Issaquah Plans Examiner

This position supports the Development Services Department by providing technical review of both residential and commercial plans for compliance with numerous complex, technical, and administrative codes and rules including all building, mechanical, plumbing, energy, and accessibility codes for both structural and nonstructural code compliance. The Plans Examiner works independently on technical review, is supported by a team of plans examiners and inspectors in the City, and reports to the building official. 

The City of Issaquah is inviting qualified candidates to apply for the position of Plans Examiner. The City of Issaquah was listed by Sunset Magazine as one of the Best Burbs in America and by Family Circle magazine as one of the best places to raise a family. Our community of more than 34,000 is conveniently located off the interstate 90 corridor, just 16 miles east of Seattle.

Issaquah—nicknamed Trailhead City—is centered within the Issaquah Alps (Cougar, Squak and Tiger Mountains). It’s a destination for countless outdoor enthusiasts, including hikers, mountain bikers, and paragliders.

Come join our team! Our mission – We enhance lives through public service.

Essential Functions:

  • Provide technical review of plans, calculations, reports, and other materials for structural and nonstructural compliance with the state building code and other federal, municipal, and other local codes and ordinances for compliance with building, mechanical, plumbing, energy, and accessibility requirements. 

  • Apply municipal requirements for critical areas including erosion hazards, flood hazards, coal mine hazards, landslide hazards, seismic hazards, steep slope areas, streams, wetlands, and aquifer recharge areas.

  • Provide technical support for staff and the general public, assisting in code-related issues; assist in code research and interpretation; provide verbal and written communication and reports; conduct site visits and field investigations; attend public and staff meetings; and provide comments on preliminary advisory review, recommend acceptable alternatives and resolve conflicts within the scope of individual authority.

  • Perform field inspections for commercial and residential projects as a backup to the building inspector and to verify that the work of contractors is proceeding in accordance with applicable codes and that special inspections are being performed when required.

  • Utilize electronic review and permit tracking software, mark-up plans, write comment letters, track projects, manage own work schedule, perform work within tight timelines, determine valuations and permit fees based on City regulations, and have a strong understanding and ability using Microsoft Office products.

  • Provide recommendations for changes in plan review and building processes and implement efficiency improvements by meeting with building official, engineering staff, other reviewers, and other departments. 

  • Coordinate and conducts interdepartmental plan review meetings and represent the building department at such meetings.  Prepare written reports of plans evaluations compiled from all departments and contact design professionals and owners to review conflicts.

  • Respond to public inquiries on construction related matters and permit process procedures in a timely and courteous manner.

  • Perform research on codes and ordinances as assigned for the purpose of recommending changes or providing code interpretations.

  • Coordinate work with plan review consultants.

Other Job Duties:

  • Perform in the capacity of building inspector and building official when required.

  • Provide information and assist with City projects.

  • Promote open and effective communications between the Development Services Department and owners, architects, contractors, and other interested parties.  

  • Create and provide informational handouts for the public.

  • Assist the building official with special projects as assigned.

  • Participate in intergovernmental agency standing committees.  This may involve active work projects involving other cities or government agencies.

  • Provide support to the City’s Emergency Management Operations Center.

  • Evaluate building damage and provide assessment of overall building safety under applicable standards.

Education and Training:

Bachelor's degree in architecture, engineering, building construction or related field, and two years of experience as a plans examiner, or any combination of education and experience which would provide the applicant with the desired skills, knowledge, and ability required to perform the job.


  • Extensive knowledge of the International Building Code, International Residential Code, Uniform Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code, Washington State Energy Code, ICC A117.1 Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, and other codes applicable to assignment.

  • Understanding of building construction, basic engineering principles, methods of construction, and construction sequencing.

  • Extensive knowledge of life-safety, accessibility and energy aspects of the building codes as well as ability to review structural designs for resistance of gravity and lateral forces in order to provide complete plan review of most project types.

  • Must be able to attain Certified Plans Examiner certification through the International Code Council (ICC) within one year of hire. Additional certification as a Building Inspector by ICC is preferred.

  • Ability to work with difficult people, people from differing backgrounds, and those with limited knowledge of the construction field.

  • Ability to work under stressful conditions or with limited time. 

  • Ability to be fair, consistent, and positive while resolving code issues and enforcement problems, using independent judgment or limited direction from supervisors.

  • Familiarity working with permit-tracking software.

  • Plan review and inspection experience.

  • Ability to read and understand plans (both paper and electronic), calculations, geotechnical reports and specifications.

  • Must possess valid Washington State driver's license and meet the City’s minimum driver approval standards.

  • Possess organizational, communication, and time-management skills.

  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with individuals and groups regarding complex and sensitive issues or regulations.

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