National Academies Press: OpenBook

Workforce Optimization Workbook for Transportation Construction Projects (2020)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - Construction Staff Positions

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Page 9
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Construction Staff Positions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Workforce Optimization Workbook for Transportation Construction Projects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25720.
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Page 10
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Construction Staff Positions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Workforce Optimization Workbook for Transportation Construction Projects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25720.
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Page 10
Page 11
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Construction Staff Positions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Workforce Optimization Workbook for Transportation Construction Projects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25720.
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Page 11
Page 12
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Construction Staff Positions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Workforce Optimization Workbook for Transportation Construction Projects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25720.
×
Page 12
Page 13
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Construction Staff Positions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Workforce Optimization Workbook for Transportation Construction Projects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25720.
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Page 13

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9 Construction staff assigned to highway projects can be classified by their positions. Common positions include resident engineer, surveyor, inspector, and administrative staff. Different agencies may have different titles for positions with similar qualifications and responsibilities. For consistency, in the survey, respondents were given the descriptions of these positions that are shown in Tables 2-1 to 2-5. The NCHRP Project 20-107 team collected staffing data from 16 STAs on 305 highway construction projects completed between 2014 and 2016. The data were used to identify project characteristics such as project type, complexity, and whether CEI consultants were used who had an impact on the number of FTE staff that needed to be assigned to a certain construction project. FTE is defined as an employee who works a minimum of 40 hours per 5-day work week. Project complexity is defined as shown in Table 2-6. Tables 2-7 to 2-9 present survey data on FTEs by staff position and project type for three complexity levels (complex projects, moderately complex projects, and noncomplex projects). In Table 2-7, within each position, the middle column contains average FTEs required (based on survey data). The first and third columns contain the lower and upper limits of the 95% confident intervals, respectively, to show the range of values collected through the survey. For example, a road expansion project that cost $20 million would require 3.9 FTE construction inspectors, according to average survey results. Table 2-8 contains adjustment factors for projects that used state staff only and projects that used CEI consultants. The same road expansion project would likely require 2.65 (0.68 × 3.90) construction inspectors if only state staff were assigned to it. Table 2-9 contains adjustment factors for projects with different complexity levels. If the previously described road expansion project were a complex project (as described in Table 2-6), the final number of FTE construction inspectors required would be 6.07 (2.65 × 2.29). C H A P T E R 2 Construction Staff Positions

10 Workforce Optimization Workbook for Transportation Construction Projects Qualifications Bachelor’s degree – civil engineering and licensed professional engineer Sample work (1) Administers construction contracts for the assigned area. (2) Interprets construction plans, specifications, and special provisions and makes corrections as required. (3) Prepares or supervises preparation of project documentation, project reports, payment estimates, change orders, final plans, and contractor performance reports; reports progress of contractor payments. (4) Supervises layout and inspection personnel, including making hiring and other employment-related decisions, conducting performance management, scheduling and assigning work, and ensuring appropriate training is received. (5) Communicates with contractors and property owners to resolve construction problems, prepares department responses to contractor claims, and serves as an expert witness in litigation regarding construction issues. (6) Disseminates construction information to the public, media, and local and state officials. (7) Provides technical expertise and constructability input on project core teams and scoping meetings. (8) Manages a field office, including responsibility for project budgets, fleet vehicles, and acquisition and maintenance of equipment. (9) Performs field checks to evaluate work-zone safety in construction areas. (10) Investigates construction problems and negotiates resolutions that may include time extensions and cost changes. (11) Performs supervisory responsibilities in a manner consistent with the department’s affirmative action program. (12) Performs other responsibilities as required or assigned. Table 2-1. Qualifications and responsibilities for “resident engineer.” Sample work (1) Operates and maintains complex and highly technical surveying equipment. (2) Performs deed, title, and map research and monument investigation, and assists in establishing control for boundary and right-of-way. (3) Converses with property owners to gain access to private property and answer questions concerning the progress of survey work on or near landowner’s property; contacts local governments and utility companies to secure information. (4) Performs mathematical computations for field layout and land surveying calculations that require professional judgement to determine right-of-way and land corner positions. (5) Collects data and records pertinent information in survey data recorder or field books. (6) Provides professional land surveying services for highway design, land management, and other purposes. (7) May review the preparation of plats, maps, reports, descriptions, surveys, digital map models, and data file editing. (8) Performs lead worker responsibilities, which may include providing general instruction, assigning and reviewing work, coaching and training, providing guidance and instruction in the proper and most efficient methods of accomplishing tasks, and providing input to the direct supervisor on staffing decisions and performance management. (9) Performs other responsibilities as required or assigned. Qualifications High school diploma or General Educational Development (GED)/High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) or relevant experience Table 2-2. Qualifications and responsibilities for “surveyor.”

