Boiler & Chiller Operations Mechanic

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Oct 28, 2020
Full time   Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences Facilities Management

Job Description

Posting Details

    • Posted: July 20, 2020
  • Full-Time
  • Locations

    Showing 1 location
    Salk Main Campus

    La Jolla, CA, USA
    Salk Main Campus

    La Jolla, CA, USA
    +0 more less

Job Details


Application Instructions:

Employment History Include your last ten (10) years of employment history, or length of your employment history if less, including all position (even those that are not relevant to this position) and periods of unemployment. Incomplete information could disqualify you from further consideration.


The Maintenance Mechanic I is primarily responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of boilers and chillers for the heating and cooling systems on campus. The Maintenance Mechanic I is distinguished from the Building Service Engineer in that the Maintenance Mechanic I typically works with centralized equipment, while the Building Service Engineer must service centralized equipment and a wide range of distribution systems and equipment.

Under general supervision, incumbents monitor, operate, and maintain boiler and chiller systems and their components; respond to calls; manipulate features of building automation systems to adjust space temperatures and air intake to optimize comfort while conserving energy; affect building automation programming schedules for the heating and cooling of campus facilities; conduct chemical analyses for water treatment for both chillers and boilers; perform some soldering and brazing on plant equipment and pipelines; and may provide work direction to semi-skilled and unskilled assistants

Examples of typical activities for each classification are not meant to be all inclusive or restrictive; incumbents may perform related work activities.


Operation, Installation, Maintenance, and Repair of Central Plant Equipment (90%)

  •  Operate, maintain, repair, perform corrective and preventive maintenance, and inspect centralized heating, ventilating, air conditioning, boiler, water and waste systems and equipment.
  • Adjust boiler and air conditioning machinery and mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, and/or microprocessor control instruments for optimal operation.
  • Test and chemically treat boiler, cooling tower water and water from other systems.
  • Install, maintain, inspect, and repair steam, various water, sewer, and air distribution systems.
  • Regularly use features of building automation systems to diagnose and troubleshoot problems in the HVAC systems while optimizing energy usage.
  • Monitor building automation systems data and adjust system accordingly.
  • Respond to service requests to adjust air flow and temperature for individual rooms or buildings.
  • Maintain documentation of maintenance and repairs using manual and computerized record-keeping systems.
  • Repair and replace bearings, shafts, seals, rings and install central system parts, gauges, valves and pipes which requires the application of journey-level skills in the HVAC trade.

Customer Service and Communication (5%)

  •  Assist in resolving questions regarding services performed. Refers customer inquiries or complaints to appropriate area.
  • Provides expeditious, professional, and courteous customer service.
  • Works with Institute customers and co-workers to accomplish work with a high level of quality and efficiency.
  • Communicates ideas and information orally, in writing, and electronically.

Other Duties and Requirements (5%)

  •  Perform a variety of routine manual duties as required, such as moving supplies, furniture, equipment, removing trash, scrap material, and replacing light bulbs, etc.
  • Prepare routine reports and makes estimates of time and materials needed for task completion.
  • Prepare schematics and diagrams in laying out work areas.
  • May occasionally instruct and lead semi-skilled or unskilled assistants.
  • May occasionally train employees on technical skills and assist them with problem solving and technical procedures.
  • Check own work and possibly work of others.
  • Uses broad guidelines and independent judgment in resolving problems and making recommendations for improvement in processes and assigned tasks.




  •  +5 years working as a Boiler or Chiller Plant Operator or the equivalent combination of formal course work in mechanical technology and hands-on experience.


  • +2 years of experience in:

Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)
Gas metal arc welding (GMAW)
Flux cored arc welding (FCAW)



  • High school graduate/GED


  •  +1 year of trade vocational education in Steam Plant Operations
  • +1 year of trade vocational education in HVAC&R
  • Gas tungsten arc welding certificate
  • Gas metal and flux cored arc welding certificate
  • Shielded metal arc welding certificate




  •  Demonstrated ability to read, interpret and work from blueprints, plans, drawings and specifications, and electrical schematics.
  • Must be able to make rough sketches of mechanical and electrical systems.
  • Must be able to operate and maintain boilers and steam generators.
  • Must be able to operate and maintain centrifugal water chillers and cooling towers.
  • Must be able to install, operate and repair centralized equipment and systems.
  • Must be able to solder and braze copper pipe.
  • Must be able to estimate cost, time and materials.
  • Must be able to maintain records and retrieve data related to work performed using manual and/or computerized record-keeping systems.
  • Must be able to prepare standard reports.
  • Must be able to provide instruction to unskilled and semi-skilled assistants.
  • Must be able to analyze and respond appropriately to emergency situations.
  • Use ladders to gain access to work areas and to works from heights.
  • Cleans and paints all required areas to maintain proper, effective and safe operation.
  • Ability to work well independently or in a group, always exercising Institute and professionally established safety precautions.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of applicable Federal, State and local laws and regulations.
  • Ability to read and write English at a level appropriate to understand necessary documentation and instructions.
  • Ability to perform arithmetic calculations in algebra and geometry.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Strong interpersonal skills that include tact, good judgment, diplomacy, and flexibility to relate to diverse scientific research staff, faculty, executive management, administrative staff, and external contacts.
  • Ability to work as team member and team resource.
  • Ability to apply knowledge, skills and Institute policies and procedures with a high level of independence to resolve issues for customers.
  • Ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and to present a valid California Driver License. This position requires driving of carts, forklifts, equipment and machinery, etc.


  •  Ability to perform Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW).
  • Ability to perform Gas metal arc welding (GMAW).
  • Ability to perform Flux cored arc welding (FCAW).



  •  Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Post-offer physical required.
  • Must be willing to sign an employee confidentiality agreement.
  • Regular, reliable, on-time attendance required.
  • Must be able to work overtime as needed.
  • Must be able to adjust regularly assigned work schedule based on workload and deadlines.
  • Must be willing to work in any or all of the following environments: vivarium, laboratories where blood-borne pathogens, radioactive, and biohazard materials are stored/used and with which biological studies are performed.
  • Must be able to work first, second, or third shifts.
  • Must be willing to use ladders to provide access to work areas and works from heights.
  • Must be willing to maintain First Aid/CPR/AED training/certification.
  • Must possess an EPA Section 608 Universal Technician Certification.
  • Must be willing to join the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 501
  • A DMV driving record background check may be required. A Class C motor vehicle license and clean driving record will be required in order to drive Institute vehicles.



  • As a safeguard for employees and animals, all FS employees may be subject to vaccines/tests/physical exams prior to working with specific animals or animal populations as required by research needs including but not limited to:

TB Testing/Clearance (every six months / twice a year)
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (proof of immunization and/or vaccination)

Physical Requirements: 

This position requires constant seeing, touching and feeling.


Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

Application Details

When inquiring or applying for positions at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, please also reference

Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and employment opportunities at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and at other institutions of higher education in the region on