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Automation & Controls Engineer (Raptor)



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 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.


As an automation and controls engineer for Raptor you will be directly responsible for the design and integration of automated cells, safety logic systems and motion-controlled systems which increase Raptor production, reliability and unlock new manufacturing technologies. Raptor is the engine which will enable SpaceX and the human race to get to the Moon, Mars and beyond.


  • Design, develop, and manage automation projects - this includes initial factory ideation, machine commissioning and proof of rate capability, and eventual hand-off to operational teams
  • Architect, write, and debug PLC code with an emphasis on generating code that is organized, structured, documented, maintainable, and reusable for high-volume manufacturing applications
  • Keep our factory safe and reliable by implementing ANSI/RIA15.06/OSHA compliant systems for robots, gantries, conveyors, and other manufacturing equipment
  • Generate aesthetically simple HMI screens to make complex machines easy to understand, operate, and troubleshoot
  • Design electrical systems compliant to NEC, NFPA, & UL508A regulations
  • Stay organized by creating schedules and budgets, and then motivate the team to achieve them


  • Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace/aeronautical engineering or computer science discipline
  • 1+ years of experience in industrial or factory automation design (professional, internship, research, or project/competition team setting qualifies)


  • Excited by a quick and iterative design and manufacturing role
  • Proven ability to solve complex problems with simple solutions in both design and implementation stages
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal, with the ability to make plans and directional recommendations collaboratively and cross-functionally
  • Ability to engineer creative, new approaches to problems while adhering to ANSI/RIA15.06/OSHA safety requirements to keep a factory safe

Experience with at least one of the specific disciplines listed below. The ideal candidate is interested in learning at least the fundamentals of the other areas they are not yet strong in.


  • Machine design with focus on speed, reliability, maintainability, and safety
  • Motion system sizing and implementation (gantries, robotics, conveyance, motors, actuators, pneumatics/hydraulics, sensor selection and integration, etc.)
  • Fundamental structures hand calculations and ability to design for strength and stiffness
  • CAD and product lifecycle management programs to generate detailed designs and drawing packages utilizing geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, preferred Siemens NX and Teamcenter
  • Familiarity with manufacturing processes and how to design for manufacturability
  • Exposure to some variety of production machinery, industrial sensors, and equipment (motion systems, dispense systems, temperature controllers, laser distance sensors, injection molders, die casters, etc.)


  • Electrical sizing of motors, cables, circuit protection, VFD’s, motor starters, various other motion systems
  • Design of fail-safe electrical circuits using both safety logic controllers and safety-rated relays
  • Hands-on experience troubleshooting industrial electrical systems using tools like multimeters, oscilloscopes, EMI probes
  • Proficiency in understanding and creating electrical schematics and single line diagrams (EPLAN preferred)
  • Fieldbus networks, serial communication, and Ethernet communication
  • Hands-on experience designing and commissioning high quality electrical panels and electro-mechanical systems with appropriate safety considerations in mind
  • Knowledge of NEC, IEC, NFPA, UL508A codes with ability to ensure compliance with control system safety standards

Industrial Software:

  • PLC programming, preferably Siemens SIMATIC structured text programming
  • Drives preferably Siemens G120, S120, and S210 programming using Starter/TIA portal
  • Programming and implementing machine safety software through the use of safety PLC’s
  • HMI (WinCC), SCADA (Inductive automation ignition), IoT (MQTT, OPC-UA) development with focus on user friendly navigation and machine health monitoring
  • Fieldbus Networking protocols, preferably EtherCAT, Profinet, Profisafe, Ethernet/IP
  • Robotics programming, preferably ABB
  • Industrial software application to mechanical assemblies, electrical systems, sensors, pneumatics/hydraulics, including how to safely checkout these interdisciplinary systems prior to production implementation


  • Ability to work long hours and weekends as necessary to support critical milestones


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 & 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.