HVAC Maintenance Specialist (4591)

Crafts / Trades Socorro, New Mexico


 Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is committed to maintaining the world’s most accomplished observatories while developing new technology to enable further research in radio astronomy. NRAO is recruiting a HVAC Maintenance Specialist to support the Engineering Services Division. Under direct supervision, the Maintenance Specialist installs, maintains, upgrades, repairs and controls the refrigerated and evaporative cooling systems for multiple antennas and buildings. 


The position is based at the VLA, 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico.  In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • HVAC and chiller system installation, maintenance, upgrades, repairs, and control for multiple antennas and all

site buildings refrigerated and evaporative cooling systems.

  • Maintains all piping systems on site including underground water (and sprinkler take offs), sewer, and water supplies.
  • Responsible for drinking water management at VLA including maintaining site potable water and treatment, compliance with periodic state sampling and monitoring, and water sampling and testing.
  • Manages and maintains sewage lift station and lagoons and maintains sewage lagoon floors.
  • Manages sprinkler systems including installation and maintaining of all building dry and wet sprinkler systems.
  • Performs and documents quarterly inspections of all fire sprinkler systems (test gongs, electrical alarms, check system pressures).
  • Maintains and Repairs VLBA Antennae and Control Building HVAC equipment. May perform programming support capabilities with dedicated Laptop.
  • Responsible for maintaining all of the distribution plumbing and dispensing of the VLA Site Fuel System.
  • Maintains site air compressor systems used for machining, auto shop work, and sandblasting requirements.
  • Maintains Chemical MSDS file with Safety Data base.
  • Will train and lead others in the performance of their duties.
  • Proactive compliance with NRAO and legal safety policies and procedures in own work area.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Work Environment

The VLA site is located in a remote area 7,000 feet above sea level. This position may require occasional travel to various locations within the USA or its protectorates. While performing the duties of this job, the employee works both inside and outside, day or night, near moving mechanical parts. The employee generally works at ground level, but occasionally works at heights above 100 feet. The employee must be able to climb ladders while carrying equipment and tools, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, and operate a variety of tools and equipment. The employee must be able to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. The employee occasionally works in a confined or underground space and near electrical equipment. The employee will work with chemicals, such as Freon, chlorine, and other water and waste treatment chemicals. The employee must be able to work with proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when needed. Specific vision abilities include close vision, distance vision, color and depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Associate’s Degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience


Minimum Experience

Five or more years of related technical experience.


Preferred Experience

Experience in the HVAC field. Training in industrial cooling, including EPA Freon certification preferred. Training in industrial heating, including oil fired or electric heat as appropriate


Physical Demands

Work typically takes place in a machine shop or other specialized shop, employees may be occasionally required to work elsewhere. Required to stand and sit; use hands to handle or feel objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands or arms. Regularly works near moving mechanical parts. Occasionally is required to climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch. Able to work with a variety of chemicals. Must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Must be able to communicate clearly and in writing. Specific vision requirements include close vision, distance vision, color and depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.


Competency Summary

General knowledge of all construction and maintenance trades required. Must be highly organized. Able to train and lead others.


Requirements: Valid Driver’s License. Preferred Requirements: Journeyman's Refrigeration (JR)License Journeyman Electrician License or equivalent experience Electrical Knowledge of 220V and 480V system wiring CFC certification. All Federal, State and Local Waste Water Treatment Plant and Public Water System Operator certifications. Class B/A Fuel System Operator's Certificate required by the State


Additional Requirements

Must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by September 1, 2021 to be considered for U.S.-based vacancies.



Safety Sensitive

The selected candidate must successfully pass a post-offer, pre-employment/pre-placement drug screen.  Failure to pass the Screen will disqualify the candidate from employment consideration for a period of six months from the date of the results.


Application Instructions:


Click the “Apply” button below.  You will need to be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a letter of application describing interest and suitability for the position.


Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:


AUI is an equal opportunity employer.  Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.  To view our complete statement, please visit http://jobs.jobvite.com/nrao/jobs.  If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to [email protected].