Life Support and Facility Operations Technician

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

Customer Service, Operations
Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2024


Life Support and Facility Operations Technician

Posted: Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to: Aquarium Engineer

Status: Full-time, hourly, benefitted position

Hours of work: Sunday–Thursday workweek, 6:30am–3pm. Occasional need for weekend or after-hours work as related to events and other projects.

Date needed: ASAP

Posting expires: Open until filled

Position description:

The Seattle Aquarium, a leading marine conservation organization, is looking for a Life Support and Facility Operations Technician to join the facilities operations team. The technician provides support and technical expertise for a variety of operations and maintenance/repair activities related to complex building and animal life support systems and equipment. This position coordinates work with internal teams and contractors as part of our day-to-day operations. The engineering team works to find ways to reduce energy consumption or to use it more efficiently, in support of our Regenerative program initiatives.

Responsibilities include effectively communicating across departments, collaborating in a team setting, coping with change, and operating at times in environments of uncertainty, utilizing sound analysis, good judgment when solving complex problems, and demonstrating a willingness to learn new methods and approaches to challenges. The Life Support and Facility Operations Technician is expected to respond to emergencies on an as needed basis.

All positions at the Aquarium support our SALISH Values (Sustainable, Awe-Inspiring, Learning and Improving, Inclusive Community, Scientific Integrity, Honoring Place). As a part of our values, the Aquarium is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. We adopted a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategic plan and Regenerative Plan. We envision a future in which ocean and coastal communities survive and thrive, where we can meet the needs of the present while building more resilient and equitable systems for the future.

Key functions:

  • Operate, maintain, and repair Aquarium life support systems (LSS).
  • Assist with operation and maintenance of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems at the direction of the Aquarium Engineer, as assigned through computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
  • Assist contractors, schedule, and oversee vendors working on Aquarium grounds. Act as point of contact for contractors or other internal and external work teams in the absence of the Aquarium Engineer.
    • Perform daily rounds and routine mechanical installations and repairs; monitor animal life support systems, building energy management systems, safety and security systems and other mechanical systems. Maintain records and logs. Communicate issues in a timely and effective manner and help to resolve as needed.
    • Troubleshoot facilities equipment and systems and anticipate the impact these repairs will have on associated systems.
  • Proactively communicate any issues of concern that may arise during your shift to the appropriate staff. Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others.
    • Assist with other repairs to the building and to habitats as needed. May require working with wood, drywall, paint, metal, concrete, etc.
    • Organize, store and inventory parts, fittings and supplies in service areas. Create purchase requests when necessary.
    • Discuss and coordinate work with the facilities team. Monitor the various institutional calendars to forecast and avoid conflicts with assigned work.
  • Respond to emergencies as needed to take immediate and corrective action including major systems failures and alarms in times of emergency.
  • Participate in regular trainings related to safety or improving the technician’s skill level. Remain current in trainings and techniques that ensure the well-being and safety of animals, employees and the visiting public. Includes attending Aquarium sponsored trainings such as CPR, First Aid, Zoonosis, etc.
  • Uphold Seattle Aquarium's S.A.L.I.S.H values, to foster an inclusive community for staff, guests, and all who engage with the maintenance team. All Aquarium staff and volunteers are expected to participate in advancing and integrating into their work Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Regenerative practices in alignment with our daily work.
  • Perform other related duties as required as appropriate for level of position.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Demonstrates an understanding of the Aquarium’s Mission and Values, including Regenerative and Equity work.
  • General knowledge of and willingness to learn about:
    1. Building mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, including HVAC, and how to operate and troubleshoot them.
    2. How to use safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) for working in an industrial facility. This job works with and around tools (hand and power), mechanical equipment, electrical equipment, hydraulics, and chemicals.
    3. General knowledge/awareness of federal, state, and local building codes and statutes pertaining to facilities operation.
  • Ability to convey information clearly, concisely, and proactively both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions. Multilingual and multicultural communication skills and experience are preferred.
  • Ability to operate and maintain a variety of power tools and equipment.
  • Ability to work safely around water with the appropriate PPE (at times from a rowboat) as needed.
  • Ability to read and interpret technical documents, for example standard operating procedures, manuals, safety protocols, blueprints, schematics, datasheets and piping and instrumentation diagrams
  • Working knowledge of MS Office Suite, and possess the ability to learn other job-specific software systems to perform work duties
  • Strong organizational and time management skills; the ability to prioritize, allocate and monitor workload; using sound judgment to address problems and discrepancies.

