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Job Descriptions

Plans Examiner Sr.


To act as Chief Plans Examiner for industrial and commercial structures to determine compliance with structural calculation standards and building and related codes and regulations; to oversee plan checking and permit issuance activities; to provide lead supervision to other plans examiners and office clerical staff. This classification is assigned to the miscellaneous bargaining unit for labor relations purposes.


This is the advanced journey level and specialized class in the Plans Examiner series. The incumbent in this class performs the most complex structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing plan review work requiring the use of considerable independent judgment and initiative, as well as leads, assigns, and evaluates the work of other Plans Examiners and Division staff.


General supervision is provided by the Chief Building Official.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: Duties may include, but are not limited to the following:

A Senior Building Plans Examiner handles the full-range of plan check duties including screening and preliminary review, and is responsible for independent decisions requiring technical judgment and public relations skills. Work is performed under the general direction of the Chief Building Official

Specifically the Senior Building Plans Examiner reviews and properly interprets multi-family, complex commercial and industrial buildings for compliance with building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing, codes and ordinances, state statutes, federal and state regulations, applicable to building construction. Performs mathematical calculations to determine appropriate fees. Properly interprets building codes, plans, specifications, and engineering calculations. Prioritizes work within specified time frames with results clearly recorded for both the applicant and the record. Research code questions for proper interpretation and interrelationships. Communicates verbally, in writing, by e-mail, and by telephone with the general public, other City employees, management, contractors, and public officials in order to explain and administer the various Building Codes. Instructs and/or trains other staff members regarding various aspects of the Building Code. Prepares staff recommendations and plan review reports with clearly organized thoughts in order to advise permit applicants of plan and design corrections. Explains technical problems in everyday terms, communicates with applicants regarding proper construction methods, and recommends (using negotiating skills) solutions for complying with adopted codes and ordinances. Attends and represents the Building Safety Unit at Pre-Development and other meetings.

In addition to the above, other duties may include:.

  • Confer with homeowners, builders, engineers and architects to give and obtain information and interpret building codes and regulations; recommend necessary changes to obtain compliance with applicable codes and regulations.
  • Make on-site inspections as required as follow-up or in coordination with plan check activities.
  • May perform routine building inspection assignments in support of inspection staff.
  • Prioritize, lead, assign, and evaluate the work of other plans examiners and division staff.
  • Coordinates the services of the outside contract plan check companies.
  • Coordinate with the Building Official and other lead personnel in the preparation of the budget, administrative policies and directives, and personnel actions relating to division and department activities.
  • Perform evaluations of subordinate staff members.
  • Evaluate the written qualifications of Special Inspection firms and for inclusion into the City’s list of pre-qualified special inspection firms.
  • Determine acceptability of borderline designs, and alternative construction methods and or products.
  • Review and maintain forms, files, and other necessary records.


Knowledge Of:

  • Intimate knowledge of the principles and practices of building construction, building engineering accessibility regulations and related state or federal regulations
  • Residential, commercial and industrial construction materials, methods and equipment.
  • Federal, state and municipal codes and regulations governing housing and building construction, rehabilitation, alteration, use and occupancy.
  • Appropriate safety and fire prevention construction and building methods.

Ability To:

  • Review permit applications for commercial and residential projects for compliance with state and local codes and ordinances, including written comments and responses.
  • Answer questions and assist design professionals, architects, engineers and the general public by phone or by meeting with regard to code requirements and solutions to specific problems.
  • Assist and direct department personnel in the resolution of problems or questions concerning code related issues and permit applications.
  • Coordinate and conduct preliminary review of new commercial and residential projects with other agencies (Fire Marshal, Engineering, Planning, Zoning, Health Department, etc.) in order to eliminate confusion and expedite review requirements.
  • Troubleshoot problems in the field and assist the inspector with technical assignments as needed.
  • Participate in department meetings and committees on an as needed basis.
  • Aide in the creation and maintenance of professional looking department handouts, guides and checklists to help applicants and contractors better understand building code requirements.
  • Attend continuing education classes on a regular basis, such as, building code and new product seminars.
  • Performs related work as required. Perform detailed analysis and examination of building and construction designs, specifications and plans.
  • Apply engineering and architectural principles and techniques
  • To provide Exceptional customer service with skills, and the ability to prioritize customer needs timely and professionally.
  • To read and evaluate plans and specifications.
  • To communicate building and site regulations to architects, engineers, and developers.
  • To communicate effectively, both oral and written.
  • Able to switch from one project or task to another with little or no difficulty.
  • Ability to supervise others
  • Communicate effectively, clearly, and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted during the course of work.

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


  • Five years years of experience in building construction involving knowledge of building plans and codes and the preparation of plans.


Minimum 30 college units with major coursework in Engineering, Building Technology or related field.


Possession of a Code Certification issued by the International Code Conference (ICC) and California Building Officials (CALBO) as a Plans Examiner and each one of the following: Electrical, Plumbing and/or Mechanical Inspector Certification. Or registration as an Architect or Professional Civil Engineer in the State of California (For an Architect or Engineer, certification by the ICC and CALBO as noted above is required within 12 months of employment). Possession of a valid California Driver's License at the time of appointment and must be maintained thereafter as a condition of continued employment.


Maintain the following physical abilities: see well enough to read, write, make observations, view computer screen, read gauges and other instrumentation as well as operate a motor vehicle; hear well enough to converse on the radio, telephone, and in person; use hands and fingers well enough to use computer keyboard, write, file and answer telephones; bodily mobility to walk on uneven surfaces or slopped surface such as construction sites and roofs, bend, stand, climb on scaffolding and ladders, and be able to tolerate extreme fluctuations in temperatures while performing inspections or other duties.

      For questions about City employment, please contact:

      Human Resources
      156 S. Broadway, Ste. 235
      Turlock, CA 95380-5454
      (209) 668-5150
      Monday - Friday, 9AM - 4PM

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