Maintenance Specialist, Electrical (4817)

Crafts / Trades Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

Under general supervision and as part of a diverse and active team located at the Very Large Array site, the Maintenance Specialist under direct supervision provides assistance in design, lay out, construction, installation, maintenance, repair, and operation of electrical systems in accordance with national electrical codes.  This is a Safety Sensitive position as described in the requirements section. 


The position is based at the VLA, 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico.  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

Under supervision, will help troubleshoot medium voltage (12,470V/7,200V) 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:

  • Assist electricians with troubleshooting, repairing, replacing and maintaining CPU-based circuits and controls, large power distribution systems, equipment, controls, industrial and residential HVAC equipment and controls, blowers, motors, pumps, and related devices.
  • Bending Conduit and pulling wire.
  • Complete online and in person coursework necessary to obtain Electrician license.
  • Make progress toward obtaining EE-98 Journeyman's electrical license.
  • Securing pricing information from a variety of sources, including soliciting bids from vendors.
  • Reading schematics and blueprints to aid in the installation of electrical systems and subsystems and the completion of cost estimates.
  • Working as part of the electrical Maintenance or Engineering Services team and assisting any or all other areas, as needed.
  • Responsible for procurement recommendations as directed by the supervisor.
  • Records all repairs and maintenance for future reference, uses PC database as required.
  • 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, GED, or equivalent combination of education and experience


Minimum Experience

Four years of experience in a construction or maintenance related field


Preferred Education

Associate's degree


Competency Summary

Candidates must have the ability to work independently and reliably with minimal direct supervision. Broad-based knowledge of all construction and maintenance trades required. Position requires the ability to read and follow operating instructions.


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

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


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  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.