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This is a Student Internship position under the Pathways Internship Program.
To qualify, you MUST be a continuing student enrolled or accepted for enrollment for the current/upcoming semesters for the duration of the internship as a condition of employment, taking at least a half-time course load. You will be required to provide documentation to support eligibility. Students may be employed throughout the academic year.
Anticipated starting date of the internship is May/June 2022.


The ideal candidate has a desire to learn about the various aspects of highway and transportation engineering. Majority of candidates will be placed on a construction site in one of the 14 states CFL works in. Salary and living expenses while on the construction project will be paid.

The Pathways Student Trainee (Civil Engineering) will intern in one of the following areas within the various branches:
  • Inspect and test assignments on construction projects.
  • Perform field sampling and test construction materials.
  • Participate in partner meetings.
  • Serve as an instrument operator or rodman on construction survey of projects or monitor contractor stakeout, including staking of centerline, slope staking, drainage staking, structural staking, and setting of grade stakes.
  • Compute and balance quantities.
Highway Design
  • Prepare roadway plans and quantity calculations, title sheets, plan profile sheets, alignment layout, supplementary drawings, earthwork calculations, and pipe and box culvert structure detailing.
  • Compute curves and traverses.
  • Assemble plans, specifications, and estimate (PS&E) documents.
  • Perform basic drafting.
  • Review and summarize technical reports and NEPA documents.
  • Prepare and complete environmental and historic documents.
  • Review environmental impacts of proposed projects.
  • Prepare environmental compliance documentation.
Planning and Programming
  • Collect and assemble data.
  • Assist in preparing damage site assessments and reports for Emergency Relief projects.
  • Prepare environmental compliance documentation.
  • Prepare agreements for projects.
Technical Services
  • Perform duties in the areas of technology development, safety, pavements and materials, and road inventory. Details of assignment to be determined by specific discipline.
  • Assist in Plan, Specifications & Estimates (PS&E) review process for pavement design projects.
  • Prepare design and construction recommendations for new and rehabilitation pavement projects.
  • Perform pavement-testing services.
  • Conduct pavement field investigations.
  • Operate and maintain the Pavement Management System.
Road Inventory Program
  • Coordinate and collect roadway engineering data using computerized and electronic visual equipment in a vehicle that includes video cameras, distance measuring devices, electronic horizontal and vertical slope detectors, electronic rut and roughness indicators, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
  • Analyze entire road systems to be inventoried and devise collection procedures.
  • Log in samples, prepare samples for testing, monitor testing procedures, and record data of materials such as concrete, soils, asphalt, and roadway aggregates.
  • Visually inspect materials and determine sizes to be crushed; lift and handle samples; observe and operate sieve shakers.
  • Retrieve and compile data.
  • Research past mix designs and compile comparison data.
  • Perform geotechnical design calculations and technical reports.
  • Perform project site geological and geotechnical mapping, logging, borehole data and samples; sketch details of test pit investigations; obtain data from geotechnical instrumentation; operate hand tools for field investigations; collect, bag, and label soil and rock samples in preparation for shipping; and perform other geotechnical field assistance.
  • Enter field data into Geotechnical software programs.
  • Perform Hydrologic and Hydraulic design calculations.
  • Assist in developing drainage design and Storm Water Management Plans.
  • Prepare technical reports and cost estimates.
  • Prepare project specifications and review of PS&E packages.
  • Gather project site information, inspect construction, confirm post-construction BMP installation, or identify assets.
  • Review and summarize permits or correspondence from regulatory agencies.
Bridge Design, Management, and Inspection
  • Prepare project specifications and perform design and quality check on PS&E packages.
  • Prepare field assessments, gather information, and perform preliminary scoping of projects.
  • Compile structural analysis and design of concrete, steel, or timber bridge components.
  • Use Microstation CADD to prepare bridge plan sheets.
  • Perform calculations of quantities and basic engineering calculations.
  • Operate bridge inspection equipment, take and record data, develop sketches and prepares required reports.
  • Perform structures inventory and evaluate data
  • Assist survey crew.
  • Perform basic engineering computations using formulas, hand held calculators, and electronic survey equipment.
  • Serve as instrument operator and/or target cube holder on construction survey and/or engineering stakeout of project or assist in monitoring contract stakeout. 
Transportation Operations (Safety and Traffic)
  • Review of PS&E packages on projects involving safety systems and provide for early safety consideration in the planning, design, and construction phases of highway projects.
  • Perform traffic and safety studies including: speed studies, highway operation studies, queuing analysis, traffic calming studies, work zone safety, pedestrian safety, road safety audits, and crash data analysis.

