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Every year huge investments are made on construction projects that support the Navy’s high-tech fleet of ships, aircraft, equipment and personnel. At the center of these projects are a talented group of engineers who help to ensure that each initiative is conceived, planned and completed on time, in budget and according to specification.
In this career path, you can receive unrivaled hands-on experience and advanced training in civil engineering areas including architecture, construction engineering, environmental engineering, water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering, hydraulic engineering, land surveying, structural engineering, transportation engineering and community planning. You’ll quickly find yourself in charge of vital Navy projects, where you might:
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. Handle 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. Supervise and maintain utilities. Oversee construction and repair, manage budgets, approve public works plans, and provide services to visiting ships.
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. Your day-to-day work may be indoors, outdoors, in a shop environment or in office surroundings.
Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Navy Civil Engineers in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.
For annual training, Navy Civil Engineers may serve anywhere in the world, including within stateside facilities, at foreign ports of call or even in developing towns and villages.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.
Those entering the Civil Engineer Corps must first attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, R.I., followed by 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.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but are competitive and based on performance. It's also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.
Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.
Civil Engineers in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must be met.
For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.
For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: Beginning October 1st, 2019, Officer Candidates will be required to attend the Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI instead of the 12-day Direct Commission Officer School. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here you will learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette. There may be an option for attendees to request to split the five-week program into two sessions. Later on, you will also attend the two-week CEC orientation Basic Course at the Civil Engineer Corps Officer School (CECOS) in Port Hueneme, Calif. Additional training includes Construction Battalion Operations, Field Exercises and Government Contracting.
Beyond professional credentials and certifications, Navy Civil Engineers can advance their education by:
Prospective Navy Civil Engineers may qualify for the Civil Engineer Collegiate (CEC) Program, which provides you up to $139,000 while pursuing your engineering or architecture degree. You could earn between $2,900 and $5,800 per month, depending on your rank and BAH while in school. The national average is $3,900 per month.
Candidates seeking a position in the Civil Engineering Corps must have a four-year degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in the field of civil, mechanical or electrical engineering. Candidates must also be U.S. citizens and willing to serve worldwide.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.