The mission of The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), according to their Web site is, "to provide quality, responsive engineering services to the nation including planning, designing, building and operating water resources and other civil works projects. These also include navigation, flood control, environmental protection and disaster response. Military construction responsibilities include designing and managing the construction of military facilities for the Army and Air Force. Providing design and construction management support for other defense and federal agencies is also a significant mission. [They] also support military contingencies and states and territories in civil disasters (e.g., hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc.)"
USACE is made up of approximately 34,600 civilian and 650 military members. Their diverse workforce of military and civilian biologists, engineers, geologists, hydrologists, natural resource managers and other professionals come together to address numerous engineering and environmental issues as part of the United States Army.
The Corps is organized geographically into eight divisions in the U.S. and 41 subordinate districts throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe. According to their site, the districts oversee project offices throughout the world. Divisions and districts are defined by watershed boundaries, not by states. In addition, a ninth provisional division with four districts was activated January 25, 2004, to oversee operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers research and development command. ERDC consists of eight unique laboratories. Research support includes:
- Mapping and terrain analysis
- Infrastructure design, construction, operations and maintenance
- Structural engineering
- Cold regions and ice engineering
- Coastal and hydraulic engineering
- Environmental quality
- Geotechnical engineering
- High performance computing and information technology
Working for the USACE
The Corps of Engineers is the premier public engineering organization in the world. And since it has offices and projects located throughout the U.S. and in many foreign countries, if you become employed with USACE, you will have the opportunity to gain a variety of work experience and geographic mobility. There is plenty of room for career development and advancement through executive and senior technical positions as well.
USACE supports professional and leadership development through undergraduate and advanced degrees, professional registration, and various training opportunities. There is also the personal satisfaction of working for an organization with the tradition of over 200 years of public service.
While there are many engineering positions with USACE, there are also numerous other professional, administrative, technical and clerical positions available. The types of work performed includes navigation, environmental restoration, natural resources, construction, engineering, logistics, design, emergency management, human resources, contracting, real estate, resource management, information technology, research and development, hydropower, operations, planning, and many other types of work.
You can find listings of the different types of careers available in Corps of Engineers by going to the "Careers with the Corps" page of their Web site at www.usace.army.mil/employment/careers.html.
Finding a Job
You can access vacancies from USACE's Web site at www.usace.army.mil/employment/USACE-JOB-ANN.htm. You can search by positions title, series or location. If you are a current or previous federal employee, veteran, person with a disability, student or eligible for another special hiring authority, you can keep an eye on the Army Vacancy Announcements Web site at http://cpolst.belvoir.army.mil/va/scripts/public.html.
If you do not fit into one of the above categories, you can watch the Office of Personnel Management announcements at www.usajobs.opm.gov.
Additionally, most Corps of Engineers locations have current vacancies on the Human Resources page of their Web sites. You can find those in the "Locations to Work" page at www.usace.army.mil/employment/locations.html.
Pay and Benefits
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers employee benefits range from amiable workplace environments to flexible benefits and much more. The workplace principles and benefits are available to permanent employees and some temporary/ term employees.
The federal benefits package is comprehensive and designed to mesh with the lives of a diverse national workforce. The federal government works to help employees maintain a balance in their professional and personal lives by providing competitive benefits and choices.
Below is a sampling of the workplace benefits that may be available to permanent federal employees. More specific information with links to pertinent Web sites is available at www.usace.army.mil/employment/benefits.html.
- Competitive Salaries
- Cost of Living Allowances
- Relocation Bonus
- Recruitment Bonus
- Retention Allowance
- Student Loan Repayment
- Severance Pay
- Civil Service Retirement System
- Federal Employees Retirement System
- Early Retirement
- Thrift Savings Plan
- Social Security
- Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
- Federal Employees Group Life Insurance
- Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
- Injury Compensation Program
- Professional Development Support Center
- Tuition Assistance
- Flexible Work Schedules
- Part-Time and Job Sharing Positions
- Wellness Programs
- Employee Assistance Program
- Child Development Centers
- Elder Care Resources
- Frequent Flyer Miles
- Transit Subsidy