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City of Tacoma WA Sewer Equipment Operator, Heavy in Tacoma, Washington

Sewer Equipment Operator, Heavy


$36.09 - $37.89 Hourly


Tacoma, WA

Job Type



Environmental Services

Job Number



2/2/2022 5:00 PM Pacific

  • Description

  • Benefits

  • Questions

Position Description

The City of Tacoma is recruiting for experienced Sewer Heavy Equipment Operators to work in the Operations and Maintenance Division in the Environmental Services Department.

There are currently two open positions one on day shift and a position on the graveyard shift.

In the Environmental Services Department we believe everything we do supports healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound, leaving a better Tacoma for all. This is accomplished with a clear focus on customers, employees, and operations. Sewer Heavy Equipment Operators perform skilled work in the operation of heavy power-driven equipment such as backhoes, sweepers, loaders, and excavators; they also perform excavation and grading work used for sewer construction and maintenance activities; and operate equipment to install, repair, and maintain underground storm and sanitary sewers and related collection structures.

If the below list of personal traits sounds like you, then you are just the type of person we are looking for to join our team as a Sewer Heavy Equipment Operator.

  • Excellent attendance

  • Enjoy working both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather conditions

  • Provides great customer service

  • Likes working with various crews as part of a team effort, or individually to accomplish an assigned task

  • Enjoys a variety of physically demanding job tasks

    Examples of Job Duties:

  • Operate on a regular basis, heavy, power-driven equipment such as backhoes, excavators, street sweepers, front-loaders, dump trucks, vactors, bulldozers, and other large trucks or equipment.

  • Operate auxiliary mechanical equipment and attachments; service and maintain assigned equipment.

  • Load and unload a variety of materials and equipment; lift and move materials to designated areas.

  • Perform excavation filing, compacting and grading work used for repair, construction and maintenance activities.

  • Operate equipment to install, repair, and maintain underground storm and sanitary sewers and related collection system structures and facilities.

  • Operate equipment in cleaning paved streets; maintain roadside conveyance systems, ponds, regional holding basis, ditches and City owned properties.

  • Assist crews to complete work assignments.

  • Maintain proper levels of supplies and equipment as needed.

  • Maintain daily work reports and other related forms.

  • Inspect equipment to assure safe operating conditions; coordinate equipment maintenance with appropriate persons or departments.

  • Ability to work safely, cooperatively and communicate effectively with co-workers and the public.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions:

Position requires good motor coordination and depth perception, climbing, lifting and bending.

Outdoor environment, subject to adverse weather conditions.

Required to respond to emergency call-outs during off duty hours.

Employees in this classification may be subject to driving from site to site, heavy traffic and extreme weather conditions; fumes, raw sewage, confined space and excavation hazards; prolonged periods of noise and potentially hazardous materials.

Work Schedule

This position is overtime eligible and employees must be available and willing to work either shift (day or graveyard). Graveyard shifts receive premium pay (5%). Positions are generally staffed Sunday through Friday. Shift placement is determined by union seniority and subject to semi-annual change. These positions are subject to 24-hour call-out response to emergencies. The two current openings are for the day and graveyard shift.

These positions are staffed as a 9/80 schedule, which is defined as follows: in a two-week pay period, four days at nine (9) hours, Monday – Thursday, and one eight (8) hour day, Friday, the first week, followed by four days at nine (9) hours, Monday – Thursday, each work day with a one-half (1/2) hour unpaid lunch, with the fifth day, Friday, off work, the second week.

Week 1



Week 2



Monday - Thursday

30 minutes



Monday - Thursday

30 minutes




30 minutes




30 minutes



  • Or the reverse of Week 1 & Week 2

City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.


Graduation from high school or equivalent


Two (2) years of heavy equipment operating experience in construction or maintenance trades.


Possession of a valid Class A Commercial Driver's License, with Air Brake restriction removed, at time of appointment with maintenance thereafter.

