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Career Growth and Development

Four adults of varying age engaged in casual conversation in a modern training room


Being responsible for the safety of a million passengers a day is the type of mission that demands only the most highly trained professionals. That is why the FAA takes great care to provide all of our employees with the training and instruction they need to remain at the forefront of their position areas. From air traffic controllers and inspectors to IT professionals and security, all FAA employees are required to maintain current certifications and standards in their respective fields.

Much of this training is done through the FAA Academy, a fully accredited civil aviation institution located in Oklahoma City, OK. It provides technical and managerial training and development for our workforce, with some courses open to the general public, government agencies, industry and international civil aviation partners. College credit is available for certain courses. Areas of focus include:

  • Air Traffic Training
  • Airports & International Training
  • Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) Training
  • Security and Hazardous Materials Training
  • Aircraft Certification

Visit the FAA Academy to learn more about training and how it could help shape your FAA career.

Program for Emerging Leaders

The FAA Program for Emerging Leaders (PEL) is a leadership development program designed to build a pipeline of highly qualified FAA employees who can successfully fill future leadership positions. The 18-month program consists of several core components together with individualized activities aligned to your career goals. These include developing an individual leadership development plan (ILDP), online leadership and management courses, seminars at the Center for Management and Executive Leadership, detail and shadowing assignment and a group project. You'll also have regular feedback sessions and interactions with a higher level mentor. All full-time non-supervisory FAA employees are eligible for PEL.


Employees throughout all position areas and grade levels working at FAA Headquarters can benefit from participating in our agency-wide FAA Mentoring Program. Both mentors and mentees are encouraged to apply for the program and work to meet their goals through enhanced individual development and increased knowledge of the FAA.

Whether you are new to FAA or a seasoned veteran, the FAA Mentoring Program can provide you with:

  • Cross-organizational information and a support network that increases the opportunity for insight, learning and growth
  • Mentee-mentor relationships that offer the mentees a mirror for insight and assistance with their personal and professional path
  • Activities that develop and/or improve competencies, skills and abilities of program participants
  • Awareness of career planning processes and tools for implementing a meaningful goal-oriented career development plan
  • Better understanding of the FAA, its organizational structure, and the agency culture

Senior Leadership Development Program

The Senior Leadership Development Program (SLDP) is an agency-wide program that helps FAA senior managers sharpen their leadership skills. The program is part of FAA's "succession management" process that projects executive staffing requirements and then addresses those needs through various retention, recruitment and development strategies.

This 18- to 24-month program consists mainly of core components and other related development activities. Individual development plans include and take into account your individual career goals and objectives.

Core SLDP components include:

  • Structured assessments and feedback
  • Professional coaching
  • Creating and implementing an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
  • Workshops
  • External education course

It is critical to us that our senior leadership is among the strongest in the Federal government and able to serve as the guiding force as we enter into the next generation of civil aviation.

How We Do It

Ensuring the safety and efficiency of air travel requires a workforce skilled in developing and operating the most advanced next-generation technology available.

More about how we do it

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