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Sr. Propulsion Engineer, Chamber and Nozzle (Raptor)



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Friday, June 28, 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 Raptor Chamber and Nozzle team designs, analyzes, builds, and tests the Thrust Chamber Assembly (TCA) of the Raptor rocket engine for both the Sea Level and Vacuum variants of the engine, including the Nozzle Extension. The TCA interfaces with many other engine components, both upstream and downstream, while operating under extreme pressure and temperature conditions. Senior Propulsion Engineers have the opportunity to develop innovative improvements to the TCA and take these designs from initial concept to flight. Candidates can expect to design & analyze components for a variety of manufacturing processes, material conditions, and operating environments – all while minimizing cost/weight on an aggressive schedule.


  • Design state-of-the-art, manufacturable, and cost-effective components for all variants of the Raptor TCA and Nozzle Extension
  • Develop innovative solutions to allow rapid reusability and survivability of the thrust chamber and related components through all phases of flight
  • Create part models using industry best practices for ease of use and modification
  • Use first principles and hand calculations, along with FEA, to verify initial component designs
  • Generate and maintain detailed drawings, design requirements, and processing requirements
  • Partner with manufacturing, analysis, production, testing, and supply chain to achieve Raptor’s engine delivery requirements, while maintaining high quality and low cost
  • Drive enhancements to the future-state Sea Level and Vacuum TCAs to enable improved vehicle performance – collaborating closely with Starship and Booster teams


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in an engineering discipline
  • 5+ years of professional experience in mechanical design, fluids design, and analysis of engineering components


  • Master’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • Professional experience using NX and Teamcenter for component design and management
  • Experience designing parts for a wide variety of manufacturing processes (castings, forgings, 5-axis machining, sheet metal forming, welding, brazing, automation, etc.)
  • Ability to perform trade studies using first principles and engineering fundamentals to make clear recommendations even with partial information
  • Experience with analysis setup, execution, and post-processing using commercially available FEA programs (geometry, defeaturing, mesh generation, and model selection)
  • Able to work well in an integrated collaborative team environment, including frequent interactions with technicians, other engineers, and senior management
  • Highly self-motivated with strong organizational and written/oral communication skills – able to prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment with the ongoing drive for continuous improvement in all aspects of work


  • Willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed


Pay range:

  • Propulsion Engineer/Senior: $125,000.00 - $175,000.00/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.