Job Overview


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is responsible for ensuring safety of the Nation's passenger and freight rail operations and infrastructure by promoting safe, efficient and accessible rail transportation. The mission and focus of FRA has grown to include the design and management of an unprecedented investment in the creation of a nationwide passenger rail network. FRA is providing leadership for the creation of a more balanced transportation system, transforming the way Americans travel.

You will be responsible for providing technical, analytical, and scientific support to agency policy makers and other management decision makers in regards to the research and evaluations programs to reduce accidents, injuries, and deaths related to human error in railroad operations and railroad systems designs.  You will identify, develop,  and recommend programs  to evaluate the utilization, impact, and effectiveness of human factors related to safety initiatives.  You will also help determine the cost and benefits of these initiatives.

This position would be perfect for an experienced professional that is a mission-focused self- starter with exposure to human factors research programs that involve the testing and evaluation of safety within the railroad system, and who wants to be a key innovator during a period of significant safety change in transportation.

This position is located in Washington, DC.  If selected for the position, you will be eligible for Regular or Ad Hoc Telework, per management discussion and approval.


As the Engineering Psychologist, you will be responsible for:

  • Applying professional judgment and  evaluation skills to initiate, develop,  and coordinate human factors research, development, demonstration, test, and evaluation projects and programs to address the development of advanced concepts for railroad equipment, vehicles operating practices, and systems designs
  • Conducting research and development investigations covering theoretical design of analysis methods and procedures for evaluating human factors issues and operating practices for conventional and high speed train operations.
  • Applying and/or adapting the principles of several disciplines, such as psychology, industrial psychology, ergonomics, physiology and engineering and the principles of automatic data processing, statistical analysis and technology transfer, and making recommendations to formulate appropriate projects to address railroad problems.
  • Participating and/or conducting technical discussions within the Department, and with other Government agencies, universities, foreign government agencies, and the railroad industry, as required.
  • Serving as a member on intra-agency and inter-agency panels, and on Government panels or boards, furnishing advice and representation in your specialized field.