Manufacturing Engineer (Dragon Structures)



Software Engineering
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 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.


As a Manufacturing Engineer at SpaceX, you will have the opportunity to utilize your knowledge, experience, and creativity to develop novel solutions at the cutting edge of space technology. You will work on launch vehicles and spacecraft that deliver satellites into earth orbit, ferry humans to and from the international space station, and ultimately extend humanity’s reach beyond the earth and moon. You will be a vital part of the relationship between our development and production teams. You will provide input into the design and development of new and existing hardware and take a lead role in manufacturing and integration on our current and next generation vehicles.


  • Responsible for the build and inspection process for composite structures across the Dragon 2 capsule
  • Develop, qualify, and refine manufacturing processes to meet all design and business requirements including safety, quality, efficiency and delivery
  • Collaborate with other engineers, subject matter experts, and technicians to solve large-scale production challenges
  • Work closely with design engineers to evaluate designs for manufacturability and implementation in a rapidly evolving production environment
  • Resolve product non-conformances and collaborate with the quality team to implement root cause corrective actions
  • Identify, plan, and execute capital equipment, machine, and layout upgrades to meet volume production demand
  • Develop and refine floor layouts, capacity models, and product flow analysis to ensure on-time vehicle delivery to manifest
  • Oversee composite hardware through production, including: lamination, machining, acceptance testing, and final assembly (bonded and bolted assemblies)
  • Facilitate production of flight-qualified composites structures at increasing production rate while reducing cost


  • Bachelor's degree in mechanical, manufacturing, aerospace, materials or industrial engineering
  • 1+ years of demonstrated hands-on experience in a manufacturing environment from industry, hobby, or through participation in collegiate engineering projects such as Formula SAE, Baja SAE, rocket club, CubeSat or Design Build Fly


  • Master's degree in mechanical, materials, or aerospace engineering
  • 2+ years of industry experience (automotive, aviation or spacecraft manufacturing) working with composite structures and/or large mechanical assemblies
  • 1+ years experience with advanced composites manufacturing processes (out-of-autoclave prepreg processing, drilling and routing of composites, structural adhesives) for large scale, primary structures in a production environment
  • Familiarity with test procedures and non-destructive evaluation of structural composites
  • Experience writing work instructions and procedures for critical aerospace hardware
  • Experience with validation testing for composite structures
  • Mechanical component and/or tooling design analysis experience using 3D CAD software
  • Experience with design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA)
  • Experience transitioning complex products from R&D to rate manufacturing in a fast-paced environment


  • Position may require extended work hours and weekend work
  • Position may require standing, bending and working directly with hardware on the floor for extended periods of time


Pay range:
Manufacturing Engineer/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year
Manufacturing Engineer/Level II: $110,000.00 - $130,000.00/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 & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & 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.