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HVAC Automation Controls Specialist

Apply now Posting #: 4718
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Staff, Facilities

Position Title & Department:

 HVAC Automation Controls Specialist; Office of Sustainability
Posting #


Department Description:

Our world faces increasingly complex and urgent challenges that affect our collective environmental, social and economic well-being. Responding to these challenges in a holistic manner is the essence of sustainability, and the University of San Diego recognizes its responsibility to be a part of the response. We seek to create a university culture that embraces environmentally and socially responsible practices and processes through student action, faculty research, curricula, and daily operations, resulting in lasting change for both USD and society.

University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:
The HVAC Automation Controls Specialist performs highly skilled journey-level work required to operate the campus Energy Management System/Building Automation Systems. In addition, the objectives of the Controls Specialist include performing the duties of HVAC/Refrigeration System Mechanic to maintain the peak operating efficiency and indoor comfort levels of campus buildings, and to reduce their use of electricity, natural gas, and water consumption.
Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the operation of Siemens Direct Digital Controls system or similar (i.e., Johnson Controls). Advanced knowledge of computing systems used for Building Energy Management Systems/Direct Digital Controls;
  • Ability to generate activity and trend logs, reports, modifying control points, schedules, and alarms. Demonstrated proficiency with email, Microsoft Office, and related computing applications required to report on EMS activity;
  • Review of HVAC designs and specifications for the new installation of equipment and controls across the University campus, working closely with design staff to specify equipment, layout and controls sequence, and ensure smooth integration with Campus EMS;
  • Develop and maintain a strong working relationship with campus contractors and suppliers for equipment upgrades and retrofits, and review vendor products pertaining to energy use;
  • Research and stay current on industry equipment, trends and automation controls, and advise the University of such matters; assist with the development of EMS and HVAC/Refrigeration campus design standards;
  • Serve to troubleshoot and repair EMS components and controls in the field, working closely with HVAC/Refrigeration staff, campus Maintenance Engineering staff, and Office of Sustainability staff;
  • Serve as liaison with Siemens Controls, supply vendors, contractors and other business entities in support of effective EMS and HVAC/Refrigeration operations;
  • Performs skill level tasks related to mechanical, electrical, HVAC and refrigeration trades to operate, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair equipment
  • Submit written and oral reports on progress and status as necessary to ensure proper job accounting and to identify and resolve any problems encountered that may cause delays, shut down or damage;
  • Read and interpret blueprints, specifications, shop drawings, schematics, manufacturer’s specifications and other reference material to determine appropriate job requirements and procedures;
  • Continually expands knowledge of the trade through appropriate courses, seminars, publications and contracts with others in the trade;
  • Ability to share trade knowledge with and train skilled and semi-skilled employees in areas of Building Energy Management Systems/Direct Digital Controls and HVAC/Refrigeration operations and maintenance practices;
  • Assist with the procurement of supplies and materials;
  • As assigned, inspect work performed by outside contractors to ensure conformance with University specifications;
  • Maintain good working relationships with students, faculty, staff, and vendors, adhering to all University policy and procedures;
  • Maintain a working knowledge of relevant codes and regulations, applying them consistently in daily activities;
  • Work in a neat and orderly manner, maintaining a clean work area;
  • Maintain tools and equipment in good condition;
  • Work using ladders, scaffolding, and in confined spaces; and,
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Consistently follow and enforce safety practices appropriate to building maintenance and comply with rules and regulations established by the University and governmental agencies;
  • Maintain an awareness of the typical hazards of the work place as well as the special hazards that may be encountered at any University facility location such as biohazards, low-grade radiation and chemicals known to the State of California to cause birth defects, or other reproductive harm;
  • Follow established governmental (local, state and federal) procedures for dealing with special hazards, and promptly report any unusual conditions to the supervisor.

Special Conditions of Employment:

  • Must be able to work assigned hours and may be assigned to work any shift.  Employees working in this classification may be designated as essential personnel and subject to occasional overtime and call backs, and may be required to serve a 24/7 on-call rotation;
  • Must possess a valid California driver’s license and may be required to drive University vehicles;
  • Must wear a uniform prescribed and furnished by USD;
  • May be assigned to work in the vicinity of laboratories where biohazards, radioactive or other potentially hazardous substances are stored or used;
  • Must continually expand knowledge base in building maintenance techniques, attend assigned training;
  • Must work individually or in teams coordinating assigned work with other groups and departments;
  • May be assigned to work at any USD facility/location; and,
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Effective June 1, 2023, based on CDC guidance, the University strongly encourages all campus members to stay up to date with Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination recommendations.  For more regarding information USD's COVID-19 protocols, please visit sandiego.edu/onward.

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 

Job Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma or GED and completion of a recognized HVAC or Refrigeration Apprenticeship (HVAC/R), and/or completion of HVAC/R Technical or Vocational Training necessary to acquire the level of knowledge commensurate with a Journey-Level HVAC/R Mechanic
  • Two or more years of Journey-level work experience as a HVAC/R System Mechanic.
  • Training and/or combination of work experience necessary to acquire the necessary advanced knowledge of Building Energy Management Systems/Direct Digital Controls and the ability to generate activity and trend logs, reports, modifying control points, schedules, and alarms and effectively operate the system to achieve unit objectives.
  • Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • General knowledge of customer service techniques; demonstrated successful customer service experience; work experience in the HVAC/Refrigeration field; work experience in an institution of higher education or similar industry; HVAC automation controls training & experience.
  • LEED GA/AP credentials preferred.
  • Certification in Siemens Desigo CC Master Operator Training Path; Siemens Powers Process Control Language (PPCL) Master Programmer Training; HVAC Systems Design and Control Program (UCSD Extension); Certified Measurement and Verification Professional and Certified Energy Manger or willingness to become one (Association of Energy Engineers); Certified Building Commissioning Professional (Association of Energy Engineers); EPA 608 Refrigeration Certification.

Performance Expectations - Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Substantial knowledge at the journey-level in all of the functional areas;
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of Building Energy Management Systems/Direct Digital Controls, ability to generate activity and trend logs, reports, modifying control points, schedules, and alarms;
  • Ability to understand HVAC system controls both from a conceptual and from and operational perspective; ability to analyze and evaluate technical data, equipment arrangement and control sequence to form an opinion as to the adequacy of the installation or modification;
  • Skilled in maintenance and repair procedures including preventative maintenance and troubleshooting;
  • Working knowledge of building HVAC/Refrigeration automation control systems, electrical circuitry and low voltage controls circuitry, both theoretical and practical application, demonstrated ability to troubleshoot and repair;
  • Skilled in the use of a wide range of test equipment;
  • Working understanding of the refrigeration cycle, system components and  controls sequence;
  • Ability and system knowledge to use a vacuum pump and gauges to re-cover and re-charge refrigeration systems with Freon, demonstrated ability to weld or braze copper, stainless steel and aluminum tubing;
  • Working knowledge of applicable codes and regulations;
  • Ability to operate and maintain hand and power tools, typically used in the trade;
  • Demonstrated ability to follow safe working procedures, work within the guidelines of health and safety work plans and report unsafe conditions;
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to interface with faculty, administrators, staff and students; highly-skilled in customer service technique;
  • Working knowledge of applicable codes and regulations; California and Federal OSHA;
  • Ability to read and interpret blueprints, specifications, shop drawing, schematics manufacturer’s specifications, and other reference material to determine appropriate job requirements and procedures;
  • Ability to work effectively in an environment subject to frequently changing priorities;
  • Physical ability to perform indicated tasks;
  • Ability to operate computer for word processing, purchasing and research
  • Ability and willingness to represent the university in the most positive manner;
  • Ability to meet and work effectively with university constituents; learn and use operating practices of the department and the university;
  • Ability to provide service in a courteous, prompt and efficient manner;
  • Ability to establish strong working relationships with diverse populations;
  • Ability to be flexible to adjust to a changing workplace;
  • Ability to access input and retrieve information from a computer system for word processing, records retrieval and maintenance, research and communication purposes.

Certificates, Licenses and Registrations:

  • EPA Refrigeration Certificate required.
  • Possession of a valid motor vehicle operator's license is required.
Posting Salary:

$28.93 - $39.06 per hour; Excellent Benefits

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package including; medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University, and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

The salary range provided in this posting reflects what we reasonably expect to pay for this position.  Actual compensation offered or earned is dependent on experience, education and other factors including departmental budget.

Special Application Instructions:
Resume Required
Click 'Apply Now' to complete our online application and, for full consideration, please upload a resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at jobs@sandiego.edu.
Additional Details:

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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Notice of Availability: In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act), the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available at www.sandiego.edu/safety/documents/annualreport.pdf. This report is published by October 1st of each year and includes current institutional policies and procedures concerning campus safety and security; fire safety and evacuation policies; sexual misconduct and relationship violence reporting and response stands and protocols; and crime and fire statistics for the three previous calendar years. To request a paper copy, please contact the Clery Act Compliance Manager via email at clery@sandiego.edu, by calling (619) 260-4768, or in-person in the Hughes Administration Center, room 150.