Recruitment #2304-1040DC-001


The City of Milwaukee is proud to employ a diverse workforce that is committed to providing exemplary service to the City’s residents. If you have a passion for being a part of an inclusive team of public servants, please consider the following opportunity.


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!


PURPOSE: The Water Distribution Laborer locates and repairs valve and service access boxes in the Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) water distribution system for both routine maintenance and on an emergency basis. The Water Distribution Laborer also assists Water Distribution Utility Investigators in conducting routine and emergency investigations.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Water Distribution Laborer is the first title in the Water Repair Worker promotional series. Promotion within the series is subject to passing probation, satisfactory work performance, and other eligibility criteria to attain the next level in the promotional series.

Essential Functions

Water Distribution System Repair and Maintenance Duties

Access Boxes

  • Assist the Meter Services staff and private plumbers or in advance of repair crew activities by locating, thawing, making appurtenances operable, and providing emergency hose connections.
    • Using grabbers, hooks, magnets, and other tools, maintain access boxes by aligning the box, raising/lowering to proper grade, and cleaning box of debris and other obstacles.
    • Expose boxes using a variety of methods, including digging, breaking pavement, and chopping roots.
    • Conduct thawing, flushing, vacuuming, and blowouts of access boxes and service lines.
    • Hand excavate around the box to the depth of the service to ensure curb stop valves are operable.
  • Assist Field Investigators in operating curb stops, valves, and air vents.
    • Exercise curb stop and other valves by selecting the proper wrench and applying appropriate pressure and technique to ensure a complete turn on/off.
    • Use a pipe locator to pinpoint MWW structures.

Location and Identification

  • Assist Water Distribution Utility Investigators with field investigations relative to water distribution system damages.
    • Locate access boxes, valves, and air vents.
    • Review plat page information and tap numbers.
    • Identify the type of box and applicable locating system.
    • Operate wands, aqua needles, and pipe locators.
    • Conduct field observations and take measurements according to tap patterns in a given area.

Preventative Maintenance

  • Maintain vehicle, compressor, equipment, and tools.
  • Ensure adequate supplies and materials for a variety of job tasks.
  • Report field inaccuracies for record correction.
  • Assist Meter Services staff by performing duties such as shuttling vehicles, performing grounds and asphalt jobs, opening manholes, and cleaning the shop and yard.

Safety and Work Rules

  • Perform all work safely, in accordance with departmental policies, municipal and state laws, and 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.
  • Accurately document work activities and 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.

Customer Service

  • Interact with residents and coworkers in a polite and courteous manner.

We welcome qualified individuals with disabilities who are interested in employment and will make reasonable accommodations during the hiring process 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

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

Minimum Requirements

  1. At least eighteen years of age at time of application.
  2. Six months of experience performing manual labor, such as utility installation, building foundation installation, street maintenance, construction (road or other), plumbing, steamfitting, landscaping, or other closely related work.
  3. Valid driver license at time of application, throughout the selection process, and throughout employment.
  4. Valid Commercial Driver License (CDL) (Class A or B) without the Air Brakes restriction within six months of appointment and throughout employment.
  5. A good driving record at time of application, throughout the selection process, and throughout employment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Passing probation in the Water Distribution 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 doing the following:

  1. 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 (DMV), and
  2. Passing a road test administered by an approved third-party administrator.

By law, persons in these positions are required to pass pre-employment drug tests and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing during 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 (DOT).

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics


  • Ability to navigate independently throughout the MWW service area.
  • Ability to read and interpret street maps.
  • Ability to read and understand documents, such as work rules, policies, and operating manuals.
  • Ability to understand and follow verbal and written instructions.
  • Ability to learn to read a plat book and understand the symbols used.
  • Ability to use basic mathematics to calculate material amounts and proportions.
  • Ability to accurately complete paperwork, such as work logs and timecards.
  • Ability to learn about the materials, methods, and tools used in the construction and repair of water distribution systems.
  • Ability to safely operate target and specialty saws, air compressors, various pneumatic tools, and pumps.
  • Ability to use hand tools properly and safely, such as various wrenches, hammers, shovels, sledgehammers, 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 learn to drive trucks and heavy equipment, such as triaxle, crew vans, various size dump trucks, cattle trucks, and drill rigs.
  • Ability to make minor repairs to equipment and infrastructure under supervision.
  • Ability to perform basic maintenance tasks such as setting service and valve boxes.

Safety and Judgment

  • 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 public.
  • Honesty and proper use of City of Milwaukee resources.

Interpersonal and Customer Focus

  • Ability to work effectively as a team member and interact with the public courteously.
  • Ability to work cooperatively, effectively, and fairly with coworkers and residents whose background may differ from one’s own.
  • Ability to communicate effectively via radio.

Current Salary

The current starting salary (Pay Range 8EN) is $18.76 hourly ($1,500.68 biweekly), and the resident incentive starting salary for City of Milwaukee residents is $19.32 hourly ($1,545.70 biweekly).


The City of Milwaukee provides a comprehensive benefit program that includes the following:

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Health and Dental Insurance
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Comprehensive Wellness Program
  • Onsite Clinic Services
  • Onsite Employee Assistance Program
  • Alternative Work Schedules
  • Long Term Disability Insurance 
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Paid Vacation
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Leave and other paid leave 
  • Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Commuter Value Pass

For full details of the benefits offered by the City of Milwaukee, please visit https://city.milwaukee.gov/der/benefits.

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: an evaluation of education, experience and/or responses to supplemental questions; a written or performance test, a structured interview or other assessment methods. The Department of Employee Relations reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to structured interviews and performance examinations. Structured interviews may include written exercises. Selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job.

INITIAL FILING DATE - The selection process will be held as soon as practical after the deadline listed above. Receipt of applications may be discontinued at any time after this date without prior notice. However, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time, and place of the selection process components. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative selection process dates or times. 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 https://www.jobapscloud.com/MIL/.
  • Applications and license documentation should be submitted no later than the deadline listed above.
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or staffinginfo@milwaukee.gov.
  • The Department of Employee Relations is 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.