Officer Candidate School: CEC candidates first attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, RI, which is a 12 week basic training program for officers. After completion of OCS, candidates will earn their commission in the Navy and become Ensigns in the CEC.
Civil Engineer Corps Officer School: New CEC officers attend the Basic Course at Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) in Port Hueneme, CA. The Basic Course is a total of 16 weeks, comprised of training in CEC orientation, government contracting, and Seabee missions. The course is a non-technical (no calculus or physics) introduction to the many roles performed by CEC officers, along with some specialized training relating to your first assignment. However, the best way to develop necessary skills and become proficient in what we do is "on-the-job" training, which is recognized as the most significant portion of any CEC officer's training.
Defense Acquisition University: CEC officer need to achieve business education in the form of contracting certifications through Defense Acquisition University (DAU). There are three levels of certification and the first class towards a Level 1 certificate will be completed at CECOS. The remaining resident and online courses will be completed throughout your career based on class offerings and workload.
Graduate School: The Navy sends all career-minded CEC officers to fully-funded graduate school. That means that tuition is paid and the officer receives all of his/her pay to go to school full time without any additional duties. Normally officer are selected to go to graduate school after they have been in the Navy at least six years but before they have reached ten years of service. Deciding which school to attend and degree type is left to each individual officer, subject to Navy approval. There is an additional obligation (typically about three years) associated with going to graduate school. For a list of approved schools, consult your regional Accessions Officer.
Career CEC officers are required to work towards and attain professional engineering or registered architect licenses. Engineers should take their Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and architects should start a National Council of Architecture Registration Board (NCARB) file as early as possible. Experience towards professional registration is gained while working in our three types of jobs.
Locations of Initial Fleet Assignments
Prior to graduation from OCS, new CEC officer will have their orders to their first duty station. Upon graduation from CECOS, new officers will start their inital tour of duty with a Construction Battalion or Facilities Engineering Command at any one of the over 100 Navy and Marine Corps bases worldwide. This duty assignment of two or three years provides valuable leadership experience in the Seabees as well as an introduction to facilities management or construction contracting. After the initial assignment, expect to relocate every two to three years to get experience in different regions.
Throughout their careers, CEC officers will be stationed in different types of jobs (Public Works, Construction Management, and Seabees) in progressively more challenging roles. The graph below shows a general career progression including the various facilities engineering or expeditionary roles, certification levels, and license expectations at each rank level. Additionally, it shows the time frames for promotions.