Tentative Classification Standards issued by the Division of Classification & Compensation are shared with the operating agencies of State government for their consideration and comment. Accordingly, this document that you are viewing is subject to change and will be issued in final form at the completion of the review period.


Occ. Code 4003500



New York State Department of Civil Service

 Classification Standard




Principal Engineering Technicians perform complex civil engineering technical support activities for engineers and engineering projects and construction and engineering programs.  This includes serving as engineer-in-charge on small construction projects, planning and designing small construction and rehabilitation projects, such as road resurfacing or construction of drainage, reviewing the technical accuracy of plans and documentation in contracts and proposals, preparing cost estimates of materials and supplies for projects, gathering and evaluating research data, supervising and training subordinate technicians, and inspecting portions of major construction and rehabilitation projects.


Although these positions are found in several agencies, most positions are assigned in the central and regional offices of the Department of Transportation. Principal Engineering Technicians (Soils) are found only in the Department of Transportation. 




PRINCIPAL ENGINEERING TECHNICIAN: second supervisory level; performs responsible technical engineering work which requires some knowledge of engineering theory and principles and the ability to apply this knowledge to the planning, design, inspection, and evaluation of roads, structures, and related equipment; independently plans and schedules work, selects work methodology, evaluates information and prepares recommendations, prepares completed maps and plans, resolves problems in the field, and performs field work.




Incumbents are supervised by engineers or other higher level professional staff who make assignments, provide technical assistance, review work for completeness and compliance with engineering principles and techniques, and resolve engineering problems. The activities, tasks, and assignments described below are illustrative of the duties performed by positions at this level:  they are not meant to restrict incumbents to performing only these duties or to working within a limited functional area.  Principal Engineering Technicians may be assigned to one or a number of these areas, depending on agency program and operating needs.


Serves as engineer-in-charge of small construction projects or assists engineers in supervising and inspecting major construction projects.


·       Trains and supervises subordinate engineering technicians and seasonal construction inspectors assigned to construction inspection.

·       Directs field survey parties in sectioning and staking out alignment of ground for proposed projects and reviews the plotting and survey information.

·       Interprets for contractor and field staff contract specifications and construction standards and resolves differences in interpretation.

·       Reviews inspection reports prepared by subordinates for accuracy and completeness.

·       Conducts physical inspections and tests and takes measurements of construction in progress and on completion.

·       Prepares inspection reports, with documentation, about construction progress and contractor compliance with specifications and notes steps taken to resolve disputes and problems.

·       Makes recommendations to engineering staff about revision of plans and specifications to meet field conditions or unexpected construction problems.

·       Supervises the preparation of estimates for materials, supplies, and equipment and computes payments for completed work.

·       Reviews and makes recommendations regarding contractor claims for additional payments.


Participates in preparing and finalizing design plans and cost estimates.


·       Supervises and reviews the work of drafting and engineering technicians assigned to the design squad.

·       Assists in developing and evaluating project designs and price analyses for major projects.

·       Designs minor projects or parts of major projects, such as drainage, road reconstruction, and alignment of curves.

·       Prepares specifications, final plans, and cost and quantity estimates for contracts.

·       Evaluates construction alternatives for cost, effectiveness, maintenance needs and costs, and impact on surrounding areas.

·       Prepares exhibits and cost estimates, with supporting documentation, for meetings and public hearings.

·       Assists in evaluating information, gathered at public hearings or from other agencies, which impacts on design and construction plans.

·       Checks and verifies the accuracy of design and contract plans prepared by others, such as quantity and cost estimates, maps, right-of-way estimates, and survey and cross sections, before final submission to bid.

·       Participates in evaluating contractor proposals and bids.


Assists in administering regional maintenance programs.


·       Compiles schedules of special crews.

·       Compiles residency equipment requirements, usage reports, and equipment inventory records and schedules the assignment and transfer of equipment within the region.

·       Investigates and answers complaints from the public, referring serious problems to higher level staff for resolution.

·       Updates and maintains records of road histories and mileage by type of roads.

·       Compiles and summarizes regional equipment and material usage to prepare annual reports and budget requests.

·       Maintains records of program activities within the region, such as herbicide treatments, shoulder stabilization, special project paving, and sign program.


Assists in administering the evaluation, issuance, and review of permits for special hauling on State roads or construction by private parties on State-owned or managed property.


·       Reviews construction applications to assure that proposed work is accomplished according to sound engineering principles and department policy and sets the amount of bond for the project.

