Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael T. Rehg, PhD


Turnover of the Air Force civil engineering (CE) officers is becoming increasingly important, as levels of CE Captains consistently decreases. Allen and Katz (1986) identified three career orientations of engineers based on their job preference-project, professional, and management engineers. Shepard (1958) suggested a dual-ladder promotion system to meet the cancer desires of technical and management workers. Additional research has proposed "desired" Human Resource Management (HRM) practices to facilitate the retention of each type of career-based engineer (Lee and Maurer, 1997). In an effort to determine if these career orientations, along with Air Force HRM practices, were linked to declining retention, a survey was sent to 927 CE company grade officers (CGO) to measure these and other variables of interest including career satisfaction, perceived organizational support and participant's intent to remain in the Air Force. Results of the analysis revealed 50 percent of respondents were management oriented, 37 percent were project oriented, and 13 percent professional oriented. Management oriented CE officers reported higher levels of career satisfaction and intent to remain in the Air Force than the other two orientations. Additional findings suggest that career orientation and HRM practices are important considerations for improving the retention of Air Force CE CGOs.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



The author's Vita page is omitted.