PATHWAYS RECENT GRADUATE (PDP) - Financial Specialist Job

Vacancy No. FHWA.HAD-2024-0062 Department Federal Highway Administration
Salary $49,025.00 to $91,582.00 Grade 07 to 09
Perm/Temp Temporary FT/PT Full-time
Open Date 4/24/2024 Close Date 7/22/2024
Job Link Apply Online Who may apply Public
Juneau, AKMontgomery, ALLittle Rock, ARPhoenix, AZ

Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)


Under the DOT Recent Graduates Program, this position in the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Professional Development Program (PDP) provides up to 24 months of entry-level career development training for participants to learn and apply technical skills to advance the Nation's highway program. Participants matriculate through assignments with seasoned professionals (PDP coaches) as apprentices through mentored on-the-job training in the finance field.

This job is open to

Clarification from the agency

Opportunities under this Pathways vacancy are only open to eligible Recent Graduates who have graduated, within the past two years, from a qualifying educational institution or certificate program. Veterans have up to six years from degree completion to apply if there was a military service obligation. For additional information please visit: This is not a Bargaining unit position.


FHWA's PDP is an entry-level/new employee program designed to introduce participants to the technical, administrative, and program management aspects of administering the Federal-aid Highway and Federal Lands Highway Programs. The PDP is up to 24-months of entry-level career development training for participants to learn and apply technical skills to advance.

The Federal-aid Highway Program supports state highway systems by providing financial assistance for the construction, maintenance, and operations of the nation's 3.9 million-mile highway network. This includes the Interstate Highway System as well as primary highways and secondary, local roads. FHWA is charged with implementing the Federal-aid Highway Program in cooperation with state and local governments.

The mission of the Federal Lands Program is to improve transportation to and within Federal and Tribal Lands by providing technical services to the highway/transportation community as well as building accessible and scenic roads that ensure the many national treasures within our nation's Federal Lands can be enjoyed by all.

As a newly-hired recent graduate serving as a Financial Specialist in the PDP, you will:

  • Complete three major components: on-the-job training, developmental assignments, and several required training activities.
  • Immerse in experiential learning in both FHWA’s Federal-aid and Federal Lands Highway Division Offices, where you will receive on-the-job training through a structured set of learning experiences described in a development plan. 
  • Act as a technical resource on FHWA procedures and guidance on Federal laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and directives related to finance considerations applicable to the Federal Aid Highway Program or Federal Lands Program in the following areas: funding advice and guidance, financial management improvements, project funds management, audit resolution, and innovative finance.
  • Participate with other Federal agencies and State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) on pertinent financial management concerns relative to highway issues, with the goal of advancing Federal Aid and Federal Lands programs and projects.
  • Work with the Finance Manager to implement and conduct financial management system reviews and evaluations of the DOTs, local governments, and other Federal Agencies.
  • Assist in the approval of reimbursement claims, project agreement modifications, advance construction conversions, and conducting the final review and approval of final project claims.
  • Participate on interdisciplinary team reviews or activities, work groups, and task forces to address project or program issues or to ensure implementation of the financial management program.

The ideal candidate should have between 0 to 5 years of experience, be mobile and willing to travel to remote locations for extended periods of time and be able to work independently and in a team environment.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen and meet Pathways Recent Graduate requirements.
  • Review Required Documents Section as documents are required by closing date
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.


  • have obtained a qualifying associates, bachelors, master's, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution, within the previous 2 years unless military service interfered with a veteran’s eligibility to apply during that 2 year time frame. Veterans meeting the above exclusion may apply within 2 years of discharge or 6 years from the date of receipt of the degree whichever comes first;
  • provide required documentation to verify degree has been, or will be, completed prior to appointment; AND
  • meet the basic qualification standards outlined under the Qualifications section for this series and grade level.

If selected, you: 

  • must sign a Pathways Recent Graduate Program Participant Agreement;
  • will serve on an excepted service appointment for at least the 24-month trial period; 
  • will enter a formal training program with a mentor and execute an Individual Development Plan outlining training requirements and program expectations;
  • must be provided at least 40 hours of interactive training, directly linked to your employment field, within 45 days of appointment;
  • will be assigned a mentor within 90 days of appointment;
  • will be evaluated for conversion to a term or permanent appointment in the competitive service at the end of two years.


  • 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: A background security investigation is required for all selected individuals. Appointment will be subject to the applicant’s successful completion of the security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.
  • PCS/RELOCATION/RECRUITMENT: Permanent Change of Station (PCS), Relocation, and Recruitment Incentive authorization varies by position/selection and a service agreement may be required.
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
  • TRIAL PERIOD: The recent graduate is in a trial period throughout the entire Pathways Recent Graduate/FHWA PDP appointment.


Please be sure that you have read and meet the following mandatory requirements before proceeding:

  • DOT Pathways Recent Graduate Program requirements (outlined under the Requirements section).

