Mechanical Design Engineer (Propulsion Components)



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 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 Falcon team tackles space exploration’s toughest problems through the ongoing development of our reusable launch vehicles, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. These vehicles are currently responsible for delivering commercial, national security, and NASA satellites into orbit, as well as vital cargo and science payloads to the ISS. In addition, Falcon sent the first astronauts to the ISS on an American-made rocket since the retirement of the Space Shuttle and launched the world's first all-civilian orbital mission. These vehicles are instrumental in extending humanity’s reach to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

The Falcon Components Engineering team designs, tests, and troubleshoots state-of-the-art electromechanical, pneumatic, and hydraulic valves and actuators that drive critical capabilities across every aspect of the Falcon vehicle - from engine thrust vector control and grid fin actuation to tank pressuring valves. In this role, you'll develop a deep understanding of the components that make up the heart of the Falcon rocket's propulsion and control systems. You'll work on the cutting edge of rocket reusability, tearing down components that have flown to space dozens of times and optimizing valve designs for extreme thermal, vibrational, and pressure environments as well as extreme reusability. You'll work closely with launch and production teams to solve fleet-wide issues with wide-ranging implications, and you will personally enable the blistering launch cadence that supports most of the world's launch capability.

You do not need to meet 100% of the preferred qualifications to be considered. We encourage anyone who meets the basic qualifications and is interested in the role to apply – we are looking for enthusiastic, dedicated people to join our team, and want the opportunity to talk to you!


  • Responsible for troubleshooting, development, and flight readiness of valves, regulators, and actuators on the Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicles
  • Supports, troubleshoots and documents component anomalies that arise at the build, test, or launch sites
  • Collaborates with multi-disciplinary teams on valve and vehicle investigations
  • Generates detailed drawings and coordinate valve manufacturing with the production team
  • Generates and maintains component specifications
  • Develops and executes qualification test plans to ensure readiness for flight (vibration, shock, thermal cycle, life cycle, flow testing)
  • Spearheads root cause investigations and redesigns to improve reliability or production rate
  • Certifies hardware for crewed flight and repeated reuse through testing and analysis
  • Presents and clearly communicates analysis, test results


  • Bachelor degree in engineering discipline or physics
  • 1+ years of experience designing and analyzing mechanical systems via professional work experience, project/research-based student experience, or a combination of both


  • Strong interpersonal and collaborative skills, enthusiasm for problem solving, and desire to optimize modern rocket production and launch processes
  • Master's degree or 1+ years of professional experience in mechanical or aerospace engineering
  • Experience designing, building, testing and troubleshooting mechanical systems
  • Understanding of fundamental principals in fluid systems and solid mechanics
  • Strong project management skills and effective communication of technical concepts across multi-disciplinary teams
  • Hands-on experience with fluid and/or gas handling systems
  • Leadership experience on a project or research team
  • Experience using test instrumentation and control components (e.g. pressure transducers, thermocouples, resistance temperature detectors, relays, solenoid valves, etc.)
  • Knowledge of electro-mechanical devices, actuators, motors, valves, regulators, or other fluid control devices


  • Travel to vendors and other SpaceX sites as needed
  • Able to work flexible hours and occasional weekend support as needed


Pay range:

Mechanical Design Engineer (Propulsion Components)/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year

Mechanical Design Engineer (Propulsion Components)/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.