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Vehicle Assembly & Service Technician

Assembly-Service-Quality (ASQ) | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map, and monitor the oceans to understand, preserve, and protect our world. Saildrone provides real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and uses proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence. Saildrone’s fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate 24/7/365, without the need for a crewed support vehicle. We work with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing drones into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane to obtain new scientific storm data, mapping the ocean floor, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, counting biomass to establish fishing quotas, or detecting and stopping illegal fishing and drug trafficking. As a result of our work, we have been included on Fast Company’s annual list of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2022” and earned the 2022 Ocean Awards’ Innovation Award, presented by the Blue Marine Foundation. Saildrone’s hurricane mission was included as one of the New York Times "Top 21 Things that happened (for the first time) in 2021", and Popular Science's "100 Greatest Innovations of 2021".

We are based in Alameda, CA, with offices in Washington DC, St. Petersburg, FL, and Fall River, MA, and operate our missions worldwide. We are backed by top-tier investors in the frontier-tech and sustainability sectors, including Social Capital, Capricorn, Lux Capital, BOND Capital, and Emerson Collective.

This is an exciting opportunity with a fast-growing team at the cutting-edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of a high-performing multi-disciplinary delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

The Role

Saildrone's autonomous surface vehicles operate for unprecedented periods of time in the most unforgiving environments on the planet. From inside of hurricanes to the frigid waters of the Arctic, the stresses they endure are immense. The technical execution of preparing the vehicles for their mission and servicing their constituent parts must be performed with a high degree of skill and consistency. As a Vehicle Assembly & Service Technician, you will be responsible for constructing and servicing Saildrone vehicles as well as training and leading others to do the same.

You will collaborate with a variety of teams in engineering, operations, and production. You will interact with clients and lead teams, both in the shop and around the world, to execute assembly and service operations. You will help turn in-field realities into product improvements, serving as an important link between our end users and the teams at Saildrone who design our products.

What You'll Do

  • Lead the assembly and service workflows for Saildrone’s vehicle fleet, ensuring that our drones are fully mission capable and able to maintain exceptionally high uptime.
  • Travel domestically and internationally to deploy and repair Saildrone vehicles.
  • Train contractors, clients, and other third-parties on how to assemble and service Saildrone vehicles.
  • Provide input on how to improve in-field assembly and service procedures as well as vehicle designs.

What We're Looking For

  • A skilled technician that understands how to apply fundamentally sound mechanical and electrical skills in a field environment.
  • Act with self-awareness and professionalism when interacting with Saildrone clients and colleagues.
  • Passion for teaching and coaching others on how to perform technical procedures.
  • Possess high standards for doing things the right way. Able to lead and hold others accountable for achieving that same standard.
  • Ability to assess current processes and determine how they could improve to achieve increased safety, consistency, and efficiency.
  • Desire to take ownership of and responsibility for the outcome of operational execution.

Required Skills

  • Desire and ability to provide industry-defining customer service for both external customers and Saildrone colleagues. Ability to simplify technical concepts and product knowledge to teach and coach end-users on vehicle assembly and service.
  • 5 or more years of experience executing operations involving the application of fundamentally sound electrical and mechanical skills while performing a technical service role in a field, shipyard, or heavy industrial environment, following service instructions/diagrams, using tools ranging from basic hand tools to heavy equipment and rigging.
  • Ability to lead and work in teams, to include third-party contractors, to execute operational plans and deliver on contractual obligations.
  • Maintain appropriate records and inventories. Possess organizational habits and a willingness to define, follow, and improve safety, process, and work standards.
  • Willingness to support 50% travel, domestically and internationally. U.S. Person status is required for this role.

Preferred Skills

  • Prior experience planning, leading, and performing technically complex operations in the field for a global OEM servicing the automotive, aerospace, shipyard, offshore oil and gas, heavy civil/mining, renewable energy, or telecommunications industries. .
  • Prior experience in a fast-paced, start-up environment or an advanced serviceability/manufacturability of design role. Able to develop/create technical repair content to support global standardization and service documentation for safety, quality, and repeatability.
  • Possess the ability to systematically isolate, diagnose, and repair issues on electro-mechanical systems in a marine environment.
  • Personal or professional experience on or near water; familiar with rigging, mooring, and basic boat handling principles.

Location: This position is in Alameda, CA. Only candidates with proper permits to work in the United States can be considered. Our waterfront office offers beautiful views of San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mix software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar used to film 'The Matrix'.


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents.

  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents

  • Enhanced Parental Leave Programs

  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan

Catch up on the latest news about us:

An Unprecedented View Inside a Hurricane – EOS (May 6, 2022)

Meet the sailing robots trying to solve climate change – The Hill (Mar. 18, 2022)

They Sailed Into a Hurricane, Now these Unmanned Saildrones are Seeking Data on Our Carbon Uptake – CNN (Dec. 9, 2021)

Saildrone Catches a $100M C Breeze to Build More Robo-boats – TechCrunch (Oct. 18, 2021)

With A Sight, Sound And Radar Picture, Saildrone Could Build An AI Database Of Everything In The Ocean – Forbes (Aug. 16, 2021)

Changing Arctic Environment Could Also Change Technologies Needed to Protect It, Experts Say – SeaPower Magazine (Aug. 2, 2021)

Autonomous Research Vehicle Completes Ocean Crossing from San Francisco to Hawaii – Hydro International (July 13, 2021)

Saildrone Featured Videos Playlist

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

In accordance with Saildrone’s mandatory employee COVID-19 vaccination policy, please be advised that all employees are required to be vaccinated and boosted to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our customers and visitors and the community at large.

Any unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Saildrone are considered property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.