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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 538R
Category: Science & Engineering


This is the trainee, beginning developmental level within the Transportation Technician series.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Incumbents serve an apprenticeship in which they receive on-the-job instruction, classroom training and self-study courses in order to develop a working knowledge of basic technical engineering fundamentals, principles and practices. To facilitate development, incumbents perform a variety of basic, simple and/or repetitive technical support activities in the office, laboratory and/or field. Incumbents typically receive precise instructions about work to be done and their work is checked in progress and upon completion or their work is closely supervised while it is being done. Problems are referred to higher level staff for resolution and no subordinates report to this class. Over time, incumbents grow to perform a broad range of routine technical engineering duties with only spot-check supervision.

Typical Work

The work described below is not intended to be all-inclusive but representative of the level of responsibility and difficulty of the work performed by this class.


  • Serves as a survey party member and undergoes training in all basic functions of a survey crew such as:  holds rods and prism poles to determine elevations and/or distances; chains to measure distances and set reference points; learns to operate level; clears brush to open line of sight; holds and sets targets and backsights for line and grade; writes field information on stakes and laths; sets hubs and stakes for horizontal and vertical control; assists in taking field notes manually or with data collector and assists in reducing them into usable data; performs basic calculations; learns to plot cross sections, contours, profiles, etc., both manually and through using automated equipment; flags, sets up signs and other traffic control devices; cleans survey equipment.


  • Serves as a field test apprentice learning and using routine procedures to sample and test construction materials, record results and begins to learn how to interpret results; learns to inspect at a crushing plant and perform aggregate tests such as sieve analysis and sand equivalent; learns to perform concrete tests such as yield, slump, air entrainment and casting cylinders; learns to perform asphalt mixture tests such as extraction and maximum density.
  • Serves as a laboratory apprentice learning to perform routine tasks in a District or Headquarters quality assurance program; prepares samples for shipment; receives and logs in material samples; prepares materials for testing; learns by assisting in a variety of materials tests including, but not limited to, those listed above; assists in preparation of lab reports, assembling, copying, and filing test results; learns how to interpret test results; cleans testing equipment and carries out various laboratory maintenance chores.
  • As an entry level Geotechnical field technician, learns and assists in conducting Geotechnical subsurface drilling, testing, and sampling for bridges retaining walls, soil cuts and fills, rock slopes, landslides and pit and quarries statewide.  Advancement in the series performing these tasks requires a Resource Protection Well Operator Training license.


  • Serves as an inspection apprentice performing routine inspection tasks; operates and checks scales; issues, receives and totals tickets; learns to perform visual inspection of clearing, grubbing, fencing, guardrail, median barriers, pavement markings, crack sealing and painting; assists other inspectors in a variety of inspection tasks and learns to inspect slope flattening, landscaping, irrigation, and surface drainage systems; assists with measurements and determining quantities, delivery and application rate of materials.


  • Serves as an apprentice learning and performing routine construction office tasks; performs and checks basic engineering calculations such as areas, volumes, distances, and tabulates data; learns to check inspector's calculations and field notes; assists in compiling information; learns to check entries into the ledger system; learns to document pay quantities and files field note records; learns to check force account sheets for wage rates and equipment rates; reduces and plots simple survey notes; performs elementary drafting, drawing and tracing; makes simple "as-built" corrections to construction plans.
  • Serves as an apprentice learning and performing routine design/plans tasks; drafts basic sheets such as title sheet and other sheets that vary little from sheet to sheet; traces simple contract plans; draws or inks in minor revisions to plans; updates and revises maps as features and boundaries change; learns basic computer-aided drafting tasks such as data transfer, updating and developing base maps, electronic tracing and data entry; calculates volumes, areas, grades; checks addition of estimates and quantity takeoffs; plots cross sections and profiles; completes basic computer forms and enters data for routine programs; assists in compiling data and assembling various materials such as charts, graphs, tables, diagrams and exhibits; reproduces prints.

Performs other work as assigned.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

Graduation from high school or GED equivalent.

Note: Possession of a valid driver's license may be required.

Class Specification History

New class: Adopted 7-13-78; effective: 10-1-78
Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, minimum qualifications: 4-10-81
Revised definition and distinguishing characteristics: 3-13-92
Revised distinguishing characteristics: 9-19-03
Revised new class code: (formerly 66060) effective July 1, 2007