USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Opportunities for Students and Recent Graduates

Join Our Team: Click Here To View All Current Openings

Don’t See What You’re Looking For? Join Our Talent Community To Stay Updated On Future Opportunities.

Meet With Us

qr code

Career entry and student employment programs enable students to obtain job experience in their field of interest and engage in public service. Most of our student interns have the opportunity to work on one of our construction job sites located across the country, while some work in one of the Federal Lands Highway Division offices located in Ashburn, Virginia; Lakewood, Colorado; and Vancouver, Washington.

Interns on a construction field trip
Arlington Memorial Bridge Reconstruction Field Trip, Washington DC

Through the Pathways Program, the Division offices hire college students majoring in Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering Management, Geomatics (Surveying) Engineering, Environmental Engineering, etc. to fill short-term staffing needs. This program is a mechanism for recruitment into entry-level positions within FLH. The program provides an excellent opportunity for on-the-job experience, preparing the student for potential future consideration for employment with the Federal Highway Administration and the transportation industry.

Eligibility Requirements

Current students must be U.S. Citizens in an accredited college (including 4-year colleges/universities, community colleges, and junior colleges); advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.

Add Career Development Program

Our Career Development Program (CDP) is a two-year rotational program that offers an unparalleled experience designed to equip you with hands-on skills and training, while refining your interests for a well-rounded professional journey across disciplines within Civil Engineering. This opportunity is open to recent graduates

Each year, the CDP is open to graduating students as an entry-level position and open to applicants who have graduated from a qualifying educational institution within the previous two years. Applications for this role typically open September through December.

Upon joining, you'll be paired with a dedicated coach who will serve as your mentor throughout the program, ensuring a personalized experience tailored to your professional goals. For 6 months, you'll be immersed in the heart of our projects within your division’s states. Here, you'll support our project engineers and field staff, gaining invaluable insights into the construction of roads, trails, and bridges while enjoying per diem for lodging and meals. The remaining 18 months will be spent at your home office, where you'll delve into the intricacies of highway design. You'll spend 6 months dedicated to our Highway Design branch, contributing to the creation of reliable and resilient roadways and trails. Following this, you'll rotate for 12-months through various office teams, including Bridge, Environment, Geotechnical, Hydraulics, Pavements/Materials, Planning, Programming, or Safety. Upon completing the comprehensive two-year program, you'll transition to a permanent role within the Construction Branch, Highway Design Branch, or another area aligned with both the needs of Federal Lands Highway and your individual career interests.

The salary for this role in 2023 ranged: $41,757 - $82,249 per year.

Internship

Construction Internship

Our Construction Internship offers an unparalleled experience designed to equip you with hands-on skills and training necessary to learn about the design and construction of highways, trails, and bridges. This opportunity is open to students first years through seniors and the application period for this role is typically September through December.

In this role you will:

  • Inspect construction activities on active construction projects.
  • Perform field sampling and test construction materials.
  • Participate in partner and construction 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.
  • The salary for this role in 2023 ranged: $28,880 - $57,198 per year

Office Internship

Our Office Internship offers an unparalleled experience designed to equip you with hands-on skills and training necessary to learn about the design and construction of highways, trails, and bridges. This opportunity is open to students first years through seniors and the application period for this role is typically September through December.

Work will primarily be completed in your designated home office with potential for site visits to projects in the region. Interns will be assigned to one of the following teams: Bridge, Geotechnical, Highway Design, Hydraulics, Pavements/Materials, or Safety.

  • The salary for this role in 2023 ranged: $32,109 - $57,198 per year

Employee Testimony

  • “To me, the most rewarding part of working at Central Federal Lands are the people and the purpose. Across the board, Central Federal Lands employees are so enjoyable and honestly fun to work with. There’s usually some form of banter going on, people embrace a positive attitude even during difficult projects and the openness to learn, share and collaborate with each other permeates each discipline. As a young engineer I am compassed by an environment where people will take the time to teach me, answer my questions and value my presence on the team. Secondly, I am very motivated by the fact that I am funded by the American Public and am directly giving back to them in a way that feels meaningful. As alluded to in earlier questions, I do feel passionate about creating accessibility to the nation’s federal lands. Being a part of a team that directly impacts this goal makes me feel fulfilled as a person, citizen, and engineer” - Melanie Macioce, CDP

Features of the Program

  • You may be employed year-round and appointments may be made at any time during the year, including summer.
  • You may work full-time or part-time schedules. You can adjust your work hours to fit your schedule, without exceeding 40 hours per week. Your work schedule should not interfere with your academic schedule.
  • Students in the program may be non-competitively converted to a career or career-conditional appointment when they have:
  • Completed at least 640 hours of career-related work
  • Completed the educational requirements for graduation
  • Received a positive performance evaluation and recommendation from the office in which they worked as an Intern.

Interns are assigned under many different disciplines based on their focus area and the needs of the division office. Assignments may include travel throughout the U.S. These Disciplines include: 

Employee Testimony

  • “After 18 years in consulting, I finally made the leap for the benefits like career development, training, and temporary rotational assignments. This makes it appealing for those who want to switch it up a bit or get exposure to other areas without having to make a jump in companies.” - Tammy Eggers, Project Manager
  • "The most rewarding part about working at CFLHD are the opportunities I have to collaborate with different disciplines and to work in unique places. In my first 6 months I already traveled to Arches National Park, Devil's Tower, Northern California, and Montana." - William Yager, PDP
  • "The Federal Government offers developmental opportunities, along with a good work-life balance. Working with the Federal Government provides outstanding perks that go beyond the average, including paid time off, holidays, retirement benefits, and comprehensive healthcare plans. Remarkably, I was able to access all these benefits even as an intern! Plus, interns on construction sites receive housing and daily meal reimbursements." - Caleb Woodward, Intern & CDP (Arizona State University)