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City Engineer

City Engineer

Palm Desert, CA, USA

Palm Desert, CA, USA

City of Palm Desert

Bryan Noblett and Greg Nelson


Lead Recruiter

City Engineer

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The City of Palm Desert offers a unique career opportunity to municipal engineering leaders who thrive in an environment that is characterized by ongoing development projects, improving processes, and an absolute dedication to sustainable community improvement and development. In some organizations, taking a no-nonsense, entrepreneurial and get-it-done approach may not be valued.  Not in Palm Desert. Palm Desert seeks a results-oriented, collaborator who puts a premium on teamwork and customer service; a professional problem solver who knows how to execute with a sense of urgency and quality and aggressively achieves results for the betterment of the city and organization.  This includes providing exemplary customer service and getting the answers and resources to help your customers get projects out the door.  This is truly a special chance to be part of a high-achieving, cohesive city team that is laser focused on getting good work done on behalf of Palm Desert residents and visitors alike. If you are intrigued by this career-defining job prospect, read on to learn more about this beautiful resort community, city organization, and specifics regarding this newly created position.


Palm Desert is a vibrant and beautiful city located in the heart of the Coachella Valley of Southern California. With a population of over 53,000 residents, Palm Desert is a popular destination for tourists and a thriving community for residents. The city is known for its excellent quality of life, with a diverse and inclusive community, exceptional educational opportunities, and access to world-class healthcare. The City of Palm Desert is an excellent place to work, with a strong commitment to attracting and retaining top talent who are aligned with a focus on community service and improvement.


The City Engineer is a newly created director-level position within the City of Palm Desert’s city organization. As such, the position is the sole operator in the newly formed department and will be a close collaborator with other City departments, along with being responsible for overseeing the work of contract engineering staff. Reporting to the Assistant City Manager, the City Engineer will serve as a member of the Palm Desert Executive Management Team and be the internal service provider to the Public Works Department and Development Services, including Land Development. The City Engineer will provide expertise, as needed, to the Captial Projects Director in order to help deliver CIP projects and numerous facilities projects. The City Engineer will provide exemplary customer service and get the resources to assist customers get projects out the door. The City Council has funded over 50 projects with a total budget of $36.8 million with the expectation that these projects get delivered. Land development activity is the highest it has been in recent history and there are currently 200 permits under review, along with 7,000 residential units that have recently been entitled.

The ideal candidate will possess a “can-do” attitude and a proactive mindset with a desire to facilitate beneficial outcomes on behalf of the City of Palm Desert. The successful candidate will provide solutions, rather than create barriers, along with having a strategic perspective and ability to see the long-term use and impact of projects in the Palm Desert community. A professional engineer who is a problem solver and knows how to execute with a sense of urgency and quality, along with aggressively achieving results will enjoy being part of the Palm Desert Team.


The City is open to assessing the skills and experience of candidates from a variety of career paths. Equal consideration will be given to candidates with both public and private sector backgrounds that demonstrate the ability to step up to the task and get the job done.

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

  • Education: Equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in civil engineering or a related field.

  • Experience: Five years of progressively responsible civil engineering experience, along with municipal public works projects. Two years of supervisory experience or any equivalent combination of education and experience which provides knowledge, skills, and abilities.

  • Licensure: Possession of a valid Certificate of Registration as a Civil Engineer in the State of California.


The hiring range for the City Engineer is +/- $190,000 dependent on qualifications. An excellent executive benefit package is provided which includes CalPERS retirement. Classic CalPERS members are eligible for the 2% @ 55 formula, while PEPRA members are 2% @ 62.

Interested candidates are encouraged to review the recruitment brochure for additional benefit information.


This recruitment will be handled with strict confidentiality. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. Confidential inquiries are welcomed to Bryan Noblett or Greg Nelson at (916) 550-4100.

Interested candidates may apply below and review the recruitment brochure for additional information by clicking on the .pdf link above.

Candidates are encouraged to apply immediately, as this recruitment will close early once a sufficiently strong pool of stellar candidates has been established.

The City of Palm Desert is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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