Building Service Engineer

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA, USA
  • Jun 15, 2021
Full time Facilities Management

Job Description


Application Instructions:

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


Position performs maintenance and repair of Institute's infrastructure, under general direction, and  is responsible for resolving complex technical matters.  The incumbent acts using acquired skill and experience, exercising Institute and professionally established safety precautions. Incumbent responds to service calls, performs preventative  and corrective maintenance in accordance with scheduled procedures.  Trains lower level employees in various technical areas. 

Incumbents are expected to have at least three years of specialized expertise in one or more of the following areas and proficient in all others :

Plumbing: Assembles, installs, and repairs pipes, fittings, and fixtures of heating, water, and drainage systems.

Electrical: Plans layout, installs, and repairs wiring, electrical fixtures, apparatus, and control equipment.

Central Plant Mechanical: Assures proper operation and maintenance of high temperature hot water generators, steam generators, chillers, air conditioning, exhaust fans, and other equipment.

HVAC&R: Installs and repairs industrial heating and refrigerating systems.

Machining, and Welding: Welds metal components together with brazing and variety of arc and gas welding equipment to fabricate or repair products such as machine parts, plant equipment, motors, and generators.

Successful completion of the Institute's background check investigation including driver DMV report. Must have and maintain a motor vehicle license Class C and a clean driving record for operation of Institute vehicle for pick-ups and deliveries.


Plumbing: (25%)

  • Studies building plans and working drawings to determine work aids required and sequence of installations.
  • Inspects structure to ascertain obstructions to be avoided to prevent weakening of structure resulting from installation of pipe.
  • Locates and marks position of pipe and pipe connections and passage holes for pipes in walls and floors.
  • Cuts openings in walls and floors to accommodate pipe and pipe fittings.
  • Cuts and threads pipe.
  • Bends pipe to required angle by use of pipe-bending machine or by placing pipe over block and bending it by hand.
  • Assembles and installs valves, pipe fittings, and pipes composed of metals, such as iron, steel, brass, and lead, and nonmetals, such as glass, vitrified clay, and plastic.
  • Joins pipes by use of screws, bolts, fittings, solder, plastic solvent, and caulks joints.
  • Fills pipe system with water or air and reads pressure gauges to determine whether system is leaking.
  • Welds holding fixtures to steel structural members.
  • Repairs and maintains plumbing by replacing washers in leaky faucets, mending burst pipes, and opening clogged drains.
  • Installs and repairs plumbing fixtures such as sinks, commodes, bathtubs, water heaters, hot water tanks, garbage disposal units, dishwashers, and water softeners.

Electrical: (25%)

  • Plans new or modified installations to minimize waste of materials, provide access for future maintenance, and avoid unsightly, hazardous, and unreliable wiring, consistent with specifications and local electrical codes.
  • Prepares sketches showing location of wiring and equipment, or follows diagrams or blueprints, ensuring that concealed wiring is installed before completion of future walls, ceilings, and flooring.
  • Measures, cuts, bends, threads, assembles, and installs electrical conduit.
  • Pulls wiring through conduit.
  • Splices wires by stripping insulation from terminal leads, twisting or soldering wires together, and applying tape or terminal caps.
  • Connects wiring to lighting fixtures and power equipment.
  • Installs control and distribution apparatus such as switches, relays, and circuit-breaker panels.
  • Connects power cables to equipment, such as electric range or motor, and installs grounding leads.
  • Tests continuity of circuit to ensure electrical compatibility and safety of components with testing instruments such as ohmmeter, battery and buzzer, and oscilloscope.
  • Observes functioning of installed equipment or system to detect hazards and need for adjustments, relocation, or replacement.
  • Repairs faulty equipment or systems.

HVAC&R: (25%)

  • Lays out reference points for installation of structural and functional components.
  • Drills holes and installs mounting brackets and hangers into floor and walls of building.
  • Lifts or hoists and aligns components into position.
  • Screws, bolts, rivets, welds, and brazes parts to assemble structural and functional components such as motors, controls, switches, gauges, wiring harnesses, valves, pumps, compressors, condensers, cores, and pipes.
  • Cuts, threads, and connects pipe to functional components and water or power system of premises.
  • Pumps specified gas or fluid into system.
  • Starts system, observes operation, reads gauges and instruments, and adjusts mechanisms such as valves, controls, and pumps to control level of fluid, pressure, and temperature in system.
  • Dismantles malfunctioning systems and tests components.
  • Replaces or adjusts defective or worn parts to repair systems.
  • Insulates shells and cabinets of systems.
  • Installs wiring to connect components to electric power source.

Machining and Welding: (10%)

  • Welds metal parts together using both gas welding or brazing and any combination of arc welding processes.
  • Performs related tasks such as thermal cutting and grinding.
  • Repairs broken or cracked parts, fills holes, and increases size of metal parts.
  • Cuts and welds steel structural members.

Other Duties: (10%)

  • Receives requests for corrective repair work on a variety of building physical structures, equipment and system components.
  • Utilizes several trades' skills, in the performance of maintenance and repair work.
  • Prepares routine reports and makes estimates of time and materials needed for task completion.
  • Prepares schematics and diagrams in laying out work areas.
  • Checks own work and possibly work of others.
  • Prioritizes own weekly schedule.
  • Uses broad guidelines and independent judgement in resolving problems and making recommendations for improvement in processes and assigned tasks.
  • Trains employees on technical skills and may occasionally assist them with problem solving and technical procedures.
  • Uses company vehicle to pick-up and deliver supplies and materials to off-site Institute locations.



  • 3 years of experience more than one of the following: central plant maintenance, electrical, plumbing, or HVAC&R.
  • Welding (with MIG, TIG, and Arc welding). Experience welding aluminum, steel, and stainless steel.



  • High school graduate/GED
  • 3 years of training and experience in a specialized technical area plus at least 1 year of trade or vocational education.



  • Proficient with sheet metal fabrication.
  • Familiarity with MIG, TIG, and Arc welding for welding tasks.
  • Demonstrated ability to read construction drawings, construction documentation, and electrical schematics.
  • 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.
  • Utilizes several trades' skills, in the performance of maintenance and repair work.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and email.
  • 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 operate a motor vehicle and to present a valid California Driver License


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation. including driver DMV report. Must have and maintain a motor vehicle license Class C and a clean driving record for operation of Institute vehicle for pick-up and delivery of materials.
  • 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 use ladders to provide access to work areas and works from heights.
  • Must be willing to maintain First Aid/CPR/AED training/certification.
  • 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)


This position requires constant balancing, handling, and seeing. 


Application Details

Apply Here:


 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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