RF Technician (4442)

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 troubleshooting, repair, and testing of microwave and millimeter-wave systems for use in radio astronomy. The successful candidate should be able to troubleshoot RF circuitry, understand the basic operational parameters of RF amplifiers, mixers, filters, and associated circuitry. The RF technician must be experienced in operating and debugging electronic test systems used for measuring these devices.  The ability to read and follow electronic circuit schematics is required. Experience is required for operating common RF measurement instruments, such as power meters, signal generators, and spectrum analyzers, as well as all of the basic instruments used in electronic troubleshooting. An understanding of analog and digital circuits is also needed to support the operation and maintenance of test instrumentation. Ability to troubleshoot to component level and replace common surface mount components is highly 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, and is comfortable with repetitive tasks.


This full-time, indefinite term position will be based at the NRAO CDL in Charlottesville, VA. The CDL has a long history of developing new technology to enable forefront research in radio astronomy. 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:

  • Repair and testing of microwave and millimeter-wave systems.
  • Operation and maintenance of microwave and millimeter-wave test systems.
  • Recording and analyzing test data.
  • Use configuration management systems to track and record the repair status of electronic equipment.


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. Specific vision abilities include close vision, distance vision, color and depth perception.  The candidate must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds.  Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Associate’s Degree (AA) in Engineering Technology, or a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience. A Bachelor’s degree in a related field is preferred.


Minimum Experience

At least 3 years of experience in electronics circuits and radio frequency systems, preferably microwave. Candidates with progressively more responsible experience will be considered for a higher-level position ranking.



Requires the skilled application of practical principles of electronics, and radio frequency systems. Must be skilled in using Excel and MS Word while knowledge of LabVIEW is a plus. Must pass a knowledge/skills test.


Application Instructions:


Select the "Apply" button below. You will need to be prepared to upload your CV/Resume and a letter of application 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.