Job Family: Construction, Building, and Extraction Civil Engineers
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard  | National Guard

Supplemental Information
Profile 1 |  Profile 2 |  Career Path
Photo 1: Engineer explains building plans. Photo 2:
Engineer oversees new construction site.

Philip Thompson
Occupation: Civil Engineer

I joined the Navy Reserves while I was in college studying civil engineering. After graduation, I went to Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, …

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John Brown
Occupation: Assistant Public Works Officer

I was born and raised in Newport News, Va. Coming out of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I just knew that I wan…

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Short Description
Airfields, roads, bridges, buildings, power plants, docks, and water treatment plants on military bases around the world are continually being built, repaired, and improved. Civil engineers plan, design, and direct the construction of military structures.


What They Do
Civil engineers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Recommend allocation of resources
  • Study the need for roads, airfields, buildings, and other facilities
  • Direct surveys of construction areas
  • Design construction projects
  • Help select contractors to build facilities
  • Check construction progress to see that it meets plans
  • Plan and direct facility maintenance and modernization
  • Plan temporary facilities for use in emergencies
  • Keep master plans for military bases up to date

Helpful Attributes
Helpful attributes include:
  • Interest in engineering principles and concepts
  • Interest in working with mathematical formulas

Training Provided
No initial job training is provided to officers in this occupation. However, advanced courses are offered to support medical service and environmental control building programs.

Work Environment
Civil engineers work in offices when designing projects or reviewing reports. They work in the field when conducting needs assessments, or overseeing surveys and construction activities.


Civilian Counterparts
Civilian civil engineers work for engineering firms, construction companies, and government agencies. Some may work for public utilities, railroads, and manufacturing firms. Civilian civil engineers perform duties similar to those performed in the military; however, they often specialize in certain types of projects, such as city planning.

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