From Humble Beginnings

As the 20th century dawned, W. A. Bechtel packed up his family—his wife, Clara; their two children, Warren Jr., and Stephen; and his younger brother, Arthur—and headed west.

“I arrived,” W. A. recalled, “with a wife, two babies, a slide trombone, and a 10-dollar bill.” 

In 1902, out of work and nearly out of money, W.A. Bechtel had a chance encounter with a manager for Southern Pacific, who gave him a job and started Bechtel on his journey.

Learn more about our history.

Today, five generations of family leadership later, Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and project management companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that create long-term progress and economic growth.

While our expertise ensures delivery, ongoing collaboration is critical to long-term success. By aligning our capabilities to our customer’s goals, we help them create industry and economies; improve access to energy and resources; connect citizens to vital services; and make the world a safer and cleaner place. 

Since 1898, we have been the trusted partner of industry and governments worldwide, helping them deliver more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents. We serve the Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations.

Core to Bechtel are our values – ethics, safety, quality, people, culture, relationships, innovation and sustainability, and our covenants – integrity, respect, collaboration, trust, and delivery. They are what we believe, what customers can expect, and how we deliver. 

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Who Is Bechtel: An Interactive History

Learn about the people and the projects that have shaped the company.

Photo Credit: Joanne S. Lawton

Washington Business Journal

Bechtel moved its headquarters to Reston, Va., and is the new goliath in town. Photo Credit: Joanne S. Lawton, WBJ Staff.

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Fortune Magazine

Meet the private company that has changed the face of the world.

Bechtel Alumni?

Past or present Bechtel employee?  Join the Bechtel Alumni Network.

Safety, quality, ethics and sustainability

Bechtel is built upon time-tested values of excellence and integrity. This means working to the highest ethical standards and being measured by the enduring quality of our projects. Year after year we are among the safest companies in our industry.

We are committed to leaving a legacy of progress by developing local skills for sustained economic opportunity and volunteering our time and talent to the communities where we work.

Our expertise

  • Infrastructure

    Aviation, civil, communications, rail, and power.

  • Defense and Nuclear Security

    Chemical weapons disassembly and destruction, critical infrastructure, facilities operations and management, supply chain management, U.S. naval programs

  • Environmental Cleanup and Management

    Cleanup and remediation, decontamination and decommissioning, waste processing and disposal

  • Mining & Metals

    Coal; ferrous, nonferrous, and industrial metals; metal forming and finishing.

  • Oil, Gas & Chemicals

    Liquefied natural gas, offshore oil and gas, onshore oil and gas, petrochemicals, pipelines

  • Power

    Nuclear, renewables, thermal, transmission, combined cycle and hydro.

Resources