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Building Service Engineer

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
United States, California, La Jolla
10010 North Torrey Pines Road (Show on map)
December 11, 2023

Under general supervision, the Building Service Engineer trade classification has responsibilities that support operation, maintenance and repair of HVAC&R; Electrical; Plumbing; Central Plant Mechanical; Fabrication and Welding systems and infrastructure.

Incumbents 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 is responsible for resolving complex technical matters; must be able to proficiently use building automation systems to diagnose and troubleshoot problems; estimate cost, time and materials for projects; participate in the maintenance and operations of applicable heating and air conditioning systems and equipment; maintain and service tools and equipment used in the performance of duties; perform all work in accordance with established safety procedures and maintain a safe and clean work environment; maintain records and logs; retrieve data related to work; performed using manual and/or computerized record-keeping systems; prepare standard reports; train employees in various technical areas and consult and work with other trades workers. Work may involve exposure to hazardous materials and some positions will require EPA approved certification in refrigerant recovery.


  • Operates, maintains and repairs a wide range of central plant equipment including but not limited to: boilers, steam generators, chillers, cooling towers, diesel generators, air compressors, vacuum pumps, water softeners, and reverse osmosis systems.
  • Manipulates 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.
  • Responds to trouble calls such as: hot and cold calls, equipment alarms, water leaks, clogged drains, electrical power issues, and lighting issues.
  • Conducts chemical analyses for water treatment for various systems such as: chillers, cooling towers, boilers, and water softeners.
  • Installation, repair, and maintenance of ductwork, fan coil units, air handlers, vacuum pumps and air compressors.
  • Installation, repair, and maintenance of lights, switches, receptacles, conduit, Wiremold raceway and batteries.
  • Installation, repair, and maintenance of laboratory plumbing utilities, pipes, fittings, and fixtures. Perform preventative maintenance on eyewash stations, emergency showers, and fire extinguishers.
  • Performs a variety of routine manual duties as required, such as moving supplies, furniture, equipment, removing trash, scrap material, sweeping and mopping, etc.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned by management.


  • This job has no supervisory responsibilities.


  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED).
  • Training Preferred:

    • 1 year trade school in one of the following trades: HVAC&R / Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Welding, Machining or Building Maintenance.

  • Experience Required:

    • These abilities normally would be acquired through +5 years of specialized experience in one of the following: HVAC&R, Electrical, Plumbing, Central Plant Mechanical, or Fabrication and Welding.

  • Experience Preferred:

    • 2 years of experience Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)
    • 2 years of experience Gas metal arc welding (GMAW)
    • 2 years of experience Flux cored arc welding (FCAW)

  • 2 years of experience in sheet metal fabrication.
  • 2 years of experience in machine shop operations.

  • Must possess an EPA Section 608 Universal Technician Certification.
  • Computer skills required: Microsoft Office; Project Management Software.
  • Other skills required:

    • Demonstrated ability to read construction drawings and documentation.

  • Certificates, licenses, and registrations required: Must be willing to maintain First Aid/CPR/AED training/certification.
  • Satisfactory completion of the post-offer physical required.
  • Must be able to use ladders to provide access to work areas and work from heights.

The expected pay range for this position is $26.92 to $30.38 per hour.
Salk Institute provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the institute reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, geographic location, and external market pay for comparable jobs.


  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Attendance/Punctuality - Is consistently at work and on time; Ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent; Arrives at meetings and appointments on time.
  • Customer Service - Manages difficult or emotional customer situations; Responds promptly to customer needs; Solicits customer feedback to improve service; Responds to requests for service and assistance; Meets commitments.
  • Dependability - Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Judgement - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Teamwork - Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; Supports everyone's efforts to succeed.
  • Quality - Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.


  • Frequently required to stand
  • Frequently required to walk
  • Occasionally required to sit
  • Frequently required to utilize hand and finger dexterity
  • Frequently required to climb, balance, bend, stoop, kneel or crawl
  • Frequently required to talk or hear
  • Occasionally required to taste or smell
  • Occasionally exposure to wet and/or humid conditions (non-weather)
  • Frequently work near moving mechanical parts
  • Occasionally work in high, precarious places
  • Occasionally work around fumes, airborne particles, or toxic chemicals
  • Occasionally exposure to outside weather conditions
  • Occasionally exposure to extreme heat or cold (non-weather)
  • Occasionally exposure to bloodborne and airborne pathogens or infectious materials
  • While performing the duties of this job, the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and /or move more than 50 pounds / frequently lift and/or move up to 20-50 pounds / continually lift and/or move up to 0-20 pounds
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include: Close vision; Distance vision; Color vision; Peripheral vision; Depth perception and ability to adjust focus
  • Additional remarks regarding work environment: NA
  • Specialized equipment, machines, or vehicles used: NA

The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities, or physical requirements. Nothing in this job description restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. All individuals who accept a position with the Salk Institute must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment, must successfully complete the Institute's background investigation and must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.

The Salk Institute is an internationally renowned research institution that values. We seek bold and interactive leaders passionate about exploring new frontiers in science. Our collaborative community embraces diverse perspectives and unique life experiences, fostering innovation, and a sense of belonging. Together, we strive to improve the wellbeing of humanity through groundbreaking research.
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)