Operations Engineer (Recovery)



Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 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.


Serve as Operations Engineer responsible for coordinating select recovery operations, conducting strategic planning within SpaceX Launch organizations, aligning resources to priorities, assessing progress towards targets, and optimizing operations for Falcon 9 booster, fairing, and Dragon capsule recoveries on both land and sea. Work closely with recovery engineers, technicians, and vessel crews to proactively identify and address operational challenges, implement process engineering best practices, derive actionable information from data, and synchronize work priorities across SpaceX Recovery and Launch operations. Scope includes operational priorities and resources, synchronizing efforts with Launch Operations, booster integration, engineering, finance, purchasing, and other SpaceX elements to ensure recovery operations matches launch manifest.


  • Determine vessel and resource allocations to meet the SpaceX launch manifest while allowing time for vessel and equipment maintenance and repairs.
  • Align people, processes, products, parts, and physical plant to meet ambitious targets for safety, quality, output, and efficiency.
  • Develop and implement information management strategy to maintain accurate information regarding operations, assets, and targets.
  • Conduct Operations Engineering at a strategic level by optimizing resources, schedules, and risk under uncertainty across SpaceX Recovery and Launch.
  • Analyze complex problems involving multiple stakeholders, driving towards optimal solutions in an uncertain and ambiguous future landscape. Development advanced tools to analyze scheduling, capacity, costs vs benefits, maintenance, and operations to guide executive decisions in anticipation of change.
  • Leverage operational data to identify trends, propose leading indicators, and provide predictive information to steer Department actions. Use data to provide insights and optimize processes.
  • Lead inter-disciplinary and cross-functional teams to develop recovery strategy, mitigate future risks, and seize emerging opportunities.
  • Identify operational challenges within the organization, lead problem formulation and working groups, determine root cause, and implement creative and effective solutions.
  • Develop key performance measures, and identify decision points and actions to optimize processes to meet demand, ensuring measured parameters correlate with overall company objectives.
  • Collaborate with cross-departmental partners in integration, finance, purchasing, inventory, quality/reliability engineering, safety, and Launch Operations. Interact frequently with external partners including vendors, compliance agencies, US Coast Guard, port authorities, and others.
  • Capture best practices and manage organizational knowledge and lessons-learned and track action towards resolution.
  • Analyze workforce development efforts to ensure mariners, technicians, and engineers are trained, qualified, and incentivized to perform their assigned roles.


  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline.
  • Professional experience working on operations in maritime, aerospace, transportation, or manufacturing industry.


  • Experience with data-based decision making, modeling of complex systems, and framing executive decisions supported by engineering analysis.
  • Experience or education in Management Science and Engineering, Operations Engineering, Operations Research, or Industrial Engineering,
  • Proficiency with statistics, data analysis, cost/benefit analysis, and visualization tools.
  • Experience with data visualization tools, discrete event modeling tools, data queries and analysis.
  • Ability to work in fast-paced, high stress environments.
  • Excellent written and executive communication skills.
  • Ability to work autonomously, prioritize work, and make resource allocation recommendations that involve risk and uncertainty.


  • Must be able to work extended hours and weekends as needed, including occasional short-notice domestic travel.
  • Must possess or be eligible for Merchant Marine Credential (MMC) and Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).
  • Must be able to pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg.


Pay Range:

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

Operations 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.