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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Making Your Dream Career At Elon Musk’s Company: But How Hard is to get a Job at SpaceX


No job is easy to get and specially when we are talking about one of the tech giant company, SpaceX. Always the job hunter has to hold the nerve to see what opportunities are coming and applying immediately.

There are several positions always available in SpaceX, but the question is how hard is to get a job at SpaceX. It can be more overwhelming if you don’t know much about the company.

Well, it is the fastest-growing company in USA that designs manufactures and launches advanced spacecrafts and rockets, but that’s only a start to bigger imaginations ahead.

SpaceX recruiters are always hunting the top talent worldwide. Mostly the vacancies are for managers, engineers and business gurus.

This handy guide will provide you will all the necessary information to help you get prepared for the application and screening process.

Even if you have no idea about what to write on your resume to grab the recruiter’s attention, we’ll help you with that too.

SpaceX: Company Background 

Everybody knows Elon Musk, and he is always the talk of the town. He founded Space Exploration Technologies Corporation in 2002 to help private sector travel in space, with ultimate goal of sending human beings to Mars.

Currently, the headquarter of SpaceX is in Hawthorne, California. It has already gain attention to successfully launch and return a spaceship to earth.

The company is mainly getting its resources from Pentagon’s spy satellite arm, Nation Reconnaissance Office, and NASA.

They are playing a vital role in providing the space internet services to the company.

Elon Musk planned to take people to Mars in 2010, but it was really a challenge back then. SpaceX sent its first rocket Falcon 1, into the space in 2008.

Over 80 missions have been conducted since the initial launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The first spacecraft that was sent to space and returned after Falcon 1, was deployed in 2020.

It was mainly use to carry cargo to International Space Station, and they named it as SpaceX Dragon.

A Japanese billionaire Yusaki Maezawa became the first ever customer to pay the company SpaceX for Elon’s planned starship journey around the moon, currently scheduled for 2023.

If this goes successful, which we truly anticipate, Mars will finally be within our reach.

Life at SpaceX?

Despite being a multi-million-dollar company with a rapid growth, SpaceX is known for having a very healthy working atmosphere for its employees.

No authoritative or bossy behavior is there and they always follow an open-door policy where an employee can get to the senior anytime.

This has helped them achieved there spectacular space strategies.

Open-Door Communication Policy

Elon Musk is an all-time favorite CEO of the company and from seniors to the most junior employee can reach to him easily via email or a face-to-face interaction.

Its not like a typical organization where you have to take appointments, wait long and face last-moment excuses. Senior managers, leads and directors all are easy to approach and speak with.

All for One, and One for All

Every time SpaceX is ready to launch a new rocket, all the employees gather around to cheer for the success.

It’s a very life-time experience and shows the unity of team that every single-one working in the company is responsible for its success, and represent the tight-knit of the team.

All relevant employees of the department are involved in some or the other capacity to take the interviews be it in telephonic or on-person.

This is a usual part of their hiring and to get a job at SpaceX, everyone must agree unanimously that you are the right fit.

Work-Life Balance

Working in a such a company that is trying to build something amazing for future generations is not easy.

The company always strive to maintain work-life balance of its employees because it becomes overwhelming for them working continuously for 12-13 hours and sometimes on weekend.

SpaceX ensures to provide a relaxing environment to all its employees. They have a separate room where their employees can unwind, get free access to food and beverages to ensure that everyone is well-nourished, and organize space-theme movie nights regularly.

Getting a Job at SpaceX 

If you love what you do are passionate about it, then certainly you can make your mark at SpaceX.

To get ahead of highly skilled individuals you need to demonstrate skills, expertise, and previous projects that are unmatchable.

Having good grades, a love for space and research, and an ample amount of work experience can land you to the interview, but not the job, mind it.

That’s because, Elon Musk focuses a lot on interpersonal skills. Having passion is not enough, you’ve to be a team player as well in order to make it.

One can imagine how hard is to get job at SpaceX because it can take around six months to get onboarded since your initial interview.

Rigorously going through several screenings be it in phone calls, virtual interviews, in-person interviews, and engineering test, you might be shortlisted.

You can get a peace of mind working for this company since it provides job security, extensive maternity leaves, good retirement plan, leaves (annual, sick, and causal), life insurance, and fitness membership plans.

How Hard is it to Get a Job at SpaceX? 

If you don’t consider yourself as an expert of your field, then its going to be really challenging for you to get over it.