Construction Staff Positions 11 Qualifications High school diploma, GED/HiSET, or 4 years of relevant highway or transportation experience Sample work (1) Performs duties of inspector in charge of multiple routine or complex projects; directs the overall inspection of construction projects, verifying that contractors’ activities are in compliance with contracts, specifications, and engineering principles; and provides clarification to contractor and department personnel regarding the contract and the interpretation of plans, specifications, and special provisions. (2) Supervises routine layout and staking; serves as party chief on staking large bridges, other critical structures, or complex interchanges; serves as inspector on large bridges or other critical structures. (3) Serves as technical expert on projects; reviews plans, specifications, and special provisions applicable to assignments; directs computations for the control of grades or alignment. (4) Prepares, or supervises the preparation of, required project documentation, change orders, estimates, final plans, and correspondence; checks progress of contractors. (5) Maintains required records; prepares progress and other reports; initiates or answers correspondence. (6) Keeps supervisor informed of activities, progress, and changes or revisions. (7) May perform duties of resident engineer during supervisor’s absence. (8) Performs lead worker responsibilities, which may include providing general instruction, assigning and reviewing work, coaching and training, providing guidance and instruction in the proper and most efficient methods of accomplishing tasks, and providing input to the direct supervisor on staffing decisions and performance management. (9) Performs other responsibilities as required or assigned. Table 2-3. Qualifications and responsibilities for “senior construction inspector.” Qualifications High school diploma, GED/HiSET, or 2 years of relevant highway or transportation experience Sample work (1) Performs duties of inspector in charge of routine or complex projects; may direct the overall inspection of routine projects, verifying that contractors’ activities are in compliance with contracts, specifications, and engineering principles; provides clarification to contractor and department personnel regarding the contract and the interpretation of plans, specifications, and special provisions. (2) Inspects routine construction items such as asphalt or Portland cement concrete plants, asphalt or concrete paving, grading and bases, large and small bridges, box and pipe culverts, incidental construction, and roadside development, including various erosion control measures. (3) Inspects general or specialty items such as utilities, signing and traffic control devices, signals and lighting, demolitions, right-of-way permit projects, enhancement projects, and county bridge projects. (4) Directs the layout and staking of routine and complex construction projects, including large and small bridges, other critical structures, and complex interchanges. (5) Prepares or supervises the preparation of final plans, bridge sheets, change orders, contractor payment estimates, engineering costs, and semi-final and final inspections. (6) Maintains required documentation, records, and files; prepares progress and other reports; keeps supervisors informed as to activities or unusual conditions on the job. (7) Performs lead worker responsibilities, which may include providing general instruction, assigning and reviewing work, coaching and training, providing guidance and instruction in the proper and most efficient methods of accomplishing tasks, and providing input to the direct supervisor on staffing decisions and performance management. (8) Performs other responsibilities as required or assigned. Table 2-4. Qualifications and responsibilities for “intermediate construction inspector.”

12 Workforce Optimization Workbook for Transportation Construction Projects Sample work (1) Coordinates and performs construction inspections, verifying that contractors’ activities are in compliance with contracts, specifications, and engineering principles. (2) Performs duties of inspector in charge of routine construction items, such as asphaltic or Portland cement concrete plants, asphaltic or concrete paving, including grading and base, small bridges, concrete box and pipe culverts; inspects general or special items, such as utility adjustments, signing, traffic signals, and lighting. (3) Performs measurements, computations, or other work in preparing final plans, change orders, contractor payment estimates, and engineering costs. (4) Maintains required construction documentation, records, and files; prepares progress and other reports; keeps supervisor informed as to activities or unusual conditions on the job. (5) Provides field checks for contractor surveying operations; serves as party chief on routine layout and staking; serves as instrument operator on staking of large bridges, other critical structures, or complex interchanges. (6) Performs lead worker responsibilities, which may include providing general instruction, assigning and reviewing work, coaching and training, providing guidance and instruction in the proper and most efficient methods of accomplishing tasks, and providing input to the direct supervisor on staffing decisions and performance management. (7) Performs other responsibilities as required or assigned. Qualifications High school diploma or GED/HiSET, or relevant experience Table 2-5. Qualifications and responsibilities for “junior construction inspector.” Most Complex (Major) Projects Moderately Complex Projects Noncomplex (Minor) Projects • New highways; major relocations • New interchanges • Capacity adding/major widening • Major reconstruction (4R; 3R with multiphase traffic control) • Congestion management studies required • Environmental impact statement or complex environmental assessment required • 3R and 4R projects that do not add capacity • Minor roadway relocations • Noncomplex bridge replacements with minor roadway approach work • Categorical exclusion or noncomplex environmental assessment required • Maintenance betterment projects • Overlay projects, simple widening without right-of-way take (or minimum right-of-way take), little or no utility coordination • Noncomplex enhancement projects without new bridges (e.g., bike trails) • Categorical exclusion Note: 3R = resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation; 4R = 3R + reconstruction. Table 2-6. Project complexity definitions.

