Planning & Engineering Division

Recruitment #2301-4186-001


The City of Tucson invites you to join an organization focused on providing excellent service to citizens in a safe and sustainable community. The Tucson Water Department  seeks a seasoned engineering professional with keen leadership and management skills to join this internationally renowned water utility to fill a Chief Engineer/Water Administrator position. This position is a critical member of the Utility’s management team and reports to a Deputy Director. While Water Administrator assignments can, and do, evolve over time, Tucson Water is seeking specialized expertise to fill gaps in our current capabilities. All Water Administrators must display excellence in leadership, staff development, process improvement, and teamwork.

The Chief Engineer will oversee about 65 staff members in the Planning and Engineering Division and will report to Tucson Water’s Deputy Director. The Planning and Engineering Division delivers the majority of the projects included in Tucson Water’s $495M five-year capital improvement program and is comprised of the following functional areas: Administrative and Project Support, System Planning, Design, Project Management, Condition Assessment, and Construction Management. 

The ideal Tucson Water Chief Engineer will have the leadership experience, technical qualifications, and flexibility to continue our ongoing efforts to modernize our processes and improve our project delivery performance. The primary near-term challenges for the Chief Engineer will be to: 1) Take primary responsibility over the Utility’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to deliver 95% to 105% of the CIP on an annual basis; 2) Establish a program to attract, develop, and retain technical staff by assuring that they have the opportunities to learn their craft, expand their skills, and progress through their career; 3) Lead our planning functions to assure that our investments are optimized; and 4) Improve our project management skills and procedures across the Department. 

Currently, this is a hybrid/telecommuting position where a portion of the work may be completed virtually, based on specific work tasks.  This model may change based on future business needs.

The successful candidate will enjoy the opportunity to work from home while abiding by the Department's specific policies and the terms and guidelines set forth in the City of Tucson’s Telecommuting Administrative Directive 2.01-19 to include: 

  • Must have a minimum of 50 Mbps to connect to the internet
  • Shall designate and maintain a dedicated workspace that is quiet, clean, and safe, with adequate lighting and ventilation

      The City of Tucson offers a wide range of generous benefits for eligible employees. Some of those benefits include:

      • Medical: Choice between a high deductible plan (HSA or HRA), or Network plan
      • Dental: Choice between a national dental PPO and a local dental HMO
      • Vision: Coverage for annual eye exam and glasses or contacts, plus LASIK
      • Life: City-paid coverage for you & dependents, plus option to buy more
      • Long-Term Disability: Income replacement of up to 60% of your base salary in the event of a qualifying disability
      • Employee Assistance Program: Enhance your wellbeing when life doesn’t go as planned
      • Flexible Spending: Pay for qualified health and dependent care expenses using pretax dollars
      • Colonial Voluntary Benefits: Financial help in the event of cancer, hospitalization, accident, and more


      Your Security and Future

      • Pension: Generous pension plans that help both civilian and public safety employees retire more comfortably
      • Deferred Compensation: Save more toward a comfortable retirement with a 457(b) plan
      • Training & Tuition Assistance: Pursue your dream through internal training or financial help toward a degree
      • Back-Up Care: Care for your loved ones when your regular care is unavailable


      Your Peace of Mind

      • Paid Parental Leave: Six (6) weeks paid leave when you welcome a child, plus other generous leave policies for FML, Medical and USERRA
      • Paid Time Away: New hires enjoy 37 days of paid time off in the first year, with time increasing steadily thereafter (In year one: 13 accrued days of vacation, 13 accrued days of sick leave, and 11 paid holidays)
      • Employee Discounts: Generous discounts, ranging from car rentals to computers, gifts to groceries, electronics to entertainment
      • Social Connectedness: Forge connections with the community we serve through paid volunteerism and payroll-deducted charitable giving

      For a full description of benefits offered to eligible employees, or to inquire further about the City of Tucson's benefits options, please visit: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/hr/employee-benefit-snapshot   

      General Description

      Administers and manages the activities and personnel of a division of the Water Department. Develops and implements water management plans, programs, and goals.