Travel Required

75% or less - Travel will be required for fieldwork assignments. Some assignments may involve extensive travel. Construction project sites may be in very remote locations. While performing outdoor fieldwork, walking and climbing in varying types of terrain and some lifting of items, up to 60 pounds, may be necessary.
Supervisory status
Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

You must be a U.S. Citizen and meet the requirements of the program.You must be at least 16 years of ageRequired documents must be submitted by the closing date.Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing datePATHWAYS ELIGIBILITY - To be eligible for appointment to a position in the DOT Internship Program, throughout the duration of the appointment, an individual must:
  • Be accepted for enrollment or enrolled and seeking a degree or certificate in a qualifying educational institution on a half to full-time basis (as determined by the educational institution).
  • Be seeking a degree that is relevant to this position.
  • Grade qualifications must be met prior to start date.
If selected you: 
  • must sign a Pathways Internship Program Participant Agreement;
  • may be employed throughout the academic year;  
  • must maintain status as a current student;
  • maintain good academic standing, at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 grading scale.
  • must furnish course registration information at the start of each school term; and
  • must provide verification of academic status (transcript) at the end of each academic term.
  • UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP: Must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • DECLARATION FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT: Selectee is required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine suitability for federal employment.
  • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: You will be required to complete a background/security investigation and meet preliminary requirements prior to onboarding.
  • DRIVER'S LICENSE: Applicants are required to possess and maintain a valid, State-issued Driver’s license and a safe driving record.
  • TRIAL PERIOD: The intern is in a trial period throughout the entire Pathways Internship appointment.
  • PHYSICAL LOCATION: Intern will be required to work onsite unless COVID-19 restrictions mandate change.
  • WORKING CONDITIONS: Fieldwork is accomplished at the project site where you may be exposed to high noise levels, hazardous chemicals, and varying weather terrain conditions. And, regular and recurring exposure to outdoor conditions involving moderate exposure to rain, snow, cold/hot weather, icy streams, and rivers.
  • WORK SCHEDULE: Some assignments will require varied schedules, i.e. weekends, evenings and night work. Work is full-time during the summer and part-time flexible, or Leave without Pay, during the school year (based on agency needs).


Applicants must be pursuing a degree in professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; OR (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.
 To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must meet the education requirements for each grade which you are requesting consideration for: 
  • GS-02 - Completion of high school or GED diploma.
  • GS-03 - Completion of one academic year of post-high school study.
  • GS-04 - Completion of two academic years of post-high school study or an associate's degree.
  • GS-05 - Completion of four academic years of post-high school study leading to a bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree.
Academic Year: At the undergraduate level, 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours is comparable to 1 year of undergraduate education. When academic credit is expressed in units or other terms that differ from conventional semester or quarter hours, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide an interpretation of such credits from the institution.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:
  1. Civil Engineering - Knowledge of the concepts, principles, theories, and methods required to plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain facilities such as pavements, bridges, culverts, and tunnels.
  2. Communication - Includes: Written and oral communication; Partnering/negotiating; Interpersonal skills; and Teamwork.
  3. Learning - Uses efficient learning techniques to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills; uses training, feedback, or other opportunities for self-learning and development.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

For additional information about applying to Federal Pathways Internship Positions, please click on the following link:
Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the start of the internship.  


Refer to the Qualifications section for Mandatory Education Requirements specific to this series, and the Requirements section for information pertaining to the Pathways Internship Program.

Additional information

PLEASE NOTE: This announcement establishes an open continuous (3 month) vacancy announcement for Student Trainee (Civil Engineering), GS-0899-2/3/4/5.
The position is headquartered in a FHWA Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD) office. Assignments may be performed at any of the CFLHD projects located in the Central states.
This is an Excepted Service Appointment for an initial period expected to last for more than 1-year.  As a part of the Pathways Internship Program, the appointment may be extended until the selectee's projected graduation date, plus 120 days. Upon graduation, depending on the qualifications and the Agency’s need the student intern may be converted without a break in service to a term (time-limited) or permanent appointment, to a position that has a career ladder target up to the GS-12, provided they are a US citizen who has worked at least 640 hours in an appropriate program and has received a favorable recommendation from the supervisor for retention. There is no guarantee of a permanent position following this internship. Selectee is on a trial period while on a Pathways Internship appointment. 
This vacancy may be used by any DOT agency to fill similar positions within 90 days.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/ application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level. 
Once you complete and submit your application package, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements for the job. Qualified students will be referred to the hiring manager in unranked order by veteran preference status: (1) Preference eligible having a compensable, service-connected disability of 10 percent or more; (2) all other candidates eligible for 10-point veteran preference; (3) candidates eligible for 5-point veteran preference; and (4) candidates not eligible for veteran preference.
You will not be considered for the position if any part of the application or supporting documentation is incomplete. Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for not hiring you or adverse action after hiring.

To preview questions please click here.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Trust determination process

Required Documents

A USAJobs built resume is required to apply

ALL Applicants must provide a resume that fully supports the required specialized experience and was created within USA Jobs Resume Builder and respond to the vacancy questions by the closing date of the vacancy. Formatted resumes can be uploaded when you arrive at the DOT application system. For assistance with the resume builder, please visit:
The following is a list of documents that are only required based on the type of position and consideration for which you are applying. Please review each of the following sections to determine which, if any, additional documents you need to provide with your application.

Completed Questionnaire.
Acceptance Letter of Enrollment: A letter from the educational institution that confirms the following: The degree/diploma program in which you have been accepted and that you will be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. Required from all applicants who have been accepted for enrollment and have not yet attended, therefore do not have a transcript to submit.
College Transcripts: Copies of your transcripts which include courses currently in progress. “Unofficial” transcripts are acceptable. (Prior to appointment, an official transcript will be required.) Required from all applicants who are currently enrolled. 
Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - click here. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. 
VETERANS: Your last DD214 (member 4 copy), Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility. It need not be official.
  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214 (member-4 copy).
  • If you are claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) (, you need to provide a copy of your last DD214 (member-4 copy), which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement, and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.
Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system.  You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.