Build Engineer (Starshield)



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 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.


Starshield leverages SpaceX's Starlink technology and launch capability to support national security efforts. While Starlink is designed for consumer and commercial use, Starshield is designed for government use, with an initial focus on earth observation, communications, and hosted payloads.

As a Build Engineer, you will own the relationship between the engineering development and production teams. You will master exotic manufacturing tools and processes, from initial concept development to full scale production, and will interact regularly with senior leadership during critical design phases. You have strong technical and interpersonal skills and you thrive in a creative, scrappy, fast paced and collaborative environment in which the best ideas change company level direction on a regular basis.


  • Lead the assembly and integration of satellite sub-assemblies, test racks and test beds
  • Develop novel manufacturing techniques and manage the transition from development to full production handoff
  • Prepare engineering documentation necessary for the transition from development to production including assembly procedures, test procedures, standard operating procedures, schematic diagrams, bills of materials, suitable alternate parts lists and mechanical drawings
  • Actively engage with technicians in a hands-on fashion to facilitate and improve production processes
  • Devise and execute improvements to enhance production efficiency and quality
  • Create, maintain, and communicate detailed plans and schedules
  • Develop supply chain for new product and actively work with vendors
  • Understand, analyze and resolve manufacturing discrepancies while interfacing with key stakeholders
  • Tooling design and validation
  • Perform training of production personnel and leadership
  • Lead continuous improvement efforts of established product
  • Resolve non-conformances and identify root cause
  • Develop and execute tests for subscale and vehicle level testing


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline
  • 2+ years of manufacturing, fabrication, assembly or testing experience (internship or project team experience can supplement for industry experience)


  • Master's degree in an engineering discipline
  • Experience with spacecraft or aircraft avionics assemblies and testing
  • Experience with process development, facility and line layouts
  • Experience with NX and Teamcenter CAD and PDM systems
  • Experience with test automation, particularly using Python
  • Experience with designing and building electrical harnesses and connectors
  • Ability to create and deliver presentations for design and manufacturing readiness reviews
  • Experience working in fast-paced iterative design environments
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a highly cross-functional role
  • Knowledge of a variety of manufacturing techniques, equipment, and processes such as: machining, PCBA and electromechanical assembly
  • Active Top Secret or Top Secret SCI clearance OR willingness to pursue one is preferred. Note that an active clearance may provide the opportunity for you to work on sensitive SpaceX missions. If so, you will be subject to pre-employment drug and random drug and alcohol testing


  • Must be willing to work extended hours and/or weekends as needed
  • Must be able to travel - up to 10-25% work week travel may be required
  • This position is based in Hawthorne, CA and requires being onsite - remote work not considered


Pay Range:

Build Engineer/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year

Build 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 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.