South San Francisco

Principal Engineer

San Francisco/Peninsula
Until filled
$65.15-$79.19 Hourly

Please review the special instructions before applying for this job opportunity.


400 Grand Avenue South San Francisco, 94080


The City of South San Francisco is accepting applications for the position of Principal Engineer.


Application Deadline:  Open Until Filled - recruitment may close at any time when a sufficient number of qualified applications/supplemental questionnaires have been received.




The City of South San Francisco is a fully independent and highly commercialized full-service City with an estimated population of 65,710 growing to 100,000 during business hours. City departments include: Police, Fire; Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Economic and Community Development, City Attorney, Library, Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, City Clerk, and Office of the City Manager. The City has a Council-City Manager form of government with more than 400 full-and part-time employees.

The Public Works Department is comprised of the Engineering, Maintenance, and Water Quality Control Plant divisions.  The Engineering Division is responsible for delivering facilities and infrastructures that meet the needs of City residents and complying with standards and requirements established in the engineering guidelines and the City's Master Plan.

The Principal Engineer is responsible for planning, supervising, and coordinating advanced professional engineering assignments on a wide range of municipal projects of a complex nature, including civil, sanitary, traffic, and other municipal public works, maintenance and construction projects; directs and supervises professional, technical engineering staff performing design, inspection and surveying duties; responsible for the administration, direction and supervision of the Engineering Division.  The position receives administrative direction from the Director of Public Works.

The Principal Engineer is responsible for the general administrative direction of the Engineering Division and control of all projects.  This is the management level class in the professional engineering series and performs more complex engineering duties as well as broader project management and supervisory responsibilities.  This position shall also be capable of reviewing and completing staff work to a high degree of completion.


Selection Process

The process will first consist of a review of application materials and responses to the supplemental questionnaire.  A resume is required to be attached to the application but will not take the place of a fully completed application; incomplete applications and/or questionnaires will not be considered.  Do not put “see resume” on application or supplemental questionnaire as the submission will be considered incomplete.  The highly suitable and qualified candidates will be invited to participate in an oral panel interview (weighted at 100%).  Upon completion of the oral interview, an eligible list will be established which will be used for the appointment to the position. Possession of minimal qualifications does not guarantee advancement in the selection process and placement on the eligible employment list. Top ranking candidates placed on the eligible list will be invited to the next phase of the selection process and will consist of any or all of the following: oral interview and written/practical exercise.

Appeals concerning administration of an examination must be submitted in writing within two (2) business days from the date the event occurred.

Note: The City of South San Francisco reserves the right, at its discretion, to limit the number of qualified candidates invited to the selection process.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate must have strong interpersonal skills and be able to build consensus and convincingly be able to represent the City in a wide variety of concerns and interests.  Strong communication and writing skills are essential.  Incumbents work independently, seeking assistance only as new or unusual situations arise.

Experience and Training

Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities would be qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge, skills and abilities would be:

Experience: Five years of progressively more responsible professional civil engineering experience at least comparable to an Associate Civil Engineer, with at least two years of this experience must be equivalent to a Senior Civil Engineer in municipal professional engineering and two years in project management providing direction to other engineering staff.

Training: A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major coursework in civil, sanitary, mechanical engineering or a closely related field. A master’s degree in engineering, business administration, public administration or related field is highly desirable.

Licenses and Certificates

All licenses and certificates must be maintained as a condition of employment.

  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate valid California driver’s license, and a satisfactory driving record.
  • Possession and maintenance of a valid certificate of registration as a Civil Engineer issued by the State Department of Registration for Professional Engineers is preferred.

To review a complete job description that includes all special requirements, go to:


Salary:  $65.15 – $79.19/hour

Retirement:  In compliance with AB 340, CalPERS retirement formula is either 2% at age 60; employee pays approximately 7% of pay OR 2% at age 62; employee pays approximately 6.5% of pay, depending on the individual's eligibility.  Social Security and Medicare participation; and option to participate in 457 deferred compensation plans.  City contributes equivalent of 1.5% of base pay towards a medical after-retirement account, with a $100/month employee contribution.

Health Insurance:  Health Insurance: City offers choice of medical HMO (two providers) or PPO plan, and offers vision and dental coverage. City pays 100% of vision and dental core plans for employee and eligible dependents. Employees shall contribute 10% of the HMO health premiums cost based on category of coverage (single, two, family). For PPO, employee pays cost difference between PPO and HMO plans. City provides 100% City-paid short- and long-term disability insurances. The City offers a discretionary benefit account for employees who demonstrate health coverage elsewhere.

Vacation: Fifteen to thirty working days annual vacation, based on the length of service.

Holidays: Fourteen paid holidays per year, including one floating holiday.

Leaves: The City offers 40 hours per fiscal year of administrative leave.

Personal & Professional Development Expense Reimbursement: Employees in this unit will receive $750 for personal and professional development per fiscal year.

Programs: Unreimbursed Medical and Dependent Care Expenses, Long Term Care Plan, Employee Assistance Program, Credit Union, Recreation Classes, and Reduced-fee Child-care Programs are available. 

This classification is in an employee bargaining unit.

Special Instructions

A completed employment application and supplemental questionnaire must be submitted in order to be considered for this employment opportunity. A resume is required but does not substitute for a completed application packet - do not put "see resume" on application or supplemental questionnaire, otherwise it will be considered incomplete and will not be considered further.

Deadline:  Open Until Filled - first review of application in three weeks; recruitment may close at any time when a sufficient number of qualified applications/supplemental questionnaires have been received.


Prior to hire, candidates will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, including a pre-employment physical and drug screening (when applicable), a driving record review, reference check, and a Department of Justice (DOJ) fingerprint check. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment.

Candidates requesting veteran’s preference must provide a copy of U.S. Government Form DD 214 "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty" as an attachment to their CalOpps application.

Candidates with a disability who may require special assistance in any phase of the application or testing process should advise the Human Resources Division upon submittal of application.  Documentation of the need for accommodation must accompany the request.

The policy of the City of South San Francisco is to grant equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender, age, religion, ancestry, physical or mental disability, sexual preference, marital status or national origin.  It is the intent and desire of the City of South San Francisco that equal employment opportunity will be provided in recruiting, hiring, training, promoting, wages, benefits, and all other privileges, terms and conditions of employment.  The City of South San Francisco is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

This general announcement is subject to change. It does not constitute an express or implied contract.

Recruitment Contact

Contact phone: 
Contact email: