Do you dream of working for SpaceX? Well, many talented and enthusiastic people are impressed by Elon Musk’s company recent and upcoming projects: Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Crew Dragon, Starlink, Starship… To maximize your chances of working at SpaceX, follow our advice!
First, check your eligibility to work for SpaceX
You have to be a U.S. citizen to work at SpaceX. The U.S. laws do not allow foreigners to work in the space industry. You may think it’s unfair, but SpaceX and Elon Musk can’t ignore these laws, as Elon Musk said during a conference:
This is not out of some desire of SpaceX to just hire people with green cards, it’s because we’re not allowed to do anything else. This is not a wise policy for the US, because there are so many talented people all around the world that we would love to have work at our company. But unless they can somehow get a green card, we’re legally prevented from hiring them.
Most job openings at SpaceX require a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree, in a relevant field regarding the job you apply for. Of course, engineering jobs at SpaceX may require a Master’s Degree or even a PhD.
What skills are SpaceX looking for?
SpaceX jobs can be classified in 3 main groups:
- Engineering: design and code rockets and spacecrafts
- Manufacturing: build space vehicles at unmatched production rates and reduced costs
- Operations: business, IT, accounting…
That being said, there are many fields of expertise through these groups, detailed below by SpaceX:
- Avionics: design, code and build the electronics that guide the SpaceX’s space vehicles
- Build & Flight Reliability: make the safest and most reliable vehicles possible
- Corporate Operations: operations for a company with billions in contracted launches
- Information Technology & Security: design and build advanced information and security systems
- Launch: fly, recover and fly again
- Manufacturing & Production: build reusable rockets and spacecrafts
- Materials Engineering: develop and manufacture space-grade materials.
- Mission Management & Space Operations: manage launch campaigns from signed contract to mission success
- Non-destructive Evaluation: use inspection methods to certify hardware for flight
- Propulsion: create advanced rocket and spacecraft propulsion systems
- Software Development: program flight software and enterprise web applications
- Supply Chain Management: get the right part in the right place at the right time, every time
- Test Operations: test every engine, component and stage for flight and development
- Vehicle engineering: create innovative, mass-efficient vehicle and spacecraft structures
Where are located SpaceX jobs in the U.S.A.?
SpaceX is located in several places across the U.S.A., depending on the expertise:
- Hawthorne, California: headquarters
- Washington, DC: government affairs
- Seattle, Washington State: satellite development
- McGregor, Texas: rocket development facility
- Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Vandenberg, California: launch sites
- A beam is welded to a wall, how will it break? If you know what are the different forces that will put pressure on the beam, what information do you need to determine if it will break?
- You are sitting in a canoe in a children’s pool. You are shown the water level on the side. A stone is in your boat. If you throw the stone overboard, what will the water level be in the pool?
- If you had to build a bridge connecting one building to another, how would you do it?
How to find SpaceX job offers and how to apply for a job at SpaceX?
Monitor SpaceX job vacancies on their website: https://www.spacex.com/careers/
Also, subscribe to Elon Musk’s Twitter account because sometimes he tweets jobs opportunities: https://twitter.com/elonmusk
A first selection of applicants is made on the basis of the CV, the cover letter, references and a possible first interview.
Candidates selected to continue the recruitment process must then pass a series of IQ and personality tests. The objective of these tests is to determine if you are able to do what you say, what is your level of concentration, if you are persistent, if you like to take on challenges … SpaceX’s tests are known to be very trying. For example, a candidate had to take a coding test lasting six hours.
There are also lengthy interviews with several people who ask you tons of questions about your career, skills, behavior, and also test your IQ using puzzles. For example:
Interview with Elon Musk himself
Did you brilliantly answer these difficult questions? Well done, but it’s not over yet! You’re going to meet someone very special at SpaceX… Elon Musk in person!
Elon Musk personally interviews candidates because he wants to make sure the candidate has an upbeat personality, understands what is expected of him and whether he will fit into the culture of the company. This is the “No A$$hole Policy”.
A candidate for a job at SpaceX must either present an essay or answer a specific question, such as specifying his role in three successful projects. Elon Musk is looking to see if the candidate faced any obstacles and how the candidate handled them.
Elon Musk said:
If you are really the person who solved a problem, there are several questions you can answer about it. If you did not go out of your way, it won’t work in your favor. a person who has struggled to finally achieve something never forgets it.
Before the end of the interview, Elon Musk has one last thing to ask you … That’s the legendary complex question of Elon Musk!
This is often a difficult problem to which there is no real solution. The CEO of SpaceX particularly appreciates people who define problems creatively and find innovative solutions to solve them.
For example, this question is said to be Elon Musk favorite’s:
Bonus: How is it to work for SpaceX?
A SpaceX employee tells about his job and about the company.
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Pictures by SpaceX / CC0.