Employment Opportunities with McDonald Observatory

Communications Manager - McDonald Observatory, Austin, Texas 

Job Description: Responsible for producing compelling written content about astronomy research and operations of McDonald Observatory for multiple digital and print platforms, organizing and executing press releases, and managing media requests and filming projects for the observatory and Department of Astronomy.

For more information on this position, please see the full job posting here.

Optomechanical Technician - Hobby-Eberly Telescope, McDonald Observatory

Job Description: Serves as the technical resource for the optical systems of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET), including optical maintenance such as cleaning, metrology, coating removal, computer maintenance of the Segment Alignment Maintenance System (SAMS), and basic mechanical maintenance for the mirror supports.

For more information on this position, please see the full job posting here.

Technical Trades Crew Leader - Physical Plant, McDonald Observatory 

Provides day-to-day leadership to a small technical trades team responsible for the smooth operations of the McDonald Observatory facility buildings and residential community. Trades include HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and hydraulic systems, and routine maintenance. For more information on this position, please see the full job posting here.

Part Time

Event Worker - Frank N. Bash Visitors Center, McDonald Observatory 

Shifts: 10-18 hours per week Tu-Sa

McDonald Observatory is looking for enthusiastic and friendly individuals to serve as Event Workers who will support our Visitors Center operations by sharing their curiosity, knowledge, and excitement about science with Observatory visitors of all ages. Primary duties include: 

  • positive and energetic interaction with visitors,
  • helping with setup/breakdown of program equipment and assisting with clean up and closing.
  • supporting Program Facilitators and Specialists 
  • checking in visitors for programs, ushering guests to seats,
  • selling program passes, and assisting with sales in the Gift Shop.

Interested parties with experience may also operate telescopes, present short talks, facilitate “Pop Up Lab” experiences for visitors, or present long-form visitor programs such as Solar Viewings and Guided Tours.


Previous cash handling and register experience; excellent verbal and written communication skills; proficiency with common computer software; ability to work well with others and with limited supervision; willingness to learn and take on new tasks; Bilingual a plus.

To apply for a part time position with the Visitors Center, upload a letter of interest including your day and evening schedule availability, previous work or volunteer experience, at least 3 references, and your email address and phone number. You may include your resume and references as attachments. Please include your last name in the document title (Example: JobLetter-Lastname.doc)

McDonald Observatory is part of The University of Texas at Austin. The Observatory and Visitors Center are located near Fort Davis, Texas. Positions are security sensitive; conviction verification conducted on applicant selected. McDonald Observatory and The University of Texas at Austin are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to diversity.