How To Become an Army Civil Engineer

Learn the steps to becoming a military engineer. Find out about the educational requirements, training, licensure and experience needed to begin a career in this field.

You can use the following steps as guidance when seeking a career as an Army civil engineer:
  1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree. …
  2. Gain relevant experience. …
  3. Consider pursuing licensure. …
  4. Consider getting an advanced degree. …
  5. Determine your Army engineer path. …
  6. Become a civilian U.S. Army engineer. …
  7. Become an enlisted U.S. Army engineer.

The military: a good option for civil engineers?

What do Army civil engineers do?

The field of civil engineering involves different disciplines, so Army civil engineers duties can vary based on their role. Their job responsibilities may include:

What is an Army civil engineer?

U.S. Army engineers perform various tasks based on their engineering specialty. An Army civil engineer is responsible for overseeing infrastructure and construction projects for both public and military purposes. In this role, engineers may oversee the planning, designing and maintenance activities associated with civil works construction projects. Infrastructure represents public works systems, so civil engineers may help design and develop roadways, dams, levees and embankments. They may also work on projects to develop airfields, hospitals, laboratories and military facilities.

How to become an Army civil engineer

You can use the following steps as guidance when seeking a career as an Army civil engineer:

1. Obtain a bachelors degree

To become a civil engineer for the U.S. army, you must earn a bachelors degree in civil engineering from an accredited school. The Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology can provide you several options for civil engineering degree programs that prepare you for this role within the military. It typically takes about four years to complete your bachelors degree. Some of the topics covered in civil engineering degree programs include mathematics, physical sciences, technical writing and computer science. If you plan to become an enlisted U.S. Army engineer, you can enlist before or after you begin your civil engineering studies.

2. Gain relevant experience

As a student, you can gain experience working in the civil engineering field through internships. You may find internship opportunities through your school, online internship boards or engineering associations. Working as a civil engineering intern for companies allows you to gain hands-on experience using the skills and knowledge gained through your education. These opportunities can also help you better understand the jobs day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Army civil engineering jobs appreciate candidates who have relevant educational backgrounds and professional experiences.

3. Consider pursuing licensure

Obtaining a Professional Engineer license can also help demonstrate your qualifications when applying for civil engineering positions in the U.S. Army. Once you graduate from your bachelors degree program, you can take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. Passing this exam enables you to work as an engineer trainee or civil engineering intern. Depending on your state, you need to spend a specified number of years working in the field before becoming eligible to take the Principles and Practices of Engineering exam. Passing this exam provides you certification as a Professional Engineer.

4. Consider getting an advanced degree

You may also consider obtaining an advanced civil engineering degree to further demonstrate your qualifications and expertise in this field. While not necessarily required for this position, your degree may help set you apart from other candidates. Continuing to develop your civil engineering skills and knowledge may also help you gain promotions as an Army civil engineer. When deciding whether to pursue a masters or doctoral degree in engineering, consider your timing. For example, if you become a military officer, your role may provide tuition benefits that you can use to advance your education.

5. Determine your Army engineer path

The steps you must complete to gain a position as an Army engineer will vary on whether you enlist in the Army, become an officer or join the Army Civilian Service. You can review the procedures involved with each of these paths to determine which best suits your interests and needs.

6. Become a civilian U.S. Army engineer

When you feel that you meet those requirements, you fill out and submit an application and provide any necessary supporting documents, such as a resume, cover letters and transcript. If the employer believes you may represent a good match for the position, they can request an interview. Again, like typical jobs, this process may begin with a preliminary phone or virtual interview followed by an in-person interview. If you receive a job offer, you will then undergo an extensive background check to ensure you meet federal employment requirements.

7. Become an enlisted U.S. Army engineer

Another option to pursue is becoming an enlisted member of the U.S. Army. When pursuing this path, you will need to take the following steps:

8. Become an engineering officer

Yet another option for pursuing engineering roles is to become a U.S. Army engineer officer. This option offers several paths to gain an officer position, each representing different steps and requirements.

Frequently asked questions

If you are considering pursuing a career as an Army civil engineer, here are the answers to several frequently asked questions about this role:

What is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is an Army branch that provides engineering services for both public infrastructure and military facilities. This branch employs civilians and soldiers and is responsible for designing, building and maintaining civil works and other structures. These engineering tasks aim to provide reliable infrastructure to the public, protecting and restoring waterways and mitigate risks from natural disasters. The branch also uses its members engineering expertise to research and develop technology that supports national security.

What skills do Army civil engineers need?

Depending on their role or specialization, Army civil engineers need technical skills—such as those related to math or engineering principles and concepts—to perform the tasks associated with the job. However, these professionals also benefit from having several soft skills, such as:

What is the salary for an Army civil engineer?

What is the job outlook for Army civil engineers?

What is the work environment like for an Army civil engineer?

Army civil engineers work environment varies depending on their tasks. These professionals may spend time in an office environment when performing project planning and design activities or reviewing reports. They may also spend time in the field, visiting project sites to supervise construction activities and surveys or perform needs assessments.

FAQ

Can I be a civil engineer in the army?

In the Army, Civil Engineers provide leadership and technical abilities to support combat operations through expertise in mobility, counter-mobility, and survivability operations. Civil Engineers design and construct critical infrastructure such as base camps, roads, bridges, airfields, and ports.

How do I become a military civil engineer?

Becoming a Civilian Army Engineer
  1. Step 1: Create a USAJOBS Account and Profile. …
  2. Step 2: Search for Engineering Jobs. …
  3. Step 3: Make Sure You Meet all Eligibility and Qualification Requirements. …
  4. Step 4: Start Your Application. …
  5. Step 5: Submit Your Application. …
  6. Step 6: Interview.

Do civil engineers work for the military?

They execute construction, operation, and repair of structures and facilities. Responsibilities of a civil engineer also include clearing and emplacing obstacles such as minefields. There are a variety of civil engineering disciplines, all of which play a rewarding role in military operations.

How do you become an engineering officer in the Army?

Requirements
  1. Be a college graduate with at least a four-year degree.
  2. Be between 18 and 34 years old.
  3. Officer Basic Leadership Course (Or Additional Special Courses/Qualifications)
  4. Eligible for a Secret security clearance.
  5. Must be a U.S. citizen.

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