Design Criteria Engineer (Starship)



Texas, USA
Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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.


The design criteria team is responsible for ensuring that hardware and operations lead to the mission's successful completion and meet or exceed requirements. This engineer will be industry-unique, stepping into an agile system engineering team, facilitating cross-disciplinary action and problem-solving across all SpaceX programs and engineering staff.


  • Drive improvements to vehicle design by being closely integrated with hardware teams.
  • Provide critical peer review and approval of hardware designs during design reviews; confirm acceptance and qualification test campaigns.
  • Drive the development of tools and methods to ensure accurate and well-disseminated design criteria.
  • Ensure a cohesive evolution of designs and operations across the different technical teams: avionics, propulsion, structures, launch, manufacturing, analysis, and test.
  • Work with a team to perform rapid conceptual design, analysis, and testing cycles on development hardware (may include CAD modeling and testing oversight as needed).
  • Derive hardware capabilities enabling operational adaptability while staying within hardware limits.


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline.
  • 2+ years of professional experience in an engineering role.


  • Experience with aerospace structure systems: design, analysis, testing, and fabrication for use in high-performance or safety critical applications.
  • Hands-on experience with various industry standard manufacturing tools, techniques and processes, including mills, lathes, electronics assembly, composite layup, etc.
  • Experience with material selection and make vs. buy decisions for system components.
  • Experience with solid modeling (Siemens NX) and finite element analysis software (FEMAP).
  • Experience performing closed-form and numerical stress analysis, simulations of dynamic systems, and fluid systems analysis.
  • Scripting and data analysis experience using Visual Basic, Matlab, Python, and Excel.


  • Must be willing to work long hours and weekends as needed.


Pay range:

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

Design Criteria 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.