If you’re a talented developer or designer, you’re getting a lot of offers. But you need a serious challenge. And we’re pretty sure you won’t find anything as serious as this.
We know what you’re thinking: a government job? It's probably the last thing you had in mind. What on earth would you do here? Amazing things, that’s what.
The CFPB Design+Technology Fellowship is a two-year program for developers, graphic designers, and UX pros to help us build a new government agency.
Join us, and you will be given an opportunity to help create a dream technology environment for a new organization. In the process, you’ll improve the lives of millions of Americans. Maybe you’re just out of college and you are looking to sharpen your skills. Or maybe you want a break from building widgets and want to spend some time making things that really matter.
Either way, you’ll never have another opportunity like this.
How it works
You will spend your first few months in close contact with the Technology group here at our headquarters across from the White House. These months will be a crash course in CFPB’s missions and the Technology team’s design and development process. You’ll then be paired with a non-technical office and will gain an in-depth understanding of their particular mission.
After immersion, you can work from a location of your choice.
There, you will design and build products that help your partners advance their mission. Though remote, you will be in daily contact with your teammates, the Technology team, and your non-technical partners.
You may be occasionally asked to return to DC to meet with your colleagues face-to-face.
It's a chance to reconnect, broaden your network, and find opportunities for collaborating with other teams.
What you’ll do here
The mission of the CFPB is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans. The CFPB relies on intense collaboration between the technology team and our expert staff. You’ll play a critical role in achieving our mission by experimenting, designing solutions to problems, and making ideas happen. The opportunities to contribute are limitless, and may include:
- Providing market insight: Are foreclosures up? Are credit card debts reaching a tipping point? What's driving student loan defaults? As a CFPB Design+Technology Fellow, you will work side-by-side with economists and researchers to spot trends in the marketplace. You will build visualizations that distill complex data into graphics that impact decision-making. And you will create tools for our public web site that explain complex issues in ways that everyday people can understand.
- Bringing regulatory examination into the digital age: The CFPB employs hundreds of examiners who monitor the practices of thousands of consumer financial institutions. It's important that they do that job well. They need the best tools possible. You can help build them for us.
- Assisting consumers directly: Our consumer response team solves real problems for people in difficult financial situations with few places to turn. Help us help consumers.
- Enabling consumers to make informed decisions: People need fair, unbiased, and understandable information about their finances. Design the tools and disclosures that millions of people rely upon to make financial choices.
- Streamlining government: Help ensure all of the above goes smoothly by building tools that make the Bureau more efficient and more transparent. Publish our budget and procurement data so the whole country can see our books. Improve the FOIA process so that citizens have increased access to information. Build a developer community around our APIs. Design systems that allow CFPB staff to communicate and collaborate more effectively. And do all of this on a common platform that lets us easily share these tools with the rest of the federal government.
How to apply
- Click the link for the position you are interested in:
Back-end web developer | Front-end web developer | UX designer | Graphic designer
NOTE: You may apply to any and all positions; each position’s applicant pool will be reviewed independently of the others.
- You will be taken to USAJobs.gov, which will ask you to create an account. While viewing the job announcement, be sure to scroll down and pay special attention to the “How You Will Be Evaluated” section.
- Click the “Apply Online” button for the job or jobs you are interested in.
- Upload your résumé (or select one that you have previously uploaded).
NOTE: In order to be considered for any position, your résumé must clearly indicate that you have the equivalent of at least one year of professional experience in the given field.
After clicking the “Apply for this position now!” button, you’ll be taken to another web site called Career Connector.
- Click the green button that says “Apply to this vacancy.” You’ll be asked a series of questions about your qualifications.
- Eligibility questions: If you are unsure what about the question regarding “non-competitive appointments,” choose No.
- Series: Check the box for 2210-Information Technology Specialist.
- Grade: If you are unsure whether you would like to be considered for Grade 51 or 52, you may choose both; this pertains to your experience and impacts your salary.
- Location: You may select both Washington and home duty without affecting your application.
- Required documents: Many of these documents, including the cover letter, are actually optional. The only required documents are those that prove your privileged hiring status. If you are unaware of any such status, you don't have to provide those documents.
- Please be sure to submit 3–5 of your best work samples as part of the process, and follow the instructions in the application carefully.
- Once you have finished applying, you should receive an email verification.
Once the application window closes, a panel of experts will review your application and evaluate you based on your résumé and work samples. This process will take several weeks because we want to thoroughly and fairly evaluate each of you.
Next, we will contact you to let you know whether you have been selected for an interview. The interviews will take place in DC or over the phone. After the interviews, we will contact all candidates to let you know whether we have chosen to extend you an offer.
Thanks again for your interest, and good luck!
Frequently asked questions
What is a CFPB Design+Technology Fellowship?
It is a two-year program for software developers and designers to work alongside public servants, improve the work of a vital government agency, help millions of Americans, and secure the nation's economy.
You’ll spend your first few months in Washington, DC learning the basics of the CFPB’s mission and technical infrastructure. You’ll partner with other tech fellows who complement your skills. You and your new teammates will then immerse yourselves in a particular mission and forge partnerships with that mission’s key staff.
Once immersed, you and your teammates may work from a location of your choice. During this time, you will remain in close, daily contact with the rest of the technology team and with your mission partners. Your job will be to improve your mission partners’ work with great technology. If you are working remotely, you will return to DC occasionally to meet in person with other technology team members and mission partners.
What skills are you looking for?
We’re looking for back-end and front-end web developers, UX designers, and graphic designers.
But more than that, we’re looking for people who are curious, can communicate well with non-technical people, and are passionate about solving problems. We are looking for people who take things apart and put them back together simply because they love learning new things.
What will the average day be like?
Maybe you’ll work side-by-side with an economist, helping spot trends in the marketplace. Maybe you’ll redesign forms and disclosures so that they are easier for the public to understand. Or maybe you’ll help maintain the CFPB’s API catalog, working with outside developers to make the most of our public data.
Some projects will be one-off visualizations. Others will be fundamental Bureau tools that will persist for years after you are gone. It all depends on your skills, interests, and the needs of your non-technical partners throughout the Bureau.
You will likely spend a lot of time working directly with non-technical CFPB staff, learning the finer points of their work to help you build better tools for them. Intellectual curiosity and good communication are an essential part of this job. You’ll also spend a lot of time with your cohorts and with the rest of the technology team.
What tools will I use?
Developers: We are a Mac–, Linux–, Python–, and WordPress-friendly shop. We use GitHub Enterprise to manage all of our code. We love automated testing and continuous integration, so we use Selenium and Jenkins as well.
Designers: We use the latest Adobe Creative Suite, as well as GitHub to manage prototypes, feedback, and bugs.
What if I don’t know how to use those tools? Can I still apply?
If you are a developer, you will have to develop using Python or WordPress for Linux servers using a Mac. But we are open to applicants with other backgrounds. If you’re one of those people who loves to learn new languages and picks them up very easily, we want to hear from you.
If you are a designer, you will need to use Adobe CS in order to share files and collaborate. We are always open to learning about new tools though, so if you have something to recommend, we would love to hear about it.
Are there any other requirements?
You must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident to be considered.
Will anyone see my work?
Yes. Per our source code policy, we intend to share every line of operational code with the public. If you join us, your work will not be hidden behind the walls of a bureaucracy.
What will I be paid?
Salaries at the CFPB vary based on which city you work from. If you work in DC, your salary will fall somewhere between $53,500 and $123,250, depending on experience.
What if I have more questions?
Feel free to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.