Knowledge & Skills

  • Operation, care and maintenance of assigned heavy equipment

  • Requirements of operating equipment in a safe manner

  • Applicable traffic laws, ordinances and rules

  • Methods, equipment and materials used in the construction field

  • Operate, service and make minor repairs on equipment

  • Understand and follow oral and written directions

  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing

  • Maintain records and prepare reports

  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others

  • Observe legal and defensive driving practices

  • Place materials with accuracy

  • Excavate or move earth to required grade

  • City's sewer system locations using GIS and City of Tacoma GovME and ESRI website.

  • Quickly and accurately learn City streets and sewer system locations.

  • Knowledge of construction standards and health and safety practices.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

To be considered for this opportunity:

Interested individuals must apply online and meet the minimum qualifications to progress in the examination process.

Candidates who are eligible for Veteran's Preference scoring criteria must attach a copy of their DD-214 member copy 4, (proof of military discharge form) at time of application, to be eligible for review for Veteran's Preference points.

Examination Process:

This is a competitive selection process. Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will have their job application and response to Supplemental Question # 8 reviewed and scored by a committee of subject matter experts, as the Experience and Training Test. It is the responsibility of the applicants to adequately describe all pertinent experience and training. Please make sure you read the questions and provide complete informative answers, including your roles in the position and key activities.

Candidates who pass the test will be placed on an Eligible List for potential interview and hiring consideration.

Candidates invited to interview will also participate in a practical skills assessment to demonstrate their ability to operate sewer heavy equipment.

Any vacancy that comes up within a one year period of time will draw from candidates on the Eligible List for potential interview selection.

Per City of Tacoma Personnel Management Policy #170, the City of Tacoma is a drug-free work environment. Appointment is subject to passing a pre-employment background check and references check, a pre-employment medical exam, drug and alcohol screen and physical ability test.

This position is covered by a Labor Agreement between the City of Tacoma and Teamsters Local 313. New employees must successfully complete a nine-month probationary period prior to obtaining permanent status in this classification.


The City of Tacoma offers a generous program of employee benefits:

  • Outstanding working conditions and an exceptional quality-of-life environment.

  • Medical coverage for eligible employees, spouses and dependents, including children up to age 26.

  • Vision care with VSP for employees and eligible dependents enrolled in the Regence PPO medical plan with vision benefits.

  • Dental coverage for eligible employees and their elected dependents, including dependent children up to the age of 26.

  • Deferred compensation allowing tax-deferred savings as authorized under Section 457 of the IRS Code.

  • Personal time off.

  • Paid holidays.

  • A great pension plan.

Our City:

With a population of over 210,000, Tacoma is the second largest city in the Puget Sound region, gracing the shores of Commencement Bay. We are a diverse, progressive, international city that serves as a gateway to the Pacific Rim and the rest of the world. Named one of the most livable areas in the country by, Tacoma and the surrounding area is a playground for outdoor and maritime enthusiasts. Our businesses are vibrant, our parks are beautiful, our schools are exceptional and our housing is affordable.

When you work for the City of Tacoma you'll have the opportunity to enjoy a healthy work/life balance, the potential for flexible work schedules (with some job classifications), continuing education programs, leadership pathways, wellness incentives and a total rewards benefits program. We welcome you to take a look at our website and discover how the City of Tacoma can make your next career move part of our combined destiny:

The City of Tacoma believes that each employee makes a significant contribution to our success. This job description is designed to outline primary duties, qualifications and job scope. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:

We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

The online application system requires you to enter a substantial amount of information. Be prepared to spend an hour or more entering the required information. In order for your application materials to be considered, all information must be submitted by the closing date and time listed on this job announcement.

If you have any additional questions regarding this position, please contact the Human Resources Department at 253.591.5400, before 4:00 pm on the closing date.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision plans for the whole family; paid holidays and paid leave; participation in the Tacoma Public Employees' Retirement System (alternate plan for Police/Fire); continuing education and advancement opportunities and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives.

Medical Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Dental Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Vision Coverage: For eligible employees and their eligible dependents.

Paid Leave: City employees are entitled to received paid holidays, sick/vacation leave or personal time off (PTO), depending upon union affiliation and appointment type.

Insurance Plans: Employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance plans are also available to employees. The State Industrial Insurance Act also covers employees.

