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Utility Plant Operator

Bucknell University
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
May 5, 2023

Utility Plant Operator

Job No: 497377
Position Type: full-time
Location: Lewisburg, PA
Categories: Facilities, Other

The Utility Plant Operator is responsible for operating and maintaining the campus central utility plant. The plant provides electric power, steam and chilled water to campus buildings. This position reports to the Utility Plant Supervisor in the Energy and Utilities area of Facilities. Most plant operations are performed through a computer-based control system.

Job Duties:
● Operate and monitor central plant including start up, shutdown and staging of turbines, boilers and chillers as part of normal operation and emergency situations. The operator is also responsible for control of equipment such as: pumps, air compressors, chemical feed systems, fuel supply systems, steam distribution systems, condensate systems, cooling towers and other auxiliary equipment.
● Follow plant operating procedures and complete assigned training as outlined by supervision and Utility Plant Operator training plan.
● Monitor and respond to alarms from plant control systems. Notify appropriate personnel in serious and emergency situations.
● Monitor and record plant operating data in the plant log and into a personal computer. Record in the maintenance logbook any changes in operation, unusual occurrences, irregularities, or discrepancies that occur while on duty. Report directly to the plant supervisor any and all problems encountered and any corrective actions taken.
● Add salt to the water softeners.
● Perform daily water chemistry tests and make adjustments as required.
● Perform routine maintenance of plant equipment as directed by supervision using the facilities work order system.
● Maintain overall cleanliness and appearance of the plant, including equipment, building and surrounding grounds.
● Oversee proper handling and unloading of fuel oil deliveries.
● Monitor and respond to alarms from the campus building management systems. Notify appropriate personnel in serious and emergency situations.
● Perform routine maintenance, such as, filter and belt replacement, greasing of bearings and linkages, and other assigned repairs to HVAC equipment in campus buildings.
● Adhere to OSHA standards, employ safe practices, and follow safety policies/procedures. Use PPE in safe manner, set example for others, notifies supervisor of potential hazards, and demonstrate good housekeeping habits.
● Support and promote the University's sustainability efforts
● Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
● High school diploma or equivalent.
● A minimum two (2) years' experience in operation of a power plant, boiler room or other industrial process involving equipment such as, boilers, turbines, generators, chillers, and related auxiliary equipment OR two year technical degree or certification in a related field of study.
● Basic knowledge of personal computers and ability to use them, including familiarity with Microsoft Excel, is required.
● Familiarity with industrial standard safety procedures related to the operation of mechanical and electrical equipment, use of tools, and personal protective equipment.
● Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral form with fellow operators, supervisors and others.
● Experience working in a team oriented environment. The successful candidate must be willing to share information, provide assistance at all times, accept work assignments, and follow directions. Demonstrated ability to use sound judgment and make decisions by gathering all relevant information and analyzing it in a logical manner. Seek advice and assistance from others when needed.
● Displays initiative and the ability to work with minimal supervision. This position will be expected to take the lead in identifying, analyzing and correcting problems and deficiencies, with appropriate input from coworkers and supervisors.
● Valid driver's license.
● Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

Utility Operators have the opportunity to move to level II

Additional duties of Level II
1. Serve as a mentor for new staff by providing on the job training related to plant operation and preventive maintenance.
2. Assist with analyzing and troubleshooting plant operations using historical and live operational trend data.
3. Take a lead role in executing maintenance and small upgrade projects.
4. Recommend enhancements to preventative maintenance or operating procedures to improve plant efficiency and reliability.

Criteria to move from Level I to Level II
1. Minimum of three years of experience in operations and/or maintenance in the BU power plant.
2. Consistently achieve a performance rating of “Meets and Usually Exceeds Expectations” for 3 consecutive years.
3. Demonstrate strong leadership skills, extensive knowledge of plant equipment and operations, sound judgment, and strong communications skills.
4. Demonstrate the ability to mentor new employees
5. Demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret operational trend data to troubleshoot issues and optimize operations.
6. Demonstrate the ability to work independently with little direction from supervision.
7. Complete additional training as outlined in the Utility Plant Operator training plan for Operator II or relevant training approved by supervision.

Preferred Qualifications:
● Experience maintaining and repairing industrial equipment such as boilers, pumps, compressors, chillers, etc.
● Working knowledge of industrial digital control systems (PLCs) preferred.
● 2-year or 4-year college degree or additional certification in a relevant technical field is a plus.

Physical Demands:
1. Ability to move around the entire work site including climbing ladders, stairs and scaffolds and entering confined areas.
2. Lift and carry 75 pounds unassisted.
3. Ability to work on ladders, scaffolds, elevated walkways, roofs and other elevated areas.
4. Must use personal protective equipment appropriate to the task performed.
5. The position requires use of chemicals, solvents, cleaners, and lubricants that may be hazardous and/or cause injury if specific instructions regarding their use are not properly followed.
6. The person in this position works indoors and outdoors. There is regular exposure to dust, dirt, weather, and temperature changes.
7. Must be able to reach campus within 45 minutes of driving time in the event of an emergency.

Work Type:
This is a full-time, year round, benefits eligible position.

This role is not budgeted for visa sponsorship at this time, all candidates must be authorized to work in the US at the time of submission of the application.

Salary Range:
This is a Staff Non-exempt position with a hiring range of $19.41-24.26 (NE10). The offer rate will be based on a review of the candidate's credentials compared to the qualifications of the position, internal equity, and our overall compensation philosophy.


Eligible full- and part-time employees are compensated beyond base salary through our total rewards package that includes (but is not limited to):
- flexible scheduling options determined by role;
- medical, prescription drug, vision, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance options
- an outstanding 10% employer contribution to your retirement plan (no contribution requirement for non-exempt positions)
- generous paid time off, including vacation and sick time, a community service day, and 19 paid holidays (including two full weeks off for Winter Break!)
- full-time and part-time members of the faculty and staff are eligible for tuition remission for themselves. Additionally, full-time members of the faculty and staff are eligible for tuition remission for their spouse/spousal equivalent and are eligible for various tuition programs for their children. Credit for full-time benefits eligible employment at other institutions of higher education will be applied to waiting periods.
- a comprehensive employee wellness program including program incentives
- a myriad of other benefits, including parental leave, an employee assistance program, fitness center membership, and the power of your Bucknell ID card

To learn more about Bucknell's benefits, click here! (*Eligibility criteria and waiting periods may apply.)

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:
Bucknell is committed to fostering an environment that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion, and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports the growth and development of a diverse campus community. We endeavor to enhance our capacity to value and capitalize on the cultural richness that diversity brings. We encourage all individuals to apply and do not discriminate in admissions, employment, educational programs and/or activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, sex/gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, marital or family status, military or veteran status, or genetic information.

To apply, visit


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