Careers at UMass Amherst

Utility Plant Operator

Apply now Job no: 502845
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Building Maintenance
Categories: Facilities/Grounds/Skilled Trades

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The person holding this position is responsible for performing work with a variety of tools and equipment to repair, install and maintain mechanical components and systems for the University of Massachusetts Amherst Building Maintenance Dept.


Essential Functions

  • Performs repair and maintenance work, following vendor manuals and procedures involving such tasks as drilling, tapping, metal heating/cutting, welding, rigging, and machinery alignment.
  • Maintains and repairs mechanical equipment such as boilers, pumps, valves, and their auxiliary equipment.
  • Maintains campus building equipment lubrication, steam trap monitoring and vibration analysis programs.
  • Installs and repairs power piping systems in the campus buildings. Has the ability to insulate power piping systems in the campus buildings.
  • Identifies mechanical design or machinery problems and recommends improvements or modifications necessary for resolution.
  • Performs all types of rigging and scaffolding associated with the removal and installation of pumps, fans, motors, air compressors, and major valves.
  • Follows safety/environmental procedures, rules and regulations and implements safe work practices. Identifies hazards and recommends and/or implements appropriate safeguards.
  • Works directly with Physical Plant personnel in a team effort to support safe, efficient, and reliable operations of the campus buildings.
  • Trains others to gain knowledge in mechanical system maintenance.
  • Schedules, coordinates, and monitors contractors on specific tasks as required. Performs cleanup at the end of each job/task.
  • Make recommendations to the Facilities Engineer concerning the acquisition and installation of campus building maintenance, repair, and testing equipment.
  • Understand and utilize the campus building computerized maintenance management systems.
  • Executes service requests, work tasks, and preventive maintenance service task.
  • Maintain and update shop records including prints, drawings and original equipment manufacturer manuals.
  • Assist in the storage and management of equipment and materials in the campus building warehouse.
  • Performs receiving and shipping duties, if required.
  • Collects, stores, and ships hazardous waste in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Understands, is committed to, and supports affirmative action and non-discrimination goals.
  • Performs other related duties necessary to fulfill plant requirements or as assigned.
  • Practices and promotes excellent customer service in the work place and exhibits a clear commitment to the diverse needs of customers.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Four years experience as a mechanic (preferably in an industrial plant environment)
  • Ability to read, write and speak in the English language and perform basic mathematical computations.
  • Knowledge of and experience with the following skill areas: pipefitting, plumbing, welding, machining, rigging, rotating machine repair, fabrication, machine alignment, piping schematics, mechanical drawings, vibration analysis, electrical test equipment.
  • Ability to locate, troubleshoot, adjust and correct defects in mechanical equipment.
  • Ability to comprehend and apply technical information, including mechanical and electrical drawings (such as blueprints, P&ID cover pages, single-line diagrams, and schematics).
  • Ability to communicate and coordinate work with others on technical subjects.
  • Ability and knowledge to utilize various measuring tools, dial indicators, tapes, gauges, and various electrical and instrument related test equipment.
  • Capable of utilizing hand and power tools needed to complete assignments.
  • Ability and knowledge to align mechanical equipment using precision instrumentation.
  • Ability to troubleshoot and repair pumping systems and solve most problems involving packing gaskets.
  • Basic working knowledge of windows based software programs.
  • General knowledge of computerized maintenance management systems.
  • Able and willing to work overtime which can be either scheduled or call-in during off-shift hours including holidays and weekends.
  • Ability to use ladders, hoist, cranes, and industrial trucks.
  • Must be capable of unassisted handling of material up to 50 lbs.
  • Able to travel for training or other job related duties.
  • Ability to operate various equipment, such as forklifts, lulls, lifts and other plant equipment.
  • Ability to work outside for long periods of time.
  • Ability to wear respirator and pass respirator fit test.


  • Current Massachusetts Class D Driver’s License.
  • Society for Maintenance and Reliability (SMRP) Certification or equivalent
  • Hoisting License -3A (must be obtained during the first six months of employment).
  • ASME Power Piping Welding Certification (must be obtained during the first six months of employment).


Additional Details

  • This is a maintenance function, which includes overtime and returning to work between shifts when directed or called. It is the responsibility of the incumbent to provide current, updated phone number(s) to the supervisor and the Solution Center.
  • Laser Alignment experience preferred.
  • High school diploma or equivalent preferred
  • Will be exposed to inherent campus building conditions.
  • Must wear university clothing when supplied.


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Hours subject to change with two weeks written notice.  (40 hours per week)


Salary Information

Grade 17

Special Recruitment Rate: Step 6


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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