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Professional Development Program

Program Details

Career Development

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Professional Development Program (PDP) provides entry-level career development where participants learn and apply skills to advance the Nation's transportation program. The program offers opportunities in many career disciplines.

Discipline Options

Several options are offered in the Professional Development Program. Each option has a different specialty that can be matched with participants' educational background, skills, and interests. Options include:

Program Structure

The FHWA Professional Development Program is 24 months in duration and consists of the following components:

  • Training and on-the-job experience of the highest professional caliber.
    • A sponsoring Office can be a Division, Headquarters Office, or a Federal Lands Highway Division Office.

  • Planned career development
    • Participants enter the Professional Development Program at the grade GS-5, GS-7 or GS-9, depending upon educational degree and GPA.
    • Promotion to the next grade depends on satisfactory performance in each assignment while meeting time-in-grade OPM regulations.

  • Professional Development Academy
    • Through a variety of courses and seminars, the Academy will provide participants the foundation knowledge from which they will develop the professional, communication and interpersonal skills that are needed by all FHWA professionals.

Program Requirement

Candidates selected for the Professional Development Program must be willing to maintain geographic mobility while on the program. Participants are assigned to FHWA field offices around the country. Upon completing the program, participants are permanently placed based primarily on agency need. During their career, FHWA employees have opportunities to apply for FHWA positions nationwide.


Photograph of Maggie Duncan-Augustt

"The PDP has not only provided a new career for me, the program has also given me the opportunity to learn, grow and excel. Not only am I looking forward to completing my second year in the PDP, but I am also looking forward to a wonderful career with FHWA."

- Maggie Duncan-Augustt, Right of Way Specialist

Page last modified on April 1, 2019
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000