Space Exploration Technologies

www.spacex.com

Space Exploration Technologies Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
195 Reviews
3.8
195 Reviews
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Space Exploration Technologies CEO and CTO Elon Musk
Elon Musk
157 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Enjoy fast-paced environment or start-up culture (in 18 reviews)

  • Free Frozen Yogurt/Sodas/Coffees (in 13 reviews)


Cons
  • No work-life balance for the people who work on the production floor (in 28 reviews)

  • People complain about long hours, but nobody forces you to stay for 10-12 hours a day (in 34 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Best place for passionate nerds to make a dent in the universe

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Hawthorne, CA

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    My coworkers are insanely smart and responsive. I can count on them. Even if I have unrealistic requests (like "Write a test report by tonight because the customer just told us they need it.") They're also committed to improvement and open to change even when it's tough.
    The information systems here are impressive. Once you learn them, they help you be highly productive. They are as innovative with their ERP systems as they are with their rockets.
    From your first day, you're part of a very special community. After you watch your first launch outside Mission Control with your colleagues, you know it in your heart.
    Base pay is good even considering the long hours (I work 50-65 per week). RSUs make the compensation very good. The company's value is growing much faster than any comparable company, public or private.
    You are rewarded for hard work. Almost everyone who interviewed me has been promoted in the last year.
    It's very doable to adjust your role if you find an internal need you can fill and raise your hand.
    You'll be doing real work on your first day.

    Cons

    I had a really hard time feeling like part of the community during my first month. No one came over to ask how I was doing. No one held my hand. I didn't get many newbie lunch invites. People look so busy, or tight-knit, that I had to go against my natural impulses and really try to meet people. I'd like to see a better onboarding program in the future.
    Everyone needs to work long hours sometimes. Some people work long hours all the time. You don't have to be a martyr. As one of my interviewers told me: be committed, but have boundaries.
    People seemed surprised that I didn't know how a completely proprietary information system worked yet! People will help you, but you need to ask. It's OK - just don't ask the same questions over and over again.
    There are some engineers who come off as jerks, more than at other places I've worked. They're really not, but just be prepared, be nice and don't expect everyone to be everyone's favorite right away. There are a lot of exceptional people here... some of them are just more "special" than others :)
    Much of work feels unstructured. If this is frustrating, DON'T WORK HERE. If this is exciting to you, and you can deal with that or help create some good structure, WELCOME TO SPACEX!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I believe SpaceX is entering an adolescent phase between startup and maturity. The next 10 years will see growth in throughput and revenue, but also in complexity. We will always need the crazy engineers (I say that in a loving way) but will also need additional skill sets and business acumen, united by the SpaceX vision and culture, to scale to the level we need to reach. I believe in your leadership, and I believe that the greatest and most exciting challenges lie ahead!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Don't know how to swim? They'll launch you to middle of the Pacific Ocean

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Structures Intern in Hawthorne, CA
    Former Employee - Structures Intern in Hawthorne, CA

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    You learn so much in a brief period of time. There is an amazing amount of technical experience waiting for you to just grab. The innovation is almost incomparable to other companies in the same industry. The amount of talent that surrounds you at all times is simply inspiring.

    Cons

    The work-life balance is very difficult to manage. Expectations are not always clear.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set clear expectations and provide proper guidance especially to inexperienced engineers. The amount of responsibility given can potentially be overwhelming.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Space X

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies

    Pros

    Great Work. Lots of fun. Were accomplishing things that no one else would think of. Cheap spacex merchandise.

    Cons

    Work hard. Alot of pressure to get work done so constantly there till late. Transition to alot of paperwork.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Exploration of Space brings talented technicians toward a futuristic and realistic commercial goal

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Video Technician in Hawthorne, CA
    Former Employee - Video Technician in Hawthorne, CA

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great organization, attention to detail, and security. Data and tools readily available to every employee. Fantastic tours, and transparent business model. Inspiring management and atmosphere

    Cons

    Lack of social engagement between employee sectors. Computer training, however engaging and efficient, can lead to confusion/alienation without in-person training

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Present weekly commercials to workers in a common environment advertising social clubs, meeting groups and entrepreneurial opportunities.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Very fulfilling to work there. Yes, the hours are long, but you really feel like everyone's in it together.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, very understanding of rewarding long hours with breaks. Management was phenomenal, everyone is very helpful.

    Cons

    A lot of younger engineers who all feel like they have something to prove, can make work a little intense at times.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Rewarding, challenging place to work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies

    Pros

    Intelligent, driven people working toward a common goal

    Cons

    Long hours, demanding projects make this place not for everyone

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    Overall Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Learn a lot. Challenged hourly.

    Cons

    Lots of pressure, stress. Work constantly.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 16 people found this helpful  

    Extremely disappointing experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Hawthorne, CA

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I've been an aerospace engineer for 15 years and have been at SpaceX for several years. The best part is you get to build rockets and spaceships! This place gets a 10 on the coolness factor. Things get done very fast. This company is the future of American aerospace.

    Cons

    There is no work life balance. If you have a family like I do, do yourself a favor and don't even consider this place. There are a lot of young engineers who have nothing better to do than work 70-80 hrs/week and people will look down on you if you don't work at least 60. Don't try and convince yourself that you can balance work life here. Even when I did get home, I would get so hammered with emails on my phone, that I had to open up my laptop and work all night. There is no 401K matching. They give stock awards, but the taxes are so high you either have to pay tens of thousands or give up some shares. Training is non-existent, it's gotten a lot better, but still pretty bad. if you don't have a family and are willing to work at the minimum 70 hrs/week, then you can move up the ladder. There are some really good engineers who do great work, but aren't willing to put in the long hours, so they are stuck at the bottom. Many problems have risen from the large growth of the last 2 years. There are guys building engine who's previous experience is Burger King (That is not a joke!).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more incentives to your employees especially engineers. The majority of engineers are truly unhappy. Unhappy with pay, hours, and lack of respect. Stop basing promotions off of hours worked vs. talent. Ask people what they think is wrong with the company. Don't ask people to do things that you are not willing to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Exciting Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Hawthorne, CA

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Constantly doing new things, there are always things to look forward to and opportunities to take on more responsibility. Colleagues are all top notch.

    Cons

    At this point the company is big enough that it will take a while to work your way up, just like many other larger companies. Work hours can be high, but there's not really much direct pressure to work more.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Intense awsome experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern
    Former Employee - Intern

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Tons of learning experience
    Cool Projects

    Cons

    Very intense
    Long work hours
    Little training or support

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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