Engineering Development Program Information
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation recognizes its dependence on registered professional engineers for the successful execution of its programs. Therefore, we have prepared a development program that emphasizes Professional Engineer registration for our civil engineers.
Normal progression through the Program is as follows:
- First Year: Engineer Trainee I or II
- Second Year: Engineer Intern Level III
- Third Year: Engineer Intern Level IV
- Fourth Year: Engineer Intern Level V
- Professional Engineer
Career progressions are based upon merit and are not automatic. However, if you are diligent and have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering examination, you may expect to progress each year of your first three years. All progressions are geared toward achieving Professional Engineer status. ODOT provides the books and online training needed to prepare you for the PE exam. In addition, the Department will pay tuition for college classes that are job related and considered part of your ongoing professional education.
Engineer Intern Level I or Level II (EI-I or EI-II)
Everyone enters the Engineer Development Program as an Engineer Intern Level I or Level II.
As a newly hired Civil Engineer Intern you begin with the core curriculum of our program. During the first year you will rotate through ten divisions. Examples of some of these divisions and their responsibilities include:
- Bridge Design Division: Composed of two functional areas: (1) Operation - inspects and rates existing bridges and provides technical assistance during construction; and (2) Design – that designs and details final bridge plans for construction. The design of bridges entails both a hydraulic design and structural design. Additional duties for Design include the design and detailing of other highway structures such as retaining walls, sign structures, and roadway drainage structures.
- Environmental Programs Division:Integrates environmental considerations and regulatory requirements into all aspects of the ODOT transportation program. It assists with environmental rules and regulation compliance. The division provides technical expertise in the natural and human environments. This includes obtaining National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation and applicable environmental permits for ODOT projects and activities.
- Field Construction: Administers construction contracts and oversees contractors’ work to ensure quality construction in accordance with plans and specifications. Construction personnel may be involved with preconstruction activities such as plan development, utility relocation, and issues associated with Right-Of-Way clearing and acquisition.
- Maintenance Division: Administers the maintenance of the statewide highway system. This includes allocating funds for routine maintenance and scheduling statewide routine maintenance activities. This division is also responsible for providing operational guidance as well as writing specialized contracts for maintenance activities. It acts as ODOT’s liaison with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Oklahoma Emergency Management Office concerning all emergency events. The Beautification Branch administers several statewide beautification programs. The Central Garage is responsible for maintaining the Central Office fleet.
- Materials & Research Division: Provides quality sampling, testing, analysis, and inspection programs for the transportation industry to ensure that highway materials meet quality and performance standards. The division researches transportation issues and conducts/oversees in-house and contract research projects.
- Right of Way Division: This division acquires and clears right-of-way to construct and maintain projects. Acquiring right-of-way entails title investigation, mapping, appraisal, appraisal review, negotiation, condemnation, residential relocation, and commercial relocation. Clearing right-of-way includes abatement of hazardous materials, demolition, and relocation of utilities that are in conflict with proposed construction.
- Roadway Design Division: Provide the contractors and ODOT construction personnel with roadway plans to ensure a safe and efficient transportation system at the lowest possible long term cost.
- Strategic Assets & Performance Management Division: Performs a variety of functions related to data collection, inventory, mapping coordination with other levels of government, and meeting federal requirements. The division collects data on the condition and design adequacy of the roads and bridges and predicts future conditions and funding needed over the next 20 years. Long-range planning, air quality planning and public involvement meetings are conducted within the division.
- Survey Division: Provides pre-construction surveys for the design divisions, including aerial photography.
- Traffic Engineering Division: Oversees and implements work zone traffic control, highway signing, pavement marking, traffic signals, highway lighting, crash data collection, crash data analysis, safety improvement programs, and product evaluation.
You will be assigned specific tasks in each division, based on curriculum developed by the division. A copy of the division specific plan will be provided to you before each assignment. This is an on-the-job development program and you will perform engineering related work throughout your internship.
You will spend approximately six months of your first year in the Oklahoma City area and approximately five months in the field on Construction, Maintenance, and Survey assignments. However, if you desire a design assignment after rotation an additional three months of field construction is required. The Department pays for travel related costs (lodging, per diem, and mileage at the state rates) during field assignments more than sixty miles from Oklahoma City.
Upon completion of the rotation you will meet with the Engineer Development Council (EDC), a group of Professional Engineers who are responsible for overseeing the Engineer Development Program. They review your progress, approve your area of specialization and assign your duty station. The assignment takes into consideration your preferences and the department’s needs.
Permanent assignments in construction are statewide. Positions in other divisions will be in the Oklahoma City Office. However, our goal is to have two or three engineers in every construction residency in the state. So if you prefer to live in a smaller town, you should request an assignment to one of the residencies.
Engineer Intern Level III
The advanced curriculum normally begins at the Engineer Intern Level III stage. You will be given additional responsibilities and in-depth instruction in your area of specialization. For example, an Engineer Intern in Construction will normally gain three to six months of experience in construction survey, three to six months in construction inspection, one month in all phases of material testing, and one month in estimate preparation, final project documentation and other office procedures.
Engineer Intern Level IV
At this stage, you will be given broader project responsibilities and working on multiple engineering projects as you progress in knowledge, skill, and ability.
Engineer Intern Level V
At this level you will be working on multiple engineering jobs simultaneously. You will also be required to supervise other ODOT employees to gain leadership experience.
The experience gained in the Engineer Development Program will qualify you for the Professional Engineer examination. The purpose of the Program is to develop you into a Professional Engineer and future leader of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
The Professional Engineer assumes tasks bearing high responsibility and engineering expertise.