Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$36.29 / Hour
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
TX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 7:00a - 3:30p, Monday - Friday

#TP125831 Principal Laboratory Mechanician

Initial Review Date: Thu 11/30/2023

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.

Position available through UCSD Temporary Employment Services (TES). Employment through TES is an excellent way to gain valuable UCSD experience and get your foot in the door for career positions. TES employment includes medical coverage, paid vacation & sick time, paid holidays, as well as training and development opportunities!

Assignment Details

TES is looking for a Principal Laboratory Mechanician with strong machine work and mastercam CNC knowledge.

  • Duration: This is a temporary assignment anticipated to last 6 months.
  • Compensation and Benefits: The pay rate is budgeted at $36.29/hour. Eligible for Full Medical Benefits, Vacation, Sick, and Holiday pay
  • Work Schedule: 7:00AM - 3:30PM, Monday - Friday
  • Location: 100% on site


  • Our Principal Lab Mechanician will perform high level machine work, using Mastercam software programming skills, required to operate a CNC Lathe that will perform a wide variety of functions, such as drilling, cutting, or shaping of materials.

  • Produce parts to industry standards i.e., close tight tolerance parts. Utilize standard machine shop equipment including: lathes, mills, drills and grinders, working with a wide variety of materials.

  • Conceptualize and frequently design from rough concept drawings and verbal instruction, tooling and fixtures.

  • Program and use Computer Aided Drawing (CAD)/Computer Aided Machining (CAM) systems and the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) system.

  • Design and fabricate devices, frequently from verbal instruction, sketches, detailed blueprints or written instruction at the lowest possible cost to the customer and in a timely manner.

  • Develop laboratory methods and procedures used in construction of complicated pieces of research apparatus. Fabricate special templates, fixtures, specialized equipment and research prototypes for customers conducting research at the university.

  • Modify and assemble specialized equipment and prototypes to complete university researchers' custom requests.

  • Perform mechanical work that requires the highest degree of machinist skills. Perform manual dexterity work within close tolerances of special shapes.

  • Utilize blueprints, graphs, drawings, diagrams and sketches to produce finished product.

  • Supervise maintenance work and repair of fabricating and welding equipment. Observe and adhere to shop practices and procedures and machining principles with regard to safety and operation instructions as well as standard and special machine tools.

  • Respond directly to customer requests in supervisor's absence, i.e., consultations regarding research equipment design.

  • Check accuracy of all dimensions and clearances supplied for jobs.

  • Review fabrication problems with supervisor, engineers and researchers.


  • Graduation from high school or a General Education Diploma and eight years of experience in general machine shop work, tool and die making or instrument making; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience using Mastercam CNC software for Lathe programming and operation.

  • Experience using trade materials, i.e., aluminum, plastics, copper, stainless steel, titanium and brass.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of shop practices, machinery principles, special machine tools and safety practices. Demonstrated knowledge of tool design and metallurgy and shop measuring devices.

  • High degree of originality and ingenuity required to solve fabrication, assembly, installation and related problems. Ability to research and resolve problems independently.

  • Demonstrated experience designing, fabricating, and producing instruments, hardware and projects for a variety of uses.

  • High degree of comprehension of the researcher needs and an understanding of restrictions of the test environment in which design will be operated.

  • Ability to comprehend nature of the job with guidelines that consist mainly of rough sketches and oral information as related to the basic design. Specific details are developed as fabrication progresses.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of shop practices and machinery principles, special tools and safety practices. Ability to work with, and advise people in the proper and safe use of machines.

  • Good interpersonal, customer service and communication skills (oral and written) to interact with researchers, and non-UCSD clients.

  • Proven ability to interact successfully with diverse groups of people, especially in an academic/research environment.


  • DOJ/FBI/DMV background checks and clearances required prior to hire.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid CA Driver License.
  • Overtime may be required.
  • Physical ability to perform the essential functions of the job including lifting and carrying heavy objects, between 20 to 50 lbs., manual dexterity and standing for long periods of time.

This position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter pursuant to the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) and requires immediate reporting of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect of anyone under the age of 18. It is the responsibility of the Mandated Reporter to ensure that they obtain proper training in order to fulfill their reporting responsibilities as required by the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and University policy, and to complete and submit the required reports to the UC San Diego Police Department without delay.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $75,774 - $91,454 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $36.29 - $43.80

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

If employed by the University of California, you will be required to comply with our Policy on Vaccination Programs, which may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

Application Instructions

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