Electrical Maintenance Specialist, Re-post (4268)

Crafts / Trades Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has an opportunity for an experienced Maintenance Specialist in our Electrical Group at the Very Large Array (VLA). Under general supervision of a licensed electrician (EE-98J) and as part of a diverse and active team, the Maintenance Specialist will provide skilled assistance in design, layout, construction, installation, maintenance, repair, and operation of electrical systems in accordance with national electrical codes.  The position is initially funded for two years.  This is a Safety Sensitive position as described in the requirements section.  Continued employment beyond two years is contingent upon funding.


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 the supervision of a licensed electrician (EE-98J), the Maintenance Specialist will troubleshoot medium voltage (12,470VAC) underground cable systems, switchgear, transformers, sectional switches which may include locating faults, repairing and testing splices. From time to time, will also install new MV equipment and cabling.


Additionally, under minimum supervision and instruction, essential duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Troubleshooting, repairing, replacing and maintaining low voltage (up to 480VAC) power distribution systems, equipment, controls, industrial and residential HVAC equipment and controls, blowers, motors, pumps, and related devices.
  • May be required to secure pricing information from a variety of sources, including soliciting bids from vendors.
  • Work to schematics and blueprints to aid in the installation of electrical systems and subsystems and the completion of cost estimates.
  • Working as part of the Plant Maintenance or Engineering Services team and assisting any or all other areas, as needed.
  • 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 combination of education and experience.


Minimum Experience

Four years of relevant experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience, with at least two years of direct electrical experience.  The selected candidate must be eligible for an EE-98J license within two years of employment.


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 Requirements

  • Must be available for afterhours callout
  • Must maintain a current Driver's License
  • 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.


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.