Construction Staff Positions 13 Project Type Cost Range (Million $) Resident Engineer Surveyor Admin Staff Inspectors 5% Mean 95% 5% Mean 95% 5% Mean 95% 5% Mean 95% Road – new construction/ expansion <5 0.00 0.96 2.00 0.00 0.03 0.25 0.00 0.55 3.00 1.00 1.72 3.00 5 – 25 1.00 1.20 2.00 0.00 0.75 2.00 0.00 1.18 2.00 2.00 3.90 6.00 >25 0.00 1.40 2.00 0.00 1.20 4.00 1.00 2.00 4.00 4.00 8.00 20.00 Road – rehabilitation/ resurfacing <1 0.00 0.79 1.00 0.00 0.17 1.00 0.00 0.53 2.00 0.10 1.57 3.00 1 – 5 0.00 0.86 1.00 0.00 0.16 1.00 0.00 0.75 2.95 1.00 2.73 5.00 >5 0.25 1.25 4.25 0.00 0.42 2.75 0.00 0.94 5.25 1.25 4.83 15.00 Bridge – new and replacement <1 0.00 0.80 1.00 0.00 0.20 1.00 0.00 1.00 2.00 1.00 1.60 3.00 1 – 10 0.00 0.97 2.00 0.00 0.42 2.00 0.00 0.67 2.00 0.70 2.53 7.00 >10 1.00 1.38 2.00 0.00 0.63 3.00 0.00 1.13 2.00 1.00 9.13 21.00 Bridge – rehabilitation <1 0.00 0.92 1.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.52 2.50 1.00 1.29 2.00 1 – 5 0.00 0.71 1.00 0.00 0.17 4.00 0.00 0.67 1.00 1.00 2.00 5.00 >5 0.25 1.04 2.00 0.00 0.41 1.00 0.00 0.73 2.00 2.25 4.38 7.00 Other projects <0.5 0.00 0.82 1.35 0.00 0.22 1.35 0.00 0.68 3.00 1.00 1.41 2.35 0.5 – 1 0.00 0.85 1.95 0.00 0.16 1.95 0.00 0.63 1.95 0.05 1.57 3.95 >1 0.00 0.94 2.00 0.00 0.49 2.90 0.00 0.73 3.00 0.00 2.08 4.45 Table 2-7. FTE by project type and position. Resident Engineer Surveyor Admin Staff Inspectors Staff Only With Con- sultants Staff Only w/Cons Staff Only w/Cons Staff Only With Con- sultants Road – new construction/expansion 0.90 1.08 1.14 0.90 0.76 1.18 0.68 1.23 Road – rehabilitation/resurfacing 0.98 1.06 1.18 0.52 0.83 1.44 0.79 1.56 Bridge – new and replacement 0.92 1.05 0.48 1.37 1.33 0.76 0.85 1.11 Bridge – rehabilitation 0.83 1.10 0.29 1.43 0.91 1.05 1.08 0.95 Other projects 0.90 1.13 1.16 0.78 1.00 1.00 1.05 0.94 Table 2-8. Adjustment factors for projects using state staff only and projects with CEI consultants. Resident Engineer Surveyor Admin Staff Inspectors Noncomplex 0.93 0.55 0.89 0.77 Moderate 0.98 1.36 0.97 0.94 Complex 1.39 2.64 1.54 2.29 Table 2-9. Adjustment factors for project complexity.

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State transportation agencies are increasingly tasked with doing more with less in managing highway transportation networks.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Research Report 923: Workforce Optimization Workbook for Transportation Construction Projects provides state transportation agencies with guidance to identify their construction staffing needs and how to best allocate their state or consultant engineering and inspection staff and consultant resources to highway construction projects. The guidance provides 35 specific staffing strategies that may help alleviate construction staff challenges.

There are also an associated e-Workforce Optimization Workbook (e-WOW) spreadsheet and a User Guide.

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