Space Exploration Technologies

  www.spacex.com
  www.spacex.com
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Space Exploration Technologies Reviews

Updated September 16, 2014
Updated September 16, 2014
161 Reviews
3.9
161 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Space Exploration Technologies CEO and CTO Elon Musk
Elon Musk
131 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fast-paced environment with many opportunities to make a difference for those who are intelligent and motivated (in 16 reviews)

  • Stock options are valuable and are a financial opportunity very few outside of software ever get (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • No work-life balance for the people who work on the production floor (in 17 reviews)

  • People complain about long hours, but nobody forces you to stay for 10-12 hours a day (in 31 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    My experience at SpaceX was extremely rewarding.

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

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

    Pros

    From the first week, I was given multiple projects that actually contributed to the company. I learned so much working at this company as an intern. The company is awesome, the people are unbelievably intelligent, and the projects that you get from your superiors or the ones you pick up on your own teach you more than you will ever learn in the classroom.

    Cons

    There is a huge learning curve at the very beginning. It took me a little over a month to know where everything is, what I needed to, and how to carry myself throughout my internship.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They don't provide feedback often. I had one review a month or so into my internship and at the very end. I think getting feedback more frequently would help a lot.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tech Recruiter  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Tech Recruiter in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You'll be surrounded with brilliant people that are driven to do amazing things and push the boundaries of what's possible. Flexible environment with lots of freedom to excel. Good work environment.

    Cons

    Parking can be a pain adding a few extra minutes on to your commute but the only big gripe is that projects constantly change and you have to shift priorities quickly. If you can handle that, then you'll do fine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Infrastructure to handle so many projects is very necessary

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Demanding, and Challenging

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

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great work atmosphere. Great smart people. Everybody is open to new ideas. Almost no bureaucracy

    Cons

    Long working hours. You end up loosing work/life balance.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Awesome

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Engineer in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Great money, great people all around

    Cons

    none, the place is awesome I have nothing bad to say

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep it up

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 8 people found this helpful  

    Responsible Engineer

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

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -Food (quality)
    -Flexible hours
    -Culture: very open; wear what you want, speak your mind (except to upper management)
    -Lots of opportunities. It's easy to get lost in tasks. Know its YOUR career - and take control so that you are growing yourself; not just always fighting fires.

    Cons

    -Company expects a LOT from you, and you will be treated like you can be replaced anytime with a younger, more energetic body.
    -Poor work life balance. It's up to you to use your time wisely, and know your limits.
    -Production are a bunch of cliques. You're either in, or not. Get rid of them!
    -Compensation drops significantly after 5 years.
    -COL is high in LA, yet the pay is the same at all locations.
    -Stock given out nowadays is negligible. Compensate by giving salary that is at least competitive.
    -Stacked rankings
    -Elon changes his mind on what he wants on a regular basis. Sure the company is his conception, but he is not helpful. He often sends company wide emails asking us to change what our focus is. It's never thought through - and tells everyone to drop what they are doing; attend the next fire; all while what we were working on's fire keeps growing. Oh, and schedule doesn't slip because of this - he expects we just take on more because he said so. It's obvious he does not think of any details if you listen to what he says (eg. company meetings)

    Can I live with the above? Yes. Do I love it? Yes. But I doubt I'll stay after my stocks are invested.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Let's build some rockets and spaceships; end the cliques.
    -Give incentive of staying after 5 years. Most people lose an insane amount in compensation after 5 years; making it not worthwhile to stay. These folks have a lot of knowledge that is not easily replaced. Pay them so they have option of staying rather than them going to the competitor.
    -We all give up a lot to be at SpaceX, and pull a lot of miracles back to back. Compensate us for them. A 3-6% raise is a disgrace for kicking butt day in and day out. It demoralizes people. Give us a real raise and bonus. If not, give us some extra time off as a 'bonus'.
    -Get rid of stacked rankings. They destroy companies and teams.
    -Scare tactics of firing folks for no reason doesn't make people work harder. In fact, it does the opposite where folks stop caring.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Wouldn't work anywhere else

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

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Wake up everyday excited to go to work
    Work with the brightest and most driven/resourceful engineers in the country with an average age in the 20s
    Have the ability to influence change throughout the entire company if willing to put in the initiative
    Company allows employees to be self driven and take on projects/set priorities on their own
    Build rockets and spacecrafts. Enough said.
    People at SpaceX are focused on changing the world, not their own personal benefit.
    Hours are flexible as long as you get your work done.
    Lots of small benefits that really add up.
    I learned twice as much in 1 year at SpaceX than 2 years at my previous job.
    Hard work and creativity is rewarded, laziness and inefficiency is eliminated.
    Peer reviews are heard by management.

    Cons

    Work life balance (I would rather be excited and challenged 60 hours a week than bored for 40 though)
    A company filled with the top 1% of minds in the world will carry some strong egos.
    Design/R&D groups follow Elon's values much more closely than production, which has more of a militaristic chain of command feel
    Base salary per hour is much lower than competitors for engineers. This is offset by the "cool" factor and stock program.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't be afraid to temporarily slow down/pause/re-allocate resources to ensure mission success and/or increase production efficiency. Reference Tesla's recent initiative: 7 day production hiatus to improve efficiency by 10-20%.

