Opportunities at Craft portfolio companies


Principal SMT Engineer (Starship Avionics)

Swarm Technologies

Swarm Technologies

hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 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.


Become a part of the Starship team which is working to revolutionize orbital flight and space travel - opening access for humankind to establish new frontiers in space, and ultimately make human kind a multi-planetary species. Our team is not only designing and building some of the finest electrical hardware to have flown in space, but also doing so at a cost and rate previously considered unthinkable in the space industry. Become a part of this fast moving and world class avionics production team, work with super smart and motivated engineers, and achieve truly audacious goals. As a Principal SMT Engineer you will create, execute, and improve work processes which will enable us to produce quality electronics at Starship rate. You will make design updates to hardware to make it easier to manufacture.


  • Optimize and configure processes and equipment for building surface mount electronics assemblies
  • Perform design of experiments (DOE) to optimize SMT process yield
  • Specify equipment requirements for new PCBA build processes and develop design for manufacturability (DFM) guidelines for PCBA designs
  • In close conjunction with the responsible engineer, make design updates to flight hardware which enable it to be manufactured easily
  • Execute qualification campaigns to ensure DFM improvements do not sacrifice flight capability
  • Provide solutions to streamline space-grade circuit board assembly and test processes which may include flying probe, automated optical inspection (AOI), functional testing, reflow soldering, selective soldering, and conformal coating
  • Resolve production issues on the spot while ensuring design integrity allowing us to stay on schedule
  • Facilitate a close relationship with the engineering team during design, build, and test to provide design feedback; provide clear communication between the design engineering team and the production floor
  • Lead efforts to uncover root-cause and develop a permanent resolution on issues found during production
  • Develop a robust set of test machinery that includes critical spares for ensuring complete uptime
  • Determine schedule impacts for unforeseen design or process changes in production
  • Utilize lean manufacturing tools; recommend improvements in production methods, standards, tooling, equipment, layout, procedures, product designs, and employee efficiency
  • Support the transition of products from development to volume production and identify continuous improvement opportunities for yield, performance, and cost
  • Work with the design team in response to manufacturing problems, parts obsolescence, and minor requirement changes
  • Prepare and maintain documentation required to ensure efficient production. Participate in design reviews to conduct DFM and DFT recommendations with innovative and cost-effective solutions


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering field
  • 8+ years of professional experience working in SMT or PCBA process engineering


  • 10+ years of direct experience working in SMT or PCBA process engineering
  • Hands on experience with optimizing SMT pick and place, reflow oven, conformal coating, or through hole soldering systems
  • Passion for advancing the commercial space industry and human spaceflight
  • Strong work ethic and drive to succeed
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, autonomously driven, and demanding start-up atmosphere
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal


  • Extended hours and weekend work may be required to support critical project and mission milestones
  • Ability to lift 25 lbs. unassisted
  • Standing for long periods of time, climbing up and down ladders, bending, grasping, sitting, pulling, pushing, stooping, and stretching may be required to perform the functions of this position

Pay Range:
Principal SMT Engineer Engineer/Principal: $165,000.00 - $230,000.00/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.