Tour Guide, VLA (4824)

Education and Outreach Socorro, New Mexico



Position Description:


Position Summary

The Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Division of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory is happy to announce a new opportunity for a part-time Tour Guide at the Very Large Array (VLA), 50 miles west of Socorro. The Tour Guide will report to the STEAM Education Manager and will work with the Education Specialist and additional Tour Guides to communicate the Observatory's mission to the public and provide assistance in creating, organizing and conducting astronomy/science awareness programs for visitors to the Observatory.


Job Duties Summary

The essential duties and responsibilities will included:

  • Conducting guided tours at the Very Large Array, including auditorium presentations, to both the general public and private groups during 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, and at Open Houses twice a year
  • Assisting with requested guided tours, which include school field trips and motor coach tours
  • Docent duties including greeting visitors, directing them on site, answering visitor questions
  • Performing and presenting science demonstrations for visitors to the Visitor Center
  • Monitoring and performing basic troubleshooting of exhibits
  • Proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected as is adherence to NRAO’s Code of Conduct
  • Additional duties may include gift shop support and other duties as assigned.


Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Note: Socorro, NM is at an elevation of approximately 4,600 ft/1,400 m and the VLA site elevation is ~7,000 ft/2,100 m.


  • Work is typically performed in both an office environment and outdoors.
  • Must be able to work a varied flexible work schedule. May be required to occasionally work nights, weekends, and holidays (outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas) as needed.
  • Physical demands include frequent standing, walking and occasionally lifting up to 30 pounds. 
  • Occasional domestic travel is required.



Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

High school diploma or GED


Preferred Education

Associate’s degree with studies emphasizing science or science education or equivalent preferred


Minimum Experience

Minimum of six months of related experience


Preferred Experience

Prior experience working with the public or in a public speaking role preferred.


Competency Summary

Must have a pleasant disposition, a professional presentation appearance, and excellent communication skills. Strong understanding of scientific principles.


Additional Requirements

-          A valid driver’s license is required by start date of employment and must be maintained.

-          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.


Background Check

As the NRAO is a Federal Facility and this position works with the public, the selected candidate must successfully pass a post-offer, pre-employment background check as a condition of employment.



Application Instructions:


Select the “Apply” button below.  Please be will need to be prepared to upload a letter of application describing interest and suitability for the position as well as your current CV/Resume.


The deadline for receipt of applications is March 10, 2023. Please direct inquiries to Summer Ash, [email protected].


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 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.