Recruitment #1709-1013DC-002



Qualified candidates will take the City Laborer Written Examination on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Only applicants who meet the minimum requirements of the job will be invited to the written examination. The top scoring candidates from the written examination will be invited to take the performance examination on Saturday, November 18, 2017. There will be no make-up opportunities for the examination process. Exam dates are subject to change.

ELIGIBLE LIST: Candidates who successfully complete all phases of the examination will be placed on an eligible list. Hiring from this eligible list may take place beginning in the Spring 2018.

City Laborers are subject to seasonal layoffs.


If you hold either a Commercial Driver License or a Commercial Driver Learner permit (see minimum requirements below) and are excited about the chance to perform a variety of physically-challenging assignments outdoors in a team environment, this may be the opportunity for you!

Under supervision, City Laborers perform light to heavy manual work. Most City Laborers work for the Department of Public Works (DPW) in the following areas: Streets, Sewers, Electrical Services, Sanitation, Water, and Forestry; assignment to an area is based on the needs of the City.

Essential Functions

  • Perform manual labor to assist in the construction and maintenance of the City’s streets and bridges, sewers, and electrical infrastructure: dig trenches and break up and dislodge rocks, concrete, asphalt, and other hard material at work sites using small and large air hammers and hand tools such as picks, sledge hammers, and wrecking bars.
  • Shovel gravel, asphalt, dirt, and other material into and out of trenches, holes, wheelbarrows, and trucks using shovels and rakes; dig around sewer mains and catch basins using shovels and picks.
  • Remove sod to expose underground conduit and cable boxes; push and pull cable through underground conduit.
  • Use power tampers, plate compactors, and vibratory rollers to level/compact soil or other material such as asphalt and gravel; use hand tampers to level sod.
  • Use manhole hooks to lift and carry manhole covers weighing from 50 to 150 pounds; assist in placing precast manholes and catch basins.
  • Climb into and out of sewer holes to perform sewer cleaning and repair.
  • Mix mortar or cement by hand.
  • Carry buckets weighing up to 50 pounds, and pull and drag hoses.
  • Blow debris out of cracks and potholes using air compressors.
  • Operate concrete cutting saws, pumps, and concrete mixers; manipulate concrete chutes to pour concrete.
  • Distribute patching material into potholes and cracks.
  • Flatten asphalt using power rollers.
  • Perform general bridge maintenance, including cleaning drains on bridges and viaducts; install metal guard rails.
  • Clean coagulation basins, filter beds, and tanks.
  • Clean construction sites of materials, equipment, and debris.
  • Place traffic control devices, such as cones, barricades, trench plates, and excavation protection for work crew and public safety.
  • Load and unload trucks; sort, move, and stack materials.
  • Perform manual labor and other tasks in response to various emergencies.
  • Perform custodial work at various work sites, including sweeping and cleaning.
  • Drive City vehicles between work sites; operate forklift trucks and skid loaders.
  • Assist Sanitation workers by collecting solid waste, recyclables, furniture, brush, and appliances, and loading them onto a garbage truck; operate the hydraulic controls of the garbage truck.
  • Perform light maintenance at various work sites such as water treatment plants: for example, replace light fixtures and make minor repairs.
  • Serve as a water utility investigator helper: inspect water hydrants by making visual checks, and flush water hydrants.
  • Serve as a mason helper, an electrician helper, a carpenter helper, or a painter helper as needed.
  • Perform general clean-up of boulevards and green areas by operating power push and riding mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers, as well as by operating various hand tools.
  • Remove brush, grass, and weeds; remove sod to build new flower beds.
  • Plant trees, grass, shrubs, and flowers; lay sod; maintain planting beds by weeding and mulching.
  • Participate in the City’s snow and ice removal program: drive trucks and operate snow blowers to remove snow and ice from streets; remove snow using shovels; and spread sand or salt on icy streets and sidewalks.
  • Follow City and departmental work rules and safety instructions.
  • Perform all work safely, in accordance with departmental policies, municipal and state laws, and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
  • Attend departmental meetings and training programs, such as safety and policy briefings.
  • Complete required paperwork such as work logs and timecards.
  • Use basic mathematics to calculate amounts of materials needed for various tasks and mix proper proportions of materials.
  • Interact with citizens in a polite manner.

