Job Description for Naval Civil Engineering Corps

Navy civil engineer carrying blueprints gives directions to civilian workers rebuilding an area hit by natural disaster in Puerto Rico.

Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally / U.S. Marines via Getty Images

As a Navy Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officer, you'll join a special group of officers in charge of engineering, management, planning, construction, and maintenance of the Navy's shore facilities.

The Navy is more than ships, submarines, and aircraft at sea. Hundreds of naval shore facilities worldwide. These shore-based facilities are like small cities with hospitals, airfields, power plants, housing, stores, office buildings, and much more. They make up the fleet support establishment.

You'll work in a variety of locations around the world in highly visible positions supervising skilled personnel. From the very beginning, you'll get engineering management experience, responsibility, and authority far exceeding that offered by a private firm. As a Civil Engineer Corps officer, you may work in any or all of the following three areas:

CEC and Contract Management

More than $4 billion worth of design and construction is performed every year by civilian construction and engineering firms under Navy contracts. These contracts will be your responsibility as the primary contact between the contractor and the Navy. You'll review designs and prepare, solicit and award contract bid packages. You'll supervise construction, identify problems and devise solutions. Navy Civil Engineers also negotiate technical and financial modifications to contracts and approve completed work.

Public Works

You'll operate and maintain the complex facilities and utility systems at shore activities by managing a large and diverse workforce of civilian and military personnel. At public works departments and centers, you'll approve and execute the designs of trained engineering staff. In facilities management, you'll identify, analyze, plan, budget, schedule, and execute needed work and repair. Planning future requirements of naval facilities is a major responsibility.

Construction Battalions

The "Can Do" spirit of the Seabees is legendary. Performing most of their work overseas, Navy construction battalions maintain the Navy's mobile construction capabilities and support the Fleet Marine Force in amphibious operations. They build roads, airstrips, bridges, port facilities, utility systems, and any type of building, often in unique and out of the way locations. As a junior officer, you'll be in charge of these military construction companies, made up of 400 to 600 enlisted men and women. This is your opportunity to learn an important skill unattainable through academic study alone-leadership.

Active Duty Obligation

The Navy civil engineer corps member has a four-year service obligation from the ​date of commissioning.

Training Pipeline Following Commission.

After 13 weeks of Officer Candidate School (OCS), new CEC Ensigns attend the Basic Course at the Civil Engineer Corps Officer School (CECOS) in Port Hueneme, CA. The Basic Course consists of eight weeks of CEC orientation along with five weeks of basic government contracting principles for a total of 13 weeks.

Civil Engineer Collegiate Program

You may apply for Officer Candidate School (OCS) up to three years before you receive your bachelor's degree or up to one year before completing your master's degree. If selected, you'll be placed on active reserve duty as a Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program or Civil Engineer Corps collegiate and receive more than $1,600 per month while completing your studies.

You can earn up to $60,000 during your sophomore, junior, and senior years while receiving many benefits enjoyed by regular Navy personnel, including 30 days vacation earned each year. Following college graduation, you'll receive military training at Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla., and earn your commission as a naval officer.

Civil Engineer Corps Officer School

Located in Port Hueneme, Calif., Civil Engineer Corps Officer School provides the training you'll need as a new Civil Engineer Corps officer in your first assignment. Areas include management, military readiness, military justice, personnel administration, and courses deemed necessary to prepare you to work in contract management, public works/facilities management, and construction battalions.

Advanced Education and Training

As a Civil Engineer Corps officer, you'll have many opportunities to develop your professional skills through courses offered by the Civil Engineer Corps School and Naval Facilities Contract Training Center. Fully funded postgraduate education at a variety of civilian universities allows you to earn a master's degree in a variety of engineering-related fields or a financial management degree at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

You also could receive advanced military education through service colleges such as the Naval War College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the National War College.

Locations of Initial Fleet Assignments

Upon graduation from CECOS, new officers are assigned an initial tour of duty with a Construction Battalion, Public Works, or a Construction Contract Administration activity. This duty assignment of two or three years serves to introduce the individual to the CEC community and provides valuable experience in construction management and techniques.

After this first tour of duty, or more typically after the second tour in a second specialty, career-oriented officers are eligible for graduate school. Those qualified individuals selected for the OFP attend one of several Navy-approved post-graduate schools offering a Masters's degree in Ocean Engineering and earn a 1103P subspecialty code.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

A Civil Engineer Corps officer must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be at least 19 and under 35 when commissioned
  • Possess, or be in pursuit of, an accredited engineering degree, preferably in civil, mechanical or electrical engineering, or an accredited architecture degree
  • Be physically qualified by Naval standards


  • At least 19 and less than 29 at time of the commission
  • Waivers may be considered for those who would not exceed age 35 at the commission


  • BS/MS in ABET Engineer (Civil/ Mechanical/Electrical) Program or NAAB Architecture Program.


  • OCS (12 wks)
  • CECOS (13 wks)
  • Three tour areas: Construction Management, Public Works, and SEABEES


  • Correctable to 20/20 (waivers considered)
  • Color vision not required
  • PRK and LASIK only eye surgeries waivable


  • PE/EIT preferred, but not required
  • Two years (summers) relevant employment experience a plus
  • CEC VIP-CEC officer interview required

Service Obligation

  • Four years Active from date of commission
  • Total of eight years Active & Inactive

Special Info

  • "Whole person" concept
  • Good character
  • Leadership of campus/community organization
  • Participation in relevant professional society
  • athletic
  • Strong communication skills (verbal/written)
  • Workforce applicants should have field-related experience and show leadership and people skills
  • Applications will only be considered if available for OCS within 24 months unless applying for BDCP or CEC Collegiate