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Salk Institute for Biological Studies
La Jolla, CA

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Auxiliary Services
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

Application Instructions:

Employment History Include your last ten (10) years of employment history, or length of your employment history if less, including all position (even those that are not relevant to this position) and periods of unemployment. Incomplete information could disqualify you from further consideration.


Position is responsible for performing semi-skilled cleaning of a variety of facilities on campus including, but not limited to:

Laboratories, offices, rest rooms, lounges, hallways, and stairwells to ensure a clean, professional and safe working environment.  Position assists with the cleaning and maintenance of tools, equipment and work area.   General labor duties on a routine and/or regular basis based on operational needs are required.

Position is tasked with observing and exercising professionalism established and Institute unique safety precautions and cleaning standards.  Position is responsible for safeguarding various access control devices.  Position provides customer service to Institute employees and guests as needed.   

The primary working hours for this position are 2:00am-10:30am.  Incumbent must be available to work other shifts as assigned. 


Performs Daily Cleaning Tasks (75%)

  • Visually inspects assigned area(s) of responsibility to assess scope of necessary cleaning.
  • Picks up desk size waste baskets and places their contents into a common receptacle. Tips large trash receptacles onto their side to pull out their bagged contents; inspects trash for inappropriate content and segregates components.   Waste collection may require the repeated lifting of loads in excess of 20 lbs.
  • Relocates trash to pick-up area via cart or manually depending on distance from source. Disposes of all trash appropriately based on content.
  • Picks up large litter of varying weights; disposes of it in appropriate locations.
  • Vacuums floor coverings and upholstered furniture using backpack vacuums or upright machines as appropriate for each location; transports vacuum (via backpack or wheels) to subsequent location.
  • Mixes water and chemical concentrates in containers to prepare cleaning solutions, according to specifications.
  • Cleans and polishes vinyl, plastic, and other furniture. Cleans and polishes fixtures.
  • Moves furniture of varying sizes and weights to enable cleaning around their location (often to include desks with full file drawers) and returns furniture to original position when cleaning has been completed.
  • Dusts desks, pictures, ledges, walls, machines, blinds, fixtures and equipment which may require use of ladders or long tools that require overhead reaching as appropriate for the height or location.
  • Pushes carts with loads of up to 100 lbs. per trip (cardboard, etc.).
  • Mops floors which includes preparing and lifting clean water supply and lifting/tipping soiled water for disposal and pulling a wet mop out of the bucket until all mopping is complete. Full buckets weigh approximately 40 lbs. each; wet mops weigh approximately 15 lbs. each.
  • Washes light and air diffusers with appropriate tools and ladders as needed to reach required heights.
  • Fully services rest rooms to include cleaning/sanitizing counters and basins, cleaning/sanitizing toilet bowls, cleaning shower areas including floor drains, cleaning mirrors of varying sizes and heights, and cleaning walls.
  • Washes fixtures, walls, and railings ranging from floor to ceiling level throughout the Institute.
  • Transports supplies for rest rooms by pushing wheeled carts. Refills carts during the day as they are depleted.
  • Sweeps and cleans sidewalks, walkways, stairwells, and other common areas, offices, or laboratories which requires constant bending, stooping, standing, and walking.
  • Steam-cleans or shampoos carpets using bulky power equipment. Operates floor cleaning machines (anti-torque resistance requires pushing and holding from the shoulder area), carpet shampooing machines and a variety of other powered equipment to clean surfaces. 

General Labor (20%)

  • Notifies supervisory personnel about repairs and/or maintenance needs in accordance with established procedures.
  • Notifies appropriate personnel about supplies and equipment needed for cleaning and maintenance duties.
  • Washes interior and exterior windows using appropriate tools and ladders to reach required heights.
  • Consolidates and differentiates recyclable materials of varying weights, bulk, and dimensions into appropriate sorting receptacles.
  • Palletizes, sorts, stacks and readies cardboard for recycling. Relocates to appropriate location manually or by pushing wheeled carts depending on volume of content.
  • Replaces empty water cooler bottles with full bottles by hoisting them onto the top of the dispensers (approximately 45 lbs. each). Relocates empty bottles to the appropriate disposal area.
  • Receives and distributes supplies to a variety of locations throughout the Institute which may require walking with carts depending on the distance.
  • Sets up, arranges, and removes, tables, chairs, and other items uses to prepare facilities/rooms for events such as banquets and meetings.
  • Packs and unpacks fixtures, furniture and equipment of varying weights and sizes.
  • Inventories and restocks storage areas in a variety of locations throughout the Institute.
  • Loads fixtures, furniture and equipment onto trucks or carts for transport. May require driving cart/truck on or off campus.

