Development Test Engineer (Starlink)



Quality Assurance
Redmond, WA, USA
Posted on Friday, September 15, 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.

The Mechanical Development Test Engineer is responsible for designing, analyzing, and building mechanical test equipment for SpaceX’s Starlink program.


  • Design, build, and analyze mechanical, thermal, and pressure systems for satellite component and assembly-level testing
  • Design, build, and activate data acquisition systems and automated control systems for satellite test equipment
  • Develop test requirements with flight engineering team
  • Perform structural, vibration, and thermal analysis using hand calculations and FEA
  • Design of piece part and assembly level 3D CAD models
  • Create and modify software applications to run data acquisition and control systems
  • Create engineering drawings for part fabrication and inspection using GD&T
  • Supervise system level builds including fabrication, mechanical assembly, and data/control systems by working with technicians and vendors
  • Operate test stands with great attention to detail (tests have very little margin for error, so attention to detail is a crucial and essential characteristic of a development test engineer)


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline AND 1+ years of experience (professional, intern, or extracurricular projects) designing and building mechanical structures and/or electrical control systems


  • Experience with the design, build and test of hydraulic, thermal, structural or electromechanical systems
  • Demonstrated understanding of structural and thermal first principles analysis
  • Demonstrated full-cycle ownership of a hardware project from concept to implementation
  • Hands-on experience with testing and data acquisition
  • Experience using test instrumentation and control components: pressure transducers, thermocouples, RTDs, strain gauges, accelerometers, flow meters, load cells, relays, solenoid valves, and encoders
  • Proficiency with Siemens NX, or equivalent 3D modeling software
  • Proficiency with programming and automation/scripting languages (Python, SQL, Matlab)
  • Hands-on experience with common manufacturing processes and shop machines including mills, lathes, manual and CNC


  • Willing to work extended hours and some weekends if needed
  • Physical effort including standing, lifting, and carrying equipment up to 25 lbs unassisted


Pay range:
Mechanical Engineer/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year
Mechanical 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.