You’d think that someone who goes into nuclear science—as a chemist, a physicist, or some other sort of engineer—could expect to earn a very, very good living. And you can. It depends on your level of education, the area of nuclear science you decide to go into, and how much hands-on experience you have in the field.
This guy's hoping that, when he's done, he's still got his hands on.
In 2010, the average salary for someone working in nuclear science (with bonuses and possible profit sharing) was $70k on the low end of the scale and $140k on the high end. For a recent college grad, $70k ain't chump change. But for someone supporting a family of five, acquiring the skills and training to move forward is probably worth your time and effort.