Civil Engineering Career Jobs in the Air Force

What’s up, everybody? Today we’re talking about the civil engineering career field in the air force. So I’ve got my friend Khadijah here, and she is going to talk to us about her experiences as an active duty civil engineering officer in the air force. What civil engineering does and what you might be able to expect and common questions that you might have about joining that career field yourself. So let’s get to it. All right, so, Khadijah, tell us about the civil engineering career field.

What do you do? So what CE does for the air force is we mainly maintain the base when you’re at home station, but we also are prepared to repair the Runway in case of an attack. So maintaining the base, there’s a lot that kind of goes into that one, the day to day maintaining of the base, which is, like, if there’s any HVAC issues or if there’s any structural road repairs, anything like that, really, that keeps the base going so everyone else can do their mission. That’s what seating does.

All right, so what’s your primary job, and what does an average day look like for you?

So I’m in the engineering flight. It’s one of these six flights. So we have ops, engineering, installation management, fire Eod, which is explosive ordinance disposal, and emergency management. So, in engineering, what we do is we plan and prepare for the future. It’s a lot of developing projects. You’ll see construction going on that all falls under the engineering flight. And so, for a typical day for me, I am in the office a lot. It’s a lot of programming on the computer just to really define the requirements and kind of get the projects going. But, yes, a day to day for me is I am in the office quite a bit. I’m not quite outside, like you might expect a civil engineer to do.

And how much do you get to interact with other engineers?

Quite a bit. Especially currently, now that we’re deployed, our design team is completely contracted out, so we work with them closely while they’re developing our projects, while they’re designing them, kind of putting the packages together, I get to work hand in hand with our civils, our mechanical engineers. It’s been a really great opportunity. But a home station is the same setup as well. A lot of CE is contracted out, so our designers and such are civilians. And so I get a lot of input, and I can really bounce a lot of ideas off the other engineers.

Does the air force offer engineers opportunities to continue their education?

There’s actually quite a lot. So we have this thing that’s called affid, which is like our schoolhouse. So you can take classes throughout the year. For those ones. Like, currently I’m taking the intro to mechanical systems class. And that really just kind of, though I’m CE, I’m actually mechanical through school. That one is really just kind of refreshing. My mechanical skills that I learned. But they have a lot of civil courses, mechanical things, really the information that you would need to know to help maintain the base. You can also get your master’s through CE as well. You can do it as gym, which is like your general engineer management degree. Or if you wanted to go and do future things with CE, you can do like the CI program, which is civilian institute. So that would allow you to go to a school as if you were a civilian, but you’re still with the military, so there’s a lot of options. With me, it’s pretty cool.

All right, so I didn’t mention before, if you haven’t noticed, I am currently deployed and Khadija is here deployed with me. So, Khadija, what is the deployment tempo like for civil engineers?

So our mission home station and deployed, we are still maintaining the base and kind of protecting the base and being able to repair it. I’m at an ACC base back at home, so we deploy pretty often, and it takes a lot of CE folk to maintain the base. So we kind of come almost as like our whole squadron kind of deploys. But yes, our tempo is pretty often. As a lieutenant, I’ll probably deploy twice. A lot of other career fields can’t say the same, but yes, we do.

Deploy quite a lot. So how does the work that you do on deployments compare to the work that you do at home station?

So before I deployed, a lot of people back home would say, like, you’re going to love it. You actually get to do your job when you deploy. I didn’t quite know what they meant. I definitely say it here. Deployed, it’s like, we military, we’re like, we’re job in it. We do what we say that we’re supposed to do. Back home station, it’s really civilian ran. We have a lot of per continuity. We work with civilians really closely. Here, it’s just us. So it’s pretty cool. I’ve gotten to really get hands in and really kind of learn my job more than I did back home. So now I’m going to go back home even more prepared than I left it. So it’s pretty cool.

So do you feel like your work as a civil engineer with the air force would allow you to transition well to a civil engineering job in the civilian sector?

Actually, I do. So even though I am mechanical, I feel like I’ve learned quite a bit of civil material. Just being in CE. A lot of people, as they retire, they transition into project management. And so I’ve got quite a lot of project management experience, and I feel like I could definitely take that with me. Just being able to kind of keep up my class material, kind of continue to further my education. I think that’ll definitely set me up for the future as well.

All right, so we’ve spoken a lot about what you do, but what are the requirements to become a civil engineering officer in the air force?

Civil engineering sounds very misleading. When I first told I was going to be in a civil engineering squadron, I was like, do they know a mechanical? I don’t know anything about civil, but actually, because, like I said, it’s kind of maintaining the base. There’s a lot of systems that go into facilities which we maintain. Basically, the requirements to being a civil engineer officer is you have to have an engineering degree. So that can be civil, electrical, mechanical, any of those, but also an architect degree that will also allow you to be a CE officer.


Who knew, right?

All right, so super big thanks to Khadijah for coming here and speaking with us about your job. I hope this was helpful. If it was, please make sure to hit those, like, and subscribe buttons down below. It is completely free to you, and it does actually help the channel and lets me know that the information that we’re providing is actually useful. So this video is a part of a series that I’ve created where I interview other Air force officers from different career fields. So maybe if you’re interested in joining the Air Force, but you don’t know all of the different opportunities that exist for career fields that you might be able to pursue, or you already know what career field you want to pursue, and you want to be able to hear somebody who is actually in that career field talk about what they do on a day to day basis. This would be a great opportunity for you to get to learn more about the Air force and the jobs that we have. So please make sure to check out that playlist. I’ve also got a ton of other videos on military related topics, so make sure to check out all of the videos in that playlist as well, because all of that information can be super helpful no matter what job you’re in, whether you are officer or enlisted.

I do appreciate your time. I thank you for being here and I’ll see you. Bye.

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