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City of Torrance
Class Code: 3132

Class Designation: Civil Service

September 1998

Representation Unit: Engineers Association & Torrance Fiscal Employees Assoc.


Associate Engineer

Under direction, performs difficult professional level engineering work in the development, construction and maintenance of the City's public works and traffic projects; supervises professional and technical engineering staff; manages engineering projects and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Associate Engineer is the supervisory class in the professional level engineering series. Incumbents are distinguished from the Division Manager in the level and scope of supervision and responsibility exercised and distinguished from the Assistant Engineer in that the Assistant Engineer does not supervise professional staff and does not have responsibility for entire projects. Incumbents perform a full range of complex tasks and works under direction within a framework of established procedures. At this level, incumbents work with only occasional instruction or assistance. Work is reviewed upon completion for overall results. Work involves frequent interpretation of policies, procedures and guidelines, and may involve the development of recommendations consistent with directives, policies and regulations.

Supervision Exercised/Received

Receives direction from a Division Manager and exercises direct supervision over lower-level professional and technical engineering positions.

Examples of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all-inclusive.
  • Manages specific municipal engineering projects as assigned applying professional engineering practices to project design, development, coordination, review and analysis.
  • Develops, monitors and updates project schedules.
  • Manages allocated funds by reviewing and monitoring assigned projects and making recommendations regarding appropriate uses.
  • Prepares and administers professional engineering and professional service contracts.
  • Prepares reports, recommendations and correspondence on current and proposed projects: review and edit reports prepared by support staff.
  • Plans and directs the work of lower-level professional and technical engineering staff. Supervisory duties may include instructing, assigning, planning and reviewing work, evaluating work performance and completing performance evaluations, coordinating activities, maintaining standards, allocating personnel, acting on employee problems, selecting new employees, and recommending and implementing employee discipline. Providing training, advice and assistance as needed.
  • Prepares and presents reports and agenda items for the City Council and City commissions.
  • Represents the Department and Commission meetings and coordinates projects with other departments by discussing potential problems and requesting their recommendations.
  • Participates as a member on interdepartmental and intradepartmental teams and committees as required.
  • Keeps abreast of current engineering principles and practices, technology, regulations and literature that apply to municipal engineering projects.

    In addition to the above duties, if assigned to Public Works, performs the following:

  • Reviews and recommends the approval of engineering plans, drawings and specifications, cost estimates, contract provisions, legal descriptions, and maps, ensuring compliance with subdivision policies and local and state codes, ordinances and regulations.
  • Coordinates projects with other City departments, agencies and utilities as required.
  • May oversee permitting procedures.

    In addition to the above duties, if assigned to Traffic Engineering, performs the following:

  • Reviews and recommends the approval of traffic signal, striping and street lighting plans, drawings and specifications, cost estimates, contract provisions, and local and state codes, ordinances and regulations.
  • Researches, develops and implements plans to maintain efficient and effective practices in the Street Lighting District; prepares cost estimates for assessment district on a yearly basis.
  • Reviews plans, specifications and estimates for transportation capital improvements; analyzes bids and makes recommendations accordingly.
  • Reviews Environmental and Traffic Impact reports and planning cases for trip generation, distribution and capacity analysis and makes recommendations related to transportation conditions for development.
  • Examples of Other Duties

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties:
  • Attends division and department meetings as required.
  • Receives and responds to public inquiries regarding current or planned projects.
  • Performs related duties as required.
  • Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of
  • Civil Engineering principles and practices as applied to the field of public works.
  • Principles and practices of traffic engineering field and office work.
  • Public works operations and construction, surveying and drafting methods and practices.
  • Engineering computer applications.
  • Contract administration.
  • Project management methods and practices, including methods of preparing designs, plans, specifications, schedules, estimates, reports and recommendations.
  • Principles of supervision and employee relations.
  • Mathematics as applied to engineering work, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus.
  • Statistics as applied to traffic engineering data, including compilation, analysis and presentation.
  • Budget preparation principles.
  • City codes and ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations.
  • General City operations.
  • Ability to
  • Supervise subordinates including training, assigning, monitoring and evaluating work, counseling and disciplining staff, and processing grievances.
  • Schedule work tasks and projects.
  • Develop and administer a project budget.
  • Perform difficult engineering design and analysis for public works systems.
  • Use engineering computer applications.
  • Perform complex computations involving engineering formulas using advanced applications of algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus.
  • Operate office and other equipment including a computer.
  • Exercise tact and diplomacy relative to public inquiries and requests for information.
  • Understand and carry out oral and written directions.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with City employees, City Commissioners, public officials, private and community organizations and the public.
  • Read and understand technical reports, maps, construction drawings, specifications, and analysis.
  • Learn and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency.
  • License or Certificate

    Must possess and maintain an appropriate, valid California driver's license.
    A valid certificate of registration issued by the California State Board of Registration for Civil and Professional Engineers is desirable.

    Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that would have provided the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
    Graduation from a college or university with a Bachelor's degree in engineering and three years professional engineering field and office experience.
    (Experience or training in engineering computer applications is desirable.)

    Special Requirements

    Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions:
    Requires the ability to exert a small amount of physical effort in sedentary to light work involving moving from one area of the office to another; requires sufficient hand/eye coordination to perform skilled repetitive movements, such as drafting, data entry and the use of calculators. Tasks require color and visual perception and discrimination, as well as oral communications ability. Tasks are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Division Engineer.