·       Inspects and supervises the inspection of construction work in State rights-of-way to assure work is properly performed and in compliance with the permit and recommends final acceptance and release of bond.

·       Advises agency staff and permit applicants about procedural and technical requirements for special hauling or work permits.

·       Reviews active and incomplete work permits to determine status or projects and recommends solutions for expediting completion.

·       Reviews and approves requests for special hauling permits, assuring that roads and structures of approved routes are capable of meeting hauling requirements without damage.


Participates in research and analysis by evaluating information and supervising testing and data gathering teams.


·       Supervises subordinate technical staff in gathering field samples and conducting laboratory tests according to established procedures.

·       Evaluates and interprets maps, photographs, tests, and data to prepare final maps and plans for projects.

·       Establishes and maintains inventories of roads, bridges, and traffic signals and equipment, including conducting inspections to determine condition and monitoring sites where problems have been identified.

·       Conducts intersection and road investigation studies, including traffic counts, physical condition maps, and accident records, to assist in planning installation and maintenance, determining signs and control devices needed, determining speed limits, evaluating the effect of municipal ordinances on State highways, and evaluating the effectiveness of the traffic program and its work crews.

·       Supervises the collection, filing, referencing, plotting, verification, and analysis of data gathered, including determining parameters, identifying sources, selecting methodology, adjusting data, and summarizing and interpreting findings.


Evaluates traffic signals to be installed by contract to assure specifications, including type and placement of signals, meet traffic control needs.


Administers the departments preferential rights procedure for abandoned railroad property by interpreting railroad maps, preparing maps and narrative descriptions, notifying State agencies and local governments of availability, and preparing recommendations for property disposition.


Participates in highway project review, evaluation, and planning.


·       Assures that all project planning reports and supporting documentation are reviewed and evaluated.

·       Supervises the checking of project costs and economic justifications and assures that all calculations are correct and appropriate data has been used.

·       Edits draft project reports.

·       Performs initial review of Project Initiation Requests and Project Scope changes and refers to engineers for analysis.

·       Prepares maps and graphics for briefings.

·       Reviews environmental statements for conflicts with highway projects and prepares draft responses and comments.

·       Reviews clearinghouse notifications from other agencies for impact on transportation and construction planning and determines possible conflicts.

·       Prepares correspondence related to project review and initiation.


Trains and supervises subordinate technical and administrative support staff.


·       Schedules and assigns staff.

·       Trains subordinates to perform calculations, make maps and plans, conduct tests and evaluate results, and perform field work.

·       Selects project methodology.

·       Reviews work for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with procedures, guidelines, and commonly accepted engineering principles.


Performs duties described in standard for Senior Engineering Technicians.





Promotion: One year of service as an Engineering Geologist, Engineering Materials Analyst, Environmental Engineering Technician 2, Junior Engineer, Senior Drafting Technician (all parenthetics), Senior Engineering Technician, or Senior Engineering Technician (Soils).


Open Competitive:  High school graduation or equivalent and four years of full-time satisfactory experience assisting in engineering or engineering technology, engineering management technology, architecture or architectural technology, environmental technology, landscape architecture/design, materials laboratory technology, drafting or surveying.


Revised:  12/17

NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.










Parenthetics Attachment


Incumbents in these positions mostly work in a General Soils Laboratory. Incumbents work under the general direction of a Soils Engineering Laboratory Supervisor, an Engineer or an Engineering Geologist; perform technical work related to the design and construction of earthwork and foundations for highways, bridges, buildings, dams, and other facilities; may supervise a soil survey or field testing party, train and supervise personnel of a major section of a soils laboratory, and perform the more difficult laboratory or field soils tests; as a member of a design squad, perform computations and cost estimates for the design of foundations for structures and embankments, cut slopes, and pavements; and collect and analyze field instrumentation data. Duties include the following: perform complex laboratory or field tests; perform computations and cost estimates in support of design activity; supervise a soil survey or field testing unit; train subordinates to perform calculations, making maps and plans, conducting tests, evaluating results and performing field work/inspection; check test reports of subordinates for completeness and accuracy; maintain and verify equipment is in proper operation condition; participate in the development of new tests and the modification of existing tests; and occasionally travel statewide to collect and analyze field data.





Promotion: One year of service as an Engineering Geologist, Engineering Materials Analyst, Junior Engineer, Senior Drafting Technician (General), Senior Drafting Technician (Structural), Senior Engineering Technician, and Senior Engineering Technician (Soils).