Constructing city-size bases, airfields and harbor facilities. Managing large budgets and ambitious public works plans. Overseeing some of the most skilled and accomplished members of the construction trades on projects that span the globe. This is the job of the professionals and leaders who make up the Civil Engineer Corps in America’s Navy.
Civil Engineering Job Description
Billions of dollars a year are spent on construction projects that support the Navy’s high-tech Fleet of ships, aircraft, equipment and personnel – and at the center of these investments are a talented group of engineers who help to ensure the success of each initiative.
If you have a degree in civil, mechanical or electrical engineering or architecture, or are looking to earn one, you can achieve your goals as an Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps. Here, you can receive unrivaled hands-on experience and advanced training in civil engineering areas such as architectural, construction, environmental, water resource, geotechnical, hydraulic, land surveying, structural, transportation and community planning. And quickly find yourself in charge of vital Navy projects – overseeing construction, managing workers, arranging budgets and schedules, and approving completed work.
“When I meet younger women in the Navy or considering the Navy, the biggest fear they have is that they won’t be able to be an Officer, an engineer, and also a mother and wife. I have found that you can do it. It’s hard work, but you can do it.”
— LCDR Jennifer Tetatzin, Civil Engineering Corps, USN
Read Her Story
Specific Job Responsibilities
As part of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, you can focus your work on any or all of the following areas:
Contract Management – Be the primary contact between Navy and civilian contractors, managing contracts worth up to hundreds of millions of dollars. And handling every aspect of a project, from overseeing construction to resolving design problems to ensuring that payments are correctly processed.
Public Works – Assume responsibility for any of the hundreds of Navy shore facilities – some as large as entire cities. Supervising and maintaining utilities. Overseeing construction and repair. Managing budgets. Approving public works plans. And providing services to ships as they come into port.
Construction Battalions – Command up to 600 Enlisted workers (Seabees) in the construction of airfields, bridges, ports or buildings. All in support of both humanitarian outreach and military deployment.
As a Navy Civil Engineer, you may work at Navy bases or ports of call around the globe. You may be deployed to help develop or rebuild areas affected by natural disasters. Whether at an indoor or outdoor setting, in a shop environment or in office surroundings, you’ll routinely team with the best engineers and construction professionals in the business.
Training & Advancement
To be part of the Civil Engineer Corps, you must first attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, Rhode Island. After that, comes Civil Engineer Corps Officer School – where you’ll receive specialized training needed for Navy projects, including management, administration, contract management, public works, and specialized military roles such as Construction Battalions.
Once your initial training has been completed, there are opportunities to further develop and enhance your skills through Navy postgraduate work that includes advanced engineering training, financial management, and courses offered by the Civil Engineer Corps School and Naval Facilities Contract Training Center.
Through the Civil Engineer Collegiate (CEC) Program, you can receive up to $113,100 while pursuing your engineering or architecture degree. That’s a regular monthly income ranging from $2,575 to $4,700 for up to two years prior to graduation – one that includes a generous military salary, a food allowance, plus a housing allowance that is based upon the location of the school you attend.
Contact a Navy recruiter for offer details.
A four-year degree from an accredited college or university is required to become a member of the civil engineering community.
After the Navy
Construction is one of the country’s largest industries, with a substantial percentage of self-employed individuals earning high salaries. As a Navy Officer, you will learn the fundamentals of civil engineering and management that will be instrumental in the advancement of your career and your life.
Consider Your Service Options.
There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.