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Civil Engineer

Two current Navy Civil Engineers repairing a fence

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Responsibilities

As part of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, 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:

  • Oversee construction of everything from runways to docks to buildings of all kinds
  • Supervise and manage utilities and other critical services
  • Manage a variety of skilled construction workers (Seabees)
  • Arrange budgets and schedules
  • Approve completed work

More specifically, 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 Seabee construction workers in the construction of airfields, bridges, ports or buildings – all in support of both humanitarian outreach and military deployment.

Work Environment

As a 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.

Training & Advancement

Those pursuing a Civil Engineering role must first attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, RI, OCS is a 12-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Officers. Here they learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette.

Following that, you will attend Civil Engineer Corps Officer School. Here, you’ll receive specialize 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 competitive and based on performance.

Post-Service Opportunities

Specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields in the civilian sector.

Education Opportunities

Prospective Navy Civil Engineers may qualify for the Civil Engineer Collegiate (CEC) Program, which provides up to $139,000 while you are 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.

Following your initial tour as a Civil Engineer, you can attend the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, CA, where you may be able to earn a master’s or doctoral degree while being paid full-time.

Opportunities for further education within this platform include:

Qualifications & Requirements

A four-year degree is required to work in the Civil Engineering Corps. Candidates seeking an Officer position in this community must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, 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.

Part-Time Opportunities

Serving part-time as a Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Civil Engineers in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.

For annual training, Civil Engineers may serve anywhere in the world, whether at sea, stateside, or in bases and camps in countries around the world.

Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.

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.

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 first 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: Officer Candidates will be required to attend the Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. 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, CA. Additional training includes Construction Battalion Operations, Field Exercises and Government Contracting.