Exam Code: 4TR41
Department: Department of Transportation (Caltrans) 
Exam Type: Departmental Open, Non-Promotional 
Bulletin Date: 5/02/2016
Final Filing Date: Continuous (cut-off dates for 2024: January 31st, February 29th, March 30th, April 30th, May 31st, June 30th, July 31st, August 31st, September 30th, October 30th, November 30th, December 31st)
Monthly Salary: $9,707.00 - $12,146.00

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Caltrans is pleased to announce the posting of the Transportation Surveyor Party Chief (Caltrans) examination. Employment from this examination will 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 twelve (12) 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 first professional qualified supervisory level requiring licensing as a land surveyor. As a survey party chief over field crews, incumbents are assigned administrative supervision of professional and technical staff. Incumbents also perform a wide variety of difficult and complex professional surveying work and exercise independent professional judgment in responsible charge assignments.

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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 Party Chief (Caltrans) Classification Specifications

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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 duties comparable to a Transportation Surveyor (Caltrans), Range D.


Two years of experience in the California state service performing duties equivalent to a Transportation Surveyor (Caltrans), Range C.


Two years of field or office experience performing duties equivalent to a Transportation Surveyor (Caltrans), Range D.


Three years of field or office experience performing duties equivalent to a Transportation Surveyor (Caltrans), Range A, B, or C.

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Knowledge of:

1. Fundamental 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. 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. Monumentation of facilities

14. The Land Surveyors’ Act

15. The Subdivision Map Act

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

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

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

19. Computers and state-of-the-art surveying and related equipment

20. Principles of effective communication

21. Principles of effective personnel management and supervision

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. Departmental guides, manuals, and other publications related to land survey and right of way engineering activities for highway/transportation projects

Ability to:

1. Perform complex field and office surveying work

2. Make precise survey measurements

3. Interpret legal descriptions of real property

4. Make and interpret difficult survey calculations

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

6. Research, analyze, check, and adjust survey data

7. Research and compile evidence and documentation for boundary determination

8. Assist in planning, directing, and coordinating the work of a group of survey or right of way engineering personnel

9. Analyze situations accurately and take effective action

10. Prepare clear and concise reports and correspondence

11. Operate precise surveying instruments (conventional and state-of-the-art)

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

13. Communicate effectively

14. Supervise the work of surveyors

15. Plan and direct the work of a survey party

16. Make necessary corrections and/or revisions to construction plans, under the direction of the Senior Transportation Surveyor, when required to meet field conditions and/or comply with policies and standards

17. Plan and direct the work of staff engaged in field survey work and in the resolution of legal property descriptions

18. Prepare clear and comprehensive reports and technical correspondence

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

20. Analyze situations accurately, reason logically, and adopt an effective course of action

21. Effectively promote Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) in employment and maintain a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment

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This examination will consist of a Training and Experience Questionnaire 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 quarterly. Testing is considered continuous, as new test dates can be set at any time as departmental needs warrant. Candidates will receive their results 2-4 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 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 Ehsan.Tahir@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.

If Career Credits is Warranted: In Open, Non-promotional examinations, Career Credits are granted to: 1) State employees with permanent civil service status, 2) full-time employees of the state who are exempt from State civil service pursuant to the provisions of Section 4 of Article VII of the California Constitution, and who meet all qualification requirement specified by the Board and have 12 consecutive months of service in an exempt position, and 3) individuals who have served one full year in, or are graduates of, the California Conservation Corps (eligibility shall expire 24 months after graduation from the California Conservation Corps). Three points are added to the final test score of those candidates who meet the above criteria, and who are successful in the examination. Such examinations cannot be for managerial positions described in Government Code Section 3513. Competitors not currently employed in State civil service who have mandatory reinstatement rights may also be eligible for career credits, but they must explain their service status in the appropriate section of the application Form 100-678. (Section 4 of Article VII of the California Constitution is posted at the State Personnel Board, 801 Capitol Mall and Sacramento).