A career field is a group of functionally related positions under a single agent for life cycle personnel management purposes. All positions within Army are in an identified career field. The Army Personnel Proponent System AR 600-3 is the regulation covering career fields. AR 600-3 is an integrated civilian and military system. Personnel proponents manage career fields. They take the lead in defining developmental needs, refining requirements in the field and providing assistance to improve all aspects of the personnel management system. There are 46 civilian career fields (includes career programs). The same career field could include General Schedule professional, administrative, technical and clerical positions, Non-Appropriated Funded positions and Wage Grade positions. Some of the actions taken by personnel proponents for civilians within their career fields are as follows:
- Recommend new classification standards
- Develop recruitment strategies
- Develop Army Civilian Training, Education and Development System (ACTEDS) Plans ACTEDS Plans for career programs and career fields.
- Establish career progression patterns
Within some career fields, the Army has established civilian career programs AR-690-950 Army Regulation 690-950; Career Mgmt. A career program is comprised of occupational series and functional fields grouped together on the basis of population, occupational structure, grade range, and commonality of job and qualification characteristics. Career programs were established to ensure there is an adequate base of qualified and trained professional, technical, and administrative personnel to meet Army's current and future needs. The system does this through effective career program leadership, identified progression levels, recruitment, central referral, and career development. There are 23 civilian career programs displayed.