Deferred Compensation: Income can be set aside on a pretax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income.

Retirement: All employees of the City, except members of the Police and Fire services, Tacoma Rail and certain project employees, are included in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200.

Other Employment Information

Direct Deposit: Employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule by direct deposit.

Salary Increases: Based on satisfactory job performance, the City provides for a regular progression of salary increases for most classifications according to the salary schedule.

Union Affiliation: Many job classifications are covered by union security provisions which require union membership, dues, or payment of equivalent service fees.

Note: The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice.


The Supplemental Questionnaire is part of the examination process; accordingly, it should be completed carefully. I certify that the information provided is accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that any falsification may cancel any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Please indicate "Yes" to show that you have read and understand these instructions.

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you have a high school diploma or the equivalent, such as a General Education Degree (GED) or home schooling certification?

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you have at least two (2) years of heavy equipment operating experience in construction or maintenance trades?

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you, or will you, have a valid Washington State Class A Commercial Driver License with Air Brake endorsement at time of appointment if you are selected for this job?

  • Yes

  • No


    Check the boxes below for the certifications or cards you currently have.

    Please note, a response of "None of the above" does not disqualify anyone from meeting the qualifications for this position. Additional training is offered by the City

  • Flagging and Traffic Control Card

  • First Aid and CPR Card

  • Forklift Certification

  • None of the above


    Check the box of each type of equipment you have work experience operating.

  • Backhoes

  • Excavators

  • Street Sweepers

  • Front Loaders

  • Dump Trucks

  • Vactors/Combination Sewer Cleaning Trucks

  • Bulldozers

  • None of the above



    Question #8 is the experience and training test that will be used to establish the eligibility list. This question will be scored by subject matter experts who will not have access to any of your application materials, and will provide scores based solely upon your answers to the questions. You must describe when and where you received your experience and/or training and what work was performed. Your answers must stand on their own merit. DO NOT refer to your resume in lieu of answering this question, as raters will not have access to your resume or application and this will result in a score of 0 points and you will fail the test. Your score on the experience and training test will ONLY reflect your response to the question asked.

For question #8, make sure you describe your position, including your roles in the position, key activities, level of responsibility and the number of years' experience in that capacity.

Please indicate "Yes" that you have read and understand the instructions for question #8.

  • Yes

  • No


    IN DETAIL, please describe your experience/training operating sewer heavy equipment such as those described in this job announcement: front end loader, dump truck, backhoes, excavators, street sweepers, Vactor trucks, and bulldozers. Include the types of equipment operated, the amount of time operated, and the work you performed. Be as descriptive as possible when answering this test question. In addition, be sure to describe your work experience in construction or maintenance trades working with and around heavy equipment.


    This job classification is covered by a collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local 313;.

Per the union contract Article 14 - HOURS OF WORK AND OVERTIME:

Section 14.9 - Environmental Services Maintenance Division Transmission Section, part A, "The employee will be subject to call out during all hours for which they are receiving stand by pay. The employee is required to be in telecommunications range to ensure their availability to return to duty within thirty (30) minutes of the call. Once an employee on stand-by status receives a call and has to take any action in response to that call, he/she shall be considered "called out" for compensation purposes."

Check "yes" below to acknowledge that you understand the requirement to be able to respond to work within 30 minutes of receiving a call-back call if you are an employee on designated stand-by duty.

  • Yes

  • No


    Please tell us how you learned about this job opening.

  • Job Interest Card notification

  • Internet search

  • Professional organization

  • Community organization

  • Military organization

  • Union job posting

  • City of Tacoma employee

  • Online job board posting

  • Word of mouth

  • Other


    Please provide specific information regarding how you learned about this job opening. Thank you, your feedback will be used to evaluate our success reaching the public and refine our methods for future job postings.


    If you are a military veteran, did you remember to upload a copy of your DDForm 214, Member 4 copy, for review for Veteran's Preference eligibility?

  • Yes

  • No

    Required Question


City of Tacoma


Human Resources Department 747 Market Street Tacoma, Washington, 98402-3764





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