The following training/certifications must be successfully completed in first 180 days of employment (and maintained thereafter). The Seattle Aquarium provides these trainings.

  1. Scissor Lift Training
  2. Ladder Safety Training
  3. Confined Space Training
  4. Woodshop Safety Training
  5. CPR Training
  6. Respirator Fit Test Training
  7. Fall Protection Training

Required education and experience:
The skills and abilities listed below may be demonstrated through a combination of relevant cultural and community programs, jobs, internships, volunteer experience, and/or formal or informal education. If you meet some of the requirements and you are passionate about our mission and our ocean, we encourage you to apply and look forward to learning more about you.

  • We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.
  • STARs (workers Skilled Through Alternative Routes) are encouraged to apply; a 4-year degree is not required for this role.
  • Must have a minimum of 2 years’ experience in a building engineering, mechanical and/or technical field.

Working conditions:

  • Regularly required to use hands and fingers, handle, or feel and talk or hear.
  • Frequently required to reach with hands and arms, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl, adjust focus, peripheral vision and close vision.
  • At times required to lift up to 50 pounds of mechanical equipment and may be required to “team lift” heavier weights.
  • Work in confined spaces, at heights (i.e. roof and use of aerial lifts), near and over water, with biohazards and chemicals, etc., while using the appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Work around animals with exposure to potentially dangerous animals, with potential exposure to zoonotic disease.
  • Safely operate scissor lift, boom lift, and other machinery to complete responsibilities.
  • Work occurs in all areas of all Aquarium facilities (indoor and outdoor), and at times in extreme environmental conditions.
  • Work schedules which normally includes weekend day per work week and occasional federal holidays. With notice, may be required to work any shift for special events and other business needs.
  • At times, be on call for emergency response.

Salary and benefits: $25.55 - $28.50/hour. Dependent on experience. Please include salary expectations in your materials. Full-time staff are eligible for the Seattle Aquarium’s comprehensive benefits package to include medical, vision, dental, an employer-funded health reimbursement account, medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, life insurance, long-term disability, 403b retirement fund with employer match, access to a subsidized ORCA pass, a Seattle Aquarium Family Plus membership and generous paid time off.

How to apply: The Seattle Aquarium is committed to expanding a diverse, equitable, and inclusive conservation movement. We are invested in building an Aquarium with a wide variety of backgrounds, identities, languages, cultural ways of knowing, and life experiences. We know research shows that society has conditioned communities of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and other marginalized candidates to more frequently not apply to a job because they don’t feel that they meet all of the qualifications listed even if they are qualified. If you meet some of the requirements and you are passionate about our mission and our ocean, we encourage you to apply and look forward to learning more about you.

Interested candidates should upload a résumé to our online application to be considered. Application review will begin immediately.

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job by emailing us at

Note: If offered the position, candidates must pass a background check. Conviction record is not an automatic disqualifier; we are a second chance employer.

About the Seattle Aquarium:

The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment by providing an inspiring visitor experience, engaging daytime and evening events, conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, community outreach to marginalized populations, research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild, advocacy and policy work, an award-winning volunteer program, high-impact marketing and communications, and more.

Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices, creating awe-inspiring experiences, constantly learning and improving, fostering an inclusive community, maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.

Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, we’re among the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. by attendance, and we welcome over 850,000 people each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’re working to substantially increase our conservation impact by expanding our campus with a new building, the Ocean Pavilion. Learn more at


We anticipate the following recruiting schedule for those candidates who are selected for consideration. The following dates are preliminary and subject to change. We will work with candidates to set interview dates. If hired, relocation assistance is not available.

  • Application deadline: Open until filled.
  • Interviews completed by early-mid August.
  • Start date: ASAP.

Sunday - Thursday, 6:00a.m - 3:00p.m.
40 hrs/wk