How to Join the Army Corps of Engineers

Опубликовал Admin
17-03-2018, 23:00
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is one of the world’s largest employers of engineers and other technical roles. If you want to join USACE, you just need to decide which job is right for you. USACE hires both civilian workers and active duty military personnel. If you want to take a civilian job, make sure that you have the right experience before applying through the federal government. If you would like to work as a combat engineer, you will need to join through the Army.

Meeting the Requirements

  1. Determine what type of role you want to fulfill. USACE hires both civilian engineers and active duty military personnel. Because of this, the requirements and qualifications for each job can vary significantly. Before you begin, decide what type of job you want. Research the requirements carefully.
    • As a civilian engineer, you will almost always need a degree and experience in engineering. Military experience or experience in another government job are extremely useful.
    • In a military role, you may need an engineering degree to become an officer. You do not need a degree for an enlisted position, although you will need to have a certain score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.
    • USACE also hires civilians for roles other than engineering. These may include park rangers, architects, biologists, realty specialists, technical writers, and IT specialists.
  2. Get an undergraduate degree in engineering or a related role. This will be required for most civilian jobs and all officer positions in the military. You must receive this degree from a college or university accredited and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • If you are applying for a non-engineering role as a civilian, check that you have the proper degree and experience for the requirements. A park ranger may need a degree in forestry while IT specialists may need a background in computer science.
    • Alternatively, you could join USACE in an enlisted role. After working for a certain number of years, the army may pay for your education, allowing you to get a bachelor’s degree and continue in USACE as a civilian if you choose. Talk to a recruiter for more information.
  3. Gain experience working in the military or another government agency. Many USACE roles are only open to current federal employees or veterans. To increase your eligibility for this role, consider getting experience in another government agency or through the military.
    • Some other agencies that may provide useful experience include the Forest Service, Department of Transportation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Environmental Protection Agency.
    • If you are still a student, you can apply for an internship through a government agency such as USACE or another program. If you graduated within the last 2 years, you can apply through the Recent Graduates program. You can search for both types of jobs here:
  4. Create a resume. Whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced engineer, you will need to submit your resume with your relevant experience detailed. If you are applying for an engineering position, emphasize any experience in engineering, construction, or math.
    • Tailor your resume to the specific role. If you are being hired as a realty specialist, for example, you might want to highlight your work in real estate, your qualifications in land management, or your certification as a Realtor.

Joining as a Civilian

  1. Search for jobs using to see all listings. Type “Army Corps of Engineers” into the search bar and click “Search.” You can put in your location if you want. If you don’t mind moving for a job, leave that section blank.
    • Click on the title of the job listing to see more details about the position, including education requirements, experience, and travel duties. On the upper righthand corner of the listing, it will state if the job is open to the public or if it is only available to federal employees and veterans.
    • Once you search, you can choose from a series of filters on the side. If you are not a federal employee or veteran, click “open to the public” to see which jobs are available to you.
  2. Create an account. You must have an account on to apply for any government jobs. Click “sign in” at the top of the screen. Next, click “Create an Account.” You just need to provide your email and a username to join. Once you have signed up, you can fill in your profile or apply for USACE jobs.
  3. Click on the job you want to apply for. On the right sidebar of the job listing, there will be a blue button marked “Apply.” Click this button and complete the form. You will need to upload a cover letter stating your qualifications, a resume, and any other requested documents. Some commonly requested documents for USACE include:
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a U.S. birth certificate, passport, or certificate of naturalization.
    • College transcripts if you are a recent graduate. (This is usually not required if you have worked in a similar role for at least 2 years).
  4. Submit your proof of eligibility if you are a federal employee or veteran. Many USACE only hire current federal employees or military veterans. To determine if you are eligible, you may be asked to provide “proof of eligibility.” These documents will verify your employment history.
    • If you are a Federal Employee, you must get Form SF-40: Notification of Personnel Action from your employer by contacting your current personnel office.
    • If you are a veteran of any military branch, you must make a copy of Form DD-14: Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, which was given to you when you left the military. You may also need to fill out form SF15: Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. You can find that form here:
  5. Complete an interview if requested. You may be asked to visit your local USACE office or the interview may be conducted over the phone. Answer the questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. The interviewers may ask questions about your experience and skills.
    • The interviewers may give you a problem and ask you what you would do in that scenario. Use your experience and knowledge of the field to answer the question to the best of your knowledge.
    • You may be asked about your experience with certain machines, systems, or industrial applications. For example, they might ask about your experience working with dams or if you have any knowledge of gas turbines. Answer these questions honestly.

Applying to be a Military Engineer

  1. Apply for the job through the army directly. Visit your local recruiting station or apply online through the Army’s website. If you have any background, education, or experience in engineering already, be sure to indicate it on your application.
    • To find your local recruiting office, visit here:
    • To apply through the Army’s website, visit here:
  2. Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you will get an enlisted position. To determine if you are suited for an engineering role, a recruiter will give you the ASVAB test, which contain 10 sections over a 3-hour period. To receive an engineering job, you typically need a score in the 90s in either Combat, General Maintenance, or Skilled Technical. You do not need to study for this test. The different engineering positions are:
    • Combat engineer: you will handle tactical duties, such as constructing defenses, detonating explosives, and removing obstructions from the field.
    • Geospatial Engineer: an you will use satellites, aerial photography, and other data to construct maps and help soldiers navigate the battlefield.
    • Horizontal Construction Engineer: you will construct buildings, defenses, and other industrial positions.
    • Special Forces Engineer Sergeant: a position with a ride range of combat duties, including demolitions, explosives, field fortification, bridging, rigging, raids and civil works.
    • Technical Engineer: you will supervise construction, prepare plans for construction, perform land surveys, and draw up maps.
    • You can take a practice ASVAB test here:
  3. Apply for an officer position if you have a bachelor’s degree. There are 2 types of engineering officers. Those with the right degree may have a good chance of receiving these positions if they apply for them, although these positions are not guaranteed.
    • Engineering Officer: An engineer who can contribute to infrastructure, civil works, and combat support. You must complete the ASVAB test and have a bachelor’s degree in Engineering.
    • Environmental Science/Engineering Officer: An officer who assesses environmental and health hazard risks. You may be responsible for checking weapons, material systems, and industrial machinery to make sure it is safe. You must have a bachelors degree in the biological sciences (such as biology, biochemistry, or marine biology) or physical sciences (such as chemistry or earth sciences).
  4. Complete your required training. Your specific training program depends on which role or position was assigned to you. You may need to travel to a base for training. Training may be as short as 9 weeks and as long as 44 weeks. For USACE roles, training might include:
    • Basic Combat Training
    • Advanced Individual Training
    • Formal Classroom Training
    • Basic Officer Leadership Course
    • Officer Candidate School
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