Principal Civil Engineer

November 18, 2023
Lake County, CA
Job Type


General Recruitment Information

Recruitments for County positions are typically conducted to establish eligibility lists to fill countywide vacancies that occur during the active status of those lists (approximately 3 -12 months). Any person on a promotional eligibility list will be considered first by the hiring department(s) before persons on an open eligibility list.

The County of Lake only accepts applications for permanent positions when actively recruiting. Only online applications are accepted. It is the responsibility of each applicant to review the full job description and requirements.

The County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer. Veteran's Preference.

To apply for County examinations - All applications for County examinations must be submitted through the County's online application system. A completed Supplemental Questionnaire must be submitted with each online application. All permanent County recruitments will be posted at with a link to the online application. The County of Lake reserves the right to limit the number of applications that will be accepted for any open recruitment, and any such limit will be included on the job posting. When a limit is posted, the recruitment is subject to close at any time prior to the final filing date. Completed online application packets must be submitted by the close of business on the date that the recruitment closes. All relevant experience must be included on the application to be considered - resumes and other attached documents will not be used to qualify an applicant. Relevant experience and/or education may be substituted at a ratio of 2 to 1 for the purpose of meeting minimum qualifications and applicants should contact the Human Resources department for details.

Important Notice - The provisions listed on job postings, job descriptions, or other recruitment materials do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Benefits may vary between bargaining units. Any provisions contained within job postings, job descriptions or other recruitment material may be modified or revoked without notice. All County of Lake applicants who are given a conditional employment offer must comply with the County's pre-employment medical review program before they may be appointed to the County position.

Application and Testing Information
This position may qualify for a Sign-On incentive. The appropriate Department Head with the County of Lake can request a Sign-On Incentive payment of 10% of the annual rate of pay to a newly appointed employee not to exceed $10,000.00, if the position meets qualifications. The hiring incentive will be made in two (2) payments (the total amount to be split in half). The first payment will be made to an employee within the next available pay period following the initial, first time hire of the employee with the County of Lake. The second payment will be made upon successful completion of employment probation.

Employee must remain employed with the County for two (2) years or repay the hiring incentive; the employee shall authorize such repayment as a payroll deduction from the final paycheck, and/or repay any shortage not covered in the final paycheck with a personal check payable to the County of Lake within 15 days of termination.
Minimum Qualifications

Licensing and Certifications:

Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate valid California Driver's License.

Possession of current registration as a Civil Engineer in California.

Education and Experience:

Three (3) years of full-time responsible professional, post-registration civil engineering experience, including at least two (2) years in a supervisory capacity.

A Master's degree in civil engineering or a closely related field may be substituted for one (1) year of the required experience.

Completion of sufficient training and education to meet civil engineering registration requirements in California.

Full Job Description



Under general direction, plans, organizes, directs, and supervises the county's overall engineering activities related to the Department of Public Works; provides highly responsible and technical executive management of both professional and sub professional engineering work; supervises the staff of the Engineering and Inspection Division; and performs related duties as assigned.


This is the management level class in the professional Civil Engineer series which has day-to-day responsibility for supervising and directing the functions and activities of the Engineering and Inspection Division of the Department of Public Works. The incumbent works closely with the Assistant Public Works Director and Public Works Director on engineering and management issues related to the Division.

This is a discrete classification. The incumbent in this management position serves at the pleasure of his/her appointing authority, which means the employment relationship is at-will, and that the County of Lake or the employee may terminate the relationship at any time, with or without cause.


Receives general direction from the Assistant Public Works Director and Public Works Director. Exercises direct and general supervision over professional, technical, and/or administrative staff.


Class specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the scope of duties performed by employees in this class and are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.

  • Designs, prepares, and evaluates preliminary and final plans and specifications for a variety of road, bridge, drainage system, flood control, and other Department of Public Works transportation projects, requiring professional engineering expertise.
  • Ensures compliance with laws, ordinances, and acceptable engineering standards and recommends corrections and improvements as needed.
  • Coordinates project inspections.
  • Performs a variety of project development and coordination assignments.
  • Coordinates project funding and programming requirements with appropriate agencies.
  • Develops plans and specifications for the hiring of consulting engineers and construction projects.
  • Reviews and approves work submitted by consulting engineers.
  • Prepares and/or evaluates requests for proposals related to contract engineering work and directs the preparation of project cost estimates for the competitive bidding process.
  • Negotiates professional services agreements.
  • May serve as a resident engineer, performing contract administration, construction inspection, and project administration.
  • Ensures that contractors meet proper standards, specification requirements, cost controls, and time requirements.
  • Approves change orders and progress payments.
  • Performs engineering calculations, studies, and reports.
  • Receives public inquiries regarding county engineering standards.
  • Researches data and provides consultation to engineers and contractors.
  • Collects, organizes, summarizes, and analyzes a variety of technical engineering data.
  • Prepares grant proposals and administers grants.
  • Performs engineering reviews of environmental impact reports.
  • Prepares preliminary reports for tentative subdivision map conditions.
  • Performs field surveys.
  • Prepares engineering cost estimates.
  • Reviews laboratory reports and analyzes the quality and compliance of materials.
  • Performs traffic studies.
  • Develops and proposes solutions to complex engineering problems.
  • Reviews applications and approves the issue of permits.
  • Provides a variety of technical engineering advice to the public and other agencies.
  • Provides project direction and training for technical and paraprofessional engineering staff.
  • Coordinates the scheduling and completion of projects, determining operational priorities, and resolving workload problems.
  • Answers a variety of public inquiries regarding public works projects.
  • Assists with the development and administration of the division budget.
  • Selects, supervises, and trains engineering and inspection staff.
  • Represents the Department of Public Works and the Engineering and Inspection Division with contractors, engineers, developers, property owners, attorneys, and representatives of other public agencies.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of employee supervision, including work planning, assignment review and evaluation, discipline, and the training of staff in work procedures.
  • Principles and practices of leadership.
  • Extensive knowledge of the theory, principles, and practices of civil engineering and the application thereof to the design, preparation of engineering specifications, and construction of transportation facilities, including roads, bridges, drainage systems, and other facilities.
  • Laws, rules, regulations, and policies affecting public works engineering.
  • Field surveying and surveying practices, including topographical and construction surveying practices.
  • Construction methods, materials, and equipment.
  • Proper inspection methods and procedures.
  • Contract development and administration.
  • Capital improvement planning.
  • Principles of project development, planning, completion, coordination, and administration.
  • Caltrans Highway Design Manual, Standard Specifications, and Standard Plans.
  • Budget development and control.
  • Funding and programming transportation projects.
  • Proper English spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Customer service principles and techniques.
  • Written and oral communications skills.
  • Computers and software programs (e.g., Microsoft software applications) to conduct research, assess information, and/or prepare documentation.
  • Principles and techniques for working with groups and fostering effective team interaction.

