Maintenance Electrician Lead (4630)

Crafts / Trades Socorro, New Mexico


 Position Description:


Position Summary

Under limited supervision, the Maintenance Electrician Lead is responsible for expert-level control and coordination of assigned maintenance support functions.  Performs, plans and directs the work of electricians engaged in maintaining and repairing equipment, structures and power systems.  Schedules and coordinates the work of the unit to ensure expeditious and efficient completion of assigned projects.  Troubleshoot medium voltage (12,470V/7,200V) underground cable systems, switchgear, transformers, sectional switches, locate faults, repair and test splices as required.  Should be familiar with and can operate cable fault location equipment, hi-pot, meg ohm, and others.  Provides technical advice, guidance, and assistance to other Observatory personnel.  This is a Safety Sensitive position as described in the requirements section.


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

Under limited supervision and instruction, essential duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Performs and/or oversees the installation, inspections, repairs, routine maintenance and troubleshooting of facility systems including mechanical, electrical and fire/life safety.
  • Troubleshoots repairs, replaces and maintains controls, AC and DC power distribution systems (50 – 12470 VAC, 50 – 500 VDC), equipment, lighting, controls, industrial and residential HVAC equipment and controls, blowers, motors, pumps, and related devices.
  • Leads and coordinates the work of employees who repair and maintain buildings/facilities. Prepares work schedules, assigns work, and oversees the work products.
  • Administers training programs to ensure proper operations, preventive maintenance, and repair programs and procedures. May establish new preventive maintenance programs and procedure guidelines.
  • Tracks facilities service requests with applicable system and completes requests within established timelines and quality specifications.
  • Reads and occasionally designs schematics and blueprints.
  • Secures pricing information from a variety of sources, including soliciting bids from vendors as needed.
  • Provides budget cost estimates. 
  • Works as part of the Plant Maintenance or Engineering Services team and assists any or all other areas, as needed. 
  • May coordinate work to be completed by contractors.
  • Proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected.
  • Other duties may be assigned.


Work Environment

While performing the duties of this job, the Electrician typically works both inside and outside.  The Electrician generally works at ground level, but occasionally works at heights above 100 feet. The Electrician works with medium and low voltage electrical equipment, near moving mechanical parts, and occasionally works with heavy equipment. The Electrician must be able to negotiate vertical ladders to access service locations on the antenna and is often required to utilize fall arrest equipment.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. The employee works near moving mechanical parts and is exposed to electrical hazards. These and other situations mean the employee is often responsible to perform lockout/tag out to create a safe work environment.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

High school diploma or equivalent


Minimum Experience

Eight years of relevant commercial electrical experience. Requires thorough knowledge of industrial and residential wiring, broad-based knowledge of all construction and maintenance trades, and knowledge and experience using the NEC in design of new and maintenance of existing electrical systems.


Preferred Education

Associate's degree


Preferred Experience

Industrial and/or commercial experience is desirable



Master, Journeyman Electrician certification (EE-98) or Electrical Medium Voltage Journeyman License (EL-1J)


Competency Summary

Candidates must have the ability to work independently and reliably with minimal direct supervision. Must be able to read and interpret schematics, operating and maintenance manuals, and other documentation. The candidate must also communicate effectively verbally and in writing and operate a personal computer and common software.  Ability to read both commercial and industrial electrical blueprints and apply NEC, NFPA-70E, NEC, OSHA 1910, understand Arc-Flash hazards and labeling, maintain proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Lock out Tag out OSHA 1910.147, other safety related codes.


Physical Requirements

The physical demands and the work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. 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 30 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Must be able to communicate clearly and precisely, both verbally and in writing.  Specific vision abilities include close vision, distance vision, color and depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.


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. Must be available for afterhours callout, maintain a current Driver's License, and may be required to drive Observatory vehicles and man lifts.


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  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].


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