Technical Specialist III-IV (4424)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Charlottesville, Virginia


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is pleased to announce an opening for an RF technician at the Central Development Laboratory (CDL). This RF technician will be involved in construction and testing of cryogenic microwave and millimeter-wave components for use in radio astronomy. The RF technician must be experienced in building, operating, and debugging electronic test systems used for measuring the noise and gain of mixers and amplifiers.  The ability to read and follow electrical circuit schematics is required. Experience is required operating common RF measurement instruments, such as power meters and spectrum analyzers.  A basic understanding of analog and digital circuits is also needed to support the construction and debugging of test instrumentation.  As cryogenic equipment is used extensively in radio astronomy receivers, some familiarity with cryogenics is desirable.  Candidates must be good technical writers and be detail oriented to thoroughly document test results.  Familiarity with Microsoft Word and Excel are required for record keeping and for manipulating and graphing measurement data.   This position requires a motivated and methodical person who is comfortable working in a loosely structured research environment.


This full-time position will be based at the NRAO CDL in Charlottesville, VA, located near the grounds of the University of Virginia. In addition to competitive pay, we provide excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave).  Medical, dental, and vision plans are effective on the first day of employment.  Our retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10% of a qualified participant’s base pay with no contribution required from employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Testing millimeter-wave circuits and systems.
  • Construction, operation, and debugging of microwave and millimeter-wave test systems.
  • Assembly of millimeter-wave receivers and circuits.
  • Recording and analyzing test data.


Work Environment

The work is primarily in a laboratory environment and the candidate must be able to sit or stand at a bench for sustained periods. Visual acuity and manual dexterity are necessary to perform this work. The candidate must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Associate’s degree in Electrical Engineering, or a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Preferred Education

Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering or a related field.


Minimum Experience

At least 10 years of experience on radio frequency or microwave systems, or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Application Instructions:


Apply online at the NRAO Careers page ( You will need to be prepared to upload your current Resume and a Cover Letter describing interest and suitability for the position. Applications review will continue until the position is filled.



The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.