      Essential Functions

      The essential duties include but are not limited to:

      • Organizes and directs daily operations of a division by performing administrative duties, overseeing programs, projects, and manager level personnel (two or more fulltime employees).
      • Formulates and implements division strategic plans and work activities to coordinate and synchronize with department directions and goals. Implements and evaluates department policies, projects and programs.
      • Oversees the planning, implementation, direction and management of all functions and resources of the division to achieve the strategic objectives of the department and the City in an efficient and effective manner.
      • Assists with implementing the department vision through division activities and leads the division for maximum employee productivity and morale through hiring, disciplining, evaluating employee performance, investigating and resolving grievances and other human resources actions.
      • Develops and administers the division budget with staff assistance.
      • Analyzes organizational and community needs, analyzes trends, reviews statistics and opportunities, and communicate information to department leadership of impending developments, and accomplishment of actions.
      • Develops strategic partnerships and contacts with community representatives, external agencies, and other organizations to develop a sense of relevant issues facing our community and to respond as a representative of the City.
      • Champions the values of the organization through example and accountabilities.
      • Ensures that division operations conform with local, state and federal governmental regulations, other applicable rules and requirements.
      • Produces water management reports, and ensures accurate customer billing and collections.
      • Facilitates solutions to problems facing the department.
      • Maintains professional knowledge through such means as attending seminars, reviewing professional publications and participating in professional organizations.

      Minimum Qualifications

      Minimum Education Level & Type: Bachelor's Degree required or Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Water Distribution Grade 3 Certification or equivalent state certification

      Minimum Experience Qualifications: At least 5 years of experience developing and implementing management plans, programs, and goals.  At least 4 of the required 5 years in a Supervisory capacity in a related functional area.

      "Supervisory" is defined as having supervised at least one (1) full-time FTE.

      Preferred Qualifications

      • A Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering or related discipline highly preferred
      • Registered as a Professional Engineer (PE) in the State of Arizona at the time of application
      Applicants who are registered in another state, please visit the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration at https://btr.az.gov/ for reciprocity requirements.

      Selection Plan

      **You are encouraged to print this bulletin because it contains important dates and information that will not be available online once this position closes.**

      As part of the online application process all applicants are required to submit a resume under the "Resume" tab. Resumes will be reviewed and scored.  Please ensure your application contains the required resume prior to submission. 

      Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be evaluated on the education and work experience in their employment profile and the responses to their supplemental questions. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will be invited to participate in a writing exercise. 

      The writing exercise will be emailed to applicants by 5:00 pm (Tucson time) on Friday, February 24, 2023, with a firm deadline to return the completed exercise by 4:00 pm (Tucson time) on Monday, February 27, 2023. The highest scoring applicants will then be invited to an in-person oral board interview. 

      • Oral Board Interviews will be held March 8, 2023 and March 9, 2023 (as needed)   

      Upon completion of all examination processes, the highest scoring applicants will be placed on the Civil Service Employment List.  An applicant's ranking on the Civil Service list will be based on their final score which will be calculated as:      

      • 50% of your written exercise
      • 40% of your oral board interview 
      • 10% of your rating for education and work experience  

      This recruitment will establish a civil service list that may be utilized to fill vacancies occurring at Tucson Water within the next 6 months. Post list hiring interviews with the Director of Tucson Water may be conducted prior to final selection. 

      If you qualify for preference points as outlined in the Employment Profile, you must upload your documentation as part of the application process or email it to Roxie.Escarcega@tucsonaz.gov. The DD 214 must be a copy that indicates characterization of service.  Veterans, Native American, or Disability preference points will be added to the final score for those that are placed on the Civil Service Employment List.  

      If you are in need of Americans with Disabilities Act-related accommodation during the testing process, please contact Roxie Escarcega at (520) 837-2138 or Roxie.Escarcega@tucsonaz.gov at least 48 hours prior to the evaluation.


      Communication during this process will be sent via email to the email address on file, so please ensure your browser accepts emails from jobs@tucsonaz.gov and check your email account regularly; this may include your junk box/spam filter.  Failure to respond or follow instructions may result in disqualification.

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      To ensure accurate payroll information for tax purposes, the successful candidate will need to provide their original Social Security Card or original letter from the Social Security Administration with their social security number prior to beginning work with the City of Tucson.

      The City of Tucson hires lawful workers only - US citizens or nationals and non-citizens with valid work authorization - without discrimination. Federal immigration laws require all employers to verify both the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States. In its efforts to meet the law's requirements, the City of Tucson participates in the E-Verify program established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to aid employers in verifying the eligibility of workers.

      Retired City of Tucson employees receiving benefits from the Tucson Supplemental Retirement System who are considering reemployment with the City should be aware that pursuant to Section 22-37(g) of the Tucson City Code, retirement benefits shall be suspended during the period of reemployment with the City of Tucson unless you have been separated at least twelve consecutive months before returning to work AND you return to a non-permanent employment classification. Creditable service does not accrue during any reemployment period.