Space Exploration Technologies Reviews

Updated April 17, 2015
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3.8
203 Reviews
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Space Exploration Technologies CEO and CTO Elon Musk
Elon Musk
162 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Launch Engineer

    • 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 full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The Hawthorne facility is just amazing. I have never seen one so clean and effective so close. On the floor you can simply go up and touch rocket components. There is food onsite that is delicious and very cheap. Froyo, coffee, fruit, and cappuccinos are all free. The culture is fantastic, all members of the team are approachable from the cleaning people to the heads of the company. Employees are treated like valued team members.

    Cons

    The hours are very long and the expectations are high. Recently (and temporarlily) moved to an area of the building where construction is going on with no natural light.

    Advice to Management

    All day is a long time to be relatively stationary at a desk. Incorporate facilities for ping pong etc. to promote movement during the day.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Best place to work for mechanical engineers

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

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I worked here for close to 2 years and it was amazing. If I hadn't wanted to switch careers and stop being an engineer, I never would have left.

    Innovative culture, open communication, cutting edge resources, stock options, expert mentors, welcoming environment, great balance between young engineers fresh out of college and aerospace industry veterans.

    If you're not already a top performer, you will be within a month of working here (or you won't make it).

    Cons

    Work-life balance. You aren't required to work long hours, but most people do because they are passionate, motivated and have a ton on their plates at all times. I usually came in at 10 am, but didn't leave until 10 pm, and frequently worked weekends. Launch schedules and design deadlines are tight and there is always pressure to perform - you will always have multiple fires under your butt. But it's all worth it when you launch something into space!

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing.

  3. Great culture

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Working in a company with such a great vision is definitely very motivating. SpaceX is bringing space into the private industry, i'm very proud of such an achievement

    Cons

    Salaries could be a little bit higher, leadership in the company is great but sometimes struggles with the huge bureaucracy of the space industry.

    Advice to Management

    The management transmits the overall picture perfectly, I would only try to improve some of the approaches used in organising the company.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Tool Engineering Intern

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

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies as an intern

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    I learned more in 9 months here than I learned in all four years of my undergraduate career.

    Cons

    There is no respect here for work life balance. Employees of all levels are burnt out very quickly, also in the production division, miscommunication between departments lead to a lot of redundant or useless work.

    Advice to Management

    You need to learn to appreciate the long term benefits of the forty hour work week. The short vertical height of the company makes career advancement within the company almost impossible.

  6. Helpful (13)

    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)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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!

  7. Amazing

    • 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fast pace, learn a lot

    Cons

    Long hours, easy to get burnt out

    Advice to Management

    Be happy

  8. Review for Enginering/Manufacturing

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

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Plenty of hands on experience. You will get a chance to work on various projects. Flexible work schedule.

    Cons

    Long working hours (average 60 hrs a week). Being a startup, the company is still trying to standardize the processes.

    Advice to Management

    They need to provide training to familiarize the systems and tools.

  9. Outstanding company!

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great medical HMO, stock awards, EAP, a coffee bar, free boots, upbeat environment.

    Cons

    Super O.T. Expect long hours, constant movement, strict deadlines, and meeting the demands of the industry

  10. Helpful (2)

    Achieve your rocket scientist dreams but be abused and treated inhumanely in exchange.

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

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Fun holiday party. Cool founder who is good to name-drop in business school. Cheap food, cheap t-shirts, cheap (i.e. free) coffee.

    Cons

    Below-market compensation and benefits package. Absolutely astronomically unthinkable expectations around becoming a slave to the office. All opportunities for outside contact and development impossible. Engineers either married and hiding at work or love their partners who see the office as the other woman. Prepare for the rest of your life to be over upon entry.

    Advice to Management

    Your employees will be unhappy and unproductive if they are overworked, single for life, and miserable. Getting talent in the door is not the problem. Making sure your engineers don't die in the building is.

  11. Best job ever.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Facilities Technician in Cape Canaveral, FL
    Current Employee - Lead Facilities Technician in Cape Canaveral, FL

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lets you show off your true skills to the best of your ability. Excellent opportunity to move up. The people you work with are all working towards working the same goal working in the most awesome place on the planet. Never have to worry about bringing lunch because its provided.

    Cons

    It will take some time to get to know everyone since there are over three hundred employees. Be prepared to gain some weight. The hot lunches are awesome.

    Advice to Management

    Doing great! Making management changes as needed!

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