Systems Administrator IV - Windows Lead (4307)

Computers/Software Charlottesville, Virginia Socorro, New Mexico


 Position Description:


Position Summary

The NRAO is recruiting a Systems Administrator IV to manage the Observatory-wide Microsoft Windows platform support staff. The selected candidate will be responsible for ensuring a stable product laptop, desktop and server infrastructure for the Microsoft Windows environment. Supported services will include Active Directory, System Center, Exchange/Calendaring, SharePoint, JDEdwards (platform), SQL Server and Hyper-V virtual server engine.


The position is based at either the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ( or at our headquarters in Charlottesville, VA on the grounds of the University of Virginia (  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

Work requires knowledge of system administration, service management and general IT processes and procedures. Budget responsibilities for staff, hardware and services to ensure spending follows the projected Operating Plans.  The Systems Administrator IV, under general supervision from the CIO, will:

  • Work with high end users of expert systems to ensure optimal services are offered;
  • Resolve difficult problems and coordinate software patches as necessary;
  • Assist in the specification and deployment of new technology software, and systems upgrades; will resolve technical and staffing problems as appropriate and escalate issues when necessary;
  • Contribute to the NRAO Common Computing Environment (CCE) to ensure good alignment and communications between the multiple NRAO sites;
  • Manage the task and project priorities for Information Services reports in order to ensure a good balance between operational stability and predictable change management for the production systems.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities will include:

  • Responsible for the day-to-day support of Observatory-wide Windows Platform.
  • Act as Lead for operations support, supervising exempt and non-exempt reports.
  • Responsible for prioritization of work for site-based system administrators.
  • Participate in the Computing budget preparation and purchasing approval.
  • Contribute to the long-term planning for support of Windows services and general staff needs.
  • Assist with the installation and performance optimization of Windows computer systems.
  • Coordinate system and software upgrades with Operations, and the CCE.
  • Assist with installation and management of central storage, backup and shared computing resources.
  • Support production applications, databases, and web services.
  • Investigate and resolve software and hardware related problems.
  • Responsible for communication and impact mitigation in the event of an unplanned outage.
  • Oversee generation of educational material and documentation for users and other system administrators.
  • Advise computer users on effective use of systems and shared resources.
  • Responsible for working with key system administrators in planning and executing upgrades.
  • Proactive compliance with safety policies and procedures in Information Services work area.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a research environment supporting systems for external observers.   While performing the duties of this job, the employee frequently sits at a desk, uses a personal computer, telephone, and other standard office equipment; the ability to climb stairs is required.  The employee is required to bend, reach, and must have finger dexterity.  The employee is required to lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, and ability to adjust focus. May occasionally work at high altitudes.  Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Travel required up to 10% of time between the Charlottesville VA and Socorro NM locations.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

BS degree in CS or related field.


Minimum Experience

Six years of progressively more responsible systems administration experience or an equivalent amount of education/experience.


Competency Summary

Experience required in the following areas: able to resolve difficult problems and define/install software patches as necessary; able to assist in the design and implementation of local and wide-area networks; able to assist in the specification and deployment of new technology software, and systems upgrades; able to be point of escalation for multiple service technologies.  Must have strong communication, project management, and negotiation skills.  Applied knowledge of managing a Microsoft Windows production environment is required; knowledge of Unix/Linux, Mac and high speed WAN/LAN preferred.


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


Apply online at the NRAO Careers page.  You will need your cv/resume and a cover letter.




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