Laboratory Technician (Emphasis in Astronomy and Engineering)

Job description

Laboratory Technician (Emphasis in Astronomy and Engineering)

San Mateo County Community College District

Posting Number: 2014697S
Department: Mathematics & Science CSM (DEPT)
Location: College of San Mateo
Position Number: TBD
Percentage of Full Time: 100%
FLSA: Non-Exempt (accrues overtime)
Months per Year: 12
If other, please specify:
Salary Range:
Min Salary: $61,344 (annual)
Max Salary: $78,396 (annual)
Position Type: Classified Positions

Who We Are:
The San Mateo County Community District is committed to achieving educational equity for all students. As outlined in the District’s Strategic Plan, “success, equity, and social justice for our students are longstanding goals.” The District’s “Students First” Strategic Plan is focused on “Student Success, Equity and Social Justice.” We provide students with a rich and dynamic learning experience that embraces differences — emphasizing collaboration and engaging students in and out of the classroom, encouraging them to realize their goals, and to become global citizens and socially responsible leaders. When you join our team at San Mateo County Community College District, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, classified staff, administration, students and community partners.

The College and the District:
College of San Mateo, which was designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2014, is part of the San Mateo County Community College District, which currently enrolls approximately 23,000 students, the majority of whom are from minoritized populations. Of the students at College of San Mateo, 3.0% are African-American, 0.1% are American Indian, 19.8% are Asian, 6.8% are Filipino, 19.9% are Latinx, 2.2% are Pacific Islander, 28.1% are White, 17.6% are Multi-Ethnic, and 2.5% are unknown.

Who We Want:
We value the ability to serve students from a broad range of cultural heritages, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, abilities and orientations. Therefore, we prioritize applicants who demonstrate they understand the benefits diversity brings to a professional educational community. The successful candidate will be an equity-minded individual committed to collaborating with faculty, classified staff, administration, students and community partners who are also committed to closing equity gaps. The San Mateo County Community College District seeks employees who value mentorship and working in a collegial, collaborative environment, guided by a commitment to helping all students achieve their educational goals.

The Position:
The Laboratory Technician performs technical work involved in organizing, coordinating, and maintaining supplies, equipment, and instructional support services for the Astronomy Observatory, Planetarium, and Engineering Lab. Under general supervision, the employee sets up laboratory equipment, prepares and organizes laboratory materials as needed, demonstrates safe use of equipment, stores and disposes of a variety of supplies, and assists faculty in maintaining laboratory operations. Public contact is extensive, primarily involving faculty and students for the purpose of providing safety and procedural information. A moderate to high degree of independent judgment and creativity are required to apply safety and other policies and procedures related to laboratory equipment and other supplies, and to resolve frequent minor and occasional major problems that arise. A Laboratory Technician can direct the work of student assistants as assigned.

Duties and Responsibilities:
The duties below are representative of the duties of the classification and are not intended to cover all of the duties performed by the incumbent(s) of any particular position. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the scope of work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to this classification.

1. Exchanges information with faculty, students, staff, vendors, other educational institutions and organizations concerning Astronomy Observatory, Planetarium operations, Engineering Lab, inventory, safety issues, equipment, and supplies

2. Confers with and provides support to faculty regarding development and modification of curriculum and laboratory teaching materials, laboratory and classroom set-ups, student safety, planned experiments and other laboratory activities

3. Attends meetings, workshops, and other events to obtain current astronomy and engineering related information and resources

4. Directs and participates in preparing demonstrations and presentations to students, including evening labs and operating CCD cameras for the purpose of imaging celestial objects

5. Operates, maintains, and troubleshoots the GOTO HYBRID planetarium projector system as needed and schedules yearly maintenance by the service providers

6. Sets up, schedules, and coordinates the use of laboratory and demonstration equipment

7. Manages Astronomy Observatory, Planetarium, and Engineering Lab environments and operations in a safe, clean, and orderly condition in compliance with safety procedures and state and federal regulations

8. Inventories equipment, supplies, and required laboratory materials ensuring their proper storage and upkeep

9. Sets up and maintains online and manual files of laboratory equipment, supply and material purchases, equipment maintenance and usage, and storage

10. Recommends the purchase of new equipment and supplies as needed; researches vendors, pricing, delivery timelines, and selects vendors and orders new equipment, supplies, and materials as needed

11. Troubleshoots Astronomy Observatory and Planetarium computers, software, and hardware as needed

12. Compiles data for, and prepares special and regular reports as assigned

13. Maintains and updates department websites

14. Performs routine maintenance and minor repairs on telescopes, engineering equipment, and associated instrumentation

15. Establishes and follows-up on maintenance contracts for new equipment

16. Participates in college outreach programs, such as “Jazz Under the Stars,” “Project Star Gaze,” “Sky Tonight,” special speaker events, “Family Science & Astronomy Festival + Makerspace,” and other STEM outreach programs

17. Performs other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:
• A combination of education and experience equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in astronomy, engineering, physics, physical science or a closely related field• Successful training and work experience in an astronomical environment that has included using and maintaining optical telescopes, equatorial mounts, CCD imaging cameras, and research and implementation of state-of-the-art equipment, supplies and materials• Demonstrated knowledge of applicable regulatory and other safety policies and procedures• Demonstrated skill in written and oral communication, including public speaking• Experience with the organization and maintenance of electronic and manual files, inventories, and records• Experience with the use of a variety of computer software to compose and prepare spreadsheets, reports, presentations, databases, and other written materials• Demonstrated cultural competence, sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students, faculty and staff

Physical Requirements:
This classification requires standing for extended periods of time, bending, stooping, pulling, pushing, reaching overhead, moving objects of moderate weight, kneeling; exposure to chemicals, fumes, dust, and odors; in order to perform the essential functions.

