LOIF Technical Specialist II-IV (4605)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

NRAO is seeking a qualified individual to support operations, maintenance, and fabrication work on Radio Frequency (RF) electronics hardware on the Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). This position constructs, troubleshoots, calibrates and repairs synthesizers, switches, frequency converters, power supplies, and other modules that the Local Oscillator / Intermediate Frequency (LOIF) group is responsible for. Work performed is moderately independent and this is a “Safety Sensitive” position.


The position is based at the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (www.nmt.edu). Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque.


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 general to minimum supervision from engineers and technical staff, the Technical Specialist supports or performs assembly, testing, troubleshooting, and training for a variety of RF electronics, power supplies, and other electronic Line Replaceable Units (LRUs). The candidate must be willing to respond to emergency call-outs during inclement weather, late night and or early morning hours. Other duties may be assigned.


Routine duties include:

  • Design, layout, assembly and construction, testing, and troubleshooting of the LOIF equipment on the VLA and VLBA  antennas.
  • Designing and fabrication of prototype or production units.
  • Setting up test equipment to conduct tests to evaluate the performance and reliability of prototype or production units. The Specialist also analyzes and interprets test data and records final test results.
  • Locating and ordering parts and equipment; identifying necessary components by using part numbers and/or standard color codes. This includes evaluation of substitute parts for functional equivalence of any obsolete/non-obtainable components or parts.
  • Writing technical reports and developing charts, graphs, and schematics to describe and illustrate an assembly's operating characteristics. This includes identifying malfunctions, deviations from design specifications, and functional limitations. Recommending changes required to achieve functional specifications of the modules.
  • Assisting in the installation of finished units on antennas at the VLA and checking functionality of installed equipment to evaluate system performance under actual operating conditions.
  • Performing miscellaneous functions, such as maintenance and servicing of facilities and equipment, records and reports. This includes performing preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment.
  • The Specialist may train and lead technicians and others in the performance of their duties.
  • Proactively complying with NRAO and legal safety policies and procedures in own work area.
  • Displaying a high degree of initiative and judgment.
  • Following project schedules set by supervisors.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Competency Summary

Must have the ability 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 computer.  Must 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.


Work Environment

Work typically takes place in an electronics shop; employees are also required to work outdoors in inclement weather and at heights when accessing an antenna. Candidate must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds and work at heights of 100 feet. Candidate must be able to work at bench either sitting or standing for sustained periods. Visual acuity (corrected is acceptable) and manual dexterity is necessary to perform work. Will be required to do some work at the VLA site, which is approximately 7,000’ in elevation. 


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

An Associate’s Degree (AA) of Engineering Technology training; or a High School diploma or GED and equivalent combination of education and experience. 


Preferred Education

Bachelor's Degree in a related field is preferred.


Minimum Experience

Five or more years of experience and/or training related to this job’s specialty; or equivalent combination of education and experience in electronics or electrical systems.


Preferred Experience

An Associate’s Degree (AA) Engineering Technology training plus ten or more years of experience in the use of Radio Frequency and/or LOIF equipment.


Physical Requirements

Occasionally required to climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, and crouch. May occasionally work at high altitudes; and in high, precarious places and in outside weather conditions, and may be exposed to chemicals, or the risk of electrical shock.  Will be required to stand and sit; perform fine hand manipulation. Must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities include close vision, distance vision, color and depth perception. Must have the visual acuity, color perception, manual dexterity, hearing, and physical ability to perform satisfactorily all essential duties and responsibilities.


Skills and Abilities

Must possess a valid driver's license. Good vision is required, may be correctable. Must pass any applicable knowledge/skills tests including soldering small components using a microscope and ability to work with fiber optics.


Additional Requirements

Must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by September 1, 2021 to be considered for U.S.-based vacancies.


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:


Please click the “apply” button bellow. Please 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)