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Security Officer

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
La Jolla, CA

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

Position monitors security of the Institute campus in assigned areas, assists with opening/closing of the Institute at assigned times, notifies the Dispatcher/Shift Supervisor of unusual occurrences and malfunctioning of machinery or equipment. Responds to and investigates as dispatched to any incident or emergency as directed, or to any incident or emergency as observed. In the absence of the Assistant Director/Shift Supervisor, assumes role as the security representative at the scene of any incident/emergency until properly relieved. Ensures overall security of campus and continually communicates with others in the department to further that responsibility. 


Security Officer - (shift coding used at right: D/Day, S/Swing, G/Grave) (100%)

  • Responds to emergencies and incidents as observed and/or as directed by Dispatch.


  • When not responding to a direct call, patrols the assigned area of the facility grounds on foot, visually and audibly assessing and reporting on the state of security for the overall facility. Continuously reports (via radio or phone) on engaged activity to a dispatcher to be logged.


  • Receives calls from Dispatcher regarding alarms, investigates, and rectifies security breaches and responds promptly.


  • Sets up, moves, and removes traffic signage and traffic cones as directed.


  • Examines doors, windows, and gates to determine that they remain secure as is customary.


  • Warns violators of rule infractions, such as trespassing after hours, and apprehends or expels persons engaging in suspicious or criminal acts.


  • Assists authorized persons without their key cards in entering locked areas after verifying their identity through proper protocols. Responds to calls from Dispatcher regarding access denials, locates offenders, and determines if ID card used is valid.


  • Monitors handicapped parking spots for compliance.


  • Watches for and reports incidents and unusual events, irregularities such as fire hazards, leaking water pipes, equipment failures, lighting issues and security doors left unlocked via the use of a two-way radio, and documents them on a daily written log or through electronic log keeping.


  • As directed, assumes other post location duties to provide breaks/meals to colleagues.


  • Monitors access to registered events that take place after hours or when the facility is closed.


  • Collects and turns in found items to dispatch.


  • As assigned, provides security presence at Institute events.


  • Provides comprehensive pass-down of daily events and occurrences to relief personnel.


  • Performs periodic rounds of the facility as assigned (on foot), utilizing a card key to record time of inspection trips


  • Performs daily lock/unlock of facility perimeter doors on foot.


  • Monitors vehicular traffic flow visually, on foot and/or with the use of a motorized golf cart. 


  • Monitors reserved parking spaces by checking reserved sheet against incoming visitors. Contacts shift supervisor if discrepancies occur.


  • Greets visitors and staff (on foot) and provides directions and verbal information. As assigned, may provide a motorized escort as they arrive and depart.


  • Performs other minor operational security duties as assigned by Shift Supervisor. (i.e. flag raising/lowering, bicycle tagging, escorting, issuing parking citations, etc.)


  • Reports to Dispatcher and immediate supervisor the occurrence of the following or similar events:

1.  Any event that has never taken place on site previously or that occurs infrequently.

2.  Any event that involves the presence of outside law enforcement or an outside emergency services agency.

3.  Any event that involves serious injury or death.

4.  Any event that results in significant damage, to include damaged cars, buildings, other real or personal property, or similar events.

5.  Any event that requires notification or discussion of the circumstances with any senior Institute administrative official to include Directors, Vice Presidents, or the President.

6.  Any event that significantly interrupts the daily business of the Institute or security operations.

7. Any event that involves an animal, animal care or otherwise pertains to the animal facility.






  • No professional experience required 


  • Minimum 1 year as a team lead in security/law enforcement or related field.
  • Security experience in a biotech, academic institution, or research institute.



  • High School Diploma or equivalent


  • Valid California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services guard card.



  •  Ability to read and comprehend simple instructions, short correspondence, and memos in English.
  • Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group situations to other employees of the organization in English.
  • Ability to effectively convey information under normal/elevated/stressful situations, and during critical emergencies to other employees of the organization, in English.
  • Ability to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form and to exercise good judgment.
  • Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.
  • Basic keyboard knowledge.
  • Knowledge of common word processing software; spreadsheet software and e-mail.
  • Ability to effectively use a two-way radio, cell phone and direct connect.
  • Ability to learn, properly use, and respond to internal hardware and software that is specific to security, to include but not limited to: surveillance cameras, card access systems, incident reporting systems, call recording systems, fire alarm systems.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of security related information.


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Willing to sign Institute’s Confidentiality Agreement
  • Must be able to work any shift as assigned (Day: 6:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Swing: 2:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m., Grave: 10:30 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.)
  • Must be able to work overtime as needed to support special events or provide coverage when not properly relieved at the shift's conclusion.
  • Must be able to stand as needed during the regularly scheduled shift and for subsequent overtime as needed based on events that arise during any given shift or holdover period.
  • Must be able to run or otherwise respond to an emergency in a timely manner.
  • Must be willing to maintain First Aid/CPR/AED training/certification.
  • Post-offer physical required including:
  1. Visual acuity: 20/40 with both eyes together, with or without corrective lenses. The ability to distinguish red, green, and yellow colors is required. The use of corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses shall not interfere with an individual's ability to effectively perform assigned security job duties during normal or emergency operations.
  2. Hearing: (a) Individuals shall have no hearing loss in the better ear greater than 30 decibels average at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with no level greater that 40 decibels at any one frequency. A hearing aid is acceptable provided suitable testing procedures demonstrate auditory acuity equivalent to the above stated requirement. The use of a hearing aid shall not decrease the effective performance of the individual's assigned security job duties during normal or emergency operations.
  • 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.


  • 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, grasping, handling, hearing, keying, seeing, and talking. 


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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