Sr. Optical Network Engineer (Starlink)



Redmond, WA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 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.


At SpaceX we’re leveraging our experience in building rockets and spacecraft to deploy Starlink, the world’s most advanced broadband internet system. Starlink is the world’s largest satellite constellation and is providing fast, reliable internet to 1M+ users worldwide. We design, build, test, and operate all parts of the system – thousands of satellites, consumer receivers that allow users to connect within minutes of unboxing, and the software that brings it all together. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of Starlink’s potential global impact and are looking for best-in-class engineers to help maximize Starlink’s utility for communities and businesses around the globe.

We are building a global fleet of gateway stations to support the Starlink network and make up the internet interfacing backbone of the network. We are looking for creative and driven optical engineers to spearhead the design and development of innovative fiber optic connectivity solutions that bind thousands of satellites in the space to the internet points of presence across the globe. Engineers on this team are curious about new possibilities, have strong judgement, and work effectively in a dynamic environment with changing needs as we strive to deliver high-impact technology on a massive scale.


  • Design and develop optical connectivity solutions for the Starlink ground network infrastructure
  • Develop and maintain lab and production test stations for new product qualification and root cause analysis of operational fleet hardware
  • Develop modular, reusable test and automation software in Python for engineering design verification
  • Work with ground networking and space network teams to scale the Starlink network physical layer and optimize traffic flow
  • Develop tools and solutions to proactively monitor the health and availability of the optical infrastructure and lead continuous reliability improvement initiatives


  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, applied physics, or an engineering discipline
  • 5+ years of experience in designing optical experiments and developing test automation (internships, student projects, extracurricular project experience, and professional experience all qualify)


  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative, and work both independently and within team to achieve high-quality results
  • Fundamental understanding of DWDM transmission systems, communications theory, and/or integrated photonics or optical subsystems
  • Experience in optical network design, planning, and DWDM system performance analysis
  • Hands-on experience with optical device or system level test and characterization
  • Experience in designing and creating test software infrastructure
  • Experience in any scripting/programming language (Python, MATLAB, or similar)
  • Experience performing data extraction, visualization and analysis using programming languages (e.g., Python) or SQL
  • Experience with IP networking and traffic flow fundamentals


  • Ability to work extended hours or weekends as needed for mission critical deadlines


Pay range:

Optical Network Engineer/Senior: $130,000.00 - $180,000.00/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.