Maintenance Specialist/Sr. Maintenance Specialist (4734)

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. The NRAO has an opportunity for an experienced Maintenance Specialist in our Engineering Services Division at the Very Large Array (VLA). Under general supervision and as part of a diverse and active team, the Maintenance Specialist will provide skilled assistance in carpentry, painting, minor electrical and plumbing. 


The position is based at the Very Large Array, 50 miles west of Socorro, NM.  Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque.  In addition to competitive pay, we provide excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave).  Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment.  Our 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 minimum supervision and instruction, essential duties and responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  • Provides support assisting the maintenance team in carpentry, painting, minor electrical and plumbing.
  • Operates and makes minor repairs to equipment such as tractors, mowers, concrete mixers, and material removal equipment.
  • Performs maintenance such as fluid checks, grease and lubrication, and fueling
  • Sharpens tools such as weed cutters, edging tools, and shears.
  • Maintains and enhances lawns, gardens and natural areas
  • Maintains all walks, parking lots, and on-site roadways
  • Loads and unloads salvage, garbage and trash
  • Refuel all vehicles, equipment, and emergency generators.
  • Operate a variety of heavy equipment, including are compressors and generators.
  • May be required to secure pricing information from a variety of sources, including soliciting bids from vendors.  
  • Works as part of Plant Maintenance or Engineering Services team and assists any or all other areas as needed.  
  • Directs others in their assigned projects.  
  • Responsible for procurement recommendations as directed by the supervisor.  
  • Records all repairs and maintenance for future reference, uses PC database as required.  
  • 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 Maintenance Specialist typically works both inside and outside.  The Electrician generally works at ground level, but occasionally works at heights above 100 feet. While performing the duties of this job, the Maintenance Specialist works near moving mechanical parts, with heavy equipment. The employee must be able to operate a variety of vehicles.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

High school diploma or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Minimum Experience

Four years of relevant experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Preferred Experience

Six years of relevant experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.


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.


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 Requirement

Must have (or obtain within six months of employment or transfer) and maintain a Commercial Driver’s License (minimum of a Class B ; Class A preferred).


The Observatory requires staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access our facilities.  An offer of employment will be considered contingent until the selected applicant provides proof of vaccination.  A selected applicant may request consideration for an accommodation for a disability or for a sincerely held religious belief.


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.