Army Job: 12T Technical Engineer

Army construction projects need technical engineers

Soldiers from the 310th Multi-Role Bridge Company work alongside engineers from the British Army
••• Texas Military Department

An Army Technical Engineer has a more lengthy training period than a lot of other military jobs because there's an immense amount of highly technical information these soldiers need to learn. This role is responsible for overseeing construction site development, which includes surveying, drafting and creating construction plans and specs. 

Military occupational specialty (MOS) 12T, as this job is categorized, conducts land surveys and makes maps. It's a key role in any Army construction project. 

Duties of MOS 12T

Some of the more detailed responsibilities of this job include performing field and lab tests on construction materials, surveys and drafts, drawing topographical maps and charts using CAD (computer-aided drafting) systems and software, and drawing diagrams for electrical wiring and plumbing in structures.

These soldiers provide technical support for both horizontal and vertical Army construction projects and use GPS technology to conduct geodetic and construction surveys. They also build scale models to assist with the planning of construction projects. 

You might be a good fit for this role if you:

  • Can convert abstract ideas into comprehensive maps or drawings
  • Have an interest and talent for creating maps and charts to explain information
  • Know how to use CAD programs
  • Have an interest in and affinity for algebra, geometry, and trigonometry

Training for Army Technical Engineers

If you choose this MOS, you'll spend the requisite ten weeks in Basic Combat Training (otherwise known as boot camp), and 17 weeks at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for Advanced Individual Training (AIT). As with all Army jobs, training will be divided between classroom instruction and on-the-job training. 

Your training will ensure you know surveying and drafting techniques, how to interpret aerial photography, and the principles of architectural and structural drawing. 

How to Qualify for MOS 12T

There's no Department of Defense security clearance required for this job, but you'll need a score of at least 101 on the skilled technical area (ST) of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tets. 

Normal color vision is required (so, no colorblindness) and you'll need to demonstrate that you've earned credit for two years of high school math, including algebra, and one year of general science. 

This is not a job for someone who doesn't like working outdoors; you'll spend a lot of time in the field, likely in all kinds of weather. And you'll need to be able to meet the Army's heavy strength requirements. 

Similar Civilian Occupations to MOS 12T

Since you'll be trained on CAD and other highly technical systems, after serving as MOS 12T, you'll be prepared for a host of civilian construction, architecture, and engineering jobs.