11 of the Coolest Job Openings at SpaceX

Getty Images / NASA

If there’s one thing we know for sure in the chaotic world of aerospace, it is that Elon Musk is determined to get us to Mars. The guiding mission for his company, SpaceX, is to develop rocket and space technology to the point where it’s capable of sending human colonizers to the red planet. And right now that means lots of missions to send up cargo to the International Space Station, and missions to put satellites into orbit. With each mission, SpaceX makes money and collects more data to use in developing its technology.

If Musk’s wildest dreams do seem to come true, it won’t be without the help of about 6,000 employees. Here are some of the most futuristic and coolest jobs to apply for at SpaceX:

Elon Musk at the SpaceX headquarters

Getty Images / Kevork Djansezian

1. Instructional Designer

In this job, your only requirement is to be energetic and motivated to “accelerate humanities journey to Mars,” as the overview says. Your main role is to inspire and educate by coming up with a training curriculum for people wanting to learn about space and SpaceX.

2. Information Security Engineer

A boring name for a pretty cool job. As the posting says, you’ll be working with “rock star engineering talent” to ensure the safety of SpaceX operations. You’re basically a bodyguard for some of the smartest technology on the planet.

SpaceX concepts for the interplanetary transport spacecraft that will get us to Mars. 


3. Recovery Operations Engineer

This job is the epitome of the SpaceX goal: make civilian space travel a reality. As a recovery operations engineer, you’re going to build upon methods for making Dragon and Falcon recovery missions “cheaper, faster, safer, more efficient, and more reliable.” On March 30, SpaceX recovered a reused first stage booster in the last Falcon 9 SES-10 mission, proving that reflight is possible. Elon Musk’s next goal: get it back on the launchpad within 24 hours.

4. Laser Tracker Toolmaker

The description for this job makes it sound like you’ll be in a traveling troupe of rocket scientists going from one flight to the next being a badass. As the listing says, you’ll “be there on the ground floor, getting your hands dirty and contributing directly to the success of future launches.” Whoa.

5. Orbit Determination Engineer

This role sounds like a mini Elon Musk in the making, asking that you “attack every problem with enthusiasm; you remove hurdles. You are a self-starter, team player, have the hunger to venture into unknown areas to make the system work.”

6. Sensor Design Electrical Engineer

You’re the smart person that makes the rockets smart by designing thousands of sensors that will help the spacecrafts, well, get to space. These sensors will also help the second stage boosters find their landing sites so SpaceX can recover more vessels.

7. Avionics Radiation Effects Engineer

Radiation is a big problem in outer space. Without Earth’s ozone layer, crew members and technology are virtually unprotected from the sun’s harmful rays. In this position, you’ll be making sure everything runs smoothly, and that includes ensuring the health and safety of our precious astronauts.

8. Solar Array Engineer

This role is critical to making sure the rockets stay connected while in flight. You’ll be designing photovoltaic cells that can not only transmit data to the ground, but survive the insane heat, speed, and pressure of a rocket launch.

9. Capture Manager

Contrary to how it sounds, this job has nothing to do with the actual design and engineering of the rockets or capturing methods for recovering them. You’ll actually be capturing politicians’ hearts in this gig by writing government proposals highlighting “SpaceX’s unique capabilities” and making them a driving force in space exploration.

SpaceX Crew Photo from 2014. 


10. Internships and Co-Ops

A group of very fortunate youths will be selected for an internship with SpaceX this fall, and it’s probably the coolest job of them all. Real-life rocket scientists “will help you to roll up your sleeves and apply textbook theory and lab experience to creating solutions for real aerospace challenges.”

11. Software Architect

As you might have guessed, SpaceX has its own software for pretty much every facet of the company from the website software to the operating systems in the rockets themselves. Musk has called them “nervous system” of SpaceX because they connect every team.

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