SpaceX hires top-talent and make sure every individual is the perfect fit for the position. The recruitment process consists of grueling series of interviews, tests, panel discussions and all them require you to be guru of your field to answer them correctly yet comfortably.

When sitting on panel discussions or a one-on-one interview make sure your vision is aligned with company’s vision in an authentic way and you are note merely faking it out.

Discuss about your past projects, challenges that you accomplish and strategies to impress the team in front of you. Mind it, if one of the team members doesn’t like your interview, you are out of the game.

Conduct a through research before appearing into the interview.

Study about SpaceX, its vision and mission statement so that you know what the company is up to and what they are looking for in their candidates.

It would be great if you know about your interviewers you can check their LinkedIn profile beforehand so you know what background do they have.

Applying for a Job at SpaceX 

SpaceX has many opportunities waiting for talented individuals to fill.

Some of them to list down are;

  • Software developer jobs
  • Propulsion jobs
  • Aeronautics and space engineers
  • Technology jobs
  • Interns and executives in respective field.

SpaceX Recruitment Process 

You can apply as a part-time of full-time employee depending upon the job type and requirements.

To apply, visit their website and navigate to the career section. Open the application and fill it up, you can expect the response within 90-180 days.

If you are lucky enough to make it, you will get a call from their HR and from their you will taken on a roller coaster ride accompanying a series of interviews as discussed above.

Initial rounds have formal verbal discussions, then in-person followed by written test having MCQs. Candidates who pass are invited to visit SpaceX campus.

You will have to face seven in-person interviews with different team members. Out of these seven, you will need to present an original idea to the panel and pass an engineering written test.

If a single member from the panel doesn’t find you right, you’re out.

You will have to pass seven face-to-face interviews with different team members of the department. In one of the discussions you’ll need to present an idea that’s unique.

If someone finds anything fishy about you, you’re gone.

If a single interviewer has doubts about you, you will not get the job. 

Below are some of the highest-paying tech positions along with their salaries at SpaceX. 

Software Engineering Manager

  • Salary: $100K – $150K
  • Benefits: Paid leaves, fitness membership, casual wearing, and 401(k) 
  • Required Experience: 6 – 8 years
  • Required Education: Bachelor of computer science, software engineering, electrical engineering, or equivalent.

This job’s location is in the headquarter. The software development team ensures the necessary execution of the flight requiring software programming.

You will be responsible for managing a team of seven software engineers, developing reliable software systems, and following the SOPs in place. 

Propulsion Simulation and Automation Engineer

  • Salary: $80K – $100K
  • Benefits: Paid holidays, fitness membership, casual dress, and 401(k) 
  • Required Experience: Familiarity with computer software and running simulations based on principles of physics
  • Required Education: Bachelor of science in computer science or related engineering discipline

This job requires a thorough understanding of mechanics, thermodynamics, and thermochemistry. These individuals troubleshoot and enhance features for rocket engine development. 

Senior Full Stack Software Engineer

  • Salary: $80K – $100K
  • Benefits: Paid holidays, fitness membership, casual dress, and 401(k)  
  • Required Experience: Less than five years
  • Required Education: Bachelors of computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, or equivalent

These engineers build reliable software solutions for end-users, guiding your team through every stage of software development life cycle.

You should also have a flexible schedule, and be prepared to work weekends and long hours. 

Software Engineer 

  • Salary: $80K -$100K 
  • Benefits: Paid holidays, fitness membership, casual dress, and 401(k) 
  • Required Experience: Ability to write Linux code; familiarity with kernels, hypervisors, and device drivers
  • Required Education: Bachelor of science in computer science, electrical engineering, math, or computer engineering

The job of software engineer is complex and time-consuming where he has to update prototypes and work on Linux-based software.

Excellent opportunity for those who know debugging, unit testing, and performance optimization. Also, not to forget you should be a team player all the time.

What Does It Take to Get a Job at SpaceX? 

No job is easy to get and here we are talking about Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Recruiter there are trained in such a way that they strive to hire best from the best.

However, there are three key elements that they are always looking for. Those are passion, self-driven, and talented.

You need to ensure that your resume is talking about these attributes from the start to impress them. You can also mention how SpaceX mission statement resonates with you.

Practice, practice and some more practice the interview before just appearing into it.

Polish your soft skills. Someone famously said, 80% of your earnings are form your personality and 20% are from your skills. Practice mockup interview with a friend or colleague beforehand.

A great many candidates apply at SpaceX even when there are not any vacancies, just because it provides benefits and have a very big brand name associates with it, Elon Musk.


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