Professional Development Program (PDP)

Candidates selected for the Professional Development Program are given four years of individually tailored developmental assignments, formal academic schooling, and an extensive "hands-on" field assignment within government or a private company.

In return, employees complete a three-year service commitment, applying the critical skills and the knowledge base they've gained.

Learn more about the DNFSB's mission, organization, policies and operation as you rotate between projects and teams. Initial assignments typically include:

  • Analysis and design
  • Interaction with the Board Members, technical experts at the DNFSB and throughout the defense nuclear complex
  • Mentoring from senior technical staff
  • Participation in defense nuclear site technical reviews

Earn your Master's degree and your full salary! We'll pay tuition at a mutually agreed upon school and course of study. Our employees have earned degrees from MIT, Stanford, Illinois, Cornell, Georgia Tech and Berkeley.

Gain hands-on experience that relates to your field of study or career interests by working at a DOE site or with a private company, national laboratory or other government agency.

After your technical assignment, you'll head back to DC to apply your education and experience as a contributing member of our project teams.

Start Your Career at the DNFSB

Whether you work on a multidisciplinary team, or an independent assignment, your contributions will, in many ways, serve the country. By initiating, planning and implementing policies, procedures and programs that assess whether the Department of Energy's defense nuclear facilities are safely operated, we ensure that there is no undue risk to worker or public health and safety. The work itself demands nothing less than cutting edge knowledge, which will thrive in an environment that places a high premium on continued education and training for all its staff. Fieldwork and travel also keep us sharp and inspired.

Our new graduates are placed in a PDP that guides their careers for four years. You'll rotate between DNFSB projects, develop vital career skills, complete your graduate education and grow your area of expertise.

We're Looking for You

We're looking for people who will excel and grow in our environment and leave their mark on our work. Applicants should be students or recent grads with a professional engineering degree from an accredited school. A 3.5 GPA or higher is preferred. Nuclear experience or coursework is not required. US citizenship is required. All employees will be subject to a thorough background investigation for security clearance purposes.

For the best fit and to make the most of the PDP, we look for candidates with exceptional communications skills, and the ability to make positive contributions to multidisciplinary teams. 
Self-motivation is key.

Benefits at the DNFSB

The DNFSB offers competitive salaries with full government benefits. Our offices are in the heart of Washington, DC, steps away from Smithsonian museums and Capitol Hill.

Our standard benefits include:

  • 13 days paid vacation per year 
(first three years)
  • 20 days paid vacation per year 
(after three years)
  • 26 days paid vacation per year 
(after 15 years)
  • 13 days paid sick leave per year
  • 10 paid Federal holidays
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Public transportation subsidy
  • Educational benefits
  • On-site fitness facility
  • US Public Health Service health facility access
  • Medical coverage paid with pre-tax dollars
  • Life insurance
  • Federal Employees Retirement System with retirement savings and investment plan

Competitive Salaries and Opportunities to Advance

We value the ideas and scientific contributions of our employees. Salaries for PDP candidates start at the DN-I level with eligibility to advance to DN-V level.

  • DN – I - $ 44,971 – $75,116
  • DN – II - $ 68,128 – $96,733
  • DN – III - $ 83,604 – $121,040
  • DN – IV - $106,801 – $165,882
  • DN – V - $150,758 – $168,700

Who We Are

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) was established by Congress in 1988 to provide independent safety oversight of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) defense nuclear facilities. The DNFSB is part of the Executive Branch of the federal government. Our mission is to provide independent analysis, advice, and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy in order to ensure that the health and safety of workers and the public are protected.

The Board is composed of five members, each a recognized expert in the field of nuclear safety, appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Board is supported by a diverse staff of scientific, technical, legal, and administrative personnel.

Make a Career of Making a Difference.

Few jobs make as much of an impression as a career at the DNFSB. As the independent agency charged with overseeing DOE’s defense nuclear facilities, our mission is important and high profile .

Your contribution to our legacy is significant too. Our engineers and scientists are committed to finding innovative answers to some of today 's most important technical challenges. Your education and expertise will make an immediate and lasting impact.

DNFSB will, in tum, leave its mark on you. In four years time, you will have contributed to a wide range of projects, earned your Master's degree, worked side-by-side with leading experts, gained career experience on a leading government or private sector assignment, and been guided by an experienced mentor.

All while simply doing your job!

Mailing Address:

Defense Nuclear Facilities 
Safety Board
Division of Human Resources
Attn: Human Resources
625 Indiana Avenue, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20004