US Army Corps of Engineers
Savannah District Website

Benefits and Incentives

Top 10 Reasons to Join

  1. Having the ability to serve the Nation, the public, and armed forces without having to be in the military.
  2. The work/life balance. It’s very rare to find a true 40 hour a week engineering job. Careers at the Corps of Engineers allow you to spend more time with your family, friends, and things that matter.
  3. The benefit. At the Corps, you’ll get excellent health care options and a 3 part retirement package. You’ll even get to start with 10 paid holidays, 13 days sick leave and 13 vacation days in your very first year!
  4. The opportunity to learn new things, travel, and help people all at once. In the last year or two, Savannah District Corps employees have had the chance to deploy to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Southport NC to work with the army and other federal agencies on Hurricane Disaster Relief efforts.  Supervisors at the Corps of Engineers not only allow these opportunities, they encourage them.
  5. Getting to work on the Nation’s mega projects! These projects are huge in scale (over $100 Million) and of vital importance to our country. We currently have not 1 but 2 in the Savannah District. 
  6. The mobility. You can move to various locations within Georgia and the Carolinas and still be part of the Savannah District Corps of Engineers. If ever needed though, you could continue your career without loosing benefits or experience at 45 other districts covering the entire United States and 91 foreign countries.
  7. The opportunities for continuing your education. The Corps will pay for your Master’s Degree, reimburse you for PE license costs, send you to classroom trainings tailored to your career, bring common industry trainings to you (OSHA 30/ ACI Concrete Testing/ etc) and provide you access to hundreds of online trainings.
  8. The job security. This type of job security is getting rarer and rarer in the highly unpredictable Engineering and Construction field. Working for the Corps of Engineers is one of the most secure jobs you can get!
  9. Getting to work at a field office. You’ll get to see real construction every day at multiple job sites.
  10. The flexibility. It is easy to take leave for yourself and your family when you are sick. It is easy to utilize your vacation time. You can even adjust your working schedule around your family’s needs. It’s very rare to get this kind of flexibility working elsewhere.

Comparison

 

The Corps of Engineers

Private Sector

Work Week

A set 40 Hours per week

Often works much more than 40 hours

Work Hours

Flexible start time between the hours of 6 – 9 AM (working 8 hours accordingly).

Often must start and eat lunch at times convenient for the company

Overtime

If necessary, ALL time over 40 hours is paid and voluntary

Often work over 40 hours per week is required and unpaid

Paid Holidays

10 Paid Federal Holidays

The avg private sector company has 8 paid holidays

Annual Leave (Vacation)

New employees get 13 days per year. After 3 years, employees get 19.5 days and after 15 years get 26 days.

The average American worker receives 10 days of paid vacation per year in the private sector

Sick and Medical Leave

Employees get 13 sick days per year and unused days carry over to following years

The avg private sector company provides 8 paid sick days per year

Promotions

Eligible for competitive promotions after 1 year. Opportunities for promotions are ample after getting a PE license.

Promotion possibilities in the private sector may be few and far between in smaller companies

Non-competitive Raises (Step Increases)

Non-competitive raises are called step increases and occur on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 12th, and 15th anniversaries of your hiring date. This is IN ADDITION TO cost of living increases.

Most private sector companies only give non-competitive raises through cost of living increases.

Alternate Work Schedules

With supervisory approval, our employees may fulfill their 80-hour biweekly work requirement in eight or nine days, vary their daily arrival and departure times, and earn credit hours.

Employers may or may not offer alternative work schedules. Most engineers employed in the manufacturing industry are at the mercy of production schedules and have very little say in their work schedules.

Working Overseas / Voluntary Deployments

USACE employees are eligible for exciting and rewarding assignments all over the world. Deployed employees may be eligible for additional compensation.

Working Overseas in other companies is not always done on a voluntary basis. Even fewer offer additional compensation beyond their usual salary.

Continuing Education/ Master Degree

Employees may compete for paid programs to receive their Master’s degree at no cost to them.

While some companies do sponsor paid master degree programs, many are on a cost reimbursement basis.

Medical Insurance

Many Options including Consumer-Driven High Deductible, Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) or Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).   The Government pays for approximately 70% of the total FEHB premium.

Most private sector companies offer fewer choices at higher premiums. Many times the only option is a high deductible health plan.

Dental & Vision Insurance

Our employees have many options for each through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

Most private sector companies offer a lot fewer options (if any) at higher premiums

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) / Health Savings Account (HSA)

FSA – Set aside a pre-taxed portion of your salary to pay for health care or dependent care expenses. Saves you ~25 – 40%

HSA is most common- Employees deposit all or a portion of the deductible (from a high deductible plan) into an HSA to cover costs until the deductible is met.

Long Term Care

employees are eligible to purchase Federal Long Term Care Insurance coverage for themselves and/or eligible family members to provide financial relief should they require lengthy or lifelong assistance with activities of daily living.

Typically only larger employers, generally those with 500 or more employees, offer traditional group long term care insurance policies.

Retirement

Our employees accrue a retirement benefit of 1% of their annual salary for every year of service.  This is typically a 30 – 45% pension IN ADDITION TO the employee’s Social Security Retirement and TSP savings!

Most employers do not provide any additional retirement benefits beyond a 401(k) plan.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan that offers our employees the same type of savings and tax benefits as 401(k) plans. USACE automatically matches your contributions on the first 5% of your pay.

Most companies offer a 401(k) plan that allows employees to invest a portion of their salary before taxes are taken out.

49% of employers do not match employee contributions. 41% of employers match between 0-6% of salary. 10% match a percentage of employee contributions at 6% or more of salary.