Ocean Career: UC San Diego Senior Marine Mechanician

Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California, San Diego, is a world-renowned leader in ocean and Earth science research, exploration, and education. SIO operates three major seagoing research vessels, which conduct physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical studies of oceans worldwide. Scripps oceanographic research vessels make up one of the largest academic fleets in the world. Scripps ships have state-of-the-art research instruments to study marine life, the oceans, the seafloor, and the atmosphere. The Nimitz Marine Facility Shop is located on San Diego Bay in Point Loma, California. The main shop building is 265 feet long and 70 feet deep on the main floor. This 18,500 sq. ft is divided into a carpenter shop, welding shop, mechanical shop, machine shop, electric shop, and the office of the shop superintendent and his assistant.

The shop employees are experienced and trained in pipe-fitting, ship-fitting, general steel and aluminum fabrication, woodworking, hydraulic and mechanical repair, and the operation of material handling equipment.


Under the general supervision of the Shop Superintendent, the Sr. Marine Mechanician performs highly skilled tasks as a machinist responsible for design, fabrication, repair and maintenance of shipboard and shop equipment and specialized machinery. Independently analyzes equipment problems, system failures, evaluates solutions and effecting repairs in support of oceanographic projects on Scripps Research Vessels at the Nimitz Marine Facility and other locations worldwide. Designs and constructs specialized seagoing equipment and instrument mountings. Working from blueprints, rough sketches, cad/cam, written or verbal instructions, use shop tools and equipment such as lathes, milling machines, band saws and drill presses to fabricate/repair/modify all manner of shipboard systems i.e. structural, motion, propulsion, fluid handling, electrical and electronic systems. Responsible for facilities’ maintenance and the storage, tracking and maintenance of SIO and UNOLS resources including wire pool and winches. Performs training of University and non-University personnel in the safe operation of heavy machinery. Provides training to junior marine mechanicians. The incumbent will support and actively participate in the department’s safety management system that fosters quality, safety and protection of the environment, including spill response training and active enforcement of best management practices of all facility users.


  • Graduation from high school and six (6) years of experience in shop work, welding and steel fabrication or mechanics, two (2) years of which have been in marine construction or repair work or equivalent combination of education and experience. Shipboard experience preferred.
  • Basic knowledge of marine or industrial/heavy mechanical construction, fabrication, maintenance, or production facility and a general familiarity with accepted maritime practices in workmanship and safety in order to comply with the certification requirements of the US Coast Guard, US Navy, the American Bureau of Shipping, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Code and the Marine Facility International Safety Management Code or equivalent recognized industrial/mechanical standards agency code.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience of all machine shop equipment, including lathes, mills, grinding, cutting, presses, shears, welding and cutting torches and all hand tools. Proven ability to disassemble, perform maintenance and reassemble hydraulic systems and mechanical systems.
  • Ability to organize, coordinate, train, and delegate tasks to junior and temporary personnel.
  • Strong background and demonstrated experience with the principles and operation of hydraulics, associated mechanical controls, air compressors, water pumps and piping systems for all forms of fluids.
  • Ability to read and interpret blueprints, machine (CAD) drawings, electronic and electrical schematics, maintenance and operation manuals and other technical literature.
  • Ability to read blueprints, drafts and sketches; work from them or other written or oral instructions.
  • Computer proficiency in the use of word-processing and spreadsheet software, inventory and database management system programs and email. Willingness and ability to expand computer hardware/ software knowledge to meet shop needs.
  • Demonstrated math skills to perform accurate calculations, provide time and materials estimates, assist in procurement etc.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of operational controls and capacity of forklifts, cable trucks, wire spoolers and overhead cranes or equivalent equipment operation with transferable skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to teach other personnel in the safe use of winches, crane and forklift or other industrial machine/equipment operations.
  • Knowledgeable of all specific work needed to be accomplished by the individual trades in common industrial maintenance ship atmosphere.
  • Familiar with preservatives and paints as related to application to different types of parts, machinery and surfaces.
  • Demonstrated ability to determine proper air settings, size of nozzles and type of sand to use in sandblaster for maintenance of equipment.
  • Good working knowledge of precision measuring tools, micrometers, dial indicators and calipers.
  • Demonstrated ability to recognize and distinguish wire sizes and spooling devices.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (oral and written) to interact with PI's, researchers and non UCSD clients.
  • Familiarity with research vessels and ability to operate shipboard systems including switchboards, engines, pumps and winches.

Application deadline: July 12, 2024

Compensation: $33.52-$39.30/ Hour

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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