Avalanche Forecast and Control Specialist 2 (Seasonal)


Avalanche Forecast and Control Specialist 2 (Seasonal)

$43,344.00 – $56,844.00 Annually
Chelan County – Other, WA
Job Type
Full Time – Non-Permanent
Dept. of Transportation
Job Number
9/3/2017 11:59 PM Pacific
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The Opportunity:
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has an exciting opportunity for a Highway Avalanche Forecast and Control Specialist 2 on Stevens Pass. As a member of the Stevens Pass Avalanche Control Team, this individual will play a critical role in ensuring people and commerce travel safely on our state highways through effective and efficient management of snow and avalanche related risks.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced skier with a strong background in avalanche forecasting and mitigation, and weather instrumentation. The selected individual will also have a desire to apply a variety of skills including triggering avalanches with explosives and ski cutting techniques, data management and instrumentation experience, and alpine ski touring.

This is a seasonal position expected to last from September to April.

At WSDOT, we honor diversity in the workplace and support one another with respect and trust. If you would like to join our team-oriented environment and enjoy continuously changing environment, and yet with a great deal of career stability and growth, definitely consider a career opportunity with WSDOT.

This position will perform the following work:

  • Perform daily and interval observations regarding weather, snow structure, and avalanche conditions.
  • Consider personal, co-worker and public safety as the first and foremost objective during the planning and performance of all activities.
  • Record weather observations from remote stations.
  • Relay snow pack and weather information to Avalanche Center.
  • Communicate weather, avalanche forecast, avalanche safety issues and control plans with WSODT maintenance staff.
  • Assist with seasonal opening, maintenance and closing of North Cascades Highway (SR20).
  • Use explosives in hand-placed and remote delivery applications for avalanche control.
  • Perform work via snow cat, skis, hiking, climbing, and snowmobiles.
  • Maintain, construct, and install field observation equipment and explosive delivery systems.
  • Use and maintain surplus military weaponry for avalanche control per AAUNAC standards.
  • Train new personnel on avalanche control duties and safety.
  • Remain current on new and emerging technology and assist with implementation of new technology when appropriate.
  • Other duties as assigned.

An ideal candidate for this position will also have:

  • Minimum of five (5) seasons performing avalanche control.
  • High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • CDL Class A without air brake restriction with hazardous materials endorsement, or the ability to obtain with 6 months of employment.
  • National Avalanche School certification or equivalent.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of safe handling and use of explosives and artillery.
  • Knowledge of modern avalanche and weather forecasting techniques.
  • Ability to travel mountainous terrain in deep snow while carrying a backpack weighing up to 25 lbs.
  • Excellent communication skills both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to perform duties on uneven terrain, in extreme weather conditions and hazardous road conditions.
  • Ability to climb and rappel steep slopes and work at heights.
  • Ability to travel and ski advanced and complex avalanche terrain in heavy snow and adverse weather conditions.
  • Flagging Card, or the ability to obtain within 6 months of employment.
  • First Aid Certification or the ability to obtain within 6 months of employment.
  • Valid WA State Explosives Users License or the ability to obtain within 3 months of hire.
  • Ability to respond to emergency call outs within 45 minutes, work different and/or extended shifts on short notice (days, nights and weekends), and travel throughout the state, including overnight stays.

Note: This position is covered by a union shop provision. Therefore, as a condition of employment, you are required to become a member of the PTE, Local 17, or arrange to pay that union a representational fee. The union shop requirement shall be effective on the first day of the month following the employee’s initial 30 days in this classification.

How to Apply: Applications for this recruitment will be accepted electronically. Please select the large “apply” button at the top of this announcement. You may need to set up an account profile. To be considered for this position you will need to answer the supplemental questions, as part of the supplemental questions you will need to provide a letter of interest. Your letter of interest should describe how your experience, training and education make you a viable and competitive candidate for this position.

Contact us: For inquiries about this position, please contact Brionna Hughes at 509-577-1604 or email to hughebr@wsdot.wa.gov.  Please reference recruitment number 17DOT-NCR-2S045

The Washington State Department of Transportation is an equal opportunity employer. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, and disabled and Vietnam era veterans are encouraged to apply. Persons with disabilities needing assistance in the application process, or those needing this job announcement in an alternative format may call the Office of Human Resources, at 360.705.7042 or email at jobinfo@wsdot.wa.gov.

