army technical engineer specialist - mos 12t

Army Technical Engineer Specialist (MOS 12T)

Army Technical Engineer Specialists (MOS 12T) work along other military roles at construction sites.

The Army Technical Engineer Specialist is in charge of the operation or participates in other ways to make sure the site is surveyed, plans are drafted, or a technical investigation is conducted.

Army Technical Engineer Specialists MOS 12T are more on the planning and development side of construction projects as opposed to Army Horizontal Construction Engineers (12M) that are equipment operators.

Related ArticleArmy MOS List: A List Of All 159 Army Jobs

Education, Qualifications,Training and Duty Stations

technical engineer army
Army Technical Engineer Specialists (MOS 12T) are responsible for surveying land and creating construction plans. Image:

The perception that all members of the U.S. Army are infantryman is not entirely accurate.

There are several Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) like MOS 12T which handle critical Army construction projects.

An Army Technical Engineer Specialist is instrumental in creating land surveys and maps to make sure a construction project is performed smoothly and with optimal efficiency.


Are you considering joining the U.S. Army?

The first step is to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

The Army will also check your high school transcripts to make sure you obtained credits for at least two years of math (including algebra) as well as general science.

Then, you need to complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

In order to become an Army Technical Engineer Specialist you need to score a minimum of Skilled Technical (ST): 101.


An Army Technical Engineer Specialist (MOS 12T) needs to have normal color vision.

The Army also suggests that those interested in MOS 12T demonstrate the ability to convert abstract ideas into comprehensive drawings or maps.

You will deal a lot with construction maps so already having an interest in creating them is a bonus.

It also helps to already have a background in CAD software though not mandatory beforehand.

Those that excel at math subjects like algebra, geometry, and trigonometry generally do very well as an Army Technical Engineer Specialist (MOS 12T).


New Army recruits begin Basic Combat Training for 10 weeks.

Then they progress to Advanced Individual Training related to their MOS.

MOS 12T requires 17 weeks of Advanced Individual Training which is a combination of classroom learning and in the field training.

Army Technical Engineer Specialists receive AIT training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

The training makes sure you have the understanding and ability to survey land and create construction drafts.

Furthermore, you will learn how to interpret aerial photography as well as study principles of architectural and structural drawing.

Duty Stations

Those serving in the Army as an MOS 12T can expect to be potentially based at one of the following duty stations:

Inside the Continental US (CONUS)
  • Ft. Belvoir, VA
  • Ft. Benning, GA
  • Ft. Bliss, TX
  • Ft. Bragg, NC
  • Ft. Campbell, KY
  • Ft. Carson, CO
  • Ft. Drum, NY
  • Ft. Hood, TX
  • Ft. Knox, KY
  • Ft. Leonard Wood, MO
  • Ft. Lewis, WA
  • Ft. Polk, LA
  • Ft. Riley, KS
  • Ft. Stewart, GA
Outside the Continental US (OCONUS)
  • Ft. Richardson, AK
  • Ft. Wainwright, AK
  • Grafenwoehr, Germany
  • Schofield, HI
  • Vicenza, Italy

What does an Army Technical Engineer Specialist Do?

army mos 12t
Army Technical Engineer Specialists learn how to use advanced CAD systems to build construction plans. Image:

Army Technical Engineer Specialists are involved with the construction site from the early days.

Army Technical Engineer Specialist participates in the development of the construction site with a focus on surveying, drafting, and creating construction plans and specs.

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Construction Field Tests

Army Technical Engineer Specialists (MOS 12T) have the ability to perform field and lab tests on construction materials.

They are involved in creating the construction area by surveying the land and creating drafts from it.

Consequently, MOS 12T are talented and skilled with the creation of maps and charts.

Army Technical Engineer Specialists have the knowledge to offer technical support related to operations.

Land Surveying

Land surveying is a primary duty of MOS 12T.

Army Technical Engineer Specialists conduct geodetic and construction surveys and results.

Automated Integrated Survey instruments and Global Positioning Survey Technology allow service members to conduct these surveys.

Construction Plans

After field and lab tests are completed the next step in a construction phase is to draft plans.

Army Technical Engineer Specialists create topographic maps and charts with the assistance of Computer Aided Drafting (CAD).

In addition to drawings and maps, MOS 12T may also build scale models of land areas that present details like hills, roads, buildings, and bodies of water.

Construction Site Supervision

Army Technical Engineer Specialists (MOS 12T) are called to supervise the development on an Army construction site.

There is also the need to provide technical support for horizontal and vertical construction projects as they are in development.

MOS 12T may also draw diagrams to assist electricians, plumbers, or other types of construction trades.

What does an Army Technical Engineer Specialist make?

army 12t engineer
There are many benefits to becoming MOS 12T, including a positive job outlook after leaving the military. Image: Army Joint Base

The U.S. Army keeps things equal for pay, regardless of the Military Occupation Specialty (MOS).

Instead, pay is determined based on Army rank (see table) and years of service.

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviationMinimum Monthly Pay
E-1 +4 monthsPrivatePVT$1,917.60
E-2Private Second ClassPV2$2,149.20
army e 3 insignia - pfcE-3Private First ClassPFC$2,259.90
army e 4 insignia - specialistE-4SpecialistSPC$2,503.50
army e 4 insignia - corporalE-4CorporalCPL$2,503.50
e-6E-6Staff SergeantSSG$2,980.50
E-7Sergeant First Class SFC$3,445.80
army master sergeant iconE-8Master SergeantMSG$4,957.20
E-8First Sergeant 1SG$4,957.20
E-9Sergeant MajorSGM$6,055.50
E-9Command Sergeant MajorCSM$6,055.50
e 9 sergeant major of the army insigniaE-9Sergeant Major of the ArmySMA$6,055.50


There are multiple incentives to join the U.S. Army outside of a monthly salary. Here is what else you can expect to receive working 12T MOS:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Vacation Time
  • Retirement
  • Special Pay
  • Housing: Allowances for living expenses, utilities, and maintenance.
  • Food: Allowance for the on-base dining hall and access to tax-free department and grocery stores
  • Education: Army members can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus annual stipend for living expenses.

Job Reviews

The job reviews posted on popular career sites like and are favorable for an Army Technical Engineer Specialist.

It is often an avenue and means for people that cannot afford attending college on their own, or need some guidance, to receive it through the U.S. Military. One reviewer summarized it well:

Service members that worked MOS 12T love the fact that the U.S. Army pays to cover training on sophisticated CAD systems and software.

You also attain complete land surveying experience with Automated Integrated Survey instruments and Global Positioning Survey Technology.

These types of skills will serve you well for lucrative architectural and engineering jobs in the civilian world after military retirement.

Though most MOS 12T love their occupation in the military there are common complaints about long hours, demanding work, and lack of time to see family and friends.

These are all common struggles of service members in any MOS, or any branch of service.

Civilian Job Opportunities

Army Technical Engineer Specialists (MOS 12T) are prepared for a series of occupations after leaving the U.S. Military.

What helps is that MOS 12T are already trained in CAD and have real world experience with other highly technical systems.

As a result, you can consider everything from general construction to architecture to engineering.

The U.S. Army recommends that you consider joining the Army PaYS program.

The recruitment option guarantees interviews with “military-friend” employers like Hewlett-Packard Company, Sears Holdings Corporation, and AT&T.

Related ArticleArmy APFT Test Standards For Males and Females


Army Technical Engineer Specialists (MOS 12T) are important to surveying and creating plans for new construction sites.

The knowledge and experience you gain with CAD systems and surveying equipment will prepare you well for a career outside the military once you get discharged.



Zach B.
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