Navy Construction Mechanic – NOS H120

Keeping Equipment in Top Condition

Two Navy construction mechanics working with machinery
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PH3 Jennifer Rivera / U.S. Navy

The Navy uses a lot of heavy equipment, both aboard ships and on-shore facilities. The job of Navy construction mechanics (CM) is to keep this equipment in top condition. 

Construction mechanics (NOS H120) repair and maintain the Navy's heavy construction and automotive equipment including, buses, dump trucks, bulldozers, rollers, cranes, backhoes, pile drivers and tactical vehicles. CMs also prepare detailed maintenance records and cost control data and acquire parts.

Navy Construction Mechanic Duties

Like their civilian counterparts, these mechanics maintain and repair tires, batteries, brakes, and valves; conduct shop management functions such as maintenance scheduling and spare parts inventory control; and estimate labor, material and equipment needs.

CMs are also responsible for diagnosing and troubleshooting equipment failures; repairing and maintaining diesel and gasoline engines; and adjusting and repairing ignition, fuel, electrical, hydraulic and steering systems. They're also tasked with maintaining and repairing chassis, frames, and bodies, working with hoisting and jacking equipment, power tools, measuring instruments, gauges and meters and lubricating equipment.

Working Environment for Navy Construction Mechanics

Many construction mechanics perform in an automotive garage environment, and some work in the field to maintain equipment. People in this rating usually work closely with others under close supervision and perform both physical and mental tasks. Their many different duties may be performed in climates ranging from tropical to arctic.

Training for Construction Mechanics in the Navy

All new Navy recruits attend basic training, or boot camp, at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, north of Chicago. Construction mechanics then attend 89 days of technical school, which the Navy calls "A-school," at Port Hueneme, California.

After completion of "A" school, Navy construction mechanics can expect an assignment to one of a few places. These include a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) in Port Hueneme or Gulfport, Mississippi; or an Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) in Coronado, California or Little Creek, Virginia.

These NMCBs operate on a rotating basis, averaging seven months in home port and seven months deployed to locations such as Spain, Puerto Rico or Guam. "Seabees," as members of the construction battalion are known, receive additional specialized combat and construction skills training during homeport duty.

Qualifying as a Navy Construction Mechanic

You'll need a combined score of 158 on the arithmetic (AR), mechanical comprehension (MC) and auto and shop information (AS) sections of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. There's no Department of Defense security clearance required for this rating, but it does carry a five-year enlistment obligation. 

As with all military jobs, advancement opportunity and career progression in the Navy are directly linked to a rating's manning level (so, personnel in undermanned ratings have greater promotion opportunity than those in overmanned ratings).

Sea/Shore Rotation for Navy Construction Mechanics

  • First Sea Tour: 54 months
  • First Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Second Sea Tour: 54 months
  • Second Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Third Sea Tour: 42 months
  • Third Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Fourth Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Forth Shore Tour: 36 months

Sea tours and shore tours for sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 months ashore until retirement.