Exam Code: 2TR13
Department: Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
Exam Type: Departmental, Open 
Bulletin Date: 08/01/2023
Final Filing Date: Continuous (cut-off dates for 2024: January 31st, February 29th, March 31st, April 30th, May 31st, June 30th, July 31st, August 31st, September 30th, October 31st, November 30th, December 31st)
Monthly Salary: $6,027.00 - $11,567.00

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Caltrans is pleased to announce the posting of the 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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Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications as stated below may apply for this examination.

Once you have list eligibility, you may not reapply for six (6) months from your eligibility date. Candidates that are unsuccessful in the examination must wait six (6) months from the testing date before reapplying to take the examination.

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted into the examination. Part-time or full-time jobs, regardless of whether paid or volunteer positions, and inside or outside California state service will count toward experience.

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

Examinations and STD678s 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 or STD678s 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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This is the entry, first working, and journey level of professional surveying work in Caltrans. Under the direction of a licensed land surveyor, incumbents perform a wide variety of professional land surveying work in either an office or field setting; as incumbents progress in experience, they will be assigned more difficult work and may function as a lead person over the activities of various surveying and technical personnel in the office or field. At the journey level and with a license, the incumbent will work in a responsible charge capacity.

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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:
Transportation Surveyor (Caltrans)

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Graduation from a four-year curriculum in surveying, surveying engineering, or surveying geomatics accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology. (Registration as a "Senior" in such a curriculum will admit an applicant to the competition, but applicants must produce evidence of graduation before being considered eligible for appointment.)

(Possession of a valid certificate as a Land Surveyor in Training issued or accepted by the California Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors or possession of a valid certificate as an Engineer in Training accepted by the California Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors in lieu of a certificate as a Land Surveyor in Training may be substituted for the required education.)

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Knowledge of:

1. The principles and provisions of the Land Surveyors' Act and Subdivision Map Act to ensure that land surveying activities and reporting/documentation activities conform to legislative requirements.

2. Land survey methodology and principles to ensure that land survey work conducted adheres to appropriate standards and practices of land surveying.

3. The California Coordinate System and its different types of data to plan land survey activities, interpret, and calculate land survey data.

4. Safe surveying practices to ensure that land surveying activities are performed in a safe manner.

5. Basic engineering terms to understand and communicate effectively about the land survey and right of way engineering activities pertinent to highway/transportation projects.

6. Drafting principles and concepts related to the design and presentation of land survey data to ensure accuracy in accordance with recognized drafting/design principles.

7. Mapping principles related to the design, preparation, and presentation of maps and drawings to accurately depict property lines and topography according to standards.

8. Mathematical principles (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistical analysis) to calculate and solve mathematical equations in the course of completing land surveying tasks and analyses.

9. Units of measures (e.g., feet, miles, acres, meters) to conceptualize and calculate distances, areas, volumes, amounts, and quantitative data based upon a common frame of reference.

10. The use and operation of surveying instruments and accessories (e.g., total stations, data loggers, fore/back sights, digital levels, Global Positioning System [GPS]/Global Navigation Satellite System [GNSS] receivers, and terrestrial scanners) to ensure correct set up, installation, and use of field equipment for accurate, precise, and reliable data collection.

11. Boundary determination principles pertaining to right of way surveying to ensure that the land survey data collected is properly interpreted and accurately represents property boundaries and easements.

12. The format and content of real property legal descriptions in order to read, understand, and interpret land area/property descriptions, locations, and boundaries contained in legal descriptions of real property.

13. Data collection techniques and considerations to ensure that the data collected through a variety of techniques (e.g., field measurement and review of historical records) is accurate and complete.

14. The rules of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure to ensure that written materials prepared and those reviewed are complete, succinct, and free of writing errors.

15. Safety issues and considerations related to working in and around vehicular traffic and moving vehicles, including construction equipment and vehicles.

16.  Safety provisions applicable to surveying activities and data collection procedures to ensure that surveying activities are performed in a safe manner.

17.  Proper body mechanics and ergonomic principles applicable to lifting, bending, stooping, and reaching to ensure that such motions/moves made in the course of completing work tasks are performed safely and appropriately.
Ability to:

1. Integrate multiple facts, statistics, and/or mathematical values when solving complex mathematical problems to ensure that calculations performed and results obtained are accurate and appropriate to the situation.

