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Propulsion Engineer (Raptor Combustion Devices)



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Friday, April 12, 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 Propulsion Engineer role is responsible for ensuring the structural reliability of Raptor Combustion Devices components subject to extreme pressures, temperatures, vibrations, and accelerations from liftoff to landing. These engineers possess an affinity for physics, structural mechanics, advanced computing, and unraveling intricate challenges associated with complex, high-performance hardware. You will drive analysis, design, manufacturing, and development of hardware for the world’s most advanced rocket engine powering Starship, the largest launch vehicle in history.


  • Conduct, document, and present static, thermal, thermo-mechanical, dynamic, and durability (fatigue/fracture) analyses on Raptor Combustion Devices hardware through FEA and first principles to inform design decisions and ensure reliability, performance, and reuse requirements are met
  • In addition to analysis, own critical Combustion Devices hardware and be responsible for all aspects of design, delivery at target production throughput rates, development, and flight
  • Collaborate with engineers and technicians across a range of disciplines including design, production, development test, launch, reliability and more to develop hardware that meets high-level engine and vehicle objectives
  • Take a practical, hands-on approach to model validation/verification, ensuring that model predictions are representative of design criteria and tied firmly to test data
  • Support ongoing design, manufacturing and reliability improvements to the engine, and ensure changes and new designs are properly analyzed and qualified


  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline or physics
  • 1+ years of academic or professional experience related to structural analysis (extracurricular and internship experience qualifies)
  • 1+ years of experience with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software and-post processing


  • Master’s degree in mechanical, aerospace, or materials engineering, or physics
  • 1+ years of academic or professional experience related to combustion devices or rocket engine/motor development
  • Proficient in statics, mechanics of materials, fatigue, dynamics, and heat transfer
  • Hands-on experience with rocket engines/motors, automotive engine design, dynamic or complex static fluid systems
  • Able to perform hand calculations to validate and improve models
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professional experience using Siemens NX (Unigraphics) and GD&T
  • Experience with manufacturing processes such as CNC mill/lathe, welding, castings, additive, etc. Proficient with the fundamentals of Design for Manufacturing/Assembly (DFMA)


  • Willingness to travel on occasion in support of testing
  • Willingness to work extended hours and weekends as needed to resolve critical technical issues


Pay range:

Propulsion Engineer/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year

Propulsion Engineer/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 & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & 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.