Principal Construction Inspector, Environmental Services Department

  • San José
  • San Jose, CA, USA
  • Sep 30, 2020
Environmental Science - Engineering Water Quality Watershed - Stormwater - Wastewater

Job Description

About the Department 

The Environmental Services Department (ESD) is a place where people do great work and make a difference. To see some of the first-rate work ESDers have accomplished in the past fiscal year, review the ESD 2019 Annual Report ( For more information about the department, please visit our website or @sjenvironment on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. What is it like to be an ESDer? Watch this video, and join us to make a difference! 

ESD’s Water Resources Division brings together engineers, operations and maintenance, technical, and program staff to supply clean water to over 100,000 customers and recycled water to more than 850 customers; in addition, we lead conservation efforts to preserve our region’s precious drinking water supply. You can contribute to the local community by joining us in meaningful and important work focusing on water supply, resource sustainability, customer outreach, and infrastructure reliability. We are a small, but fun, division of ESD located in South San José.    

Positions & Duties 

Please note that applications are currently not accepted through CalOpps or any other third party job board application system. To apply, applicants must complete an application via the City of San Jose’s website at  

The actual salary shall be determined by the final candidate’s qualifications and experience.  In addition to the starting salary, employees in the Principal Construction Inspector classification shall also receive an approximate five percent (5%) ongoing non-pensionable compensation pay.   

The Water Resources Division is comprised of three sections: Potable Water Supply and Engineering (Municipal Water System), Water Recycling (South Bay Water Recycling), and Systems Operations and Maintenance. The Water Resources Division provides potable water service through the Municipal Water System to the communities of Evergreen, North San Jose/Alviso, Edenvale, and Coyote.  The Water Resources Division also provides recycled water service through the South Bay Water Recycling program and system to the Cities of San José, Santa Clara and Milpitas. In addition, the Water Resources Division also leads water conservation efforts for the City of San José.   

Under minimal direction, the Principal Construction Inspector performs work of considerable difficulty including contract administration, technical inspection of the construction of water utility and other general public works related infrastructure, and supervision on a unit of construction inspectors and other related staff.  

This position will manage inspection of potable and recycled water system construction projects both within the City limits and in other jurisdictions, including reviewing plans and specifications for conformance to established engineering standards and regulatory requirements; consult with public and private engineers, architects, community groups, contractors and developers relative to the construction of potable and recycled water system improvements; and ensure proper implementation of the cross connection control program.  

The Principal Construction Inspector duties typically include: Supervises, guides, and supports a team of staff; creates and implements a workplan to ensure sufficient coverage of all inspection and related needs; personally conducts inspections of construction projects, and completes spot check inspections on other projects; coordinates work of the inspection staff with the project engineers, contractor and the public. Provides input and suggestions on utility design plans; reviews project submittals for materials and equipment and ensures compliance with City Specifications and project plans/specifications; makes recommendations regarding update and revision of standard design details and notes. Keeps current on relative rules and regulations, and ensures that construction practices comply as required. Reviews and interprets construction plans and specifications; directs construction contractors and enforces corrective actions where needed; signs final completion notices. Creates and documents procedures to guide subordinates; trains and evaluates work of subordinates; reviews completed work and prepares required records and reports. Meets with representatives from engineering, police, public, and other jurisdictions on traffic control problems and other construction related issues and performs related work as required. Provides oversight, direction, and support for staff implementing the utility’s cross connection control program.  

Additionally, the goal of this position is to establish new procedures and methods which improve efficiency and effectiveness in the operation, repair, and maintenance of water utility infrastructure; the training of inspectors in inspection practices to assure high standards; ensuring that street excavations by construction companies meet City requirements and are properly restored;  developing and implementing quality control, quality assurance, and project documentation procedures; ensuring quality workmanship and quantity control on each project through an effective inspection program. 

This recruitment may be used to fill multiple positions in this, or other divisions or departments. If you are interested in employment in this classification, you should apply to ensure you are considered for additional opportunities that may utilize the applicants from this recruitment.  


The ideal candidate will possess the following competencies, as demonstrated in past and current employment history.  Desirable competencies for this position include: 

Job Expertise - Demonstrates knowledge of and experience with applicable professional/technical principles and practices, Citywide and departmental procedures/policies and federal and state rules and regulations. 

Communication Skills - Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts clearly, orally and in writing; demonstrates effective use of listening skills; displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts.  

Reliability - Completes quality work assignments in a timely and efficient manner; fulfills responsibilities and maintains confidentiality as appropriate.  

Multi-Tasking - Can handle multiple projects and responsibilities simultaneously; has handled a wide variety of assignments in past and/or current position(s).  

Customer Service - Demonstrates the ability to anticipate customers' needs and deliver services effectively and efficiently in a timely, accurate, respectful and friendly manner.  

Problem Solving - Approaches a situation or problem by defining the problem or issue; determines the significance of problem(s); collects information; uses logic and intuition to arrive at decisions or solutions to problems that achieve the desired outcome.  

Meeting Ethical Standards - When confronted with ethical dilemmas, acts in a way that reflects relevant law, policy and procedures, agency values, and personal values    

Initiative - Exhibits resourceful behaviors toward meeting job objectives; anticipates problems, is proactive, and avoids difficulties by planning ahead; displays willingness to assume extra responsibility and challenges; pursues continuing education opportunities that promotes job performance.  

Teamwork & Interpersonal Skills - Develops effective relationships with co-workers and supervisors by helping others accomplish tasks and using collaboration and conflict resolution skills. 


Education: Successful completion of high school, G.E.D. or California Proficiency Certificate.  

Experience: Nine (9) years of increasingly responsible sub-professional engineering/construction inspection work, including three (3) years at the level of Senior Construction Inspector, Senior Engineering Technician, Survey Field Supervisor, or equivalent. 

Acceptable Substitution: Completion of a terminal curriculum in engineering technology equivalent to that given in an accredited California junior college or two (2) years of college engineering courses may be substituted for two (2) years of the required remaining experience. 

Licenses or Certificates: Required possession of a valid California driver’s license 

Desirable Licenses or Certifications: 

State Water Resources Control Board Water Distribution Operator Level D2  

AWWA Cross Connection Specialist (CCS) certification 

Incumbent will be required to obtain D2 and CCS certifications within one year of appointment 

Employment Eligibility:  Federal law requires all employees to provide verification of their eligibility to work in this country. Please be informed that the City of San Jose will NOT sponsor, represent or sign any documents related to visa applications/transfers for H1-B or any other type of visa which requires an employer application.  


The job ID for this position is 2000930. To view the full job announcement and to apply, please visit you have questions about the duties of these positions, the selection or hiring processes, please contact Janie Saetern at


$94,827.20-$115,523.20 Annually