This job has expired

General Engineer

Washington, D.C
Closing date
Oct 7, 2022

As a General Engineer you will perform duties involving basic principles of engineering and will work as a member or leader of a project team in one of Volpe's engineering organizations. Project work varies by division, please visit the following site to learn more about our four technical areas:

• Air Traffic Systems and Operations -
• Infrastructure Systems and Technology -
• Policy, Planning, and Environment -
• Safety Management and Human Factors -

Complexity of duties increases with experience and grade level. Major duties may include:

- Research, interpretation, design, testing, and analysis of transportation products, infrastructure, vehicles, structures, and systems.

- Extracting and processing data using a variety of equipment, instruments, computer software/ hardware, laboratory tests, mathematics, elementary algebra and geometry, basic statistics, and standard formulas of engineering-specific disciplines.

- Applying life-cycle project management skills to develop and manage the operation, scope, schedule, budget, and quality of assigned projects and deliverables.

- Articulating information through methods such as: fact sheets, technical reports, design documentation, discussions, meetings, and briefings or presentations to the project team as well as internal and external stakeholders including Volpe Center management, sponsor representatives, and representatives of other government agencies/industrial groups.

- Traveling to field sites for testing or assignments and performing other related duties, as appropriate. Areas of work may involve: connected and automated vehicle research, hardware/software/network architectures for transportation and safety systems, software development for cybersecurity/building policies, aviation or maritime systems engineering, applied mechanics, finite element analysis techniques, energy use reduction, fire safety/code compliance, occupational safety, transportation infrastructure improvements, automobile/rail crash-worthiness tests and simulation, or highway/transportation engineering (design, construction, materials, survey and mapping, and asset management).

The ideal candidate for this position holds a degree in professional engineering and has a desire to manage complex transportation-related projects. Preferred engineering fields include: general, civil, mechanical, environmental, computer, software, electronics, electrical, systems, architectural, geomatics, construction/industrial, and engineering management. As a federal partner in advancing U.S. DOT initiatives, the Volpe Center draws on its multimodal, multidisciplinary expertise to support U.S. DOT's priorities: Safety, Infrastructure, Innovation and Accountability. You must have superb analytical, communications, leadership, and problem-solving skills and be able to excel in a fast-paced environment.

Volpe is committed to fostering an all-inclusive diverse workforce where employees feel valued for their unique backgrounds and qualities and have a sense of belonging and engagement in helping to advance transportation for the public good.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen & meet specialized experience to qualify
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date
  • Required documents must be submitted by the closing date.
  • Direct Hire Authority will be used to fill this position

  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: This position involves travel. A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
  • PROBATIONARY PERIOD: Applicants may be required to successfully complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
  • FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: GS-13 and GS-14 hires will be required to submit an Annual Financial Disclosure Statement.



(1) All applicants must meet the education requirements under A or B to qualify for applying to an engineering position.

A. Successful completion of a degree in engineering that: (1) has at least one program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET); or (2) that included 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; (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials; and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics; OR

B. Combination of education or training: college level education, training and/or technical experience that has furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering.

The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:
1. Professional registration or licensure - current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), engineer in Training (EIT), or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE).
2. Written Test - Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination, or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
3. Specified academic courses - Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences which included the courses as specified in Paragraph A above.
4. Related curriculum - Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in an appropriate scientific field, e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a bachelor's degree in engineering, provided the applicant had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. There should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering type experience. This must be clearly described in your resume.

For more specifics, please see the OPM qualifications standard for GS-800: All Professional Engineering Positions qualifications at

(2) Upload the appropriate document(s) to your application for verification purposes.

Students enrolled in a qualifying degree program can apply if the anticipated graduation date is within six months of the closing date of this announcement. If selected, the final transcript must be received before your start date. Other applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

(3) Qualifications:

To determine which grade(s) you are eligible for, review the following grade specific details. You will be asked questions as part of your application but make sure to verify how you meet this experience in your resume or you may be deemed ineligible.

To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must (1) meet the Education Requirement for the series, (2) provide a copy of transcripts for verification, AND (3) meet either the education or experience qualifications for the grade at which you are requesting consideration.

To qualify for the GS-11 on Experience, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-09 and it must include:
  • Engineering and completing assigned project tasks.

To qualify for the GS-11 on Education alone, you must have:
3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.
You can also qualify based on a combination of higher level graduate education and experience. This must be fully supported by your resume and transcripts, provided with your application.

To qualify for the GS-12 on Experience, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-11 and it must include:
  • Engineering and project task management.

You cannot qualify on education at the GS-12 level; you must have experience.

To qualify for the GS-13 on Experience, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-12 and it must include:
  • Engineering and leading a project team.

To qualify for the GS-14 on Experience, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-13 and it must include:
  • Engineering and leading a team for large complex projects.

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. Knowledge of the concepts, principles, and theories of engineering and their practical applications.
2. Knowledge of the principles, methods, or tools for developing, scheduling, coordinating, and managing projects and resources, including monitoring and inspecting costs, work, and contractor performance.
3. Ability to understand and interpret written material, including technical material, rules, regulations, instructions, reports, charts, graphs, or tables; applies what is learned from written material to specific situations.
4. Skilled in making clear and convincing oral presentations. Listens effectively; clarifies information as needed.
5. Ability to use imagination to develop new insights into situations and applies new solutions to problems; designs new methods where established methods and procedures are not suitable or are unavailable.

For all types of consideration, 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 positions, please click on the following link:

Students enrolled in a qualifying degree program can apply if the anticipated graduation date is within six months of closing date of the announcement. Graduation transcript must be received before start date.

Other applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


See Qualifications section for Mandatory Education Requirements.

Additional information

COVID VACCINATION: If selected, you will be required to provide information regarding your COVID-19 vaccination status for the purposes of implementing workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

This announcement may be used to fill additional positions if similar vacancies occur within 90 days of the issue date of the referral certificate.

This is a Direct Hire Public Notice for General Engineer positions and applicants may be referred as vacancies become available.

Promotion Potential: Career ladder promotion potential varies by agency and position
The full performance level for the GS-11 is 12.
The full performance level for the GS-12 is 12.
The full performance level for the GS-13 is 13.
The full performance level for the GS-14 is 14.

PLEASE NOTE: Current Volpe employees with duty stations other than Cambridge, MA may apply for this position and may remain in their current duty station, if selected. Salary will be adjusted in accordance with the locality pay of the specific area. Salaries for areas are available on the OPM website:

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