Lakewood, CO, United States
Sep 14, 2023
Oct 14, 2023
Full Time

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.

We anticipate the internships to start in May and June 2024.


Are you ready to start your career in a Federal Agency that consistently ranks high as a best place to work? Do you want to make a difference designing and overseeing construction of roads, bridges, and trails in National Parks, Forests, Wildlife Refuges, and Recreation Areas?

Since the early 1900's our mission at the Office of Federal Lands Highway (FLH) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been to build safe, reliable, equitable, and resilient access to our Nation's treasures! Our partners rely upon us to solve and manage unique program and project challenges that are wide-ranging in environment, geography, and complexity, through engineering solutions that are sensitive to the context of the land. For more information, visit We Work Where You Play!

The interns will be assigned to the Central Federal Lands Highway Division, which covers 14 central and western states including Hawaii. The work will primarily be completed in the office, located in Lakewood, CO, with site visits to projects within the area of jurisdiction. Interns will be assigned to one of the following teams: Bridge, Geotechnical, Highway Design, Hydraulics, Pavements/Materials, or Safety. Through this internship, you will gain practical skills and experience in civil engineering that will be the foundation of your career!

The Pathways Student Trainee (Civil Engineering) will intern in one of the following areas:

Bridge Design and Inspection
  • Perform quantities and basic engineering calculations.
  • Operate bridge inspection equipment, take and record data, develop sketches and prepares required reports.
  • Perform structures inventory at sites and evaluate data.
  • Use Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to prepare bridge plan sheets.
  • Assist in development and review of Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) packages.

  • 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.
  • Assist in development and review of Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) packages.

  • Perform Hydrologic and Hydraulic design calculations.
  • Assist in developing drainage design.
  • Prepare technical reports and cost estimates.
  • Assist in development and review of Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) packages.

Highway Design
  • Develop roadway design packages that include horizontal and vertical alignment, superelevation, 3-D modeling of the project, and creation of surfaces.
  • Perform project site visits to review preliminary designs.
  • Create construction plans and quantity calculations using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software.
  • Assist in development and review of Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) packages.

  • Prepare design and construction recommendations for new and rehabilitation pavement projects.
  • Conduct pavement field investigations.
  • Log in samples, prepare samples for testing, monitor testing procedures, and record data of materials such as concrete, soils, asphalt, and roadway aggregates.
  • Retrieve and compile data.
  • Research past mix designs and compile comparison data.
  • Assist in development and review of Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) packages.

  • Perform safety calculations.
  • Perform project site visits to review highway safety.
  • Research safety countermeasures and provide recommendations to Highway Design.
  • Assist in development and review of Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) packages.

Project Delivery Support
  • Duties include a variety of activities in Project Delivery.
  • Review technical civil engineering project design documents and submittals, identify civil engineering problems and provide recommendations for corrective actions.
  • Update GIS maps and figures for research tasks.

The ideal candidates are current students pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering, or related engineering fields, who have the desire to learn about the design and construction of highways and bridges.


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 age
  • Required documents must be submitted by the closing date.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date

PATHWAYS 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.
  • Be able to work at least 16 hours per week, depending on your academic schedule, and preferably full-time during the summer.
  • 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;
  • Must 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.

For more information on the Pathways Program, please visit:

  • 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.
  • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: You will be required to complete a background/security investigation and meet preliminary requirements prior to onboarding.
  • DECLARATION FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT: Selectee is required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine suitability for federal employment.
  • TRIAL PERIOD: The intern is in a trial period throughout the entire Pathways Internship appointment.
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
  • DRIVER'S LICENSE: Applicants are required to possess and maintain a valid, State-issued Driver's license and a safe driving record.
  • WORK SCHEDULE: The trainee must be available to work varied schedules, particularly throughout contractor multi-shift construction periods, including weekends, evenings and night work, as dictated by the contractor's work schedule.


Please be sure that you have read and meet the Pathways program requirements under the Requirements section. Then, to further meet the minimum qualifications for this position, review the following education requirements and grade specific requirements to determine full eligibility before applying:


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.

You then 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 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 Clarification:
  • 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.

You may use 2023/2024 in-progress semester/quarter hours to qualify for a higher grade level. Qualifications will be determined based on completed and in-progress hours stated on your unofficial transcript submitted at the time of application. To be qualifying, you must successfully complete and receive credit for the courses and provide an updated official transcript before you enter on duty.

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. (Internships are anticipated to start in May and June 2024.)


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 vacancy announcement for Student Trainee (Civil Engineer), GS-0899-2/3/4/5. Given our continuing need for Interns, we will routinely review applications and refer the top candidates for potential interviews during the open period of the announcement. Review and referral of applications will be completed on an as needed basis with the initial review occurring 15 days after the opening date (9/28/23).

This is an Excepted Service Appointment. This is an Excepted Service appointment. As a part of the Pathways Internship Program, the appointment may be extended until the selectee's educational program requirements have been completed. The student intern may be converted, without a break in service to a term (time-limited) or permanent appointment upon graduation, to a position that has a career ladder targeted up to the GS-12, provided they are a US citizen who has worked at least 640 hours in an appropriate program and receive a favorable recommendation from the supervisor for retention. There is no guarantee of a permanent position following this internship. The selectee is on a trial period while on a Pathways Internship appointment.

Additional Conditions of Employment:
  • 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. Field office work is accomplished in an office setting, typically a trailer type building on or near the project location.
  • PHYSICAL DEMANDS: While performing outdoor fieldwork, walking and climbing in varying types of terrain and some lifting of items, up to 60 pounds, may be necessary.
  • TELEWORK ELIGIBILITY: This position may be eligible for occasional and/or regularly scheduled telework. The number of telework days approved will be determined by your immediate supervisor or manager following the agency's telework policy and guidance. If participating in the telework program, you will be required to sign a telework agreement detailing agency telework policy requirements, working conditions, and expectations for the position.

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


A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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.

You may preview questions for this vacancy.


A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

Required Documents

As a new or existing federal employee, you and your family may have access to a range of benefits. Your benefits depend on the type of position you have - whether you're a permanent, part-time, temporary or an intermittent employee. You may be eligible for the following benefits, however, check with your agency to make sure you're eligible under their policies.

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.

College Transcripts: Required from all applicants who are currently enrolled. Copies of your transcripts which include courses currently in progress (spring 2023 or after). "Unofficial" transcripts are acceptable. (Prior to appointment, an official transcript will be required.)

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 in the upcoming semester. Required from all applicants who have been accepted for enrollment and have not yet attended, therefore do not have a transcript to submit.

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 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.

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.

How to Apply

You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents) no later than 11:59 pm (EST) on the closing date of the announcement.
  • To begin, click the "Apply Online" button on the job announcement posting.
  • Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.
  • You may review your saved application(s) at

If you are having difficulty applying online, please contact the DOT Automated Staffing Office via email at

Agency contact information

Automated Staffing Office





Submit Application and Documents Online
1200 New Jersey Ave SE / HAHR - 50
Washington, District of Columbia 20590
United States

Next steps

You may check your application status by logging into (Select "My USAJOBS" and click "Applications"). When a request for applicants is received from the hiring agency, a Human Resources Specialist will evaluate your application. Referral will be determined based on the documents and information received by your application date. You can update your application at any time, up to the closing date of the announcement. Qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration in veteran's preference order. If you are selected for an interview, the hiring agency will contact you directly.

If you are selected for an interview, the hiring agency will contact you directly. Once the vacancy is closed and all internships are filled, we will notify all applicants of their final status.