12B MOS Civilian Jobs

Army combat engineers (12B) have specific skills applicable to the civilian career force, including construction, demolition, safety, and heavy equipment operation. 12B veterans can review these career options to help them make an informed professional decision.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Construction Laborers $33,430 12% Construction tools and equipment; explosives handling and demolition; manual dexterity, arm-hand steadiness, physical stamina and strength
Civil Engineering Technicians $49,980 9% Experience building bridges and infrastructure; terrain management; clerical, observational, problem-solving
Construction and Building Inspectors $58,480 10% Construction safety and problem sensitivity; analytical, communicative, detail-oriented
Architects $76,930 4% Construction and technical design skills; experience drafting blueprints; analytical, creative, communicative, organizational
Construction Managers $89,300 11% Construction management and coordination; leadership and decision making

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Relevance to Military Background

Combat engineers (12B) are experts in surviving and mobilizing through difficult terrain in combat territory. They are responsible for creating or clearing obstacles, including planting explosives and detecting mines. They also construct bridges and other infrastructure as needed to manage terrain. Former service members can apply these same skills to careers primarily in the fields of civil engineering, construction, and architecture.

Construction Laborers

Construction laborers and Army combat engineers are exposed to strenuous physical work in some of the same ways. Both occupations enjoy working outdoors in hazardous areas while using hand and power tools. Construction laborers prepare work sites, follow construction plans, operate machinery, clean up hazardous materials, and direct nearby vehicle traffic. Like combat engineers, these professionals also work with explosives as they are used to carve trenches or tunnels underground. Interested candidates only need a high school diploma and on-the-job training to qualify for a position in this field.

Civil Engineering Technicians

Civil engineering technicians focus more on the planning and design of construction projects. Similar to the 12B MOS Army position, these professionals assist with building bridges as well as highways and other infrastructure. Both may survey and manage terrain. Civil engineering technicians work on commercial and residential assignments from an office and travel to on-site locations to perform tests or supervise projects. Daily tasks may generally involve reviewing blueprints, illustrating diagrams, testing building materials, recording progress points, verifying construction costs, and receiving instructions from licensed engineers or supervisors leading the project. In this industry, workers are expected to have an associate degree in civil engineering technology.

Construction and Building Inspectors

Construction and building inspectors share some similar safety-related skills with combat engineers. Combat engineers detect mines and survey hazardous terrain; building inspectors survey buildings, highways, bridges, and dams to make sure they are safe and in compliance with construction regulations. The combat engineer's experience installing wire firing systems could also help them identify electrical safety issues and fire hazards in buildings. Construction and building inspectors also ensure project plans meet contract agreements, verify building specifications, investigate the structural quality of a building or installation, and keep a record of inspections. Employers usually require individuals in this line of work to have a high school education and hands-on work experience in construction.


Architects design public and private facilities, including the electrical and communication systems within them. While combat engineers design outdoor obstacles used for combat, architects design aesthetically-pleasing residential homes, business buildings, and theaters. Architects are licensed professionals that have earned a bachelor's degree, gained internship experience, and passed the Architect Registration Examination. For the most part, these designers consult with clients at a company or at-home office. Their job includes discussing project expectations with clients, assisting technicians with computer-based designs, setting up a budget plan, creating contracts with construction workers, supervising architectural progress, and following state ordinances and safety laws.

Construction Managers

Construction managers supervise construction projects in the same way combat engineers may in the Army. Construction managers organize and direct the construction operations of a new facility or structure. They plan project activities, estimate project budgets, keep clients informed, hire subcontractors, follow local building laws, monitor construction on-site, and communicate with all types of construction workers, including architects. These particular managers usually need a bachelor's degree in a related industry such as engineering, construction management, or architecture. However, those with experience and a high school diploma may become self-employed.

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