Director of Public Works

Public Sector
Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

Are you interested in becoming a Director of Public Works? In this Director of Public Works job description, we will explore the duties and responsibilities of this role in the Public Sector industry.

As a Director of Public Works, you will be responsible for overseeing and managing the maintenance and construction of public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and buildings. You will work closely with engineers and other professionals to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. You will also be responsible for managing and supervising staff, ensuring that they are properly trained and equipped to handle various tasks.

In addition, you will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures related to public works projects, as well as ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and laws. You will need to have excellent communication skills to ensure that stakeholders are kept up-to-date with the progress of projects.

Overall, a Director of Public Works plays a crucial role in maintaining and improving public infrastructure in communities. If you have a passion for improving infrastructure and enjoy working in a leadership role, then this could be the perfect job for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Responsible for managing and overseeing public works projects and maintenance activities in the community.
  • Develops and implements policies, procedures, and standards for the department.
  • Coordinates with other departments and stakeholders to ensure projects are completed on-time and within budget.
  • Maintains public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and public buildings.
  • Provides essential services to the community such as waste collection, snow removal, and water treatment.
  • Hires, supervises, and trains staff members to ensure the department is functioning effectively.
  • Ensures compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, and safety standards.
  • Develops and manages budget for the department.
  • Provides reports to local government officials and the community on progress and challenges facing the public works department.

Experience and Education Requirements

To get a job as a Director of Public Works in the Public Sector industry, you typically need a combination of education and experience. Usually, you need a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, environmental engineering, or a related field. Some employers might accept a degree in management or public administration, but a degree with a technical focus is preferred. In addition to education, you also need experience in managing public infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, and water systems. Many companies require you to have at least ten years of experience in public works or engineering, with at least five years in a managerial or supervisory role. Demonstrated leadership and excellent communication skills are also essential for this role.

Salary Range

As a Director of Public Works in the United States, you can expect a salary range of $77,000 to $156,000 per year, according to This salary range is dependent on factors such as location, experience, and the size of the government agency.

In addition, a Director of Public Works in Canada can earn a yearly average of C$122,411 ($96,673 USD), according to In England, salaries can range from £71,000 ($92,882 USD) depending on the council and the location, according to job search site

Overall, the salary range for a Director of Public Works can differ depending on location, experience, and other factors. For those interested in this career, conducting research on salaries in different locations can provide a better understanding of the expected compensation.


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Career Outlook

A Director of Public Works is responsible for managing the infrastructure and public services of a city or municipality. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of Public Works Directors is expected to grow by 5% from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. This is due to the aging infrastructure of many cities and towns, which require maintenance and replacements over time. As cities continue to expand and populations grow, there is a need for more directors to manage public works departments. As funding from the federal government becomes available, employment growth is expected to continue. In conclusion, the outlook for a Director of Public Works seems to be growing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Director of Public Works do?

A: A Director of Public Works is responsible for managing, coordinating, and overseeing the maintenance and public facilities of a city, municipality, or other public entity.

Q: What qualifications do you need to become a Director of Public Works?

A: To become a Director of Public Works, you need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as engineering or public administration, as well as extensive management and leadership experience.

Q: What are some responsibilities of a Director of Public Works?

A: Some key responsibilities of a Director of Public Works include managing budgets, ensuring compliance with government regulations, overseeing public works projects, managing staff, and communicating with the public about public works initiatives.

Q: What challenges does a Director of Public Works face?

A: Directors of Public Works face challenges such as funding constraints, aging infrastructure, changing regulations, and staffing issues.

Q: What skills are needed to succeed as a Director of Public Works?

A: The skills needed to succeed as a Director of Public Works include leadership, project management, communication, financial management, problem-solving, analytical thinking, and strategic planning.

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