Job Listings

Staff Technician (Multiple Positions)

The University of Arizona
Job Location:
Tucson, Arizona
Laboratory and Research

Posting Number: req8278

Department: MMT Observatory

Location: Outside of Tucson

Address: AZ USA

Position Highlights

The MMT Observatory (MMTO), a joint venture of the University of Arizona and the Smithsonian Institution, is seeking to fill the position of Research Engineering Technician II (Staff Technician). The Observatory operates the 6.5-meter telescope atop the summit of Mt. Hopkins (8550-ft), which is approximately 40 air miles south of Tucson. The MMTO uses state of the art computer controlled electronics in an industrial setting. Additional details about the Observatory, telescope, and associated instrumentation may be found at

This position is based on the summit of Mt. Hopkins with an official duty station at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) base camp at 670 Mt. Hopkins Road in Amado. The typical work schedule will be four or five days per week with occasional weekend and nighttime shifts required to assist with instrument changes; system troubleshooting and repair; and integration, checkout, and performance analysis of new hardware. Some projects will also require work at the U of A campus offices located in the Steward Observatory building.

We are seeking a motivated hands-on person with both practical skills and knowledge of industry standards. Strong documentation and communication skills are also required.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been recognized for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona and relocations services, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities

The successful candidate will provide support for installation and removal of scientific instruments, and help maintain the facility's infrastructure plant.

  • Perform maintenance and repair of subsystems for the 6.5-meter MMTO telescope and its astronomical instrument suite. This will include monitoring and changing lubricants in gearboxes and maintaining air compressors and pneumatic components.
  • Assist with upgrades and modifications as directed by the Mountain Operations manager. This could include design, machining, fabrication, and assembly of custom components.
  • Assist in all general operational tasks including instrument changes, optical cleaning, and mirror recoating. Provide technical support for observing in the form of reviewing night logs and addressing problems and concerns encountered by the nighttime operations staff under direction by the Mountain Operations manager.
  • Communicate with and assist staff on a wide variety of technical issues dealing with instrumentation, optics, telescope operation and performance, quality control checks, and upgrades to operational and maintenance documentation.
  • Handle cryogenic fluids and compressed gases.
  • Maintain and contribute to a safe working culture.
  • Additional duties may be assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent experience is required.
  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant experience is required.
  • Ability to drive according to the University Fleet Safety Policy.
  • Able to transport/lift up to 25 pound objects, repetitively.
  • Able to work comfortably and safely above 8000 ft.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Technical associate's degree.
  • Five or more years of related work experience, preferably in a manufacturing or research environment.
  • Experience or training in use of overhead cranes and forklifts to move large, multi-ton objects.
  • Experience following and writing detailed written procedures.
  • Experience communicating clearly and concisely, orally and in writing.
  • Experience working independently with minimal supervision on complex technical tasks.
  • Experience with electrical principles and wiring.
  • Experience with machine tools such as drill presses, lathes, etc.
  • Experience and training in the use of mobile elevated work platforms and fall arrest systems.

FLSA: Non-Exempt

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Number of Hours Worked per Week: 40

Job FTE: 1.00

Work Calendar: Fiscal

Job Category: Research

Benefits Eligible: Yes - Full Benefits

Rate of Pay: $21.00 - $22.58

Compensation Type: hourly rate



Career Stream and Level


Job Family

Research Engineering

Job Function


Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Number of Vacancies: 2

Contact Information for Candidates

Barbara Russ


Open Until Filled: Yes

Documents Needed to Apply: Resume and Cover Letter

Special Instructions to Applicant

Resume & cover letter must be submitted electronically

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

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