Conditions of Employment

  1. Must be able to work outdoors in variable and extreme weather conditions (e.g., heat, cold, rain, wind, and snow).
  2. Must be able to tolerate various environmental conditions indoors and out (e.g., noise, vibration, dirt, pollen, and sewer gases).
  3. Must be able to work in confined space settings (training provided).
  4. Must be able to hear directions given in a noisy, distracting environment.
  5. Must be able to see clearly both near and far.
  6. Must be able to properly lift and move objects weighing up to 50 lbs. alone or up to 100 lbs. with assistance.
  7. Must be able to perform strenuous physical work continuously for long periods of time.
  8. Must be able to perform physical activities in the work environment that require walking and standing, climbing stairs, ladders and scaffolding, crawling, crouching, stooping, kneeling, reaching, balancing, pushing and pulling.
  9. Must have manual dexterity to safely use various hand tools, such as sledge hammers, picks, wrecking bars, and hand tampers.
  10. Must have manual dexterity and strength to properly and safely use power tools, such as air compressors, small and large air hammers, concrete cutting saws, and leaf blowers.
  11. Must be available to work beyond assigned shifts to respond to various emergencies. Snow and ice operations and other emergencies may require City Laborers to work at any time during the day or night, 24/7.

Reasonable accommodations requested by qualified individuals with disabilities will be made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Minimum Requirements

1.  Eighteen years of age at time of application.

2.  One of the following is required at time of application and throughout the hiring process:

  • a valid Commercial Driver License (CDL) (Class A or B) without the Air Brakes restriction, OR
  • a Commercial Driver Learner permit (CLP) without the Air Brakes restriction. This consists of two knowledge tests: 1) Class B/C-General Knowledge – 50 questions, and 2) Air Brakes – 25 questions. 

Passing probation is contingent upon acquiring and maintaining a valid Commercial Driver License (CDL) (Class A or B) without the Air Brakes restriction.

3.  A good driving record at time of application, throughout the selection process, and throughout employment.


  • Information about how to obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL) or Commercial Driver Learner permit (CLP) can be found by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles website:, or by calling 608.264.7447.
  • A copy of your CDL license or CLP permit must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered for this position. Copies can be uploaded and attached to the application online; sent via email to; faxed to 414.286.0800; or submitted in person to the City of Milwaukee Department of Employee Relations, 200 E. Wells St. Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Not submitting a copy of the CDL license or CLP permit by the application deadline will result in the application being rejected.
  • By law, persons in these positions are required to pass pre-employment drug tests and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing during the course of employment. Candidates must sign a release authorizing the City to receive the results of any drug and alcohol tests conducted by previous employers during the past two years if those tests were required by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Knowledges, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics

  • Ability to read and understand documents, such as work rules, policies, and operating manuals.
  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to accurately complete paperwork, for example work logs and time cards.
  • Ability to read and interpret street maps.
  • Ability to perform basic mathematical calculations accurately.
  • Ability to learn about the materials, methods, and tools used in the construction and repair of structures, including streets, bridges, and sewers.
  • Ability to properly and safely operate motorized and pneumatic equipment, such as pumps, concrete mixers, power tampers, plate compactors, and vibratory rollers.
  • Skill in raking, luting, and shoveling gravel, asphalt, dirt, and other construction materials.
  • Skill in safely maneuvering a wheelbarrow filled with dirt, concrete, or asphalt.
  • Ability to drive a car and to learn to drive trucks and heavy equipment, such as forklift trucks, skid loaders, and snow plows.
  • Ability to safely shovel snow and operate snow blowers.
  • Ability to perform general maintenance of green areas and boulevards and safely operate power push and riding mowers.
  • Ability to make minor repairs under supervision.
  • Ability to perform basic maintenance tasks like replacing light fixtures.
  • Ability to use brooms, mops, commercial vacuum cleaners, and floor polishers.
  • Ability to exercise care and good judgment regarding safety at all times, abiding by safety-related policies, laws, and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
  • Ability to monitor the work site vicinity, including pedestrian and vehicle traffic, to ensure the safety of the work crew and the general public.
  • Ability to work effectively as a team member and interact with the public courteously.

Current Salary

NOTE: City Laborers are eligible for health insurance through the City of Milwaukee at the “limited benefit employee” (LBE) rate. City Laborers are not eligible for dental benefits, life insurance, or long-term disability insurance until they have completed 2,080 hours of work (approximately 2½ seasons of work).

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related; and selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job. The examination will be held as soon as practical after October 18, 2017. Receipt of applications may be discontinued at any time after the stated deadline without prior notice, however, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met.

Applicants must qualify at each step of the selection process in order to proceed to the next. Qualified applicants will receive an invitation to participate in the Written Exam scheduled on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Candidates who achieve a passing score on the Written Test will receive an invitation to participate in the Performance Exam scheduled on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Participants in the selection process will receive email notifications regarding current status and, if qualified, exam information. Exam dates may change due to unforeseen circumstances. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative test administration. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.

Additional Information

APPLICATIONS and further information may be accessed by visiting,

  • Applications and license documentation should be submitted no later than the deadline listed above.
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or
  • The Department of Employee Relations is located in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.


EEO 802

The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.