Laboratory Manager

City of Sunnyvale
Full Time $137,517 - $171,896 Per year CA City of Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant, 1444 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94089, United States


Regular Full-Time Employment Opportunity

The City of Sunnyvale is seeking a highly responsible and engaging Laboratory Manager to join our management team in the Environmental Services Department!  The Environmental Services Department provides comprehensive and innovative utility services for Sunnyvale's residents and businesses, and also facilitates initiatives to achieve the City's sustainability objectives. The Department brings together technical, operational, and administrative professional disciplines to form its dedicated and dynamic team. The City’s Environmental Laboratory provides water quality analysis to support Drinking Water and Wastewater Management.  The Lab team includes 10 positions and conducts approximately 48,000 analyses annually.

For the Laboratory Manager, the City of Sunnyvale:
  • contributes 4% of the 7% employee contribution to CalPERS for classic members;
  • contributes 2% of an employee's gross pay to a deferred compensation plan;
  • provides generous retiree medical benefits, and
  • provides fully employer paid medical, dental, and vision benefits.

Under general direction of a Division Manager, plans, organizes, directs, and administers the laboratory located at the Water Pollution Control Plant; supervises and coordinates the work of laboratory, industrial waste and administrative professionals, technicians and support personnel. This position entails significant regulatory responsibility with regard to compliance with and enforcement of: municipal ordinances, Regional Water Quality Control Board regulations, Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Performs other duties as assigned.

Click here for a full job description: 
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICSThis is a management level classification in which the incumbent plans, develops, and ensures execution of duties associated with the laboratory and pretreatment programs of the Water Pollution Control Plant. It is distinguished from the next higher level position of a Division Manager which is responsible for a broader set of operations and programs and which directs the activities of other management and supervisory level positions within the Environmental Services Department.

Essential Job Functions

(May include, but are not limited to the following):
  • Manages, directs, controls and implements laboratory services in conducting analysis of potable water, residential and industrial wastewater, recycled water, and other effluents or specimens.
  • Plans, organizes, directs, and reviews the activities of professional, technical, and support personnel assigned to the Water Pollution Control laboratory, compliance inspection, and/or support services programs.
  • Provides leadership and direction for assigned responsibilities.
  • Develops, monitors and manages related program budgets and allocates resources to accomplish program goals and service levels; requests and recommends major purchases; participates in the development of policies and procedures.
  • Ensures laboratory accreditation and quality assurance programs to meet requirements of Environmental Protection Agency, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Department of Health Services, and other regulatory agencies
  • Ensures Water Pollution Control Plant process control monitoring is performed in accordance with operational needs, as well as with local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Reviews, develops, and implements laboratory and pretreatment program performance goals, objectives, and priorities; establishes organizational controls to measure performance, and ensures implementation.
  • Selects, trains and evaluates laboratory, compliance inspection, and/or support staff; assigns and delegates work to meet performance objectives.
  • Coordinates activities of laboratory, and/or compliance inspection program with other sections within Environmental Services, as well as with other City departments.
  • Prepares National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) reports pertaining to analytical data, plant operations, and other observations, as required by regulations; participates in studies conducted by regulatory agencies, consultants, or professional groups to evaluate laboratory techniques.
  • Provides technical consultation to the Department on the evaluation, investigation, and solutions for matters that involve laboratory analysis.
  • Prepares technical reports and correspondence regarding analytical data.
  • Assists in the review of applications for discharge of industrial wastewater and contaminated groundwater to sewer systems.
  • Administers the Safety Program for the laboratory programs.
  • Confers with representatives of various divisions, departments and other agencies concerning environmental monitoring activities; directs the delivery of services; answers technical questions regarding reported data; may represent the City and the Water Pollution Control Plant in public and private meetings.
  • Oversees the dissemination of relevant information to the public.
  • Researches and recommends new technology.

Position requires sitting, standing, walking on level, uneven and slippery surfaces, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, stooping, squatting, crouching, grasping and making repetitive hand movements in the performance of daily duties. Acute hearing is required in both the field and the office. Additionally, the position requires near and far vision in reading written reports and work related documents. The need to lift, drag and push files, paper and documents weighing up to 25 pounds, such as a box of printed material, is also required. The laboratory setting may expose the incumbent to chemicals, hazardous materials, skin irritants, fumes, solvents, and air contaminate aerosols from wastewater. Sampling, laboratory sanitation and personal hygiene procedures require incumbents to frequently wash his/her hands. The nature of the work may also require the incumbent to drive motorized vehicles and work in heavy traffic conditions. Some of these requirements may be accommodated for otherwise qualified individuals requiring and requesting such accommodations.

Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience

The minimum qualifications for education and experience can be met in the following ways:  

A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, chemical engineering or a closely related field, and four or more years of experience in the analysis of water, wastewater, solid waste, hazardous waste or other environmental samples in an analytical laboratory or in an industrial pretreatment facility associated with a wastewater or water treatment facility, of which at least two years are at a supervisory level.

A Master's degree in a related field may be substituted for one year of the required experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and AbilitiesThorough knowledge of:
  • Theory and principles of microbiological, chemical, and physical characteristics of potable water, wastewater, and related effluents.
  • Techniques of field inspections, chemistry, microbiology, and laboratory work related to industrial pretreatment.
  • Local, state, and federal codes and regulations governing wastewater treatment and the administration and organization of wastewater treatment and pretreatment programs.
  • General chemical qualitative and quantitative analysis.
  • Modern water pollution control plant operation practices and techniques.
  • Current technological developments in wastewater treatment, analytical techniques, equipment, procedures, sampling techniques, methods of statistical analysis, and data management as applied to laboratory data management.
Working knowledge of:
  • Safety rules, codes, practices, and appropriate precautions related to the work performed by a wastewater laboratory and a pretreatment program.
  • Principles and practices of leadership, personnel management and administration.
  • Principles of public sector finance and budget administration.
  • Revenue programs relating to wastewater treatment.
Ability to:
  • Effectively train and supervise the work of others.
  • Conduct, analyze, and interpret difficult and complex laboratory tests on potable water, industrial wastewater, and sewage.
  • Develop, analyze, recommend and implement bi-annual performance-based budgets.
  • Develop and implement study plans involving laboratory analysis to address specific operational or regulatory issues regarding water or wastewater.
  • Analyze problems, evaluate alternative solutions, and make sound recommendations/decisions.
  • Apply data management techniques to laboratory operations.
  • Compose professional business correspondence, memoranda, standard operating procedures, and technical instructions in a clear and concise manner.
  • Work effectively, independently or as part of a group.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; understand and carry out oral and written instructions.
  • Make presentations to management, subordinates, and the public.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, subordinates, regulatory agency personnel, vendors, contractors and the general public.
  • Effectively manage conflicting priorities and meet multiple deadlines.
  • Observe safety principles and work in a safe manner.

Possession and continued maintenance of a valid California class C driver's license and a safe driving record, or the ability to provide alternate transportation which is approved by the appointing authority.

Application and Selection Process

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a City of Sunnyvale employment application and responses to the supplemental questions to the Department of Human Resources no later than 5:00 pm on Thursday, July 11, 2024. Candidates are asked to fully describe any training, education, experience, or skills relevant to this position. Electronic applications may be submitted on-line through the City's employment page at and click on JOBS.  Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Applications will be competitively screened based on the minimum qualifications of this position. Based upon a review of the application materials, the most qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the examination process, which may consist of an oral examination scheduled for Thursday, July 25, 2024. (Note: The examination process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Director of Human Resources).

Those candidates that receive a passing score on the examination will be placed on an eligibility list for up to one year, in accordance with the City's Civil Service Rules and Administrative Policies.  Top candidates on the eligibility list will be invited to participate in a selection interview with the Environmental Services Department tentatively scheduled for August 1, 2024.  Any candidate selected by the hiring department will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, which may consist of a comprehensive background investigation, as well as medical exam(s) administered by a City-selected physician(s) before hire.  Prior to starting work, all newly-hired employees will be fingerprinted to check conviction history.  A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose conviction history will result in refusal of employment or termination. 

Any successful candidate selected by the hiring department will be required to submit proof of education (i.e., original copy of the diploma or college/university transcripts).


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The information contained within this announcement may be modified or revoked without notice and does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

The City of Sunnyvale is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of the City of Sunnyvale not to discriminate against all qualified applicants or employees on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion (including religious dress or grooming practice), color, sex (includes gender, pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding), gender identity and/or gender expression, sexual orientation (including heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality), ethnic or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, uniformed service member status, marital status, family relationship, age, cancer or HIV/AIDS related medical condition, genetic characteristics and/or genetic information, and physical or mental disability.