Opportunities at Craft portfolio companies


Propulsion Engineer (Merlin Development and Hardware)

Swarm Technologies

Swarm Technologies

Other Engineering
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2023

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.


Merlin Propulsion Engineers are responsible for ensuring flightworthiness of engine hardware and software throughout the life cycle—from initial build, through acceptance testing, and into flight (and re-flight) operations. You will exercise extreme ownership over engine hardware and drive all processes necessary to increase engine life as we continue to push the bounds of reusability. Additionally, you will be responsible for driving reliability-improving and rate-enabling initiatives to maintain the long-term success of Falcon as the most-flown, most-reliable launch vehicle in existence.


  • Fully own critical spaceflight hardware – every employee at SpaceX assumes profound responsibility for their hardware
  • Lead Merlin development and qualification test campaigns as we continually extend qualified engine life
  • Perform design, analysis, development engineering, and flight operations tasks for Merlin engine propulsion systems
  • Interact with engineers and technicians from all disciplines, including production, test, launch, avionics, GNC (guidance, navigation & control), flight and ground software, mission management, flight reliability, and more
  • Work closely with commercial and governmental customers to ensure 100% mission success
  • Exercise risk-conscious decision-making skills under pressure
  • Implement and maintain rigorous hardware and software verification and validation processes through practical application of automation and process controls
  • Work closely with the launch sites to develop and improve critical inspection procedures
  • Lead anomaly investigations related to your hardware and rapidly push them to resolution while simultaneously implementing corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence
  • Practice flexible prioritization and scope management in order to deliver on group directives


  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • 1+ years of professional experience with hands-on hardware experience performing fabrication, assembly, and/or testing
  • 1+ years of academic or professional experience related to combustion devices or rocket engine development
  • 1+ years of academic or professional experience using CAD to design parts/assemblies


  • Master’s degree in mechanical engineering or aeronautical/astronautical engineering
  • Demonstrable proficiency in the basic principles of compressible and incompressible flow, thermodynamics, combustion, structural and fracture mechanics, and materials
  • Experience with manufacturing processes such as CNC mill/lathe, welding, castings, additive, etc. and proficient with the fundamentals of Design for Manufacturing/Assembly (DFMA)
  • Full engineering lifecycle experience (design trade, CAD design, prototyping, manufacturing, testing, qualification, production, reuse)
  • Experience making risk evaluations and/or supporting root cause investigations
  • Analytical/scientific programming experience (Python, Matlab, etc.)
  • Professional experience using Siemens NX (Unigraphics) and ANSYS strongly preferred, Fluent or other comparable CFD package also desirable
  • Ability to work well in a collaborative team environment including daily interactions with technicians, engineers, and managers
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with both internal and external customers


  • Willing to travel in support of launching and testing of hardware
  • Willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed


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 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.