Other Janitorial, General Labor, or Related Duties as assigned (5%)

  • Based on operational need.



  • No professional experience required


  • +1 years as a working custodian



  • HS diploma or equivalent



  • Ability to follow and communicate verbal and/or written instructions in English for communication with supervisory staff, coworkers, other Institute personnel, and to follow safety procedures and precautions.
  • Ability to apply training in the proper use and care of various tools of the trade including but not limited to: box cutter, pallet jack, wheeled carts, hand truck, baler, compactor, industrial vehicles, auto scrubber, ladders and personal protective equipment.
  • Ability to follow procedures for the use of chemical cleaners and powered equipment, in order to prevent damage to floors and fixtures and ensure safety to self and others.
  • Familiarity with use of cleaning equipment such as vacuums, buffers, shampooing machines and extractors.
  • Ability to follow procedures unique to Salk Institute.
  • Ability to work effectively in a service-oriented environment subject to frequently changing priorities.
  • Ability to understand and apply general principles and sound judgement to solve problems.
  • Knowledge of proper and safe use of custodial equipment.
  • Ability to maintain a record of attendance and punctually that adheres to departmental standards.
  • Ability to maintain a functional awareness of the typical hazards of the work places as well as the special hazards that may be encountered at Salk Institute such as biological hazards, radiation hazards, chemical hazards, etc. ability to follow established procedures for dealing with such potential hazards.
  • Ability to promptly report accidents on the job, preparing and submitting accident reports.
  • Ability to identify inappropriate waste stream content.
  • Ability to identify and sort waste items from recyclable items.
  • Must be able to learn to operate a computer-based maintenance management system.
  • Must be able to operate paging and text messaging devices.


  • Basic computer proficiency for data entry.
  • Ability to operate a motor vehicle and to present a valid California Driver License.


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Must be willing to work on ladders up to 8 feet in height and on personnel lifts to 20 feet in height.
  • Standard work schedule is: Monday- Friday, 2:00am-10:30am.
  • Must be able to adjust regularly assigned work schedule based on workload and deadlines (earlier start/later end).
  • Must be able to work overtime as required based on operational needs (including occasional weekends).
  • Must be able to work on ladders for a variety of tasks.
  • Must be willing to work in any or all of the following environments: vivarium, laboratories where blood-borne pathogens, radioactive, and biohazard materials are stored/used and with which biological studies are performed.
  • Must be willing to submit to a post-offer physical.
  • Must be willing to maintain First Aide/CPR/AED training/certification.
  • A DMV driving record background check may be required. A Class C motor vehicle license and clean driving record will be required in order to drive Institute vehicles.
  • Willing to sign an employee confidentiality agreement.


  • As a safeguard for employees and animals, all FS employees may be subject to vaccines/tests/physical exams prior to working with specific animals or animal populations as required by research needs including but not limited to:
  • TB Testing/Clearance (every six months / twice a year)
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (proof of immunization and/or vaccination)


This position requires constant adjusting focus, carrying 0-25 lbs., grasping, handling, hearing, keying, lifting 0-20 lbs., pulling/pushing 0-20 lbs., reaching, seeing, standing, touching/feeling, and walking, as well as exposure to fumes/odors/mists/dusts, potential allergens, and potential hazards. 


Working at Salk Institute for Biological Studies

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world's preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused on both discovery and mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

Salk Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is committed to providing equal access to opportunities for students, employees, applicants for employment and other persons.

Our policies prohibit harassment or unlawful discrimination against individuals on the basis of sex, gender, marital or parental status, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, medical conditions/disabilities related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation age, ancestry, color, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), family and/or medical care leave status, disability (mental or physical), registered domestic partner status, legally protected medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status (disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era, other covered veteran status), national origin (including language use restrictions and possession of a driver’s license), race, religion or any other classification protected by local, state or federal laws.

The Salk Institute participates in the E-Verify program.

Reasonable accommodation is available for qualified individuals with disabilities and for individuals with religious restrictions.

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