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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0144
Post Date 8/3/2017
Title Cashier
City Tucson
State AZ

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the National Solar Observatory (NSO), the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Gemini Observatory in the United States and Chile, under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory  has an opening for a Cashier at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) Visitor Center and Gift Shop. Gift Shop cashiers in many ways serve as the public face of KPNO to visitors and callers. Our diverse visitor base comes from 6 continents and all 50 states. The Kitt Peak Visitor Center and Gift Shop is open 362 days annually. These are part time positions and hours can vary seasonally.

We are seeking exceptional, reliable candidates to join our team and professionally carry out the following assigned duties: 

  • Properly opens Visitor Center and Gift Shop on time on all assigned mornings, operates the Gift Shop during the day, and may carry out shut down procedures at the end of the day.
  • Pleasantly and promptly greets all visitors in person and by phone.
  • Operates Point of Sale (POS) cash register to sell, exchange or return merchandise, and sells tickets for daily guided tours.
  • Explains and promotes merchandise selections to encourage purchase by visitors.
  • Registers phone-in and in-person guests for evening and special programs using a computer and assures they receive an electronic confirmation.
  • May make up to 50+ phone calls daily to registered guests regarding program status.
  • Restocks inventory as needed and periodically cleans or reorganizes merchandise displays.
  • Performs a broad variety of other basic retail, customer service, safety, and light cleaning tasks.
  • Promptly and courteously answers telephones and returns all calls from voice mail system messages. (During peak seasons, the number of calls can be high.)
  • Accurately provides information about Visitor Center programs, Gift Shop and the Observatory in general.


  • Consistently and reliably reports to work on time, and remains throughout all assigned work shifts. Dependability is essential in this position.
  • Accurately processes all transactions, performs precise cash and change counting, and carefully tracks receipts and other retail or visitor program documents.
  • Works with the retail POS system for conducting sales, adjusting inventory, and producing a variety of reports.
  • Uses a computer to make, change, or cancel reservations for evening and special programs.
  • Receives inventory, barcodes and restocks retail merchandise. Prepares merchandise shipments and assists with returns. Maintains clean, orderly appearance of retail displays.
  • Actively assists with annual inventory of merchandise.
  • Performs all safety and security functions on the mountain as required of all staff.
  • Assists visitors and answers a wide variety of questions by the general public, docents, and other staff.
  • Makes extensive use of the telephone: makes or answers calls to provide accurate information to the general public, make new reservations, confirm reservations, notify of program changes or cancellations.
  • Works well with, and employs open and tactful communication and cooperation with, all supervisors, coworkers and docents. 
  • Consistently projects a positive, enthusiastic attitude to guests, callers, and colleagues.
  • Works closely and cooperatively with the Visitor Center Assistant Manager and the Visitor Center Manager on issues relating to all aspects of public programs.
  • Carries out other related tasks such as light cleaning, organizing, and other duties that support the Visitor Center operation.


  • Minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent; post-high school education preferred.
  • Consistently reliable and punctual attendance to all assigned shifts. This is a critical component of this position.
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure, to deal effectively and tactfully with the public, fellow employees and volunteers, and respond professionally to unusual or unexpected situations.
  • Able to stand for extended periods of time, climb stairs, lift 35 pounds and comfortably work at 6,800 feet altitude.
  • Ability to provide uniformly excellent customer satisfaction in all its facets.
  • At least two years of experience in a commercial or nonprofit retail setting with use of a computerized cash register (POS), accurate counting of cash, keeping control of all receipts, and precisely following daily accounting procedures.
  • Organized, energetic, honest, outgoing with strong work ethic. 
  • Ability to function in a busy, multitasking environment.
  • Ability to speak confidently, comfortably, and effectively to diverse groups of people.
  • Ability to quickly learn the correct use of a wide variety of computer functions especially email, internet, program scheduling and cash register programs.
  • Must be willing to work some weekends and holidays.
  • CRP and AED certification will be required and will be provided by NOAO.
  • Satisfactory completion of any other required safety training.
  • Ability to work politely and professionally as a team player with other staff and departments.
  • Knowledge and interest in astronomy and the work of Kitt Peak National Observatory is preferred.
  • Valid State driver’s license and a valid GSA permit issued by NOAO.
  • Ability to pass a background check, per AURA policy.

To apply send cover letter and resume, and please include a telephone number where we may contact you during business hours between 8 AM – 3 PM. Please reference Job #17-0144, Cashier– KPNO, when applying. If you have any attachments, please save them with the following format: 17-0144_lastname_docname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

Application deadline is September 21, 2017. Not reviewing new applications at this time.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

Preference granted to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O'odham reservation.


  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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