Exam Code: 8TRD5
Department: Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
Exam Type: Departmental, Promotional 
Bulletin Date: 12/14/2018
Final Filing Date: Continuous (cut-off dates for 2024: January 31, February 29, March 31, April 30, May 31, June 30, July 31, August 31, September 30, October 31, November 30, December 31)
Monthly Salary: $10,886.00 - $13,625.00

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Caltrans is pleased to announce the posting of the Senior Transportation Surveyor, (Caltrans) examination. Employment from this examination may be offered in all Districts and Sacramento County.

Any information submitted in your examination effort WILL NOT BE FORWARDED or be included in the determination of your qualifications for a position.

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Caltrans is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

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It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free work place. All applicants will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, as the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

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This is a Departmental Promotional examination for Caltrans. Applicants must be:

1) A permanent civil service appointment with Caltrans as of the final filing date in order to participate in the examination; or

2) Have been employed with Caltrans within the last three years, without a break in State civil service; or

3) A current or former employee of the Legislature for two or more years as defined in Government Code §18990; or

4) A current or former non-elected exempt employee of the Executive Branch for two or more consecutive years as defined in Government Code §18992; or

5) A person retired from the United States military, honorably discharged from active military duty with a service-connected disability, or honorably discharged from active duty as defined in Government Code §18991. Persons applying who qualify as a Veteran under Government Code Section 18991 must submit a copy of their DD214 with their Examination Application (STD. 678).

Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications as stated on this announcement may apply for this examination.   Once you have taken the examination, you may not reapply for 12 months.  Candidates that are unsuccessful in the examination must wait six (6) months from the testing date before reapplying to take the examination.

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Candidates are required to submit 1) STD 678 State Application and 2) Training and Experience Evaluation

Examinations must be received or postmarked no later than the cut-off date. Dates printed on Mobile Bar Codes, such as the Quick Response (QR) Codes available at the USPS, are not considered Postmark dates for the purpose of determining timely filing of an examination. Faxed or E-mailed examinations will NOT be accepted.
File by Mail

Attention: Caltrans Examination Services (MS 86)
P.O. Box 168036, Sacramento, CA 95816-8036

File in Person

Attention: Caltrans Examination Services (MS 86)
1727 30TH Street, 1st Floor, Sacramento, CA 95816-8036

*Any information submitted in your examination effort WILL NOT BE FORWARDED or be included in the determination of your qualifications for a position.

**Candidates are responsible for obtaining proof of mailing or submission of their examination to Exam Services.

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Under general direction (1) as a first line supervisor, to have charge of varied and difficult transportation surveying work in the office involving the supervision of surveyors and others engaged in transportation surveying activities; or (2) as a first and/or second line supervisor, to have charge of several survey field crews or office surveyor teams engaged in all phases of transportation surveying activities; or (3) in a specialist capacity, to perform other difficult and complex surveying work relating to transportation projects, research studies, and development of transportation surveying policies and procedures; or (4) provide technical oversight of consultants or local agency staff performing engineering work related to the development of State transportation projects.

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All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements for this examination by the cut-off date. 

NOTE: Qualifying experience may be combined on a proportionate basis if the requirements stated below include more than one pattern and are distinguished as “Either I,” “or II,” “or III,” etc. For example, candidates possessing qualifying experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern I, and additional experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern II, may be admitted to an examination as meeting 100% of the overall experience requirements.

Click on the link below to review the California State Personnel Board class specification which contain the requirements for admittance to the exam:
Senior Transportation Surveyor (Caltrans) Classification Specification

Question Title

Possession of a valid California Land Surveyors' License. (A Certificate of Registration as a Civil Engineer issued by the California Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors prior to January 1, 1982 satisfies this requirement.) AND

Either I

One year of experience in the California state service performing the duties of a Chief of Land Surveys.


One year of experience in the California state service performing the duties of a Transportation Surveyor Party Chief (Caltrans).


One year of experience in the California state service performing the duties of a Land Surveyor Supervisor.


Two years of experience in the California state service performing the duties comparable to those of an associate level surveyor or Transportation Surveyor (Caltrans), Range D.

