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Maryland Department of Transportation
State Highway Administration
Career Service Employees Information

State Highway Administration's Recruitment and Examination Division is responsible for developing tests and generating eligible lists for all classifications, which are unique to SHA. Likewise, the other transportation modals test for their own unique or specific job classifications. In the case that a job class is generic, or in other words, more than one modal utilizes it, it is then usually administered by Headquarters' (MDOT) examination unit.

A. New Opportunities

There are several ways in which to find out about new opportunities at State Highway Administration.

a. The Interest File

Our MDOT Headquarters Recruitment and Examination Division contains lists of individuals who are interested in certain jobs which are not presently on schedule. As a test is put on schedule, MDOT sends notices to all interested potential applicants. The notice informs them of the closing date to file an application; a telephone number of the agency and an address which to send the completed application. Employees who are interested in being placed on one or more lists should call MDOT directly with the following information:

  • job title(s) for which they are interested
  • social security number
  • current mailing address

Once placed on an interest file, it's not a bad idea to periodically check (every 6 months to a year) to make sure your name is still on the list.

b. Information Table and Bulletin Boards

State Highway Administration maintains an information table next to the security desk in the 211 Building (211 E. Madison St.-training facility). This table contains announcements for all current examinations on schedule. In addition, we have set up a courtesy phone, which rings, directly to our Recruitment office. This phone can be found directly next to the information table and will help to assist the customer should they have any questions or concerns.

For those out in the Districts and remote sites (as well as Headquarter Facility and other agencies/modals outside SHA) we send announcements of our current examinations. The announcement contains all-important information that an applicant needs. Some details include: job title, classification code, salary, minimum requirements, substitutions for minimum qualifications and a closing date for applications. Please note applications that are post marked after the stated closing date will not be accepted by the Recruitment office.

c. Other Information Sources

Employment Services Division, Administrative Officers as well as other administrative personnel are good sources for information regarding current testing opportunities, as well as the process in general. Please refer to them or feel free to contact the Recruitment and Examination Division should any questions or concerns arise.

B. Applications.....Applications.....and more Applications

There are basically two types of applications to be concerned with: TSHERS (DTS-1), and Department of Budget and Management (DBAM).

a. DTS-1

This is the only application which is accepted by all transportation modals under the Transportation Service Human Resources (TSHRS) umbrella, including SHA. It is very important that applicants understand the difference between the two types of applications, as we cannot accept DBAM applications. In the case we receive an incorrect application, we will send it back to the applicant.

DTS-1 applications should be completed, including a full and detailed description of work history. Occasionally, applicants state their entire work history under one job description. We advise against this. Many of our applicants have been working in their respective fields for many years. It is very difficult to gain a full understanding of their experience by a short, incomplete application. In the case that an applicant has reported insufficient information, or we cannot ascertain whether or not minimum qualifications have been met, we research and check references in an effort to approve the applicant. However, this takes a lot of time, and results in an unintentional delay in the test process.

b. Department of Budget and Management

This application is used for positions advertised by DBAM. Completed applications should be sent directly to them. State Highway does not process these applications.

Some helpful tips when completing an application:

  • be specific and thorough when describing past job experience; especially when reporting supervisory duties
  • photocopies of applications are acceptable, however, an original signature and date is required
  • faxed copies of applications will not be accepted
  • include your social security number on each page of the application
  • report any changed information (name, address, etc.) to our office as soon as possible

C. Vacancies and Eligibility Lists

Does a scheduled examination mean there is a vacant position?

Not necessarily. It the responsibility of the Recruitment Office to have a list of eligible candidates for each SHA specific job classification should the need arise. An Eligibility List includes all applicants whose applications have been approved and subsequently completed the test. These individuals are placed into one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified and Qualified. Applicants are placed into these categories based on the score they received on the test.

Although it is true applicants placed in the Best Qualified category are generally interviewed first, it is possible for those in other categories to receive interviews as well. Eligibility Lists are usually used for a period of one year, at which point they are either extended or a new list is generated.

D. Minimum Qualifications

Every job classification under the Maryland Department of Transportation has a unique set of minimum qualifications. In order for an application to be approved, the individual must meet these minimum requirements. Minimum qualifications can be found on examination announcements, newspaper announcements or classification specification sheets.

In some cases, exceptions exist by which an applicant can substitute educational requirements such as a college degree (or others) for years of experience. Also applicants who will be meeting min.quals. within 6 months of their dated application, will be approved pending meeting those requirements. It is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to advise the Recruitment office in writing when they meet these requirements.

If your application was disapproved because you did not meet the minimum qualifications, you will be notified in writing by our Recruitment office. You will be given a deadline to respond with additional information about your relevant work history. Your application will then be reviewed again to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications.

E. Test Development and Types of Examinations

As you may have noticed, the types of tests that the Recruitment Office administers has evolved quite a bit over the past few years. Our Employee Specialist are continuously researching and attending training seminars to learn about new and improved methods of testing applicants. Their knowledge and skills is passed onto our customers by developing sound, thorough assessment devices. Some of the types of tests we develop are: qualifications supplements, paper and pencil, oral assessments, technical assessments, in-basket, role-playing exercises, hands-on practical assessments and unassembled exams just to name a few. You may already be familiar with one or all of them!

Of course we could not develop any of our tests without the help of Subject Matter Experts. Known in the Recruitment office as SME's (smeeeees), these are individuals throughout SHA who are resident experts in their field of work. They provide the Specialist with the details of the job (knowledge's, skills and abilities, etc.) that allows them to develop the tests.

F. OK, I took the what?

After the test has been administered, the Recruitment office begins the scoring process. After the scores have been sent out, if an applicant has a question or concern, they may feel free to contact the Recruitment Office. If the applicant would like to come in and review their test materials, arrangements can be made. Its important for applicants to know their strengths and weaknesses, if they wish to improve their scores and/or placement on the list of eligibles in the future. Although our Recruitment office cannot tell the applicants exactly where they are on the eligibility list, they are always happy to provide information to help them score better in the future.

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Revised: June 18, 2008