Public Works Director

  • City of Joplin, MO
  • Joplin, Missouri
  • Jun 24, 2022
Full Time Administration and Management Facilities Management Public Works Transportation or Transit Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Salary: 82,256 USD
  • Salary Top: 124,673
  • Negotiable/DOQ: Yes
  • Apply By: Aug 01, 2022




(The starting salary will range from $82,256 - $124,673 DOQ/E, plus outstanding benefits)


Are you seeking an amazing career opportunity in public works management where you can make a difference in a community by positively impacting the lives of others? Joplin, a community of 51,000 residents and the 5th largest metro in Missouri, is seeking a strategic, collaborative and visionary leader with exceptional communication skills to serve as its next Public Works Director.   


Joplin, a city of 51,000 residents located in both Jasper County and northern Newton County, serves a region of over 400,000 and is the fifth largest metro area in the state of Missouri. Joplin’s daytime census grows to nearly 250,000 because of a large employment base. Joplin residents and businesses benefit from outstanding transportation infrastructure and assets such as the City operated Joplin Regional Airport, and a network of federal and state highways providing connections throughout the region. The public has access to excellent medical care with two regional hospitals: Mercy Hospital Joplin and Freeman Health System. The region is home to an outstanding array of educational opportunities with a variety of quality public and private schools. Joplin continues to aggressively rebuild following a devastating tornado the community experienced in 2011 that severely impacted the entire region. The City has viewed the recovery as an opportunity to reinvest in the community and the resilience and “can do” spirit of community leaders has inspired a rebirth and reinvestment that continues 10 years later after the tragic event.


Joplin is a “Home Rule” city and operates under the Council-Manager Form of government.  The Council consists of nine members, including the Mayor. Every two years the City Council selects one if its members to serve as Mayor, who chairs City Council meetings and serves as the spokesperson for the City Council. The Council appoints a City Manager to oversee all City operations that includes approximately 585 FTEs supported by a total FY 2021 combined funds budget of $113.8 million.

Job Description

The Public Works Director reports directly to the City Manager and is an “at-will” employee, serving at the pleasure of the organization’s chief administrative officer. Overseeing 150+ positions supported by a combined annual operations budget of nearly $50 million, and an annual capital improvements budget of approximately $10 million, the Public Works Director is responsible for six (6) Divisions that include: Airport; Facilities Maintenance; Infrastructure; Public Transportation & MAPS; Solid Waste Management and Recycling; and, Wastewater Treatment. 


Candidates should possess a record of providing outstanding customer service and strategic leadership with attention to detail. The Public Works Director must be a team player and collaborator with other departments and outside agencies. A history of effective service delivery, creative problem-solving and community collaboration is essential. Strong project management skills and the ability to recommend cost effective solutions is also important. The Director must possess exceptional interpersonal skills and effectively communicate with municipal elected officials, other departments, and the public regarding the importance of establishing a collective long-term vision for the City’s future capital infrastructure needs and the services provided by Public Works to the community.


The successful candidate must conduct their work with the highest integrity, and demonstrate proficiency in communicating effectively, be adept at making good judgement, possess a record of sound decision making, and be able to provide exceptional leadership for a municipal organization. A history of utilizing creative problem solving and possessing the confidence and ability to make presentations to employee groups and/or City Council is essential. Candidates should possess the ability to adapt to and accept change at a rapid pace while being respectful of Joplin’s organizational history and culture. The incumbent Public Works Director is retiring after a 40-year career with the City.

Job Requirements

A Bachelor’s degree in civil or environmental engineering, construction management, urban planning, public administration or a closely related field is required. Candidates must possess at least five years of progressively responsible experience in public works related functions in a comparably sized municipal, state, or federal organization, with at least three years in a managerial or supervisory capacity. An equivalent combination of education, training, and experience that provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities will also be considered. Registration as a P.E., or the ability to attain registration with the State of Missouri is required. A valid driver’s license and the successful completion of a pre-employment drug test are also required. The Public Works Director is not required to live within City limits but must reside within a 12-mile radius from City Hall.

Special Instructions

The salary is negotiable and will be commensurate based on the selected candidate’s experience and qualifications, with a starting range of $82,256 to $124,673.  A generous benefits package is offered that includes health insurance, with single coverage paid by the City, dental and vision insurance, and paid vacation and sick leave. The selected employee will also receive an annual vehicle allowance and reimbursement for City related cell phone expenses. The City’s retirement plan is provided through the Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS L-6), employer contribution, and a five-year vesting requirement. A voluntary deferred compensation plan through ICMA is also available. 


This position is open until filled; candidates are encouraged to apply and submit a cover letter and resume at their earliest convenience using this link:  Selected finalists will be subject to a comprehensive background, reference, and academic verifications check. For more information, please contact Art Davis:, or at 816.868.7042.

To learn more about the City of Joplin, please see their website at

Joplin is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and values diversity at all levels of its workforce.


Please Note: This process will begin upon receiving a preset number of qualified applications.

Remote-eligible (Remote work is a type of flexible working arrangement that allows an employee to work from remote location)


Job Address

Joplin, Missouri United States View Map