Or V

Broad and extensive (more than five years) transportation surveying experience, two years of which are equivalent in responsibility to that of a Transportation Surveyor (Caltrans), Range D, in the California state service.

NOTE: Applicants must attach proof of “possession of a valid California Land Surveyors’ License” to their application. Proof must include information on license type, license number, license status and expiration date.

A printout containing this information can be obtained from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ website:


Question Title

Knowledge of:

1. Fundamental surveying, mathematics, and basic science as applied to surveying

2. Methods of precise survey measuring

3. Use and adjustment of precision surveying instruments

4. Procedures, equipment, and materials used in surveying, including conventional and state-of-the-art

5. Mapping and drafting techniques

6. Mathematics and procedures used in plane and geodetic surveying

7. Computer applications and usage

8. The California Coordinate System

9. The Code of Safe Surveying Practices

10. Principles and practices of boundary determination, land title research, and surveying

11. Legal descriptions of real property

12. Methods and terminology used in searching for land titles and factors involved in determining ownership of property

13. Real property acquisition and mapping laws pertaining to public and private ownership of real property

14. Monumentation of facilities

15. The Land Surveyors’ Act

16. Factors which influence the impact of departmental projects on property and basic net

17. Planning, design, construction, and right of way procedures and policies as they relate to surveys

18. Departmental plans, standards, policies, and procedures for planning, design, right of way, and construction as they relate to surveys

19. Right of way engineering processes

20. Methods, equipment, and materials used in surveying and mapping of State facilities

21. Principles of effective communication

22. A manager’s/supervisor’s responsibility for promoting equal opportunity in hiring and employee development and promotion, and for maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment

23. All phases of surveying performed by Caltrans

24. Principles and techniques of effective personnel management and supervision
Ability to:

1. Perform complex field office surveying work

2. Interpret legal descriptions of real property

3. Make and interpret difficult survey calculations

4. Apply and utilize the principles of the California Coordinate System

5. Research, analyze, check and adjust survey data

6. Research and compile evidence and documentation for boundary determinations

7. Establish and maintain friendly, business-like relations with those contacted in the course of work

8. Communicate effectively

9. Write property descriptions and prepare legal land documents and descriptions

10. Supervise the work of surveyors

11. Plan and direct the work of staff engaged in resolution of legal property descriptions

12. Prepare clear and comprehensive reports and technical correspondence

13. Review the work of others for compliance with legal requirements, policies, and specifications

14. Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action

15. Effectively promote equal employment opportunity in employment and maintain a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment

16. Plan and direct the work of staff assigned to a variety of surveying-related projects in surveys or right of way engineering

Question Title

This examination will consist of a Training & Experience Evaluation weighted 100%. In order to obtain a position on the eligible list, a minimum score of 70% must be attained.

Examinations will be accepted on a continuous basis and will be processed monthly. Testing is considered continuous, as new test dates can be set at any time as the departmental needs warrant.

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Veterans' Preference will not be granted in the examination as it does not meet the requirements to qualify for Veterans' Preference.

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Career Credits will not be added to the final score of this examination.

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General questions on how to apply?  Click HERE for video tutorials.

For more information regarding this examination, please contact the Office of Examinations at (916) 227-7858 or email the Exam Analyst at Lisa.Nickell@dot.ca.gov.

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For an examination without a written feature, it is the candidate's responsibility to contact the testing department four to six weeks after the cut-off date if he/she has not received his/her notice.

Applications are available at Standard State Application (STD 678), California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) offices, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and the testing department on this job bulletin.

If you meet the requirements stated on this bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirement does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination will be compared with the performance of the others who take this test, and all candidates who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

Caltrans reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all competitors will be notified.

Candidates needing special testing arrangements due to a disability must complete an STD679 and submit with the requested examination materials.

General Qualifications: Candidates must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, and the ability to work cooperatively with others; and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.  Eligibility lists may be abolished at anytime after one year, per Departmental needs.  It is the candidates responsibility to maintain eligibility throughout the hiring process.

If High School Equivalence is Required: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Educational Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the candidate is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.