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JAC Careers JAC Images

   Careers at Astronomical Observatories:

    Selected examples from the Joint Astronomy Centre

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The staff of the Joint Astronomy Centre. Below you can see what different jobs they do every day and the skills they need to do them.

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Here is a picture of one of our Computer Systems Administrators. At his job, he handles the purchasing of computers as well as setting them up for users. He sets up computers with software, email, and printer accessibility and he maintains the network for the mountain and JAC. He also encrypts private files and works with the data reduction software from the telescopes. In addition, he educates staff on the safe use of computers.
For this job a BA in computer science is needed. Experience is also helpful. Skills that may help include: knowledge of different operating systems, and programming.

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Here is a picture of one of our Instrument Programmers. At her job, she handles data collection from the hardware, programs the instruments to do the work that is required, and makes the telescope able to produce pictures that can be used on a normal computer. In addition, she does troubleshooting of the programs. This job requires a BA in physical science, and a degree in astronomy helps. Skills that help her succeed at this job are: creativity, flexibility, patience, persistence, and advanced computer skills.

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Here is a picture of one of our Telescope System Specialists. His responsibilities include: making sure everyone is safe, making sure the equipment is being used properly and is not damaged, calibrating instruments, fixing equipment, and also driving astronomers up and down the mountain. This job requires a BA in astronomy and some experience. Skills that help him with this job include: attentiveness, driving on ice, general computer skills, and knowledge of UNIX and LINUX operating systems.

Click here for a larger image! This is a picture of both our Associate Directors. The JCMT Associate Director is on the left and the UKIRT Associate Director is on the right.They are shown here with the 'Imiloa Planetarium Director (center). Their responsibilities include: making sure the operations and science observations go well, managing workers and the budget, supporting visitors using the telescope, and doing research. This job requires a Ph.D in astronomy. Skills that help them with their jobs include: scientific research, general computer skils, knowledge of UNIX and data reduction packages, superior math and writing ability, decision making, good communications and judgement, and leadership and management.
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This is a picture of our Head of Administration. His responsibilities include: Managing the processes for business, managing outreach, finance, and human resources, identifying training requirements and making the necessary arrangements, doing the annual performance overview, making policies regarding business, and making sure the business complies with legislation and laws. For this job a degree in human resources or business administration is required along with at least 15 years of experience with management. Skills that help with this job include: ability to deal with a variety of people, ability to empathize with others, able to work with spreadsheets and databases, effective communication and writing skills.

Click here for a larger image! This is a picture of one of our Electronic/Electrical Technicians. His job is to maintain and repair instruments, and do snow clearing. This job requires at least an Associate of Applied Science in Electronics. Skills that help him do his job include: decision making, good teamwork, soldering, and troubleshooting.
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This is a picture of one of our scientific programmers. Her job is to manage the collaboration of software projects. A BA in astronomy/computer science is required. Software programming in various languages is a skill that helps with this job.

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This is a picture of our Chief Engineer. His job is to manage the engineering division, repair the telescopes, and upgrade the instruments. His goal is to maximize the efficiency of both telescopes while minimizing downtime. A BA in engineering is required to do this job. Skills that help him with his job include: superior math and physics ability.

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This is a picture of one of our Electronics Engineers. At his job he makes the telescopes run better and with more efficiency, figures out how to implement projects mechanically and electronically; builds and tests projects before use and maintains the telescopes while minimizing downtime, and shovels snow. A BA in electronics is required. Skills that help him with his job include: basic engineering skills, commitment, communication, flexibility, knowledge of electronics hardware, supervising skills, and teamwork.

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This is a picture of our Assistant Finance Officer. Her job is to run accounts, manage cash flow, put in requests for funding, deal with auditors and suppliers, and do monthly and year end reports and closing books. This job requires a BA in accounting and experience. Skills that help her with her job include: multitask, adjust to change, detail oriented, strong communication skills, and be organized.

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This is a picture of our Human Resources Manager. Her job is to recruit people by advertising job openings and through interviews, recruiting internationally and getting visa applications, inform employees of benefits like health insurance, retirement and vacation pay, keep track of employee benefits, make sure employees are paid, answer questions regarding jobs, makes and enforces policies, retention of employees through proper pay and through good support, and follow OSHA laws. At least a BA in human resources is required. Skills that help her with her job include: conflict management, organization skills, and verbal and written communication skills.

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This is a picture of our Engineering/Planning Associate. Her job is being a secretary to the engineering division, but she also does other things including: managing the contractors, maintains and keeps the work schedules up to date, updates the safety manual, sends out memos. Requires a associate in secretarial science or office administration and technology. Skills that help her with her job are: Communication, good attitude, being ready for a challenge, and self motivation.

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This is a picture of our Director. His job responsibilities include: delivering the science program, operation of both telescopes, and keeping the telescopes up to date. A Ph.D in astronomy and many years of professional experience is required to do this job. Skills that help him with his job include: Administrative, leadership, scientific, and technical.

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This is a picture of an Astronomer. In the picture he is loking over data coming in from the telescope. For this job you need a Ph.D in physics or astronomy.

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This is a picture of one of our Administrative Assistants. Her job is to schedule meetings, edit websites, and keep track of paperwork. For this job you need an associate in secretarial science or office administration and technology. Skills that help her with this job include: office machine and computer skills, very organized, telephone manners, and good verbal and written communication.

For a poster version of the careers, please click here (PDF, 11x17, 24 MB).
This webpage was created by Kyle Cannoles, Waiakea High School, Hilo, Hawai'i, Grade 12, Spring '09 Huiana Intern.
Contact: JAC outreach. Updated: Fri Apr 20 16:04:51 HST 2012

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