Cryogenics Technician I-IV (4520)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The technician will assist with fabrication, installation and maintenance of cryogenic (very low temperature) refrigeration equipment and vacuum systems assigned to Cryogenics group. The group is responsible for the day to day operation of these systems on the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). Some in-house training will be provided.  This is a “Safety Sensitive” position as described in the Position Requirements below.


The position is based at the Very Large Array (VLA) site, 50 miles west of Socorro, NM. Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque and is home to New Mexico Tech ( 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

As part of an active team working both at the bench and on antennas, the Cryogenics Technician performs a variety of construction, test, maintenance, inspection, assembly, operation and data collection functions on compressors, vacuum lines, and cryogenic equipment. Work performed is generally reviewed by a supervisor or by Technical Specialists although the candidate must be able to complete assigned tasks with minimal supervision. 


Routine duties include:

  • Use of standard test equipment, such as digital multimeters or gauges, for inspection, adjustment, and/or replacement of defective system components on compressors or vacuum lines.
  • Use of hand tools for mechanical work or repair.
  • Proactive compliance with all NRAO policies and procedures.
  • Other duties may be assigned.


The candidate may be asked to respond to emergency call-outs during inclement weather, late night and or early morning hours.


Work Environment

Work typically takes place in an electronics shop, but employees are also frequently required to work outdoors and at heights when accessing an antenna. Candidate must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds and work at heights of 80ft, in inclement weather. Must be able to work at bench either sitting or standing for sustained periods. Visual acuity (corrected is acceptable) and manual dexterity is necessary to perform work.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

High school diploma or GED


Minimum Experience

One year of related experience; or equivalent combination of relevant education/training and experience. No prior experience required with an Associate Degree in Engineering Technology. 


Preferred Education

An Associate Degree in Engineering Technology or an equivalent combination of education and related work experience.


Preferred Experience

Two or more years related experience and/or training and knowledge in vacuum, electrical, fabrication, stainless TIG welding, cryogenics, and cryogenic associated equipment such as Helium Mass Spectrometers and vacuum equipment overhaul. Candidate should possess some skills in the operations and safety of lab equipment such as lathes, drill press and belt sanders. Preference will be given to candidate with fabrication, plumbing, computer skills, vacuum leak detection experience, cryogenic helium closed cycle systems, TIG and MIG welding and related activities.


Competency Summary

Candidate must be self-motivated, possess the ability to communicate with others, must be meticulous and able to perform repetitive tasks for extended periods of time. The individual must be able to work safely with hand and power tools. Candidate must possess a valid driver's license and must be able to operate a motorized vehicle in a safe manner. The ability to read and interpret policy and safety manuals is required as is the ability to write routine reports and correspondence. The candidate must be able to do simple mathematical calculations.


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.  After an offer of employment, the candidate will need to successfully pass an employment physical.


Application Instructions:


Select the “Apply” button below.  Please 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  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