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Buildings Mechanic Assistant

The Morton Arboretum
Zip Code: 
Employment type: 
Part Time
Required degree level: 
High School Diploma or GED Equivalency
Vision Accommodations
Hearing Accommodations
Remote Position: 
Job Expiration Date: 

Position Summary: 
Assist Buildings Mechanics with the upkeep of the physical plant of The Morton Arboretum, which includes HVAC, plumbing, potable water, sprinkler, pumping stations, and electrical systems.  20 + hours a week on a rotating schedule.


Essential Functions: 

  • Assist with maintenance of heating, ventilating, air conditioning, refrigeration, and kitchen equipment located in Arboretum buildings.
  • Assist with installation and maintenance of plumbing systems, piping, and underground pumping stations, and when required, setup temporary plumbing for special events.
  • Assist with maintenance of irrigation wells, potable water, and sprinkler systems.
  • Perform a schedule for preventative maintenance and inspection of plant equipment.
  • Assist in locating Arboretum underground utilities for internal and external needs.
  • Coordinate setup of electrical requirements for special events.
  • Assist with inventorying parts, plumbing supplies, controls of equipment, etc.
  • Perform basic electrical system and lighting repairs.
  • Other duties as assigned.

High school diploma or equivalent with a strong mechanical aptitude. Currently enrolled and in pursuit of an Associate's degree in HVAC and certification of refrigerant recovery required. Practical experience in heating, plumbing, electrical, ventilating and/or pumping equipment preferred. Basic understanding of waterline maintenance, and construction preferred. Ability to work from blueprints, drawing layouts, or other specifications in order to locate and diagnose problems in mechanical systems or equipment required. Familiarity with a variety of hand-tools, measuring devices, and testing instruments required. Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Basic computer proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google applications beneficial. May have exposure to blood borne pathogens as a result of job duties. Optional vaccination (Hepatitis B vaccine) will be made available. 

Success Factors:
Ability to produce high quality workmanship and be flexible, self-motivated, neat, and safety-conscious in use of tools. Good communication skills. Ability to embrace and operate in line with our employee core values to take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional. 

Physical Demands and Work Environment:  The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: Requires significant amount of physical activity: some lifting and carrying (up to 75 lbs.), bending, climbing (up to 16 ft.), pushing, pulling, standing, walking, kneeling, and traveling by vehicles. Sense of vision, hearing and smell in the normal range with or without correction. Sense of touch and the ability to wear Personal Protective Equipment required.
  • Work Environment: Work is performed in a combined indoor and outdoor setting.
  • Equipment: General HVAC equipment, plumbing tools, hand and power tools, test instruments, locating equipment, ladders, lift truck, Arboretum van and truck, two-way radio, general office equipment. 
  • Schedule: Will require some evening and weekend work. Must be willing to respond to emergency situations involving building maintenance equipment.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion of diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success.  The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status.  To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.  

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment.  


The Morton Arboretum is a magnificent outdoor museum with a mission to collect and study trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world, to display them across naturally beautiful landscapes for people to study and enjoy, and to learn how to grow them in ways that enhance our environment. Our goal is to encourage the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. The Arboretum ranks among the leading arboretums of the world in size, age, quality of specimens, and programs in Plant Collections, Science and Conservation, and Education.

History:  Established in 1922 by Mr. Joy Morton, founder of the Morton Salt Company and son of J. Sterling Morton, the originator of Arbor Day, the Arboretum has grown to include 1,700 acres of plant collections and gardens amid spectacular natural landscapes of woodlands, prairie, lakes, and streams.

Plant Collections:  The Arboretum grows and displays a rich diversity of trees, shrubs, and other plants that are Collections evaluated for their suitability for the midwestern United States. These living collections include 222,000 plant specimens representing 4,650 different kinds of plants. Arranged by geographic, taxonomic, and other special groupings, the collections are enhanced by restored natural areas of native plants.

Science and Conservation:  The Research Program focuses on practical scientific studies; key areas include tree health, tree Conservation improvement, and woodland conservation. Housed in the state-of-the-art Research Center is a Herbarium with a collection of 200,000 dried specimens for botanical research. The Chicago Region Trees Initiative develops strategies for tree and urban forest improvement; the Community Trees program advocates for trees in 274 communities in seven counties. ArbNet, facilitated by The Morton Arboretum, is an interactive professional community of arboreta with programs to foster advancements among tree-focused gardens. Science and conservation initiatives address international needs to build partnerships and save endangered trees.

Education:  The Education Program is relevant to needs and interests in learning about plants, nature, and ways to improve our world. Through the Thornhill Education Center, classes and other offerings for adults, youth and family, and schools and scouts serve 47,000 participants, with 646 schools partaking of field, lab, and outreach programs. Also available are teacher-training resources and a cooperative botany degree program with regional colleges and universities. The Sterling Morton Library contains collections of 27,000 volumes on botany, horticulture, natural history, and ecology; rare books, periodicals, and catalogs; and 12,000 botanical artworks. The Plant Clinic answers inquiries from 536 zip codes about plant selection and care. 

Vision Accommodations, Hearing Accommodations, Mobility