Electromechanical, Technical Specialist I-III (4633) - UPDATED

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) announces an opportunity at the Very Large Array (VLA) site for an experienced Technical Specialist to perform a variety of interesting and hands-on work on electronics and mechanical systems. They will work directly with Mechanical and Electrical Engineers in the Engineering Services Division to provide technical support, including repair and modification, for electronic and mechanical systems on large antennas and in the site facilities.


The position is based at the VLA, 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico and home to one of the world’s most famous telescopes. Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque and is home to New Mexico Tech (www.nmt.edu). 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. This additional 10 percent contribution does not require a match from the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

Work will be accomplished under general to minimum supervision from engineering staff and while working with many diverse groups. Routine duties include:

  • Troubleshooting and repairing electro-mechanical interfaces throughout the VLA
  • Maintaining system documentation including maintenance logs, test results, assembly drawings, and procedures
  • Maintaining VLA site radio equipment, Dry-air system, and the site-wide fire alarm
  • Minor electrical and mechanical design work
  • Fabricating, assembling, and testing prototype or production units
  • Proactive compliance with all NRAO policies and procedures
  • Other duties as assigned

Work Environment

The VLA Site is a remote scientific/industrial facility at 7000 feet elevation.  The candidate will be supplied an office but will be expected to be able to work in the outdoors in a variety of weather conditions or around industrial equipment.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Associate of Science degree (A.S.) or equivalent in Electronics or related field.


Minimum Experience

Three years of related work experience, ideally working with electronics, circuits, machinery and mechanical assemblies.


Preferred Experience

Five to ten years of related work experience. Use of general Machine Shop type tools preferred.


Competency Summary


Must demonstrate familiarity with troubleshooting techniques, test equipment, schematic drawings, physical drawings, general computers and software, specification documents, measurement instruments. 


Must have general knowledge of mechanical and electrical aspects of pneumatics, hydraulics, motors, gear boxes, refrigeration systems, and radio equipment.  Must have a valid driver's license in order to drive site vehicles.


Must be able to work independently and reliably with general to minimal supervision. Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Must be able to operate a personal computerMust have the ability to work effectively in a team and clearly communicate technical information both in writing and orally. Ability to communicate in English is required. Must have a valid driver’s license.  Ability to read and follow electrical schematics is required.


Physical Requirements

Employees at the VLA are required to work in the field on antennae or on equipment.  Will be required to stand and sit, and perform fine hand manipulation such as assembly or soldering. Must be able to operate a personal computer.  Must work near moving mechanical parts and/or with electrical equipment.  Occasionally required to climb an antenna (antenna height is 95’) and balance, stoop, kneel, and crouch.  Will work at high altitudes (~7000 feet) in high, precarious places and in outside weather conditions, and may be exposed to chemicals and the risk of electrical shock.  Must occasionally lift and/or move up to 30 pounds. 


Additional Requirements

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 http://jobs.jobvite.com/nrao/jobs.  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 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.