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City of Torrance
Class Code: 3117

Class Designation: Civil Service

November 1977

Representation Unit: Engineers Association &
Torrance Fiscal Employees Assoc.


Structural Plans Examiner


Without constant or close supervision, examines, checks and approves structural engineering plans, specifications and reports for a variety of complex structures; checks applications for building permits; does related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Distinguished from the Building Regulations Administrator in that an incumbent does not have responsibility for the building regulations division or have primary responsibility for reviewing and modifying procedures and guidelines for subordinate personnel and updating the City building code. Distinguished from Principal Building Inspector, Senior Building inspector and Building Inspector positions in that an incumbent checks structural plans of greater complexity requiring a more thorough understanding of plan checking including the ability to calculate load and stress factors.

Examples Of Duties

  • Examines, checks and supervises the checking of plans for residential, commercial and industrial structures involving complex structural features and design for conformance to City building codes and State Housing Act;
  • Makes engineering calculations of loads, stresses and other calculations necessary to approve proposed plans;
  • Assists and works with a group of employees engaged in accepting and checking plans at a public counter prior to the issuance of building permits;
  • Confers with architects, engineers, contractors and owners regarding methods of construction and features of designs;
  • Makes field investigations to determine compliance with approved plans and to verify and approve solutions to unexpected and unforeseen difficulties that arise during construction;
  • Makes analyses of proposed structures including load stress determinations, occupancy factors, weather factors, seismic and other types of natural disasters that may occur to structures;
  • Prepares and supervises the preparation of technical engineering reports covering a wide variety of structural problems;
  • Reviews output of computer programs related to the plan checking process;
  • Assists with the technical training of various field personnel engaged in building inspections;
  • May take charge of the Building Regulations Division in the absence of his supervisor.
  • License Required

    A valid California Motor Vehicle Operators Class 3 license at time of appointment.

    Minimum Qualifications

    Knowledge of
  • City Building Codes and State Housing Act;
  • Methods and engineering principles used in calculating structural loads, stress and other design tolerances to approve plans;
  • Nomenclature used in plan checking.
  • Ability to
  • Read and interpret plans, blueprints and specifications;
  • Calculate structural loads, stress and other calculations necessary to approve proposed plans;
  • Explain and interpret City building codes and State Housing Act to other employees, engaged in plan checking or building inspections, architects, contractors, engineers and owners of structures;
  • To make field inspections to insure compliance to approved plans;
  • To prepare technical engineering reports on a wide variety of structural problems;
  • Understand and interpret computer output relating to the plan checking process;
  • Make clear and concise oral and written presentations.
  • Experience

    Three years professional experience in engineering or architecture involving structural design and/or plan checking of residential, commercial and industrial structures. Possession of an ICBO Certificate in Plans Examining or Registration as a Civil Engineer can be substituted for one year of the required experience.


    Graduation from a recognized college or university with a major in civil engineering or architecture; or completion of the required number of civil engineering or architectural courses necessary for graduation from a recognized college or university; or possession of an Engineering-in-Training Certificate.