    Take the extra time to design a manufacturable part on the front end. It will save an extraordinary amount of time when it hits the floor. Most designs are spit out quickly to meet a crazy deadline without the due diligence of getting it right the first time. Need to take a step back and look at the big picture rather than the approaching 3 month period ahead.

    Our purpose as a company is to get to Mars. No company on earth has a cooler mission.Don't let us forget it!

    More Elon company updates. Talk about motivation. An hour of his time probably yields a 20% jump in productivity for a month.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Overall good experience, but forget about work life balance

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

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Exciting industry, leading technology. If lucky enough you get to work on rockets. You get to say you 'work for spacex' and you get to post about it on your facebook. At family functions, everyone will want to hear about the exciting job you have.

    Cons

    Some managers don't understand work life balance. They will treat you like a robot, expect long travel (3 weeks plus for me), not want to give you any of that time back in vacation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some managers are great. others need to understand that employees are people with lives and they deserve time to spend with them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Excited to Go Into Work Every Day

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

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great opportunity for growth, incredibly exciting environment, and very rewarding culture.

    Cons

    Work life balance is limited

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't mind working long hours to get my job done. In fact, it's easy for me because I so heavily believe in the mission! Please consider letting us choose RSUs or Options for things like Kick-Ass Awards or promotion awards. My family really appreciated the flexibility in this area when we had the ability to choose for our merit.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 11 people found this helpful  

    No Place Like It

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

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - In all areas of the company, a person will find fast paced work, high expectations, creativity, brilliance and challenging work. You are pushed to be the best, beyond what you thought you were initially capable of.
    - Awards for hard work
    - Onsite restaurant, coffee and ice cream bar
    - Swag
    - Being part of history
    - Working with brilliant people

    Cons

    - If you are an engineer who is above average (exceptional to the outside world) you will do fine. If you are not an engineer, you don't count.
    - If you are not above average every moment of every day of every week of every month of every year, you will not be successful or find career satisfaction. Is SpaceX impacting history? Yes, it is. And, many of my coworkers paid/are paying the price and sacrificing their personal lives to reach "the dream." (We joke that we're the #1 cause for being single, break ups and divorces.)
    - Is it "cool" to work for Elon? Sure it is. He has vision and courage to impact the future. There's a price to pay for working for a "cool" company.
    - Designs/direction that keeps changing. Any small change has a ripple effect on each rocket produced and each launch that is scheduled. We had an awesome launch from VAFB. On time and flawless. Why change what worked? Yes, there is room for improvement but consistent perfection needs to happen first.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Employees, especially those who were with Spx for any length of time, have the company's back. We want the company to succeed. This is why we joined the company. We knew it was going to be hard, challenging work. Some even knew it would be super tough but joined anyway. Know that the employees are dedicated and want what is best for SpaceX.
    - Treat people like human beings rather than resources that are expendable. Take employees' concerns seriously especially when they don't come from the suggestion box.
    - Listen to and believe the people who are truth tellers, even when you don't want to. The company hired HR from the east coast who was allowed to dismantle the HR department. Top execs were lead to believe that the HR team was worthless. There were several key HR people in place during 2013 who were rock solid HR people and truth tellers. They had a pulse on what was going on in the organization. They were not afraid to fight for what was right. They were the only people not afraid to tell it "like it is" which is what the owner wanted. They were the ones with suggestions and saw the pain points. They were the ones who connected with us. Somehow, all of those people the business units relied on have been excused from their roles during the dismantling of the department. You want to fix what's going on....maybe they should be brought back. Same can be said for a few who are no longer there for political reasons.
    - Don't keep "squeaky wheel" performers - it's easier to point the finger at at coworker than take responsibility for oneself. You think they are telling you all of the "gossip" and "keeping it real." Squeaky wheels are the last people you should believe or give an audience to.
    - Don't think you are immune to the laws. Don't try to sidestep or be "creative" to not follow them.
    - Be objective. Don't allow personal feelings or "peer pressure" from other executives or managers influence your decisions about any operation that affects the employees.
    - Have integrity.Follow your own ethics policy.
    - Always tell the truth. Always... even it it means admitting that you are tremendously wrong.
    - Stop firing people for reasons you think are justifiable. If you are going to let an employee go, do it with class and do it the right way. The employee you let go, in most cases, scarified a tremendous amount and accomplished a great deal for the company. Don't kick them as they are pushed out the door. Allow people to leave with respect and dignity intact instead of insulted, used, surprised and angry.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Fun job...not the hours

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

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Great opportunities. Be a part of something greater than yourself. Excellent compensation and benefits

    Cons

    LONG hours (minimum 10hr days), Management can be bull-headed. Very clique-oriented

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on the positives in an employee, not just the deficits

    Recommends

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