A Guide to Developing Construction Inspector Career Path Programs

State departments of transportation (DOTs) are experiencing a shortage of trained, experienced, and credentialed transportation construction inspectors (CIs). For over two decades there has been an attrition of CIs due to retirements and agency downsizing in the post-interstate era of the state DOT workforce. NCHRP Research Report 1027: Guide to Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining Transportation Infrastructure Construction Inspectors identifies 18 factors affecting an agency’s ability to attract and retain skilled and certified CIs. One of the more significant of these factors is the lack of clearly defined career paths for CIs where specific professional development can lead to specific career advancements and opportunities. State DOTs face substantial competition in the hiring and retention of CIs from the vertical construction industry (building) and by private sector contractors, where career opportunities may be better defined and promoted. For many state DOTs, the career advancement opportunities for a CI are unclear and individuals look at inspection positions as a job and not a career. Career paths for CIs should lead to improved staff retention of highly skilled employees with responsibility for safeguarding the quality of state DOT infrastructure during construction, while also providing transferable skills that could be applied to other agency jobs. Research is needed to identify proven practices and strategies for developing career paths that could be adopted by state DOTs to build and retain construction inspection labor pools. The objective of this research is to develop a guide to the development and implementation of career paths for CIs at state DOTs. The guide will lead agencies through a process for selecting from and implementing a range of career path components that would meet their agency’s needs. The guide should provide options that will help state DOTs to tailor career path programs that will attract and retain CIs.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 23-29

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Weeks, Jennifer

  • Start Date: 20240131
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01901383
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 23-29
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 5 2023 9:48AM