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Accelerator Operator
Job ID #: 12447 Location: Newport News, VA
Functional Area: Technology Division: Accelerator Ops, R & D
Position Type: Regular Education Required: Some College
Experience Required: None Relocation Provided: No

As a matter of corporate policy, all JSA employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. All successful hires will be required to provide COVID-19 vaccination verification as a condition of employment, subject to limited legally recognized exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination.

Posting Date: 4/26/2022
Salary Range: $52,500 - $71,500
Work Location Type: Dedicated On-site

What your job will be like:

Under the supervision of an Operations Crew Chief and along side a senior operator, incumbent will be responsible for the safe operation of the Jefferson Lab accelerator and its subsystems, for delivering a high quality, high energy electron beam as required for the Department of Energy Nuclear Physics program. Accelerator subsystems consist of several miles of ultra-high vacuum beam line, vacuum pumps, focusing and steering magnets, high power magnets, high energy power supplies, superconducting radio frequency cavities, lasers, low conductivity cooling water systems, 2K refrigeration systems, various beam diagnostic and monitoring systems and computer control systems.

Don't know all there is about particle accelerators? Don't worry, we will help you learn. Accelerator Operators have knowledge on the operations of a wide spectrum of accelerator systems, this knowledge is obtained from an extensive online training program and through on the job training. Upon hiring, incumbent will have approximately 6 months to complete Operator qualifications. Operations usually consist of monitoring and controlling systems via computer controls. Operators use these controls to perform set up, testing, tuning and troubleshooting of the electron beam. Along with operating the accelerator and its subsystems, operators are also tasked to maintain accurate records of system performance and control room activities.

The accelerator operates 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week for continuous periods of several weeks or months followed by similar periods of accelerator down time for maintenance and reconfiguration. During the accelerator operational periods, the incumbent will be required to work a shift schedule that includes alternate weekends with corresponding days off during the week. Once qualified as an Accelerator Operator, incumbent will be expected to assist along with others in providing coverage for those out sick, on vacation or travel, with overtime available if necessary. Due to the 24/7 operations, this coverage may be on short notice outside of normal business hours and in addition to your regularly scheduled shifts.

During periods when the accelerator is not in operation qualified Accelerator Operators are tasked to work on accelerator support activities that may include installing, maintaining, upgrading and troubleshooting accelerator subsystems; develop software for display and control screens, control algorithms and data systems; researching, writing and maintaining operation procedures and training material. This specific position is looking to fill software developer tasks during periods of non-operations.

Qualifications we require:

Associate's degree or above in Computer Science, Physics or,
Relevant engineering or other technical discipline or,
Equivalent combination of related education, experience, and specific training.

Qualifications we desire:

Operational experience in a similarly complex facility (e.g. nuclear power operations, centrally controlled industrial processing plant) is a plus. A working knowledge of accelerator operations, large distributed computer control systems, and one or more of the accelerator subsystems noted above is a plus. Good communication skills are essential, along with the ability to work well with others in a demanding technical environment.

About Jefferson Lab

Join a community with a common purpose of solving the most challenging scientific and engineering problems of our time.  The Jefferson Lab campus is located in southeastern Virginia amidst a vibrant and growing technology community.

A career at Jefferson Lab is more than a job. You will be part of “big science” and work alongside top scientists and engineers from around the world unlocking the secrets of our visible universe.   Managed by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC; Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility is entering an exciting period of mission growth and is seeking new team members ready to apply their skills and passion to have an impact.  You could call it work, or you could call it a mission. We call it a challenge. We do things that will change the world.

Total Rewards at Jefferson Lab

At Jefferson Lab, we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Care Plans 
  • Flexible Spending Accounts 
  • Paid Time-off and Leave Programs (vacation, holidays, sick leave) 
  • 401(k) Plan – 9% Lab Contribution; 100% vested 
  • Flexible Work Arrangements (Hybrid & Alternate Work Schedules available) 
  • Tuition Assistance, Training and Professional Development Programs 
  • Live near the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay region with access to nearby beaches, mountains, and all major metropolitan centers on the East Coast

• Ability to comprehend and follow instructions
• Ability to understand, remember, and communicate highly technical information and make decisions
• Ability to organize, prioritize and complete complex and varied tasks

• Ability to traverse across various locations on the laboratory site and access work areas
• Ability to stoop, kneel, bend over and climb ladders and work at heights
• Ability to work in confined spaces
• Ability to stand and work for extended periods
• Ability to carry up to 40 lbs and lift 15 lbs above head frequently
• Ability to perceive temperatures and work in both hot and cold conditions.
• Ability to identify and distinguish colors
• Manual capability to pick, pinch, or otherwise work with fingers; seize, grasp, hold, turn, use hand tools and other equipment
• Visual capabilities sufficient to use computer workstations, read drawings and other documents and see safety alarms
• Auditory capabilities to hear safety alarms

Jefferson Science Associates, LLC (JSA) manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab). JSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or veteran status or on any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law. As part of the JSA’s equal employment opportunity policy, we also take affirmative action as called for by applicable laws and Executive Orders to ensure that minority group individuals, females, disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, other protected veterans, Armed Forces, and qualified disabled persons are introduced into our workforce and considered for promotional opportunities.

JSA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities (unless doing so will result in an undue hardship). If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please send an e-mail to or call (757) 269-7598 to provide the nature of your request. Reasonable accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Employment with JSA is conditional upon DOE approval if at any time during your employment you are participating in a Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Program or Affiliated activity. Generally, such programs/activities include any foreign-state-sponsored attempt to acquire U.S.-funded scientific research through programs run or funded by the government that target scientists, engineers, students, academics, researchers, and entrepreneurs of all nationalities working or educated in the United States. This includes positions or appointments, both domestic and foreign, titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments whether or not remuneration is received and whether full-time, part-time or voluntary.

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