The FAA established the Technical Operations Collegiate Training Partnership (TO-CTP) Program – originally known as Technical Operations Collegiate Training Initiative (TO-CTI) – in 1990. TO-CTP is designed to establish partnerships with higher education institutions for the purpose of recruiting students for potential employment, as well as provide the opportunity for FAA non-technical employees to enter the FAA technical workforce. Curricula have been identified at these TO-CTP Institutions that support positions as Electronics Technicians and Airway Transportation Systems Specialists.

There are three distinct special authorities associated with the program.

  1. TO-CTI special vacancy announcement (direct hire authority). This authority allows Technical Operations to hire in graduate students from approved TO-CTP institutions. Application for employment is submitted via a dedicated TO-CTI graduate vacancy announcement. This announcement is only for graduates from approved TO-CTP schools. TO-CTP graduates are not guaranteed jobs, but the FAA does consider TO-CTP graduates a valuable hiring source.
  2. Pathways. Pathways is a presidential directive that has replaced OPM's Student Career Experience Program. This program relates to internships within Technical Operations. This authority was granted August 1 2012 HRPM EMP 1.30a. Although Pathways covers three special authorities the TO-CTP program is only using the Intern authority.
  3. Upward Mobility (UPMO) – Internal Initiative for FAA employees. This initiative enables FAA employees who do not meet the normal qualification standard for a target or trainee grade position career opportunities for certain employees. This policy was established in 1998 HRPM EMP 1.21.

There are 43 FAA TO-CTP partner institutions. There are 31 institutions that offer the TO-CTP curriculum in their associate degree programs, eight in their bachelor degree programs, and four in both degree programs.

After review by the FAA it is determined that these degrees meet or exceed our entry level educational requirements for Electronic/Electrical competencies identified for the Technical Operations Workforce. The five main competencies reviewed are:

  • Math
  • AC Theory
  • DC Theory
  • Solid State Devices
  • Digital Logic

TO-CTP approved schools

Other Program Requirements

  • The TO-CTP graduate/student(s) must be US citizens.
  • The TO-CTP graduate must be recommended by the school official to be eligible to apply to the Vacancy announcement.
  • The TO-CTP student must apply to the Vacancy announcement and use the job code provide by Aviation Careers to submit their resume to be considered for employment.
  • Successfully pass a background and a security investigation.
  • Successfully complete an interview.

Provided you meet all of the requirements above and have been selected and received a firm offer letter from the Federal Aviation Administration you will report to your new facility to begin your new career.

For questions related to the TO-CTP program, contact Kerry Skofteland at (202) 385-6834 or email

Technical Operations – Behind the Scenes video

A behind-the-scenes look at Technical Operations' contributions to the NAS. Video transcript