Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Class code: 003677
Bargaining unit(s): 207
Classification title: Transportation Specialist
Function: Pre-Design
Kind of work: Senior level technical and/or specialized work

Nature & purpose

Under limited supervision, an employee in this class performs difficult technical work developing preliminary design studies and preparing geometric layouts; performs related work as required.

This level is different from the Transportation Generalist Senior in that at the Transportation Specialist level, an employee plans and organizes work based on deadlines, procedures and standards.  An employee determines what shall be done and how it will be done and continually improves work processes.

An employee resolves most problems using theoretical principles and concepts of a specialized field as well as knowledge of and impact on the department’s programs.  Some employees may be considered the technical expert in a specialized area.  An employee is responsible for completing or leading multiple complex projects and/or work activities and has a substantial degree of authority in planning, organizing and completing work.  Some employees at this level may perform as lead worker having considerable freedom to organize human, equipment, material, and other resources as well as prioritize, schedule, assign, direct, guide, and report on the work activities of other state employees.

Examples of work

A position may not include all the work examples given, nor does the list include all that may be assigned.

  • A position may not include all the work examples given, nor does the list include all that may be assigned.   Develops geometric layouts, profiles and cross sections according to MnDOT standards for review by MnDOT staff and the public.
  • Directs and evaluates preliminary layouts in accordance with MnDOT policy and MnDOT design standards and computer aided drafting and designing (CADD) data standards so all necessary information is included in the layout.
  • Determines and documents to what extent a proposed project will affect the social, economic and environmental attributes of the project’s location in compliance with MnDOT’s Highway Project Development Process (HPDP).
  • Recommends viable mitigation alternatives and then coordinates the mitigation decided upon with appropriate clientele, within guidelines provided by the employee’s supervisor.
  • Prepares conceptual layouts and sketches, cost estimates, scoping documents and drawings used for investigating a variety of possible solutions.
  • Uses and maintains project information in an efficient manner so that information is readily available for layout preparation and other uses.
  • Conducts background research on assigned issues.
  • Participates in public meetings and may prepare communications exhibits, models, visual graphics and reports for community development activities.
  • Maintains CADD files, backups, and related project archives.

Technical certifications may be required specific to position demands and will be documented on the posting as to the justification of why specific certification are necessary.

Knowledge, skills and abilities required to be proficient at the job 

Knowledge of:

  • MnDOT policies and procedures; Highway Project Development Process (HPDP), and other State and Federal regulations pertaining to the development of projects.
  • MicroStation, GEOPAK, MnDOT, FHWA and AASHTO design standards sufficient to create documents and perform intermediate pre-design functions.
  • Working knowledge of English sufficient to read, write, speak and understand oral and written information; communicate with employees and the general public in-person or via two-way radio and other electronic devices; and to maintain routine written logs and simple records.

Skill in:

  • Use and operation of motor vehicles requiring a Class D Driver’s License sufficient to drive to various locations.

Ability to:

Information Technology – Create and edit computer files, such as letters, memos, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentation files and use CADD software – MicroStation and GEOPAK sufficient to do more complex technical detailed designing and drafting; prepare layouts and profiles and enter timesheets into computerized program(s). 
Interpersonal Skills– Work cooperatively with peers.  Able to receive verbal instruction and direction.  Ability to interact with customers and stakeholders sufficient to resolve interpersonal conflicts and answer routine questions in one-on-one situations.  Assist in resolving routine customer issues; work with others of diverse backgrounds; and use tact and diplomacy.
Leadership – Take responsibility for quality and timeliness of work.  Respond to unplanned requests.  Complete assigned tasks and report progress.  Demonstrate behavior consistent with department direction.  Look for opportunities to improve processes.
Math – Solve advanced geometry and trigonometry problems. Calculate area, volume, and geometric characteristics of all design elements sufficient to perform engineering calculations and cross-sections.
Oral Communication – Articulate job-related questions and comprehend answers in a team setting sufficient to effectively communicate; comprehend work assignment and organize work and task assignment planning; answer routine questions that provide support and assistance to co-workers; and participate in open group discussions, collaborating with co-workers. 
Problem Solving – Follow verbal instructions.  Can work under the direction of others.  Work independently sufficient to solve routine technical, process, or people-related problems.  Determine when an issue warrants a creative departure from normally followed processes, practices, or guidelines. 
Reading – Comprehend white papers, proposals, departmental forms and instructional manuals; read construction plans, MnDOT manuals and specification books; understand written materials, plans, charts, and technical drawings; apply MnDOT design standards, manuals, guidelines, policies and procedures; and comprehend legal documents such as contracts, policies, and statutes.
Written Communication – Generate notes, letters, memos and departmental forms, and use e-mail sufficient to perform business and technical writing.

Licenses, Certifications:

Some positions may require a driver’s license, as well as endorsements, specific to position demands and/or equipment required to perform the job within the work area posted.

Technical certifications may be required specific to position demands and will be documented on the posting as to the justification of why specific certifications are necessary.

Minimum Qualifications:

Include years of experience, education, training, certifications, and licenses required at the time of application to be considered eligible for the vacancy.

The level of experience to perform this job at the TS level can be achieved with:

  • Four years of experience performing preliminary design activities or related activities;
  • A combination of one year experience in any of the following areas:  design, roadway or bridge construction, materials, soils, surveys, and/or right of way may substitute for year of experience performing preliminary design activities.
  • Note:  A Two year Civil or Construction Technology Degree or the following four year degrees:  Architectural, Civil or Mechanical Engineering; Land Surveying / Geomatics; or equivalent may substitute for one year of experience. (In order for education coursework to be considered in lieu of work experience you must submit a copy of your transcripts).

Physical capabilities and environmental work conditions:

Requires occasionally lifting articles such as file boxes or heavy material with help from others and/or lifting and carrying light objects frequently.  The weight being lifted may only be a negligible amount.  A job in this category may require walking or standing on rough terrain or may involve sitting most of the time with pushing and pulling of arm and/or leg control.



  • 2-15-12 Updated degree


Former Titles:

  • Highway Technician Sr.