The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Sample Job Description for Public Works Director

Reference Number: MTAS-1572
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: September 19, 2017
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General Definition and Nature of Job:
The public works director is appointed by and reports to the city manager. This is a department head level position, one of six within the city’s organizational structure. The director has primary responsibility for the organization, operation and overall performance of the department. This specifically includes the department and administration of the departmental budget and the supervision of all department employees. Department functions include engineering, solid waste management, water and sewer utilities, streets and public works construction activities. Independent judgment is used according to the situation, and different courses of action must be taken to complete the department tasks. Work is performed in all kinds of weather conditions.

Essential Duties and Work Performed:

  • Oversees budgetary operations and prepares budgets as required
  • Promulgates regulations to ensure proper organization and use of personnel
  • Plans and directs activities of the public works department
  • Performs administrative activities of the public works department
  • Coordinates formal and on-the-job training programs for recruits and personnel development
  • Keeps records and prepares reports including personnel reports
  • Develops and recommends policy options and alternatives for consideration by the city manager and the city council

Required Knowledge and Skills:

  • Knowledge of public works operations, including construction, engineering, maintenance, office and business procedures
  • Ability to plan, organize, schedule, coordinate and direct public works functions, including streets, solid waste, water and sewer utilities and engineering
  • Knowledge of and experience in the application of management and supervisory principles and practices as applied to municipal government
  • Knowledge of and experience in municipal procedures relating to finance, personnel, purchasing, office operations, risk management and public relations
  • Knowledge of and experience in the management of occupational hazards and safety precautions
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of engineering and construction, particularly as applied to municipal functions
  • Ability to efficiently prepare and maintain thorough and accurate reports and records
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, news media, employees, external agencies and organizations, the city manager and the city council

Desired Qualifications:

  • Graduation from a four-year college with major course work in engineering, public works, business administration, or public administration, master’s degree or engineering license preferred
  • Demonstrated management or high level administrative experience
  • Progressively responsible experience in public works
  • Must pass physical and drug screen
  • Valid Tennessee driver’s license

Special Qualifications/Requirements:
The public works director is expected to be an effective administrator concerned about productivity and quality performance. The public works director must bring to the job and at all times maintain a sense of objectivity and a business-minded approach. It is essential that the public works director be service oriented.

Responsible: