Utility Systems Operator

Richmond, Virginia
Sep 16, 2020
Sep 23, 2020
Full Time


The primary duties of the position involve repairing and operating one or more utility systems (3-650 hp boilers, 2-1250Ib. chillers and 1-800 ton chiller, 2-600 ton chillers, air conditioning units, geo-thermal heating, water, wastewater, etc.). Such work requires the ability to start, stop, and regulate the utility or utilities for optimum efficiency and troubleshoot, maintain, and repair them.

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This position operates, overhauls, installs, maintains and repairs all types of mechanical equipment and complete operational systems which require knowledge of a wide range of thermodynamic principles and practices. Receives work assignments through electronic work orders, inspection reports, and written or oral instructions. Works in accordance with available drawings, schematics, technical orders, service manuals or specifications. Coordinates the safe and efficient operation, routine Preventive Maintenance (PM), and repair of utility systems and their components within the plant.

This position is responsible for checking the equipment throughout the boiler plant for any mechanical failures, diagnose equipment issues (mechanical, electrical or otherwise) with test equipment, provide repairs. and calibrations for equipment - for example chillers and boilers that supply the facility with water and ensure that hospital pathogens are not transferred (i.e.- legionella etc.), domestic water pumps, air compressors and water softeners. This position is responsible for monitoring alarms through the computer-based alarm system that includes the temperature monitoring system (Temp Trak) which monitors temperature and humidity in surgical suites and procedural rooms as well as refrigerators with critical stock of blood and pharmaceuticals necessary for patient usage, supply of medical gases (air, oxygen and vacuum) to patient care areas, supply of steam to sterilizers to support sterilization of instruments for surgical procedures and air handlers that maintain the air exchanges as well as temperature and humidity appropriately to ensure safety of patients and staff, compliance with applicable regulatory bodies and mitigate risk for the potential of hospital borne diseases (maintain negative pressure etc.).

This position performs the corrective and preventive maintenance necessary for the boiler plant and ensures appropriate documentation of all medical, lab and facilities equipment that is under the purview of the facility's utility management plan including medical chillers, laboratory medical air systems, fire pumps, domestic water booster systems etc. The boiler plant supports over 2 million square feet of the medical center campus facility (medical, administrative & interstitial space) and 112-acre campus solely after hours and the facilities equipment that is critical to supporting the mission of the hospital and maintaining systems for direct patient care. This position expected to independently prioritize the criticality of repairs needed based upon its impact to the hospital's operation and criticality to patient care which necessitates a keen understanding of the systems throughout the facility, areas of the facility and the criticality of the procedures done therein after hours and on weekends. This position is often exposed to situations that can be considered high stress and require prudent technical judgment and communication to management and other clinical or administrative staff.

Maintains logs, records and other plant data such as steam production and distribution systems, emergency electrical power systems, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, medical gas and vacuum systems, service/control air systems, energy management systems, and domestic water system.

The primary duty is to check the entire boiler plant for any mechanical failures; check all equipment including but not limited to chillers, boilers, pumps, air compressors and water softeners; checking the Temp Track System for any alarms; checking the Johnson Control Computer for alarms on the NIE's for the entire building; and monitor all equipment 24/7. Maintains and repairs all equipment; run/test the fire pump; and maintain proper pressures of domestic water. After 4:00pm and on weekends, unsupervised, position is the on-site facility management charge person to direct all calls for emergencies that come in by phone. Responsible to get in touch with supervisors, general foreman, VA police, chief of engineering and AOD on all emergencies. Perform boiler safeties every week on all 3-650hp boilers (twenty-five-thousand-pound steam per hour); document condensate tanks measurements, DA tanks measurements; and monitor medical and lab air systems.

The boiler plant operators are responsible for maintaining lab chillers; medical air vacuum systems; fire pumps; domestic water booster systems; and boilers with reheat systems. These noted responsibilities are not typical for most boiler plant operators and are unique to Richmond.

Performs other directly related duties as assigned.

Work Schedule: 8 hour shift that rotates each pay period (1st, 2nd or 3rd)
Position Description Title/PD#: Utility Systems Operator/ PD02787A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • May serve a probationary period
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • A complete application package; Resume, Transcripts, etc.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

EXPERIENCE: A specific length of training and experience is not required, but you must show evidence of training or experience of sufficient scope and quality of your ability to do the work of this position. Evidence which demonstrates you possess the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform the duties of this position must be supported by detailed descriptions of such on your resume. Applicants will be rated in accordance with the OPM Federal Wage System Qualification Standards .

SCREEN-OUT ELEMENT: Your qualifications will first be evaluated against the prescribed screen out element, which usually appears as question 1 in the on-line questionnaire. Those applicants who appear to possess at least the minimal acceptable qualification requirement are considered for further rating; those who do not are rated ineligible and are eliminated. The potential eligible are then rated against the remainder of the Job Elements:
  • Equipment Assembly, Installation, Repair
  • Interpret Instructions, Specifications (other than blueprint reading)
  • Materials
  • Measuring Instruments
  • Technical Practices
  • Use and Maintain Tools and Equipment
  • Without more than normal supervision
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Physical Requirements/Working Conditions:

Strenuous physical effort is required to observe, adjust and maintain equipment. Work requires frequent standing, stooping, walking and climbing. Frequently climbing ladders and working in manholes and higher places is required. Frequently works in awkward or cramped positions while performing maintenance work. Lifts and carry tools, equipment and supplies weighing up to 40 pounds. Assistance is usually available for heavier items.

The majority of work is performed indoors; however, the employee will be exposed to extreme temperatures, smoke, dirt, noise, unpleasant odors, toxic fumes, soot, water, fuel, chemicals and all types of weather conditions. Employee is subject to injuries such as cuts, bruises and burns resulting from contact with various elements and equipment throughout the physical plant. Position is required to work irregular shifts of eight (8) hours. (The plant is to be manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.) The environment in the physical plant is noisy and at times very hot. The position will encounter abnormal levels of heat, constant noise, rotating equipment, soot, dirt, grease, chemicals, oils, and fumes in this area. He will be subject to cuts, abrasions, and burns.


This job does not have an education qualification requirement.

Additional information

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be well-qualified, applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors if applicable, and must be proficient in most of the requirements of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website which can be found at https://www.opm.gov/ .

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.


Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

Documents Accepted:
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Resume
  • SF-15
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action

Documents Required:
  • Resume

Please review the above list(s) to ensure you have included all necessary documents required for your application.Not every applicant will require the same documents, therefore it is the applicants responsibility to ensure that their application package includes all necessary documents to determine qualifications and eligibility for appointment, such as a copy of your SF-50, transcript, ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information. Applicants will be deemed ineligible if supporting documentation is not submitted.

Veterans' Preference: Since the Direct-Hire Recruitment Authority is being used, traditional Veterans' Preference rules do not apply. Qualified veterans will, however, be given full consideration for this position.

Applications are accepted online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.