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Plant Operator - Control Room

Requisition Number:



Boulder, CO

Employment Type:

University Staff



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

Utility and Energy Services encourages applications for the Plant Operator - Control Room position! The purpose of this position is to operate District Energy Plant (DEP) and Satellite Plant systems for heating, cooling, and power generation at an advanced level; oversee and operate the Utility Distribution (DIST) Systems; monitor equipment and maintain records of equipment operational status for turnover reports to Lead Operator; trains lower level Utility Plant Operator positions and new employees. 

This is an essential services position. The incumbent is required to respond after hours during emergencies and report to work for regular assigned shift during emergency campus closures. This is shift work and requires working evenings, weekends, holidays high-volume overtime schedules and is subject to the on-call policy.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

Utility and Energy Services is responsible for the design, operation, maintenance, and repair of the campus’s energy generation and distribution infrastructure for steam (heating), chilled water (cooling), and electricity. We provide the campus community with reliable utility services in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner and offer measurement, line locating, performance engineering, regulatory and data management services.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Operate Heating, Cooling, and Power Generation Equipment 
  • Operate and configure plant equipment at multiple sites to maintain utilities supplied to the campus in a safe, reliable and efficient manner by complying with procedures, policies and accepted engineering practices and being knowledgeable on plant equipment and operating methods. 
  • Plan, problem-solve, and take corrective actions for off-normal conditions that could jeopardize equipment, supplied utilities, or the health and safety of personnel or campus assets. District Energy and Satellite Plant Systems to operate include: Combined Heat & Power (CHP) system (aka cogeneration system) consisting of dual fuel combustion gas turbine generators (CTG), Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG), Steam Turbine Generator (STG), dual fuel boilers, electric driven centrifugal chillers, cooling towers, and all related auxiliary equipment. Must be available for call-in rotation assignment. 
Monitor and Make Adjustments to Plant Equipment and Processes 
  • Conduct routine inspections and log equipment parameters at multiple sites to ensure the plant systems are being operated properly. Performs chemical analysis (including adding chemicals to water used in the heating, cooling, and power generation systems) and make adjustments as necessary. Comply with applicable permits, contractual agreements, operating procedures, policies, and safety practices. 
  • Oversee operation of DIST systems including load management of university 15kV MicroGrid, Chilled Water (CHW) loop, and Steam Distribution system. 
  • Monitor and assist in observation of building metered demands and consumption. May need to operate a university vehicle to complete duties. 
Maintain and Repair Equipment 
  • Perform troubleshooting and initial Root Cause Analysis (RCA) of equipment failures and operational upsets. 
  • Complete minor repairs and preventative maintenance. 
Plant Safety and Security 
  • Administer and control lock-outs/tag-outs (LOTO) of equipment with maintenance personnel and Contractors. 
  • Control physical access in and around the plant. Monitor process and supervisory control network activity. Make proper notifications when plant physical or control network security is compromised. 
  • Attend all safety training and meetings as scheduled.
Maintain Plant Cleanliness 
  • Ensure plant and equipment is free of dirt, clutter and debris. 
  • Paint plant components where required.

What You Should Know

  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to follow the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement
    • New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

The salary range for this position is $52,356 - $63,495 annually.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be collaborative. Be flexible. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Four years of progressively responsible experience in District Energy or Central Plant steam and chilled water operations. At least one year must have been hands-on experience with any two of the following: 
    • Electrical generation; 
    • electrical distribution; 
    • steam generation; 
    • steam distribution 
    • chilled water generation; 
    • chilled water distribution;
    • Distributed Control Systems such as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). 
  • Substitution: Successful completion of a formalized apprenticeship program or higher-level course work from an accredited, non-correspondence, vocational, or trades school in Utility Plant Operation may substitute for the required experience on a year-for-year basis. 
Necessary Special Qualifications
  • Candidate must successfully pass the CU-Boulder "Boiler & Chiller Operator Training Program" to become Control Room Board Qualified within one (1) year of hire date. Candidates are required to maintain qualifications for the remainder of their career with Utility Services.
  • Must successfully pass a background check and a pre-placement physical examination.
  • Must have a valid Driver's License.
  • Candidate must successfully pass the CU-Boulder "Combined Heat & Power (CHP) Operator Training Program" to become CHP Control Room Board Qualified within eighteen (18) months of hire date. Candidates are required to maintain qualifications for the remainder of their career with Utility Services.

What You Will Need

  • The ability to work independently and in a team setting.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience operating the following: 
    • Combustion Gas Turbines, HRSGs, Electric Chillers, and Steam Boilers;
    • High voltage distribution switchgear;
    • Chilled water distribution systems.
  • Qualified DCS operator. 
  • Qualified Boiler operator.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials: 
  1. A current resume. 
  2. A cover letter that specifically tells us how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities of the position. 
We may request references at a later time.

Please apply by July 7, 2022 for consideration.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, please apply through CU Boulder Jobs.

Essential Services

This position is designated “essential services.” The incumbent is required to respond to requests for work during campus emergencies (snow, wind, rain, flood and any other natural or man-made event) and report to work for regularly assigned shifts during emergency campus closures.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: