Plans Examiner

Job Title: Plans Examiner

Salary range: $25.60 to $27.58/hr

Location: Sitka, Alaska - Up to $1,500 sign-on bunus available DOE/DOQ and commitment

Department: Public Works

Hours: Full-Time; Benefitted

Start date: Negotiable

Job Description:

General Statement of Duties

Administers development permit application intake processes, performs plan reviews of construction drawings, prepares approved development permit packets, and other duties in support of the Building Official Division of the Public Works Department; performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Features of the Class

The principal function of an employee in this class is providing the main point of contact to developers and the public for intake of development permit applications, providing information to the public in matters pertaining to construction/building, and performing detailed technical plan reviews of construction drawings. The work is performed under direct supervision of the Building Official. An employee in this class performs the duties of other employees in the Public Works Department as required or as assigned by supervisory personnel. In the absence of the Building Official or Building Inspector, an employee in this class may temporarily assume full responsibility for assigned duties of the vacant position. The nature of the work performed requires that an employee in this class establish and maintain effective working relationships with other City departments, City employees, contractors/builders, other public officials, and the public. The principal duties of this class are performed in a general work environment.

Examples of Essential Work (Illustrative Only)

  • First point of contact for customers to provide assistance with Building Permit policies and procedures;
  • Provides department information and customer service;
  • Responds to customer questions on building codes, permit readiness, project fees and other issues;
  • Explains City policies, codes, standards, and procedures;
  • Reviews permit applications and submittals for completeness, forwards applications to appropriate staff for review, calculates applicable fees, and prepares invoices for department-related fees;
  • Performs detailed and technical plan reviews of proposed building designs;
  • Records permit information into permitting software database and maintains electronic and hard files;
  • Issues Building Permits for approved plans and Certificates of Occupancy for completed projects;
  • Informs project applicants of city requirements, processes, and deadlines from time of initial contact to completion of the project;
  • Respects the needs and objectives of applicants while working with them to make changes in project applications in order to comply with building plans, policies, codes and criteria;
  • Collaborates with other department personnel to respond to permit inquiries and assess appropriate project valuations and permit fees;
  • Assists Public Works Department staff, provides administrative support services as needed, including receptionist functions, researches issues as requested;
  • Performs processing of documents and maintains permit records, files and activity log;
  • Creates, updates, and tracks a variety of electronic and paper files, records, applications, reports, and technical documents;
  • Enters department and customer information and other data into City computer systems;
  • Accesses and locates information for customers, staff, authorized agencies and others;
  • Serves as an information resource for all interested members of the public in code applications, fire and safety procedures, City permitting processes and all related construction activities;
  • Provides information to builders regarding project design, structural calculations, and property code- required life and property safety elements;
  • Coordinates with other public agencies and seeks to promote a process of cooperation between contractors, builders, building owners and the City and Borough of Sitka;
  • Performs plan reviews for compliance with local and state fire statues and regulations as required by State Fire Marshal deferral;
  • Provides information to the Building Official and Public Works Director for use in the revision of existing municipal codes;
  • Stays abreast of current trends in building construction procedures and all changes in building codes adopted by the municipality and by the Alaska Fire Marshal’s Office;
  • Provides needed information and demonstrations concerning how to perform certain work tasks to new employees in the same or similar class of positions;
  • Keeps immediate supervisor and designated others fully and accurately informed concerning work progress, including present and potential work problems and suggestions for new or improved ways of addressing such problems;
  • Attends meetings, conferences, workshops and training sessions and reviews publications and audio- visual materials to become and remain current on the principles, practices and new developments in assigned work areas;
  • Responds to citizens’ questions and comments in a courteous and timely manner;
  • Communicates and coordinates regularly with appropriate others to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of interdepartmental operations and activities;
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Thorough knowledge of all building codes adopted by the City of Sitka and State of Alaska Fire Marshal’s Office including state and local amendments;
  • Ability to provide detailed analysis of building plans and supporting information;
  • Must be an excellent communicator able to deal effectively with everyone regardless of level of technical expertise both orally and in writing, using both technical and non- technical language;
  • Ability to communicate well with others to provide understandable, coherent information and clear direction.
  • Ability to draft clear and concise letters and official documents that convey straightforward requirements utilizing strong grammar skills;
  • Proficiency in math skills and ability to solve basic math equations.
  • Ability to build amicable relationships with developers, property owners, and City staff.
  • Strong competence in the use of a personal computer with fluency in Microsoft Word and Excel;
  • Ability to learn and utilize new computer software programs as needed;
  • Ability to understand and follow oral and/or written policies, procedures and instructions;
  • Ability to prepare and present accurate and reliable reports containing findings and recommendations;
  • Ability to use logical and creative thought processes to develop solutions according to written specifications and/or oral instructions;
  • Ability to perform a wide variety of duties and responsibilities with accuracy and speed under the pressure of time-sensitive deadlines;
  • Ability and willingness to quickly learn and put to use new skills and knowledge brought about by rapidly changing information and/or technology;
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations;
  • Integrity, ingenuity and inventiveness in the performance of assigned tasks.

Acceptable Experience and Training

Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:


  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with an Associate’s Degree or equivalent in Building Sciences or a closely related field;
  • Possess a current license in building architecture or a field of engineering applicable to construction or design of structures and their systems.


  • Four (4) years of engineering or construction experience including or supplemented by two
  • (2) years of experience in the development of construction plans, building design or review of plans and/or blueprints;
  • Considerable experience in the building trades;
  • Experience working in a busy office environment.

Required Special Qualifications

  • Possession of a driver’s license issued by the State of Alaska;
  • Within 12 months of employment obtain International Code Council (ICC) Building Plans Examiner certification; and
  • Within 24 months of employment obtain ICC Permit Technician certification.

Essential Physical Abilities

  • Sufficient clarity of speech and hearing or other communication capabilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to communicate effectively;
  • Sufficient vision or other powers of observation, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to work with detailed finely printed documents;
  • Sufficient vision or other powers of observation, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to inspect buildings and related facilities;
  • Sufficient manual dexterity with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to operate a personal computer;
  • Sufficient personal mobility, strength, balance and physical reflexes, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to perform duties on a variety of inspection sites under physically demanding and hazardous conditions in all forms of weather, including work in rough terrain, construction sites, ladders, scaffolds, crawlspaces, heavy equipment and live exposed electrical equipment throughout the City and Borough.


  • PERS Defined Contribution Retirement
  • SBS Annuities program - 6.13% match
  • Employer Paid Life Insurance (employee and dependents)
  • Medical Dental Vision (90%/10% employer/employee paid) (employee and dependents)
  • Annual Leave & Sick Leave
  • Paid Holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Eligible for 457 Retirement Plans
  • Eligible for Supplemental Insurance Plans

The City and Borough of Sitka is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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