the work is and how they are feeding the existing pipeline of skilled labor. Who knows - they may already be outsourcing from Germany or France.
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Old 31.03.2015, 17:55
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

There is a country in Europe where English is spoken that has a thriving nuclear power industry and is only something like a 90 minute flight from Switzerland.... Have you considered looking there?
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Old 31.03.2015, 18:35
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

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I actually found a few jobs using that second link, thanks! However I already got a rejection.. While they say my education is very good, it's simply unavoidable that I'm required to be able to speak "perfect" German. I guess I'm going to have to just focus on that for now. How many years would you guys anticipate that taking? I'm willing to take intensive courses

It depends.
(How old you are, how quick you are at learning languages, etc.pp.)


Costs of living are much lower in Germany - so if you're looking at some sort of "extended scientific visit", this may be more attractive.
Also, the German spoken in Germany is much closer to the book than what is spoken in Switzerland.

AFAIK, Karlsruhe (in Germany) is quite renowned.

http://www.ine.kit.edu/english/774.php

I may be mistaken, but it might be easier for an American to get a work-permit in Germany than in Switzerland (probably because of historical reasons...)

http://www.anerkennung-in-deutschlan..._countries.php
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Old 31.03.2015, 18:58
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Re: hard time finding anything in my field (radiation safety)

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Does anyone know any smaller companies that may work with radioactive materials (oil companies, hospitals doing radiation oncology, companies that do radiography, etc) and require a health physics/radiation safety department?
What about multinationals in the testing, inspection, certification verification, training sector?

Not sure about those based in german-speaking Switzerland, but companies like SGS, Bureau Veritas, Intertek, Cotecna might have operations here?
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