Jobs in the Military: Becoming a U.S. Army Engineer
Imagine the following scenario: A natural disaster has struck close to home. The National Guard has been called in to help with recovery efforts, including providing emergency food and medical supplies to residents. To assist in these efforts, the Army Corps of Engineers needs a group of experienced engineers. A geospatial engineer is required to analyze satellite images of the area to determine safe and passable points of entry. A horizontal construction engineer is called in to clear debris. This is just one of many situations you may see as an Army engineer.
The federal government offers several types of Army engineering job opportunities. Some positions require advanced technical knowledge to design durable and environmentally friendly structures. Others may require the ability to use heavy construction equipment to bring designs to life. The path to any one of these exciting careers may begin by enlisting as an active-duty soldier, becoming an officer, or joining the Army Civilian Service.
Civilian military jobs with the Army Civilian Service do not serve as active-duty military members, but their roles may support military operations. They may also design bridges or buildings that adhere to strict environmental standards using durable materials. The Army Corps of Engineers, consisting primarily of civilian Army engineers, offers a unique work environment that gives you the opportunity to make a difference in exciting locations around the world. Read on to discover more about becoming a U.S. Army engineer.
What Does an Army Engineer Do?
A U.S. Army engineer performs a wide variety of tasks that vary depending on their position. An engineer may study satellite imagery to construct maps that help Army commanders develop tactical strategies, or they may use their expertise to build infrastructure. The following section details a few common engineering career paths you may pursue in the Army.
Army Engineer Salary
An active-duty Army engineer’s salary varies widely depending on whether they are enlisted or an officer. A private can make $20,000 a year after completing basic training, and experienced Army engineer officer can make up to $77,000 a year. An engineer’s pay is largely determined by experience, years of service, and their position or title. It may include a stipend for housing or education.
The salary for civilian engineers is determined differently from enlisted engineers and officers. In general, the Army breaks down wages into five levels using position type and years of experience to determine an individual’s salary.
What Is the Army Corps of Engineers?
The Army Corps of Engineers was established as a permanent branch of the U.S. Army in March of 1802 to serve both military and civilian needs. It consists of mostly civilian employees, with about 32,000 civilian employees and 700 military personnel. The Army Corps of Engineers offers public engineering services to communities in over 130 countries.
The Army Corps of Engineers aims to bolster national security, stimulate economies, and reduce disaster risk. Engineers use principles of environmental sustainability to design and develop strong and reliable infrastructure, clean and clear waterways, and construct buildings for educational and military training.
Benefits of Being an Army Engineer
A career as an Army engineer comes with several benefits. The benefits available to both civilian and non-civilian employees extend beyond healthcare or vacation and include unique job opportunities in exciting locations around the world. The benefits available to civilian and non-civilian Army engineers may vary.
Some benefits available to only enlisted members may include an additional stipend for housing, education, and access to family and soldier services. Some benefits available to all employees of the Army Corps of Engineers include healthcare, paid vacation, sick leave, retirement plans, and bonuses for exceptional job performance. The exact benefits such as number of vacation days or retirement plans may vary depending on an employee’s experience level and position. In general, the Army offers a competitive salary and benefits package.