Public Works Trainee (#971010)
$24.56-$29.85 Hourly / $4,257.29-$5,174.79 Monthly / $51,087.47-$62,097.46 Yearly
Apply as a Transfer to Comparable Class applicant


Under immediate supervision, learns work methods and techniques in an assigned section of the Public Works Division.  This entry level class performs a wide variety of tasks related to construction, repair, and maintenance of roads, flood control channels, roadside drainage, bridges, and traffic markings and signs.  Public Works Maintenance Worker - Trainee does some grounds keeping work along roads, drainage channels, etc. and is done primarily to keep them free of obstructions, fallen limbs, overgrown vegetation, etc.  Incumbents may be assigned to the Roads, Traffic Maintenance, or Flood Control sections.  

Employees will be promoted from the entry level to the journey level without further examination in flexibly-staffed classes upon completion of one (1) year of satisfactory performance unless probationary period is extended.


This class is distinguished from the:
  • Public Works Maintenance Worker class which is a journey level class performing a wide variety of tasks related to construction, repair, and maintenance of roads, flood control channels, roadside drainage, bridges, and traffic signs.

Supervision Received and Exercised

  • Supervision is provided by a Public Works Maintenance Supervisor.  
  • No supervision is exercised over others.    
  • May receive lead direction from Public Works Maintenance Worker (Senior).

Essential Duties

  • Clears brush, weeds, trees, debris from channels, channel roads, bridges or levees using power and manual equipment and; helps reconstruct damaged bridges, channel roads or levees and places rip rap.   
  • Cleans and picks up litter and debris in and around County right of ways and County roads.   
  • Assists in permanent patch, pot hole patch, culvert installation, chip seal, dust coat, blade patch, crack sealing, and pavement removal and replacement on various road projects; applies oils, aggregates and blacktop to roadways.  
  • Learns and performs the following tasks:  
    • install and repair road signs and sign posts at proper height and angle and regularly inspects all signs on an assigned route; washes all signs;  and maintains a traffic sign log book;  
    • uses hand tools associated with various activities of road maintenance;   
    • installation and repair of guardrails  
    • installation and maintenance of road stencils  
    • flag person responsibilities;  
  • performs operator maintenance, according to lube chart or owner’s manual, on equipment; fuels mobile equipment and check fluid levels; change oil on small engines, lube vehicles, inspect brakes, inspect steering and suspension systems, check tires and lighting systems.  daily pre-operation and post-operation inspection of equipment to which assigned;  Performs other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of:  
  • Tools and equipment commonly used in maintenance/construction activities.  
  • District/county boundaries and roads.
Skill and/or Ability to:  
  • Operate a motor vehicle and various road maintenance equipment including a tractor, dump truck, forklift, front-end loader, an asphalt roller, and an emulsion pot.  
  • Understand verbal and written directions.  
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships.  
  • Demonstrate tact and diplomacy.  
  • Maintain accurate records and document actions taken.   
  • Make routine arithmetical calculations.   
  • Recognize unsafe conditions.  
  • Establish good relationships with the public and internal customers.   
  • Use modern office equipment to include computers and related software applications.

Education and Experience

Education: High school diploma, GED, or equivalent;  AND   
Experience: Three months full-time paid experience in construction trades.


  • Applicants are required to possess a valid California Driver’s License, Class C.    
  • Possession of a valid Class B California Driver’s License is required within three (3) months of employment.  
  • Possession of a valid Class A California Driver’s License is required within six (6) months of employment. 
Note:  The driver’s license must be kept current while employed in this class.  A Hazmat certification maybe required.


  • Mobility and Dexterity:  This class typically requires employees to perform the following:  (1) balancing, stooping, kneeling, reaching, crawling, fingering, grasping, and repetitive motion; (2)  climbing and working safely on ladders and step ladders with a total weight that does not exceed the weight capacity of the ladder or the highest rated capacity of the harnesses and lanyards used for fall; and (3) standing or walking during normal work hours on uneven surfaces.  
  • Lifting, Carrying, Pushing and Pulling – Heavy work: This class typically requires employees to perform the following: exerting up to 100 pounds of force occasionally with assistance, and/or up to 50 pounds of force frequently, and /or up to 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects.   
  • Vision:  This class requires employees to have close visual acuity, with or without correction, to prepare and analyze data and figures, view a computer terminal, read, and to distinguish between normal and off shade colors and to read gauges and meters in dimly lighted areas etc.  Employees are also required to have depth perception and good eye-to-hand coordination in order to operate a motor vehicle and to operate a variety of hand and power tools.   
  • Hearing/Talking:  This class requires employees to perceive the nature of sounds at normal speaking levels with or without correction, and have the ability to receive detailed information through oral communication.  Employees in this class are also required to be able to communicate to express or exchange ideas.  Detailed or important instructions must occasionally be conveyed to others accurately, loudly, and/or quickly.  
  • Other:  This class typically requires employees to have sufficient sense of smell, touch observe equipment functions for normal and abnormal occurrences.
  • Outdoor Work:  Employees in this class will often be working outdoors and thus may be subject to exposure to intense noises, fumes, odors, pollens, dust, inadequate lighting, and to unpleasant field conditions including rainy, windy, cold, or hot weather; may be exposed to e.g. insects, rodents, snakes, bees, wasps, spiders, ants, etc.; may work in high water streams, rivers and channels; employees may be required to work with hot paving materials; and may be subject to injuries when working with hand and power tools and equipment.    
  • Work in an Industrial Area:  Employees in this class will often be working in an industrial area and thus will be subject to exposure to moving mechanical parts, electrical currents, toxic agents, fuel, oil, gases, smoke, fumes, odors, dust, and vibrations.  
  • Traffic Hazards:  Employees in this class will be required to operate a vehicle and thus may be subject to traffic hazards while driving.   
  • Working at Heights:  Employees in this class may be required to work at heights 50-75 feet above the ground on equipment and structures.


  • Background Checks, Reference Checks and Physicals: The County will conduct a background check, a reference check and a physical on candidates prior to appointment to a position within this class.    
  • Independent travel:  Incumbents are required to travel independently, to perform work at other work sites, etc.  
  • Hours of Work:  Incumbents may be required to work weekends, holidays, irregular hours, oncall, and after normal business hours.  
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing:  Candidates applying for positions in this class are subject to, drug and alcohol testing as required under the Federal Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991.  Testing of incumbents includes post-accident, as well as random and reasonable suspicion testing as required by law.

CLASS: 971010; REV: 3/1/2006;