Ability to:

  • Plan, organize, supervise, and coordinate functions of the Engineering and Inspection Division of the Department of Public Works.
  • Select and supervise staff, provide training and development opportunities, ensure work is performed effectively, and evaluate performance in an objective and positive manner.
  • Assist with the development and administration of the engineering and inspection division budget.
  • Plan, organize, and complete a variety of professional and subprofessional engineering projects.
  • Perform a wide scope of complex professional engineering work in the preparation of plans, designs, and specifications for transportation facility development, construction, and maintenance.
  • Perform comprehensive engineering reviews of designs, plans, and specifications prepared by others.
  • Prepare a variety of engineering reports.
  • Gather, organize, analyze, and present a variety of technical engineering and statistical data.
  • Perform construction project administration, ensuring compliance with plans, specifications, and contracts.
  • Effectively represent the Department of Public Works in contacts with the public, other County staff, and other government agencies.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Regularly work well under pressure, meeting critical deadlines.
  • Utilize a computer, relevant software applications, and/or other equipment as assigned to perform a variety of work tasks.
  • Establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Licensing and Certifications:

Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate valid California Driver's License.

Possession of current registration as a Civil Engineer in California.

Education and Experience:

Three (3) years of full-time responsible professional, post-registration civil engineering experience, including at least two (2) years in a supervisory capacity.

A Master's degree in civil engineering or a closely related field may be substituted for one (1) year of the required experience.

Completion of sufficient training and education to meet civil engineering registration requirements in California.


The County of Lake is an equal opportunity employer and will comply with its obligations under the law to provide equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Incumbents generally work partially in an office environment with moderate noise levels and controlled temperature conditions and partially in the field. As such, incumbents may have occasional exposure to loud noise levels, cold and hot temperatures, inclement weather conditions, and direct exposure to hazardous physical conditions. Incumbents may interact with upset staff and/or public and private representatives in interpreting and enforcing departmental policies and procedures.

Positions in this class typically require: sitting, stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, grasping, talking, hearing, seeing, and repetitive motions.

Sedentary Work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.

Light Work: Exerting up to 25 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. If the use of arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for light work.

Medium Work: Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.

Positions in this class may require local and statewide travel, as necessary.

A successful candidate will be required to submit to and pass a background check prior to the appointment. Depending upon the position and/or assigned department, the background check may include but is not limited to civil and criminal history check, reference check, Live Scan, and/or credit check (as allowed under state law).

Disaster Service Workers: As members of the County of Lake Emergency Services Organization, all Lake County employees are designated as Disaster Service Workers during a proclaimed emergency and may be required to perform certain emergency services at the direction of the department and / or County.

The contents of this class specification shall not be construed to constitute any expressed or implied warranty or guarantee, nor shall it constitute a contract of employment. The County of Lake assumes no responsibility beyond the general accuracy of the document, nor does it assume responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information contained herein. The contents of this specification may be modified or revoked without notice. Terms and conditions of employment are determined through a "meet and confer" process and are subject to the Memorandum of Understanding currently in effect.

RETIREMENT - County employees are members of the California Public Employee Retirement system (CalPERS).CalPERS provides a defined benefit pension at retirement for County employees.The pension formulas and employee contribution amounts may vary by bargaining unit, date of hire, prior qualifying service, and classification. Please contact Human Resources for more information.

HEALTH AND INSURANCE BENEFITS - Medical, dental, hospital, vision, life and disability coverage is available to employees and their dependents. The County contributes $1,500 of the monthly premiums for the insurance plan options.

VACATION ACCRUAL may be adjusted for current city or county government employees.

VACATION - 80 hours per year during the first five years of service, 120 hours per year after five years, and additional accruals based on years of service beyond fifteen years. Pro-rated for part-time employees.

SICK LEAVE - Accrues at a rate of 96 hours per year. Pro-rated for part-time employees.

HOLIDAYS- An average of twelve paid 8-hour holidays per year. Pro-rated for part-time employees.

SALARY - Lake County has an adopted salary schedule. The salary range for most classifications is in five increments with a provision for longevity increases. Appointments are normally made at the first step of the salary range.

SOCIAL SECURITY - County employees participate in Social Security.

CALIFORNIA STATE DISABILITY INSURANCE - SDI is available to some County employees.


Closing Date/Time: Continuous

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