More than Just a Paycheck!
Employee benefits are not just about the kind of services you get, they are also about how much you may have to pay out of pocket. Washington State offers one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation.

We understand that your life revolves around more than just your career and that your priority is making sure that you and your family will maintain health and financial security. That’s why choice is a key component of our benefits package. We have a selection of health and retirement plans, paid leave, staff training and other compensation benefits that you can mix and match to meet your current and future needs.

Read about our benefits:
The following information describes typical benefits available for full-time employees who are expected to work more than six months. Actual benefits may vary by appointment type or be prorated for other than full-time work. Check with the agency human resource office for specific benefit information.
Insurance Benefits
Employees and families are covered by medical (including vision), dental and basic life insurance.  There are multiple medical plans with affordable monthly premiums that offer coverage throughout the state.  Staff are eligible to enroll each year in a medical flexible spending account which enables them to use tax-deferred dollars toward their health care expenses.  Employees are also covered by basic life and long term disability insurance, with the option to purchase additional coverage amounts.  To view premium rates, coverage choice in your area and how to enroll, please visit the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) website.
Retirement and Deferred Compensation
State Employees are members of the Washington Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS).  New employees have the option of two employer contributed retirement programs.  For additional information, check out the Department of Retirement Systems‘ web site.
Employees also have the ability to participate in the Deferred Compensation Program (DCP).  This is a supplemental retirement savings program (similar to an IRA) that allows you control over the amount of pre-tax salary dollars you defer as well as the flexibility to choose between multiple investment options.
Vacation (Annual Leave)
You begin accruing vacation starting your first month of employment. Since we value your loyalty, the amount of vacation you can accrue increases the longer you work with us. Washington State supports members of the armed forces with 21 days paid military leave per year. Vacation accrues for full-time employees per WAC 357-31-165.


Full-time employees are entitled to eleven* paid holidays:

New Year’s Day
January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday
Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day
Third Monday in February
Memorial Day
Last Monday in May
Independence Day
July 4
Labor Day
First Monday in September
Veterans’ Day
November 11
Thanksgiving Day
Fourth Thursday in November & Friday after
Christmas Day
December 25
Personal Holiday
Employee’s selection each calendar year

*Employees who are members of certain Unions are entitled to an additional personal leave day of their choice. Please refer to specific Collective Bargaining Agreements for more information.

Social Security
All state employees are covered by the federal Social Security and Medicare systems. The state and the employee pay an equal amount into the system.
Sick Leave
Full-time employees earn eight hours of sick leave per month. Paid sick leave may be used for reasons included in WAC 357-31-130.
Please visit the State HR Website for more detailed information.
Please cut and paste your letter of interest describing how your experience, training, and education make you a viable and competitive candidate for this position.
Do you currently hold permanent status with WSDOT (not in a probationary or nonpermanent appointment)?

  • Yes
  • No
Do you have a valid CDL Class A without air brake restriction and with hazardous materials endorsement?

  • Yes
  • No
If you answered “No” to the questions above, do you have the ability to obtain a valid CDL Class A without air brake restriction and with hazardous materials endorsement within 6 months?

  • Yes
  • No
Describe your experience operating avalanche control or snow removal equipment.
Describe your experience using different types of explosives and delivery systems (Include any training you have had and special endorsements).
Describe your experience working independently. (Include examples)
Describe your experience working with telemetry and data loggers.
Describe your experience using computers and computer programs such as Excel; Access; and ArcGIS.
Describe your wintertime activities.
Describe your experience interpreting weather data and snow pack information as it relates to forecasting avalanche hazard and risk.
How did you learn of this employment opportunity?

  • Careers.wa.gov
  • Friend
  • Indeed
  • Job Fair
  • Networking/Social Event (specify below)
  • WorkSource
  • WSDOT Employee
  • WSDOT Employment Site
  • Other Source (specify below)
If you chose Networking/Social Event or Other Source in the question above, please specify the source.

Required Question

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