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Job Descriptions

Principal Civil Engineer


Under general supervision, assists in planning, directing, supervising and coordinating design and construction, contract and engineering activities; to perform a variety of difficult professional engineering and design activities;; and performs other job related work as required.

This position is designated as un-represented for Labor Relations purposes and is considered exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).


General supervision is provided by the City Engineer. The job incumbent is expected to work with minimal direct supervision, exercising independent judgment and initiative in a number of complex responsible and sensitive areas. The Principal Civil Engineer supervises assistant through senior professional engineers, para-professional engineering technicians and office support staff.


This is a professional registered engineering position with first level supervisory duties and responsibilities for assigning, supervising, and directing the work of staff assigned to the engineering design and oversight of public works projects of the City. Duties and responsibilities are performed in accordance with law, ordinance, and City policy.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assists in the planning, directing and supervision of the design and construction of City public works facilities.
  • Oversee and personally performs the more complex City engineering, construction, inspection, drafting, surveying, and project budget activities.
  • Participates master planning for City facilities and systems.
  • Recommends approval of detailed facilities' design including plans, specifications, contract documents, and cost estimates.
  • Oversees contract administration; participates in the discussions and examination of proposals; interprets and implements Department and City policies and objectives.
  • Ensures close coordination with other City departments and affected outside groups.
  • Assists with preparation of specialized budgets related to assigned activities; assists in budget implementation; participates in budget forecasts; administers the approved budget.

  • Prepares administrative and operational reports for review by others.
  • Develops recommendations for consideration and action;
  • Participates in the implementation of new programs and activities. Participates in recruitment and selection activities; makes recommendations for appointment of new staff; assists with staff orientation and training.
  • Supervises staff including provision of timely performance evaluations; recommends and implements approved discipline; provides staff development; and maintains high standards necessary for efficient, professional operations.

  • Represents the City engineering and construction activities with other governmental agencies, regulatory bodies, contractors, consultants, civic groups and concerned citizens
  • Assists in the development of long-term capital improvement plans.
  • Oversees negotiations for property and right‑of‑way acquisitions.
  • Develops project operating budget and controls expenditures.
  • Supervises and/or checks the preparation of construction plans and specifications; directs contract preparation and administration activities;.
  • Oversees construction inspection and approval of payments; insures proper quality controls on construction projects.
  • Confers with and provides consultation to others on work priorities, potential problems, and solutions to current problems.
  • Studies and recommends improvements for public works system operations; and provides technical information and data to concerned parties.
  • Prepares highly complex and technical reports; documents policies and procedures; performs research
  • Occasionally may assist with presentations before various groups, including City Council, Commissions, and professional and public meetings, as needed.
  • Builds and maintains respectful, positive working relationships with staff, supervisors, outside agencies and the public using principles of good customer service; provides effective conflict resolution, as needed.
  • Models appropriate professional management conduct; maintains appropriate confidentiality of sensitive information; complies with and supports City policies and procedures, labor laws, and MOU provisions.
  • Attends assigned meetings and training; interacts with outside agencies and commissions; provides leadership for teams, or committees, as needed.
  • Assures staff works in a safe manner; follows safety requirements; monitors and assures compliance with regulations and other legal requirements.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of engineering and administration as applied to the design and construction of public works facilities, public works maintenance services, technical inspection services, and water systems operations.
  • Principles and practices of supervision, staff selection, training and personnel management.

  • Materials and equipment used in the construction of public works facilities and systems.
  • Construction methods and inspection techniques.
  • Federal, State, regional, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines related to public works construction and operations.
  • Development of engineering designs, construction standards and specifications.
  • Cost estimating and contract administration.
  • Technical report writing.
  • Project budget development and expenditure control, including development of capital improvement plans. Budgeting procedures and techniques.
  • Safe work practices and related regulations.
  • Principles of public speaking, conflict resolution and excellent customer service.

Ability to:

  • Plan, organize, direct, coordinate and supervise the functions and activities necessary to design, construction and maintenance public works facilities and systems.
  • Organize, analyze, manage and implement a variety of programs.
  • Lead, supervise, evaluate and train personnel effectively and maintain discipline.

  • Select, train and evaluate staff.
  • Delegate authority and responsibility and schedule and program work on a long-term basis.
  • Develop plans, designs, specifications, cost estimates, and engineering standards for construction and improvement projects.
  • Develop budgets and control expenditures, including capital improvement plans.
  • Coordinate the work of consultants, engineering, and maintenance and operations staff, other department staff and agencies concerning major construction projects and capital improvements programs.
  • Conduct engineering research work and solve complex engineering problems utilizing a variety of engineering techniques.
  • Analyze operations, initiate improvements and respond to City growth.
  • Prepare comprehensive technical reports and recommendations.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with elective officials, administration, other employees, and the general public.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely orally and in writing.
  • Read and comprehend complex laws and regulations and initiate policies and procedures for their implementation.
  • Organize, implement and supervise departmental goals and City objectives.
  • Use computer and needed programs effectively.
  • Establish and maintain respectful, effective and cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
  • Communicate effectively, orally, electronically and in writing.


Four years of increasingly responsible professional engineering experience in the design and construction<

For questions about City employment, please contact:

Human Relations
156 S. Broadway, Ste. 235
Turlock, CA 95380-5454
(209) 668-5150
Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM

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