Recruitment #2010-1013DC-001



The City of Milwaukee will offer one application period for the City Laborer position in 2020. See the chart below. Only applicants who meet the minimum requirements of the position will be invited to the written examination. 

 The top scoring candidates from the written examination will be invited to take the performance examination.

The performance examination time and location will be announced after the administration of the written examination. There will be no make-up opportunities for the examination process.

City Laborers are subject to seasonal layoffs. 


If you are excited about the chance to perform a variety of physically-challenging assignments outdoors in a team environment, this may be the opportunity for you!

Under supervision, City Laborers perform light to heavy manual work. City Laborers are employed by the Department of Public Works (DPW) in the following areas: Streets, Sewers, Electrical Services, Sanitation, Water, and Forestry; assignment to an area is based on the needs of the City.

Essential Functions

  • Perform manual labor to assist in the construction and maintenance of the City’s streets and bridges, sewers, and electrical infrastructure: dig trenches and break up and dislodge rocks, concrete, asphalt, and other hard material at work sites using small and large air hammers and hand tools such as picks, sledge hammers, and wrecking bars.
  • Shovel gravel, asphalt, dirt, and other material into and out of trenches, holes, wheelbarrows, and trucks using shovels and rakes; dig around sewer mains and catch basins using shovels and picks.
  • Remove sod to expose underground conduit and cable boxes; push and pull cable through underground conduit.
  • Use power tampers, plate compactors, and vibratory rollers to level/compact soil or other material such as asphalt and gravel; use hand tampers to level sod.
  • Use manhole hooks to lift and carry manhole covers weighing from 50 to 150 pounds; assist in placing precast manholes and catch basins.
  • Climb into and out of sewer holes to perform sewer cleaning and repair.
  • Perform manual tasks, including mixing mortar or cement, carrying buckets weighing up to 50 pounds, pulling and dragging hoses, and cleaning coagulation basins, filter beds, and tanks.
  • Perform street repair and maintenance duties, including blowing debris out of cracks and potholes using air compressors, distributing patching material into cracks and potholes, flattening asphalt using power rollers, operating concrete cutting saws, pumps, and concrete mixers, and manipulating concrete chutes in order to pour concrete.
  • Perform general bridge maintenance including cleaning drains on bridges and viaducts, and installing metal guard rails.
  • Clean construction sites of materials, equipment, and debris.
  • Place traffic control devices, such as cones, barricades, trench plates, and excavation protection for work crew and public safety.
  • Load and unload trucks; sort, move, and stack materials.
  • Perform custodial work at various work sites, including sweeping and cleaning.
  • Drive City vehicles between work sites; operate forklift trucks and skid loaders.
  • Assist Sanitation workers by collecting solid waste, recyclables, furniture, brush, and appliances, and loading them onto a garbage truck; operate the hydraulic controls of the garbage truck.
  • Perform light maintenance at various work sites such as water treatment plants, such as replacing light bulbs and fixtures, and making minor repairs to equipment, infrastructure and facilities.
  • Serve as a water utility investigator helper, mason helper, an electrician helper, a carpenter helper, or a painter helper as needed to meet the needs of the department.
  • Perform general clean-up, maintenance and development of boulevards and green areas by operating power, push and riding mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers, as well as by operating various hand tools, planting trees, grass, shrubs, and flowers, removing brush, grass and weeds, laying sod and mulch, and removing sod to build new planting beds.
  • Participate in the City’s snow and ice control operations by driving trucks and operating snow blowers to remove snow and ice from streets, removing snow using shovels, and spreading sand or salt on icy streets and sidewalks.
  • Perform all work safely, in accordance with departmental policies, municipal and state laws, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
  • Abide by City and departmental work rules and safety instructions and attend departmental meetings and training programs, such as safety and policy briefings.
  • Complete required paperwork such as work logs and timecards.
  • Use basic mathematics to calculate amounts of materials needed for various tasks and mix proper proportions of materials.
  • Interact with citizens in a polite manner.

Reasonable accommodations requested by qualified individuals with disabilities will be made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Conditions of Employment

  1. Must be able to work outdoors in variable and extreme weather conditions (e.g., heat, cold, rain, wind, and snow).
  2. Must be able to tolerate various environmental conditions indoors and out (e.g., noise, vibration, dirt, pollen, and sewer gases).
  3. Must be able to work in confined space settings (training provided).
  4. Must be able to hear directions given in a noisy, distracting environment.
  5. Must be able to see clearly both near and far to read signage and perform job duties safely and accurately.
  6. Must be able to properly lift and move objects weighing up to 50 lbs. alone or up to 100 lbs. with assistance.
  7. Must be able to perform strenuous physical work continuously for long periods of time.
  8. Must be able to perform physical activities in work environments that require walking and standing, climbing stairs, ladders and scaffolding, crawling, crouching, stooping, kneeling, reaching, balancing, pushing and pulling.
  9. Must have manual dexterity and strength to properly and safely use various hand tools and power tools.
  10. Must be available to work beyond assigned shifts to respond to various emergencies.
  11. Snow and ice operations and other emergencies may require City Laborers to work at any time during the day or night, 24/7.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Eighteen years of age at time of application.
  2. Valid driver license at time of application, throughout the selection process and throughout employment.
  3. Valid Commercial Driver License (CDL) (Class A or B) without the Air Brakes restriction is required within six months of appointment and throughout employment.
  4. A good driving record at time of application, throughout the selection process, and throughout employment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Passing probation in the City Laborer position is contingent upon acquiring and maintaining a valid Commercial Driver License (CDL) (Class A or B) without the Air Brakes restriction; maintaining a good driving record, and maintaining satisfactory work performance.


