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Automation & Controls Engineer



Other Engineering
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 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.


We are looking for an Automation & Controls Engineer to help design, build, and implement automated manufacturing and test equipment in Hawthorne. This individual will be joining, and be supported by, a highly talented team of engineers and technicians that are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining manufacturing and test equipment in Hawthorne that supports all product lines at SpaceX, including Falcon, Dragon, Starlink, and Starship.


  • Participate in initial equipment conceptual development and carefully balance product specifications, process requirements, layout complexity, cost, and lead-time limits
  • Lay out new industrial electrical control panels which are NFPA79/NEC/UL508A compliant, and create electrical, pneumatic and fluid schematics
  • Architect, write, and debug PLC code with an emphasis on generating code that is organized, structured, documented, maintainable and reusable for manufacturing applications
  • Develop robot systems to aid in the automated manufacturing of various vehicle sub components
  • Implement (ANSI/RIA15.06/OSHA compliant) control reliable safety systems for safeguarding robots, gantries, conveyors, and other manufacturing equipment
  • Generate aesthetically simple HMI screens for complex machinery while providing sufficient feedback for troubleshooting
  • Manage electrical cabinet builds, field wiring, pneumatic and fluid plumbing
  • Select and size electrical and electromechanical components such as servo motors and controllers
  • Deploy automated processes and equipment into production
  • Set, implement, and maintain schedules and budgets to ensure project completion
  • Troubleshoot Automation Systems, and monitor and trend to ensure that equipment works to its specifications and appropriate capacities


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline
  • 2+ years of experience in the design and commissioning of automation and controls systems for industrial applications


  • Process integration and electromechanical/mechatronic systems experience
  • Experience in a variety of robotic weld applications (e.g. Kuka, ABB, or Fanuc)
  • Robot and PLC simulation experience
  • Experience working with National Instruments software and hardware
  • Electrical schematic CAD experience using EPlan
  • C#, .NET, python and/or SQL experience
  • PLC programming experience, preferably Siemens TIA Portal. Allen Bradley and Beckhoff TwinCat 3
  • HMI and SCADA programming experience: Ignition, Indusoft, WinCC, Grafana
  • Experience with field bus networks, serial communication and Ethernet communication
  • Hands-on experience building and commissioning high quality electrical control panels and electro-mechanical systems
  • Knowledge of NEC, NFPA 79, UL508A codes
  • Exposure to a wide variety of production machinery, industrial sensors, and equipment (vision systems, flow meters, pressure transducers, dispense systems, temperature controllers, laser distance sensors, Nut-Runners, etc.)
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal
  • Experience in fast-paced iterative design and manufacturing environments
  • Ability to develop efficient, simple and robust solution to automation projects and tasks.
  • Experience solving complex problems with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team
  • Ability to work in a team environment and interacting with other engineers, technicians and specialists.
  • Understand the integration of sensor signals and logic such as digital in/out, VFD control, Analog signals etc


  • Physical effort including standing, lifting, and carrying equipment up to 30 lbs. unassisted
  • Must be available to work extended hours and some weekends


Pay range:
Automation & Controls Engineer/Level I: $100,000.00 - $120,000.00/per year
Automation & Controls Engineer/Level II: $115,000.00 - $135,000.00/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.