Human Resources

Central Energy Plant Operator

Apply now Job No: 23020
Department: Facilities Management
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Skilled Trades

Department: Facilities

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

Supervise the complete shift operation of the Central Energy Plant, Heating Ventilating, Air Conditioning (HVAC) Central Control System, Steam Distribution System, Campus Generators, CHP Backup Generator and Fuel Storage Facility. Assist in the planning, scheduling, operation, and maintenance of the Central Energy Plant.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

While on assigned shift:

1. Is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the steam plant, electric generating plant, fuel storage facility and steam distribution system. Duties include operating the plant independently without immediate assistance.

2. Is responsible for monitoring, controlling, and scheduling of HVAC equipment in campus buildings through the HVAC Central Control System. Duties include receiving short term and long term schedule requests and operating the HVAC control systems accordingly. Monitoring alarms and notifying facilities maintenance staff of needed corrections.

3. Is responsible for operation and maintenance of the boiler water treatment system including water testing, chemical inventory, adjustments, interactions with the water treatment chemical suppliers, coordinating with service engineers, and reporting via electronic documentation.

4. Is responsible for natural gas nominations and balancing; fuel oil deliveries and inventory; monitoring and reacting to the real time MISO electrical energy market; reacting to natural gas operational flow orders. Maintains year-round access to the fuel tank farm, necessary valves, and spill containment equipment. Ensure that rainwater is removed from the spill containment basin promptly after rain events.

5. Maintains plant records; assists in development and implementation of operating, maintenance, and emergency procedures. Strives to convert and maintain all records electronically in a system that is accessible to all users. Cooperates with all personnel to periodically validate records as appropriate.

6. Is assigned as the lead operator in in one or more of the following assigned areas: generator maintenance, steam plant maintenance, water treatment, HVAC central controls, safety compliance, monthly reports, planned maintenance or procedure development.

7. Performs routine inspections and preventative maintenance on plant equipment. This includes primary ownership of the housekeeping of the entire facility, including cleaning of the operational area, storage of tools and materials, proper filing of records, storage of personal items in lockers, painting and labeling of all assets.

8. Assists in boiler inspections and annual steam plant maintenance. This includes writing electronic work orders for repairs, materials, and preventive activities.

9. Contributes to a safe working environment by: following University safe work procedures, wearing assigned PPE, actively participating in safety training and development of safe work procedures. Completes all assigned safety training on schedule and attends assigned meetings and classes. Assists in correcting unsafe conditions. Use of the LOTO lockbox system for all equipment.

10. Commits to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Is actively engaged in University continuous improvement initiatives.

11. Performs other duties as assigned.

12. Supervisory Responsibilities: Functional supervision is exercised over Mechanic/Operators and student assistants.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

• High School diploma
• Boiler Operators License or an equivalent combination of education and boiler operating experience in similar facilities from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

• Four years of progressively responsible experience in steam plant operations and/or maintenance in a similar, multi-boiler facility.

• Two years of hands-on experience with gas and oil or other multi-fuel boilers

• Experience using personal computers and basic software packages for word processing, accessing web sites, searching for information, managing work orders, ordering supplies, and completing reports and spreadsheets.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

• Greater than four years of progressively responsible experience in steam plant operations and maintenance in a similar, multi-boiler facility with power generation equipment.

• Greater than two years of hands-on operating experience with gas and oil or other multi-fuel boilers.

• Experience operating multiple synchronized industrial generators

• Experience operating an HVAC central control system.

• High proficiency in using word processing, spreadsheets, and databases.

• Experience using Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS).

• Graduate of a mechanical trade’s school program in industrial equipment maintenance, steam fitting or industrial piping.

• Training and coursework in any of the following: boiler systems, boiler auxiliary equipment, blueprint reading, computer assisted drawing (CAD), HVAC, industrial piping, piping systems, pneumatic and electronic controls, steam systems or welding.

• Experience in maintaining, repairing and troubleshooting HVAC and boiler controls.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

• Demonstrated knowledge of standard practices, codes, regulations, safety standards and theory applicable to steam plant operation.
• Ability to operate multiple industrial steam boilers, steam plant auxiliary equipment and large diesel generators independently without immediate assistance.

• Ability to read blueprints, wiring diagrams, piping diagrams, operating and maintenance instructions, plans, sketches and procedures manuals.

• Ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff.

• Ability to work scheduled rotating shifts common to shift operations including days, evenings, nights, holidays and weekends as well as ability and availability to work unscheduled work shifts when required to handle emergencies, work backlogs or to fill in for other personnel.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

• Ability to operate and maintain synchronized industrial generators.

• Knowledge of ASME Boiler, Pressure Vessel, and Piping codes.

• Advanced knowledge and understanding of building pneumatic & DDC HVAC controls systems, HVAC components and sequence of operations.

• Knowledge of general industry MIOSHA requirements.

• Experience with proactive maintenance, preventive and predictive methods, root cause analysis, work planning, scheduling, precision alignment, and assembly.

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands:
The work environment characteristics and physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, sense heat or feel objects, tools, keyboards and controls; stand; talk and hear; and taste and smell. The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms; climb or balance on stairs, ladders and work platforms; kneel, crouch or crawl.

The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds and occasionally up to 100 pounds. Specific vision abilities required include close, distance, peripheral, and color vision; depth perception; and the ability to adjust focus.

The employee must be able to control hand movements required while using tools and equipment.

The work environment is that of a typical industrial plant or equipment room setting.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate to loud. Hearing protection is required.

Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
Hearing protection, safety glasses, steel-toe safety shoes, hard hat, work gloves, face shields, rubber aprons as prescribed by specific safety assessments for various tasks.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training

Required Departmental Training: 

  • Safety training modules and training specific to this position.

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

The successful applicant will be responsible for ensuring eligibility for employment in the United States on or before the effective date of the appointment. Visa sponsorship is unavailable at this time. This is not an E-Verified Position.


Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status



Shift Varies

Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable. No less than $24.00/hr

Title of Position Supervisor

Energy Plant Engineer

Posting Type

Internal & External Posting

Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)

The Central Energy Plant is an industrial facility that is used not only as a source of utility services for the campus, but also as a teaching laboratory for students and a highly valued facility for guest tours. The Central Energy Plant Operators and other staff are expected to keep the plant in an exceptionally clean and orderly condition for guests to visit at any time, and to be able to effectively demonstrate the operation and explain it to visitors of all ages and levels of technical experience.

Additional Information

If the applicant is selected for an interview, the applicant will be given an opportunity to tour the Central Energy Plant just prior to and as part of the interview.

Michigan Tech’s Central Energy Plant has four natural gas/oil fired steam boilers which operate at 80 psig. Their capacities in PPH are 30,000/30,000/70,000/100,000. The plant has four diesel generators with a capacity of 2,250 kw each.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
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