7 Responsibilities of a Public Works Director

The public works sector includes various departments: water and sewage treatment plants, utilities and equipment maintenance, parks, streets, and more. Without a public works director, there would be no supervision of departmental activities. This requires directors to demonstrate technical skills, management responsibilities, and project management. Directors obtain these skills by receiving a degree in public administration or engineering. With their gained knowledge, they are ready to take on their responsibilities as public works directors, such as the following:

1. Assume Full Management

Directors are responsible for all Public Works Department services and responsibilities:

  • Street maintenance
  • Engineering
  • Traffic Control
  • Solid Waste Services
  • Infrastructure Maintenance

It is the director’s responsibility to assign projects and monitor the staff’s progress on projects.

2. Direct the Development of the Public Works Department

Originate goals, policies, objectives, and priorities for services and implement them where and when needed. If any work methods or procedures are not working for the department, the director oversees identifying a strategy to resolve the issue.

3. Hire, Train, and Lead all Departmental Personnel

Directors play a role in the recruitment and training of new employees. Not only do they work with new staff, but directors also conduct performance reviews with current employees. This is done by correcting deficiencies and incorporating discipline and termination procedures.

4. Oversee & Monitor Budgeting

When it comes to the department budget, directors oversee forecasting the funds required to pay staff, equipment, and supplies. They also are responsible for appropriately adjusting the budget when necessary- including evaluating projects to ensure they are by their budget.

5. Develop Protocol for Outside Vendors

Hiring outside vendors is an essential role for directors. If a project requires an outside vendor, the director is responsible for recommending a vendor that would best fit the project. Once a vendor is selected, they supervise their work to ensure their job is completed successfully.

6. Monitor City Infrastructure

Public works are known for monitoring infrastructure, and that requires directors to deploy adequate levels of service for current and developing areas.

7. Represent the Entire Public Works Department 

Directors in all industries have the responsibility of representing their department within their organization, but when it comes to Public Works Directors, they also must represent their department to the public. This means coordinating Public Works activities to serve the needs of the public.

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