2. Apply land surveying concepts and principles when solving complex mathematical/engineering equations.

3. Apply algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistical analysis concepts and principles to solve complex mathematical/surveying equations.

4. Read measuring tapes using US and metric units of measure to ensure accurate calculations.

5. Analyze survey data to formulate right of way documentation, locate topographical land features, and determine the accuracy and completeness of survey data collection techniques and activities.

6. Organize and compile survey data and information to ensure the accuracy, clarity, and conciseness of the documentation for the projects.

7. Recognize the ramifications and possible impact of decisions made or actions taken to determine the most appropriate course of action given specific circumstances of the situation.

8. Use word processing software to prepare reports, memos, correspondence, and other job-related documents and materials.

9. Use electronic mail to communicate with audiences on matters related to transportation projects and issues.

10. Prioritize work tasks according to short-term demands and long-range goals and objectives.

11. Work independently to complete day-to-day work activities with minimal hands-on supervision.

12. Work effectively as part of a group or team unit to complete work tasks and assignments collaboratively and according to project specifications.

13. Communicate orally to a variety of audiences in a concise and coherent manner.

14. Establish and maintain collaborative working relations with superiors, peers, support staff, staff from outside agencies, contractors, and the public.

15. Listen effectively in both one-on- one situations and group settings to ensure that information being communicated is received and considered appropriately before any response is offered.

16. Concisely summarize facts and information to ensure that information presented is clear and conveyed appropriately for the particular audience.

17. Read and comprehend a variety of departmental manuals, procedures, and guidelines, (e.g. Surveys Manual, the Right of Way Manual, the Drafting Manual, the Safety Manual) to ensure appropriate application and adherence in planning and completing land survey and right of way engineering activities.

18. Read and comprehend a variety of technical materials (e.g., manufacturers' instructional manuals, reference guides and instructions, and equipment specifications) to ensure the proper installation, operation, and use of surveying instruments and equipment.

19. Read and interpret a variety of documents related to property conveyances (e.g. deeds, judicial partitions, indentures, and title reports) to ensure that such information is considered and applied appropriately in the completion of survey and right of way engineering activities.

20. Read and understand construction plans and specifications to determine scope and parameters of assigned survey projects and activities and ensure compliance with project plans and specifications.

21. Read and understand staking notes to ensure proper placement of the stakes and to use the data for additional land surveying activities and data verification.

22. Understands maps and drawings depicting specific locales/regions to determine location, topographic characteristics, and other related information.

23. Operate a motorized vehicle safely and in accordance with the California vehicle code.

24. Traverse uneven terrain in order to collect survey data.
25.  Stand for prolonged periods of time.

26.  Sit for long periods of time using and keyboard and monitor.

27.  Move 30 pounds from one location to another.

28.  Crawl or stoop to perform survey fieldwork.

29.  Drive or ride for long periods of time in vehicle to various survey locations.

30.  Operate large and heavy hand tools (e.g., sledgehammer, machete, shovel, digging bar)

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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. Testing is considered continuous, as new test dates can be set at any time as the departmental needs warrant. Candidates will receive their results, on average, 4-6 weeks after the cut-off date.

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Veterans’ Preference will be applied to those competitors who are successful in this examination and who qualify for, and have requested, Veterans’ Preference through the California Department of Human Resources. Veterans who have achieved permanent civil service status are not eligible to receive 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 askexams@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 three 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.
If Veterans’ Preference is Warranted: Pursuant to Assembly Bill 372, Veterans’ Preference will be awarded as follows, starting January 1, 2014:

1.    Any veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran, who achieves a passing score in an open examination, shall be ranked in the top rank of the resulting eligibility list.
2.    Any veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released is not eligible for Veterans’ Preference.
3.    Veterans’ Preference is not granted once a person achieves permanent civil service status (Permanent State civil service status means the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This includes permanent intermittent, part-time, and full-time appointments. In addition, individuals who at any time achieved permanent State civil service status and subsequently resigned or were dismissed from State civil service are not eligible to receive Veterans’ Preference).

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans’ Preference are on the

Veterans’ Preference Application (CalHR Form 1093) which is also available at CalHR and the Department of Veterans Affairs.