  • A CDL may be obtained by:
    • Passing the General Knowledge and Air Brakes portions of the Commercial Driver’s License test given by the State of Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles.
    • Passing a road test administered by an approved third party administrator.
    • Learn more about how to obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL) without the airbrakes restriction by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles website: or by calling 608.264.7447. 
  • By law, persons in these positions are required to pass pre-employment drug tests and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing during the course of employment. Candidates must sign a release authorizing the City to receive the results of any drug and alcohol tests conducted by previous employers during the past two years if those tests were required by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Desirable Qualifications

  • A valid Commercial Driver License (CDL) (Class A or B) without the Air Brakes restriction, OR
  • A Commercial Driver Learner permit (CLP) without the Air Brakes restriction.

Knowledges, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics

  • Ability to read and understand documents, such as work rules, policies, and operating manuals.
  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to accurately complete paperwork, for example work logs and time cards.
  • Ability to read and interpret street maps.
  • Ability to perform basic mathematical calculations accurately.
  • Ability to learn about the materials, methods, and tools used in the construction and repair of structures, including streets, bridges, and sewers.
  • Ability to properly and safely operate motorized and pneumatic equipment, such as pumps, concrete mixers, power tampers, plate compactors, vibratory rollers, air compressors, small and large air hammers, concrete cutting saws, and leaf blowers.
  • Ability to properly and safely use hand tools, such as shovels, sledge hammers, picks, hooks, wrecking bars, and hand tampers.  
  • Skill in raking, luting, and shoveling gravel, asphalt, dirt, and other construction materials.
  • Skill in safely maneuvering a wheelbarrow filled with dirt, concrete, or asphalt.
  • Ability to drive a car and to learn to drive trucks and heavy equipment, such as forklift trucks, skid loaders, and snow plows.
  • Ability to safely shovel snow and operate snow blowers.
  • Ability to perform general maintenance of green areas and boulevards and safely operate power, push and riding mowers.
  • Ability to make minor repairs of equipment and infrastructure under supervision.
  • Ability to perform basic maintenance tasks like replacing light fixtures.
  • Ability to use brooms, mops, commercial vacuum cleaners, and floor polishers.
  • Ability to exercise care and good judgment regarding safety at all times, abiding by safety-related policies, laws, and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
  • Ability to monitor the work site vicinity, including pedestrian and vehicle traffic, to ensure the safety of the work crew and the general public.
  • Ability to work effectively as a team member and interact with the public courteously.
  • Ability to work cooperatively, effectively, and fairly with coworkers and citizens whose background may differ from one’s own.

Current Salary

The current pay rates (PG 8DN) are as follows (rates shown below are biweekly):

Non-Resident Starting Wage: $1,208.02

  • After passing 9-month probation and meeting performance standards: $1,292.58;
  • After completing 2,080 hours and meeting performance standards: $1,417.02.

Resident Incentive Starting Wage: $1,244.26

  • After passing 9-month probation and meeting performance standards: $1,331.36;
  • After completing 2,080 hours and meeting performance standards: $1,459.53

NOTE: City Laborers are eligible for health insurance through the City of Milwaukee at the “limited benefit employee” (LBE) rate. After the completion of 2080 actual hours worked (approximately 2 ½ seasons), City Laborers become eligible for health insurance at the lower cost “employee” rate and additional benefits such as dental, life insurance, and long-term disability insurance at the “employee” rate.

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related; and selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job. The examination will be held as soon as practical after Thursday, October 22, 2020. Receipt of applications may be discontinued at any time after the stated deadline without prior notice, however, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. Applicants must qualify at each step of the selection process in order to proceed to the next.

Qualified applicants will receive an invitation to participate in the Written Exam tentatively scheduled during the week of November 9-13, 2020; various exam times will be offered. The tops scoring candidates in the Written Exam will receive an invitation to participate in the Performance Exam. Participants in the selection process will receive email notifications regarding current status and, if qualified, exam information. Exam dates may change due to unforeseen circumstances. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative test administration. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.

Additional Information

APPLICATIONS and further information may be accessed by visiting,

  • Applications and license documentation should be submitted no later than the deadline listed above. I
  • f you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or
  • The Department of Employee Relations is located in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.


EEO = 802

The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.