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Lead Operating Engineer (3450)

Date: Mar 11, 2023

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  


Energy Management is hiring a number of technical trade positions.
American University (AU) is one of the top employers in Washington, DC and maintains a high national ranking. We offer a very competitive benefits package including a 2:1 matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, leadership development opportunities and job-related training.  We are committed to operational excellence and to maintaining a diverse workforce. 


The Lead Operating Engineer serves as Team Lead and oversees the work of Operating Engineers and other trade staff within the Energy Management unit performing the inspection, efficient operation, maintenance, and repair of campus utility systems and related plant equipment. Under the direction of the Assistant Chief Engineer, this position works independently with leeway to resolve facility issues and customer concerns, while ensuring adherence to quality standards and providing exceptional customer service.

Essential Functions

  1. Serves as Team Lead. Schedules work assignments, sets priorities, and directs the work of Operating Engineers and Assistant Operating Engineers. Identifies staff training needs and ensures training is obtained.
  2. Participates in the operation, maintenance (preventative and predictive), troubleshooting, and repair of campus thermal systems, related plant equipment, water treatment systems (including but not limited to natatorium systems, boiler systems, and chiller systems) as well as maintenance and repair of domestic water & sewer campus distribution systems.
  3. Maintains records pertaining to the inspection, operation, maintenance and repair of campus thermal systems, campus domestic water & sewer distribution systems, campus gas distribution systems, water treatment systems, and related plant equipment to build a database from which historical data can be used to maximize scheduling and repair of critical components of the heating and cooling systems.
  4. Performs facilities commissioning activities to ensure that operational, maintenance, repair, and energy efficiency impacts on the Central Plant Operations and Energy and Engineering units are minimized.
  5. Completes training and performance requirements to meet department goals as well as regulatory requirements. Maintains an IDP (Individual Development Plan). Ensures all items are documented in the LMS (Learning Management System).
  6. Supports the resolution of afterhours and weekend requests received though the customer response center line (2Fix).
  7. Prepares accident/incident reports and documentation for recommended corrective actions related to the Staff HR Policy manual.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Received: Limited Supervision. Ability to independently resolve complex technical problems and serve as a point of escalation for moderately complex problem resolution. Ability to schedule work assignments, set priorities, train, and direct the work of others, and ensure adherence to quality standards and timelines. Ability to motivate others by personal example and by direct coaching to increase their abilities to demonstrate respectful and compassionate interaction.

Work Environment

  • The position will perform job duties in confined spaces and be exposed to extreme temperatures. This is a physically demanding position which requires strenuous physical exertion such as frequent or constant lifting, pushing, and/or pulling of heavy objects to perform essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodation.


Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full-Time
  • Non-Exempt
  • Project Leader/Advisor B
  • Evening and weekend work is required. This position will be required to work multiple shifts. Current shift schedules are (7AM to 3PM, 3PM to 11PM, 11PM to 7AM). This is a relief position, 24/7 coverage. The incumbent will be required to work a second consecutive shift should their relief fail to arrive for the next shift. The incumbent is required to work unscheduled shifts as needed.

Salary Range

  • $38-40/hour, Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • 3-5 years of relevant experience.
  • At least two (2) years’ experience working in a plant having high pressure steam boilers not to exceed four hundred (400) horsepower or a combination of high pressure boilers and heating boilers or refrigeration equipment, not to exceed a total of four hundred (400) horsepower; a heating plant having low pressure steam boilers with a pump return and refrigeration equipment, with no limitation on total capacity; or a heating plant having hot water boilers and refrigeration equipment, with no limitation on total capacity.
  • At least one (1) year of experience as an assistant engineer in charge of a 3rd Class plant or as a Class 2 steam engineer.
  • Required Education & Licenses:
    • H.S. Diploma or equivalent. 3rd Class DC Steam Engineer’s license (non-restricted) by the date of hire. Must possess a current and valid United States driver's license at the time of hire and be able to obtain and maintain University driving privileges.
  • Central Plant Operations:
    • Thorough knowledge of and the ability to perform complex technical tasks to support the operation, maintenance, and repair of site-specific utility systems. Ability to understand blueprints, general engineering drawings, and complex technical manuals. Thorough knowledge of the tools, equipment, regulations, and procedures relevant to site-specific systems. Proficiency in all site-specific systems.
  • Math & Science:
    • Knowledge of arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, fractions, roots, exponents, and the ability to perform math operations based on word problems), decimals, length, area, and volume measurement. An understanding of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics, chemistry, and energy efficiency relevant to the work performed.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Facilities Management Certificate
  • LEED Green Associate

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Building Automation Systems (BAS):
    • Working knowledge of BAS and ability to independently resolve moderately complex problems.
  • Communication & Interpersonal:
    • Ability to express oneself orally in a clear and concise manner, seek and deliver constructive feedback, and adapt communication style to the task and audience. Ability to produce clear, technically accurate, and accessible written materials on complex topics. Demonstrated commitment to self-awareness and desire to continuously improve one's ability to interact with others in a respectful and compassionate way.
  • Technology:
    • Ability to use Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to prepare briefings, reports, and presentations.
  • Physical Requirements:
    • Ability to lift and carry 50lbs. Ability to climb ladders and work at heights. Ability to work in confined spaces and areas with temperature extremes.
  • Other Requirements:
    • Must be at least eighteen (18) years of age by the date of hire. Interest in and commitment to ongoing professional development and training




AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC