Automation & Controls Engineer, Launch Pad (Starship)



Texas, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2023

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


SpaceX's Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket (collectively referred to as Starship) represent a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Starship will be the world's most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, with the ability to carry in excess of 100 metric tons to Earth orbit.

We are looking for an automation & controls engineer to help SpaceX develop and build launch systems for Starship. This role will be focused on electrical control systems for the launch mount and integration tower, including I/O systems, motion systems, and supporting infrastructure.

The successful applicant will be joining, and be supported, by a highly talented team of engineers with an amazing track record in developing any type of automated solution imaginable.


Electrical systems:

  • Design industrial electrical control panels which are NFPA79/NEC/UL508A compliant
  • Design data acquisition systems
  • Complete instrumentation schematics, pneumatic, and fluid schematics
  • Specify distribution equipment (e.g. raceways, cables, wiring methods)
  • Work closely with other disciplines. Interface control systems with high power equipment, communication equipment, and facility equipment
  • Design systems for hazardous environments

Control software:

  • Architect, write, and debug PLC code with an emphasis on generating code that is organized, structured, documented, maintainable and reusable for similar applications
  • Generate aesthetically simple HMI screens for complex machinery while providing sufficient feedback for troubleshooting

Mechanical integration:

  • Add detail for electrical assemblies to CAD models to plan out install for cable tray, conduit, panel mounting, etc.

General responsibilities:

  • Participate in initial equipment conceptual development and carefully balance product specifications, process requirements, layout complexity, cost, and lead-time limits
  • Manage electrical cabinet builds, field wiring, pneumatic and fluid plumbing
  • Set, implement, and maintain schedules and budgets to ensure project completion


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline
  • 2+ years of experience in the design and commissioning of controls systems for industrial applications


  • Process integration and electromechanical/mechatronic systems experience
  • Electrical schematic CAD experience using EPlan
  • C#, .NET, python and/or SQL experience
  • PLC programming experience, preferably Siemens TIA Portal
  • HMI and SCADA programming experience
  • Field bus networks, serial communication and Ethernet communication
  • Hands-on experience building and commissioning high quality electrical control panels and electro-mechanical systems
  • Knowledge of NEC, UL508A codes
  • Exposure to a wide variety of industrial machinery
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal
  • Experience in fast-paced iterative design and test environments
  • Experience solving complex problems with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team


  • Must be willing to work extended hours and/or weekends as needed
  • Must be willing to travel for extended periods, up to 100% during system activation
  • Ability to pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg


Pay range:
Level I: $100,000.00 - $120,000.00/per year
Level II: $115,000.00 - $135,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation and will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.


  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.