Skillbridge Program at HPTC

Two people carry a heavy door inside a workshop.
Come learn valuable traditional trades skills while working side-by-side with NPS employees.

NPS / Skyler DeYoung

What is the Skillbridge Program?

The Department of Defense’s SkillBridge Program is an opportunity for military service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service.

This Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) serves a critical role in training NPS staff and interns in trade skills and historic preservation techniques. SkillBridge participants at HPTC work alongside either masonry, wood-crafting, and carpentry preservation crews to practice traditional trade skills and contribute to assigned historic preservation projects. Training curriculum relies heavily on hands-on, on-the-job training with other formal learning opportunities incorporated as available.

The skills learned throughout HPTC's SkillBridge program can be applied to a wide variety of career fields, including historic preservation, facility operations, and construction. Examples of relevant job titles may include maintenance worker, maintenance mechanic, and masonry worker.

Who Should Apply?

Target Occupations

  • BU: Builder
  • SW: Steelworker
  • Other related positions to carpentry, masonry, and general construction

Required Eligibility Factors

  • Moderate to heavy physical effort is required for this position, including:
    • occasional lifting or handling of objects over 75lbs using proper techniques;
    • standing or kneeling for long periods; climbing ladders;
    • working from scaffolding or platforms;
    • working on uneven or angled surfaces such as a roof;
    • ability to work in confined spaces;
    • ability to stoop, bend, kneel, climb and walk in all manners of environmental conditions such as rain, mud, and extreme heat or cold.
  • Be able to relocate to Frederick, Maryland.
  • Be able to commit to a minimum term of 20 weeks.
  • Personal transportation will be required to report to job site.

Desired Qualities/Abilities

  • A career interest in building trade skills and historic preservation
  • Background in construction and/or preservation trades (e.g. carpentry, woodworking, masonry)
  • Is comfortable working outside in varying weather conditions and at heights
  • Have a willingness to work hard and get dirty
  • Have a serious attitude toward safety all day, every day
  • Have the ability to think critically and creatively
  • Have positive attitude
  • Have ability to communicate effectively
  • Flexibility to work outside of traditional hours may be required
  • Desire to travel for one or weeks at a time, at times with short notice

How to apply

SkillBridge applications will be considered on a year-round basis depending on the needs of HPTC project crews, with the majority of positions beginning in the spring or summer. Opportunities beginning in the fall or winter will be limited. Interested candidates are encouraged to complete an application to be considered for opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You are responsible for finding housing near and securing transportation to and from the Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederick, MD. Sometimes nearby bases can provide housing as available – talk to your DOD skillbridge contact or reach out to nearby bases to learn about your options. 
You will likely be required to travel to one or more national park sites with HPTC crews to complete projects during your position.

Questions?

Please contact us at HPTC_Skillbridge@nps.gov.

For more information, visit the Skillbridge Program for Deparment of the Interior and the National Park Service.

Last updated: January 30, 2022