Navy Builders (Sea-Bee) Navy Enlisted Rating Job Descriptions

Bee On Metal Structure Against Sky
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Sea-Bees are the construction workers in the Navy. The men and women of the BU rate are part of the Naval Construction Force. The term Sea-Bees has grown from when the Navy Builders were part of the Construction Battalions (CB). The term Sea-Bee comes from the acronym CB for the type of command the Builders deploy with overseas. 

Builders make up the largest segment of the Naval Construction Force. They work as carpenters, plasterers, roofers, concrete finishers, masons, painters, bricklayers, and cabinet makers. However, not only are they all the above, they are also specially trained to fight as well as perform underwater construction and qualified in Navy SCUBA diving.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties performed by BUs include:

  • building and repairing wood, masonry concrete, and steel structures;
  • installing interior finish work, including installing sheet rock, paneling or ceramic tile walls and installing ceiling and floor tile, millwork and trim;
  • operating carpentry, cabinet-making, and tool and equipment repair shops;
  • building forms for concrete construction;
  • mixing, placing and finishing concrete;
  • operating concrete batch plants, portable concrete mixers and other concrete finishing equipment and tools;
  • building wharves, bridges and other heavy timber structures;
  • reading and interpreting blueprints and preparing sketches for projects;
  • making estimates of material, labor, and equipment requirements.
  • Underwater Construction Teams also perform pier, bridges, and other construction that requires SCUBA diving.

Working Environment

BU's may work in a variety of conditions, independently or as members of a large team. Their many different duties may be performed in climates ranging from tropical to arctic.

A-School (Job School) Information

Gulfport, MS -- 75 calendar days

The A school for the Builder Rate (BU) is the Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) and is located in Gulport, Mississippi. The A school is 75 days. The SeaBee Training Center is under the administrative command of the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE) which offers support to joint training for the Air Force and the Army. The joint bases for construction training are located at the CSFE Detachment Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas and CSFE Detachment Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  

After completion of "A" school, people in this rating can expect assignment to a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) in Port Hueneme, CA or Gulfport, MS, or to an Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) in San Diego, CA or Little Creek, VA. NMCBs operate on a rotating basis averaging seven months in home port and seven months deployed to overseas locations such as Spain, Okinawa, Puerto Rico or Guam. Seabees receive additional specialized combat and construction skills training during home port duty.

If you are a Sea-bee and you wish to advance your career with the Underwater Construction Technician Training, you will first have to complete your first tour as a Builder. The Underwater Construction Technician Basic School is located in Panama City, Florida. The training that students will be required to pass include basic diving principles and applications are followed up with underwater construction and demolition handling techniques.  You will receive a new Naval Enlistment Code (NEC) of the 5932 and you can advance in the diving community as well and become a Master Diver even as a Seabee Underwater Construction Chief Petty Officer.

Sea duty assignments are with the Underwater Construction Teams (UCT's) located in Little Creek, Virginia, and Port Hueneme, California. From these commands, you will deploy all over the world where the Navy and Marine Corp need construction to occur with highly important underwater projects.

ASVAB Score Requirement: AR + MC + AS = 140

Security Clearance Requirement: None

Other Requirements

60 month enlistment obligation

Sub-Specialties Available for This Rating: Navy Enlisted Classification Codes for BU

Current Manning Levels for This Rating: CREO Listing

Note: Advancement (promotion ) opportunity and career progression are directly linked to a rating's manning level (i.e., personnel in undermanned ratings have greater promotion opportunity than those in overmanned ratings).

Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating

  • First Sea Tour: 54 months
  • First Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Second Sea Tour: 46 months
  • Second Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Third Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Third Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Fourth Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Forth Shore Tour: 36 months

Note: Sea tours and shore tours for sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 months ashore until retirement.

Much of the above information courtesy of the Navy Personnel Command