• Full Time
  • Anywhere
  • $115,830-$150,930 USD / Year

Website SWCA Environmental Consultants

Sound Science. Creative Solutions

About the Opportunity

SWCA Environmental Consultants is seeking a Principal Planning Lead (HR Title:  Principal Planning Team Lead) to lead and direct the growth and expansion of our environmental planning team in the greater Sacramento and Northern California region. While affiliated with our Sacramento office, this position can be filled remotely, with the ability to be accessible to the Sacramento/Northern California region. The Principal Planning Lead will also collaborate with environmental planners throughout the Bay Area, Central and Southern California, and the nation to help grow SWCA’s multi-disciplinary planning practice.

As a Principal Planning Lead, you will grow and lead this service area in the nation’s largest market for environmental services. This “cornerstone” position is ideal for an experienced and ambitious person who is looking to advance their career as both an environmental practitioner and as a manager/mentor to a collaborative team that is committed to excellence.

SWCA is a well-established leader in environmental consulting in California, having provided high-quality planning, cultural and natural resources services in the region for 40 years. We are a 100% employee-owned firm, and in addition to our competitive benefits package, we offer health and wellness programs, career development progression and training, the opportunity to give back to our communities, and a flexible work environment. We are excited to meet you!

This is a regular, full-time, salaried position that is a career growth opportunity to join SWCA’s expanding California Planning Practice.


What you can bring

  • A strong interest in growing a Northern California planning practice with a significant focus on CEQA services;
  • A history of successfully managing CEQA, NEPA, and/or planning projects of various scales and levels of complexity;
  • Strong existing client contacts in one or more of SWCA’s key client sectors (e.g., governmental planning and community development departments, public works departments, water and wastewater departments/utilities, private developers, attorneys, or energy developers and utilities);
  • A proven track record of developing client relationships, leading to the creation of new business opportunities;
  • A history of managing teams and recruiting and hiring quality individuals;
  • A desire to work in a team environment, being inspired through always learning and advancing; and
  • The ability to create a climate where people are motivated to bring their best work to help our employee-owned company grow and prosper

What you will accomplish


  • Technical Leadership. The Principal Planning Lead will provide technical leadership throughout the region by serving as a Senior Project Manager and/or Project Director on key projects, giving strategic input to other active projects in the region, and serving as a technical advisor to share advanced ideas for the region’s projects and pursuits. The Principal Planning Lead will encourage innovation in the program and mentor staff. You will work with your team to generate process improvements and novel technical approaches.


  • Client and Business Development Leadership. The Principal Planning Lead will direct CEQA, NEPA, and planning marketing and business development efforts. These activities will include fostering new and existing client relationships, determining which opportunities to pursue, leading proposal and interview efforts, and targeting promising markets, geographies, and sectors. The Principal Planning Lead will be supported by several senior practitioners experienced in client and business development.


  • People Leadership. The Principal Planning Lead will recruit, hire, manage, and mentor junior and senior planning staff. Problem-solving skills are a must, including the ability to discern which issues need to be elevated and which can be resolved without assistance. The Principal Planning Lead will be nimble and adaptable and will manage the workload of the team through shifting deadlines and client expectations. As the leader of the Northern California planning team, the Principal Planning Lead will have the authority to assign and hire team members as needed to grow the environmental planning service line. This position will prioritize collaboration, the advancement and growth of the group, and the professional development of team members.


Experience and Qualifications for Success:

  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental planning or a related field.
  • Minimum of 12 years of progressive environmental planning and project management experience, preparing CEQA documents and managing the planning process.
  • Experience managing environmental planning teams and working collaboratively with other environmental consulting disciplines (e.g., cultural and natural resources);
  • Experience leading client and business development efforts and proposals to secure new opportunities with new clientele.
  • Strong technical review skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Planning experience in the greater Sacramento area and Northern California.

SWCA Environmental Consultants is a growing employee-owned firm, providing a full spectrum of environmental services. With offices across the United States, SWCA is one of the largest environmental compliance firms and ranks among Engineering News-Record’s Top 200 Environmental Firms.

If you would like to contact SWCA regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the online application process due to a disability, please email accommodations@swca.com or call 1-480-581-5378. This contact information is for disability accommodation requests only. All other inquiries will not receive a response.

EOE – women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

SWCA is committed to salary equity and salary transparency for all its employees.  In alignment with this commitment, SWCA posts good faith pay ranges in all its advertised job postings to promote pay equity and transparency.

An employee in this Pasadena, CA-based position can expect a salary of $115,830-$150,930/year. Actual pay within this range may depend on experience, qualifications, geographic location, client requirements where applicable, and other factors permitted by law.  Regular-status employees are also eligible for performance bonuses. Candidates are also encouraged to consider SWCA’s Total Rewards package, which includes a competitive Benefits package, forward-thinking workplace flexibility, outstanding corporate culture, award-winning career development, and more.

Employees in this position are eligible for consideration for SWCA’s bonus program, which provides awards based on individual and organizational performance.

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