Lead everything from building projects to rebuilding efforts Civil Engineering

Planning and developing new facilities on city-size bases. Managing large budgets and ambitious public works plans. Supervising skilled and accomplished tradesmen on projects of all kinds. As an Officer serving part-time in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), you’ll contribute to the hundreds of civil engineering projects that are carried out in the U.S. and around the world each year.

Job Description

Billions of dollars each year are spent on construction projects that support the Navy’s high-tech Fleet of ships, aircraft, equipment and personnel. At the center of these investments is the Navy Civil Engineer Corps: a talented group of engineers who work to ensure the success of each initiative that is associated with Naval engineering.

As a Civil Engineer in the Navy Reserve, you will lend your expertise to the planning, construction and maintenance of new Navy and Marine Corps facilities. This could include construction of anything from bases to hospitals. Runways to roads. Parks to schools. You may also help to plan and lead any rebuilding efforts that are part of Navy humanitarian relief missions.

Whatever the specifics, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists. And know this: The impact of your work and your service will go far beyond the time that you put in.

Specific Responsibilities

As a Reservist in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, you may be involved with any or all of the following areas:

Construction Battalion: Oversee the work of the legendary Seabees. Command up to 600 highly trained personnel as they apply their skills in all specialties of the construction trade. And do it all in support of military initiatives and humanitarian outreach efforts.

Contract Management: Be the primary contact between the Navy and civilian contractors. Solicit and manage bids and contracts worth up to hundreds of millions of dollars. And handle every aspect of a project, from overseeing construction to resolving design problems to ensuring that payments are correctly processed.

Public Works: Supervise maintenance and construction within shore facilities. Manage budgets. Approve public works plans. And provide services to ships as they come into port.


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 of that.

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 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: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the twelve-day Direct Commission Officer School (DCO) in Newport, RI. This will count as your first Annual Training. 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.

Career Advantages

Serving as an Officer and Civil Engineer in the Navy Reserve will sharpen your leadership abilities and project management skills in ways you’ll never find in the civilian sector. You’ll collaborate with some of the nation’s most focused and skilled men and women – supporting your country as you increase your career potential.

Your specialized training in the Navy Reserve could prepare you for credentialing, certification and/or licensure opportunities from a number of national boards and organizations. Allowing you to become even more competitive in your challenging field.

And the more tangible benefits? Competitive pay. Points earned toward retirement benefits. Outstanding insurance options. And much more. Read about the benefits of serving in the Navy Reserve.


General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

More specifically, to qualify you must have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering from a college accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) or a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Preferred fields of study are civil, mechanical, electrical, construction, industrial, environmental, architectural or ocean engineering.

More Information

Want to explore further? Learn what you need to know about joining the Navy Reserve. Find us on Facebook to interact with actual Navy Civil Engineers. Or, if you need more information, contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America’s Navy. Besides part-time opportunities in the Navy Reserve, full-time Active Duty positions are also available in this career area.