For more information on the Pathways Program, please visit:

You must provide a copy of ALL of your college/vocational/technical transcript(s). See  "Required Documents" section for additional information.

Note that current 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. Graduation transcript must be received before start date. Other applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

If the above has been met, then review the following grade specific experience and/or education qualifications to determine if you meet full eligibility before applying:

For the GS-07:

On Experience, you must have at least one year of experience, equal or equivalent to the GS-05 grade levelwhich included:

  • Experience with participating in financial management state systems and processes.

Or on Education, you must have at least 1 year of graduate-level education (above a bachelor's) OR superior academic achievement* at the baccalaureate level.

  • *Superior Academic Achievement is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership. (In order to be creditable under this provision, superior academic achievement must have been gained in a curriculum that is qualifying for the position to be filled.)
    • 1. Class standing -- Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.
    • 2. Grade-point average (G.P.A.) -- Applicants must have a grade-point average of: 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum.

You can also have a combination of graduate education and experience.  This must be fully supported by your resume and transcripts, provided with your application.

For the GS-09:

On Experience, you must have at least one year of experience, equal or equivalent to the GS-07 grade levelwhich included:

  • Experience with participating in financial management state systems and processes.

Or on Education, you must have at least 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or have been awarded a master's or equivalent graduate degree. Such education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

You can also have a combination of graduate education and experience.  This must be fully supported by your resume and transcripts, provided with your application.

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. Principles of Finance - Knowledge of the basic principles, practices, and methods of financial management, including requisitions, apportionments, allotments, investments, fiscal management, activity reporting, and fiscal year guidelines.
  2. Written Communication - Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience.
  3. Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal clues, and responds appropriately.

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

Additional information

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 requires the applicant selected for this position to submit a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) within 30 days of appointment and annually thereafter.

MOBILITY AGREEMENT: Appointees will be required to sign a Mobility Agreement. If you decline a position due to geographic location, you will receive no further consideration under this announcement. This agreement states that in order to be placed in the program, or upon graduation from the program, you may be assigned to any location, within the Agency and that you will move to the new duty location. Failure to relocate can be used as the basis for non- selection and failure to relocate after completion of the program can be the basis for your termination from the Federal service.

SERVICE AGREEMENT: Appointees will be required to sign an agreement to continue in service upon completion of the Professional Development Program and serve in the agency for two times the length of the training period (approximately 24 months).

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.

RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE: Recruitment incentive may be considered.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: This announcement establishes an open continuous (90 day) announcement. Review and referral of applications will be completed on an as needed basis with the initial review occurring 14 days from the opening date.

Also note that approval to fill these positions will vary by location. It is possible that some locations listed will not receive approval to hire during the open period of this vacancy. There is no guarantee that applying under this vacancy will result in a referral.

When a location request is received, applicants that selected consideration for that location will be reviewed to determine if they meet (1) the DOT Pathways Recent Graduate Program requirements, and then (2) the grade specific qualifications (education and/or specialized experience requirements per requested grade). Applicants must meet all outlined requirements.

All answers provided in the on-line process must be substantiated by a resume. If, upon review, it is determined that your resume and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be removed from consideration.

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.

Ultimately, the Automated Staffing Office is responsible for determining an applicant's eligibility. All applications that are verified to meet all of the requirements will be referred to the selecting official.

Applicants will not be rated or ranked. Qualified Recent Graduates 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.

If you are selected you will not receive additional consideration under this announcement.

You may preview questions for this vacancy.

Required Documents

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. 


TRANSCRIPT(S) ARE REQUIRED FROM ALL APPLICANTS: You must submit a transcript with your application to verify eligibility under the DOT Pathways Recent Graduate Program, and also to verify grade requirements if using education to qualify. The transcript may be an unofficial transcript at the time of application, but must show that you meet the stated education requirements, including specific major or class requirements. However, you will need to provide an official transcript before you are given a final job offer.

  • Foreign Education: If your education was completed or is from foreign colleges or universities, to meet the qualification requirements you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

VETERANS: Veterans who were precluded from applying to Pathways vacancies due to their military service obligation must submit documentation that confirms the period of active duty that kept them from applying during the typical 2-year eligibility period. The date of release or discharge from active duty should be later than the date the degree or certificate was obtained. Eligibility for these veterans cannot exceed 6 years from the date on which the degree or certificate was obtained. 

  • If you wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your 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 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.  A SF-15 is desired, but not required.
  • Include your qualifying transcript.

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 (EST) on the closing date of the announcement. Only complete applications will be considered for the early cut-off's.  

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
Learn more about this agency

Next steps

You may check your application status by logging into (Select "My USAJOBS" and click "Applications"). When a location request for applicants is submitted, 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 thereafter, 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. Once the announcement is closed, we will notify all applicants.

Note: We cannot accept applications on behalf of Federal Agencies. Application instructions are listed within the Job Description.