Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Class code: 003676
Bargaining unit(s): 207
Classification title: Transportation Specialist
Function: Soils
Kind of work: Senior level technical and/or specialized work and/or lead work

Nature & purpose

Under limited supervision, an employee in this class performs and directs difficult technical work in the operation of soils and pavement sampling equipment to obtain: soils, rock, pavement samples and groundwater information; develops soils borings to create plans profiles and cross sections to be used in roadway design; develops subsurface exploration logs to be used in foundation design; performs related work as required.

This position is different from the Transportation Generalist Senior in that at the Transportation Specialist level, employees plan and organize 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.  At this level, an employee provides technical expertise and information, in a specialized field, to others.

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.  An employee is considered the technical expert in a specialized area and provides technical support and expertise to others.

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.

  • Completes or directs the set-up and operates the soils sampling and testing equipment so that soil, pavement samples and ground water information are taken in the right location and in accordance with ASTM, AASHTO, MDH and MnDOT standards.
  • Conducts gravel prospecting and condition surveys so that location and conditions of aggregate or borrow sources are obtained on schedule.
  • Samples materials for wetland mitigation efforts to assist in the delineation and typing of wetlands.
  • Coordinates with Gopher State One-Call and local utilities to assure that all utilities in the area to be drilled are properly identified and located.
  • Performs or directs others to perform operational needs such as traffic control support, assisting in the field staking of sampling locations or acquiring field supplies so that work can be carried out efficiently.
  • Maintains, cleans, monitors performance, safely operates or directs the operation of soils sampling and support equipment so it is in good working order when needed and testing schedules can be met.
  • Performs or oversees the performance of the completion of field in situ tests of soil strengths for foundation design in accordance with standards.
  • Records digital and hand written field data and sampling information and downloads, organizes and archives this information.
  • Plots borings on geometric profiles, plan views and cross sections so that the information corresponds to the existing topography and relates to the proposed location of the future roadway.
  • Assists with the technical certification program training for agency and external personnel.
  • Researches, obtains and prioritizes layouts and profiles of upcoming projects and accurately places soil borings and lab tests on the soils profile so that soils and foundations recommendations can be developed. 
  • Monitors performance of subsurface drainage, geotextiles and geotechnical design features after construction is completed.
  • Assists construction to determine if plans and soils types information is verifiable.
  • Conducts field investigations to determine the type of soils sampling equipment that will be needed.
  • Adjusts or alters the field plan based on conditions encountered so that adequate soils conditions can be determined.

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

Knowledge of:

  • Textural classification and behaviors of soils and rock.
  • Pavement and aggregate materials types.
  • Design and roadway construction practices.
  • Required safety procedures and safe operation of equipment.
  • Traffic control and grading and base manuals.
  • 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 of basic hand tools to handle materials (transporting, stockpiling, and mixing).
  • Use of basic surveying techniques such as establishing elevations.

Ability to:

  • Operate soils auger machine, CPT, SPT and core drilling equipment.
  • Perform routine, scheduled preventative maintenance. 
  • Set up and adjust equipment.
  • Drive and operate various types of mobile equipment.
Information Technology
  • Operate a personal computer and various software applications. 
  • Complete data entry. 
  • Enter time into time sheet and data base programs. 
  • Record sampling and testing information and results data into required data base. 
  • Take readings from electronic equipment such as GPS, perform quality assurance on data ensuring that data is accurate and makes sense. 
  • Create and edit data files such as letters, memos, spreadsheets and GPS data files. 
  • Use CADD software to edit basic shapes, lines and data.
  • Work cooperatively with peers. 
  • Able to give and receive instruction and direction.
  • Take responsibility for quality, accuracy and timeliness of work. 
  • Respond to unplanned requests. 
  • Complete assigned tasks and report progress. 
  • Demonstrate behavior consistent with department direction. 
  • Lead crews. 
  • Look for opportunities to improve processes.
  • Add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers and all units of measure including fractions, decimals, and percentages. 
  • Do pre-algebra problems. 
  • Perform operations with single digits. 
  • Calculate ratios and proportions. 
  • Do basic geometry such as calculate areas and volumes.
Oral Communication
  • Articulate job-related questions and comprehend answers. 
  • Communicate in a team setting. 
Problem Solving
  • Able to follow verbal instructions. 
  • Can work under the direction of others. 
  • Work independently. 
  • Solve complex technical, process or people-related problems.
  • Read and comprehend notes, letters, memos, electronic mail, proposals, departmental forms and instructional manuals. 
  • Read construction plans, MnDOT manuals and specification.
Written Communication
  • Generate notes, letters, memos and departmental forms. 
  • Use e-mail.

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 certification 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 soils or materials testing which included at least six months of experience utilizing computer-aided drafting and design (CADD).;


  • Three years of experience performing soils or materials testing or related activities and a combination of one year of experience in roadway construction, engineering support or roadways maintenance, soils, traffic, surveys, design, construction, hydraulics, etc. Six months of the four years of experience must have included utilizing computer-aided drafting and design.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Physical capabilities and environmental work conditions:

The physical demands of this job will vary, but typically requires occasionally lifting articles such as 75 pound auger flights and frequent lifting and/or carrying objects such as drilling and sampling equipment.  This job may require walking or standing to significant degree or may involve sitting most of the time with pushing and pulling of arm and leg controls. 

Weather elements:

May require frequent exposure to weather elements on a daily basis.



  • 2-15-12 Deleted degree
  • 6-28-13 CADD


Former Titles:

  • Highway Technician Senior: KH: DI2 152; PS: C3 (25) 38; AC: C1C43 = 233