Sr. Automation & Controls Engineer (Starlink Production)



Bastrop, TX, USA
Posted on Thursday, September 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.

As a member of this team you will lead creative, multi-disciplinary projects spanning machine design, robotics, motion systems, and factory health monitoring that all come together to form the innovative, high-rate factories that allow us to deliver internet to those that need it most.


  • Design, develop, and manage automation projects - this includes initial factory ideation, machine commissioning and proof of rate capability, and eventual hand-off to operational teams
  • Architect, write, and debug PLC code with an emphasis on generating code that is organized, structured, documented, maintainable, and reusable for high-volume manufacturing applications
  • Keep our factory safe and reliable by implementing ANSI/RIA15.06/OSHA compliant systems for robots, gantries, conveyors, and other manufacturing equipment
  • Generate aesthetically simple HMI screens to make complex machines easy to understand, operate, and troubleshoot
  • Design electrical systems compliant to NEC, NFPA, & UL508A regulations
  • Stay organized by creating schedules and budgets, and then motivate the team to achieve them


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering, physics, or computer science discipline
  • 5+ years of experience in one or a combination of the following:
    • Professional or internship experience in industrial or factory automation design and implementation
    • Involvement with a project team designing and building electro-mechanical/robotic/automated systems or products beyond classroom assignments


  • Ability to engineer creative, new approaches to problems while adhering to ANSI/RIA15.06/OSHA safety requirements to keep a factory safe
  • Electrical sizing of motors, cables, circuit protection, Variable Frequency Drive’s, motor starters, various other motion systems
  • Design of fail-safe electrical circuits using both safety logic controllers and safety-rated relays
  • Hands-on experience troubleshooting industrial electrical systems using tools like multimeters, oscilloscopes, EMI probes
  • Proficiency in understanding and creating electrical schematics and single line diagrams (EPLAN preferred)
  • Field bus networks, serial communication, and Ethernet communication
  • Hands-on experience designing and commissioning high quality electrical panels and electro-mechanical systems with appropriate safety considerations in mind
  • Knowledge of NEC, NFPA, UL508A codes with ability to ensure compliance with control system safety standards
  • PLC programming, preferably Beckhoff TwinCAT structured text programming
  • Programming and implementing machine safety software through the use of safety PLC’s
  • HMI, SCADA, IoT (MQTT, OPC-UA), Ignition systems with focus on user friendly navigation and machine health monitoring and control
  • Field Bus Networking protocols, preferably EtherCAT, Profinet, Profisafe, Ethernet/IP
  • Robotics programming, preferably ABB
  • Industrial software application to mechanical assemblies, electrical systems, sensors, pneumatics/hydraulics, including how to safely checkout these interdisciplinary systems prior to production implementation


  • Ability to work long hours and weekends as necessary to support critical milestones


Pay Range:
Automation & Controls 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 & 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.