SpaceX is hiring a

Chemical Engineer

Vandenberg Air Force Base, United States

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.

Chemical Engineer, Launch Site


The SpaceX Vandenberg launch pad team is looking for a driven chemical engineer to join our team of fluids engineers. As a team, the fluids site engineering team is responsible for all of the fluids systems necessary to launch our Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets including our Liquid Oxygen, RP-1 kerosene, Helium, Nitrogen, hydraulics, and Air Conditioning systems. As one of the pad engineers, you will be given significant autonomy over all aspects one of the fluids systems. Key responsibilities include system design, analysis, implementation, activation, and sustainment planning. 


  • Work closely with other engineers to increase system automation.
  • Write procedures for system activation and maintenance.
  • Select components, such as valves, pumps, piping, tanks, and filters, and provide detailed specifications for their purchase.
  • Complete design and drafting of schematics (P&IDs).
  • Interact with vendors and resolve technical warranty issues.
  • Interact with other engineers to design the physical piping layout of the fluids systems.
  • Assist with advanced troubleshooting.
  • All activation testing will be performed by you and a small team of engineers and technicians.
  • Your work will take place in a fast paced environment where you will take ownership in all aspects of your system.
  • You must be a self-starter that will seek out the solutions to technical problems with the local team along with the larger SpaceX workforce. Expect interactions with all departments and aspects of the rocket design.
  • Provide innovative solutions to problems while working with minimal supervision.
  • Represent SpaceX by presenting certification packages and engineering data to U.S. government agencies including NASA, US Air Force and other DoD customers.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline.
  • 2+ years of experience within the last 5 years with fluid systems, hydraulics and/or HVAC systems.

Preferred skills and experience:

  • Master's degree in engineering.
  • Hands-on experience working with complex fluid or mechanical systems in a professional setting or outside the classroom project team.
  • Demonstrated expertise in the design of propellant and gas systems.
  • Experience troubleshooting systems utilizing remote operations and instrumentation feedback.
  • Experience with fluid systems engineering, assembly, operation or test.
  • Good written and oral communication; especially translating technical concepts for non-technical audiences.
  • General hands-on mechanical experience: automotive, robotics, rocketry etc.
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, autonomously driven, and demanding start-up atmosphere.

Additional Requirements:

  • Must pass Vandenberg Air Force background check
  • Must be willing to travel (approximately 10%) to other launch sites as necessary.
  • Must be willing to work long hours and weekends when necessary to support launch and critical project timelines.
  • Ability to lift 25 lbs. unassisted, lifting, standing, climbing, bending, grasping, sitting, pulling, pushing, stooping, stretching, and carrying are generally required to perform the functions of this position.

ITAR Requirements:

  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about 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

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