Equivalence to Minimum Qualifications:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
1. Knowledge of technical laboratory operational procedures, protocols, equipment, materials, and supplies related to astronomy and engineering

2. Knowledge of required laboratory policies, procedures, and regulations related to occupational safety and cleanliness

3. Skill in use of the Microsoft Office Suite and a variety of other computer software to track, format, and report detailed data

4. Skill in respectful, tactful and sensitive interaction with people who are diverse in their academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds

5. Skill in organizing, sorting, categorizing, and accurately retrieving a variety of materials, supplies, and equipment

6. Skill in oral communication, including public speaking and in giving clear and concise instructions

7. Skill in written communication

8. Skill in training and leading the work of others

9. Skill in working accurately and safely under deadline pressure

10. Skill in scheduling, coordinating, and performing specialized and technical duties to assure efficient Astronomy Observatory, Planetarium, and Engineering Lab operations

11. Ability to coordinate, anticipate, and resolve workload issues and problems

12. Ability to follow detailed oral and written instructions

13. Ability to work effectively as part of a team

14. Willingness to learn new skills

Preferred Qualifications:

Benefits include paid holidays, vacation and sick leave. The District pays all or a portion of monthly medical plan premiums (depending on the coverage) and pays all of the monthly dental and vision plan premiums for employees and eligible dependents. Additional paid benefits include life insurance, salary continuance insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program. Classified employees participate in the Public Employees’ Retirement System, a defined-benefit retirement plan through the State of California. Optional tax-deferred 403(b) and 457 retirement plans are also available.

Open Date: 12/20/2018
First Review Date: 01/31/2019
Close Date:
Open Until Filled: Yes

Special Instructions Summary:
Required Application Materials All applicants are required to submit: 1. A completed online District application form (go to to complete the application and to apply for this position). 2. A resume that details all relevant education, training, and other work experience. 3. A cover letter of no more than 3 pages that addresses the applicant’s cultural competence, sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students, faculty, and staff as well as the applicant’s qualifications as they relate to the requirements, knowledge, skills, and abilities listed in this announcement. Candidates for interview will be selected from among those who most closely meet the requirements and knowledge, skills and abilities. Meeting the minimum qualifications does not guarantee an interview. As part of the interview process, candidates may be asked to demonstrate job-related knowledge and skills. For questions related to this posting, please contact: SMCCCD Office of Human Resources 3401 CSM Drive, San Mateo, CA 94402 Tel.: (650) 574-6555 Fax:(650) 574-6574 Web Page:

Conditions of Employment:
Prior to employment, the selected candidate will be required to complete the following:

1. Submit official transcripts (applies to all faculty or educational administrative positions)
2. Submit verifications of prior employment
3. Satisfactory references
4. Successfully being cleared for employment through the background checking process

In addition to background checks, the District may review publicly available information about a candidate on the Internet. If a candidate is aware of incorrect or inaccurate information that is available on the Internet, the candidate is welcome to address such an issue with the Office of Human Resources.

5. Present original documents for proof of eligibility to work in the United States
6. Approval of your employment by the SMCCCD Board of Trustees
7. Provide a certificate of Tuberculosis exam for initial employment.
8. Have fingerprints taken by a Live Scan computer (Clearance must be received prior to first day of employment). Please note that the California Education Code requires, in part, that community college districts shall not employ or retain in employment persons in public school service who have been convicted of certain felonies, a misdemeanor drug charge (including alcohol offenses) or misdemeanor moral turpitude (sexual offense) crime. However, consideration may be given to those whose drug convictions occurred more than five years ago. A conviction for other crimes may not necessarily disqualify you from the job for which you may be applying.

EEO Statement:
The San Mateo County Community College District is an Equal Opportunity Employer that seeks to employ individuals who represent the rich diversity of cultures, language groups, and abilities of its surrounding communities.

Applicants who have disabilities may request that special accommodations be made in order to complete the selection process. Accommodation request forms and a copy of the Americans with Disabilities Act applicant procedures are available in the Office of Human Resources.

Annual Security Report:
San Mateo County Community College District’s (SMCCCD) 2018 Annual Security Report (ASR), required by the Clery Act, includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings owned or controlled by SMCCCD; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from SMCCCD. Our 2018 Annual Security Report also outlines various campus safety and security policies, such as those concerning crime reporting, prevention and response to sexual and gender violence, alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, emergency response and evacuation procedures, and other matters. The 2018 Annual Security Report is now available. The Annual Security Report also includes important tips to help every member of the community remain safe and avoid becoming a victim of crime. You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Department of Public Safety at the District Office or any of the three Campuses (650) 738-7000.

To apply, visit:

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Job No:
Posted: 12/21/2018
Application Due: 4/1/2019
Work Type: