Space Exploration Technologies

  www.spacex.com
  www.spacex.com

Space Exploration Technologies Reviews

Updated October 16, 2014
Updated October 16, 2014
168 Reviews
3.9
168 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Space Exploration Technologies CEO and CTO Elon Musk
Elon Musk
136 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fast-paced environment with many opportunities to make a difference for those who are intelligent and motivated (in 17 reviews)

  • Free Frozen Yogurt/Sodas/Coffees (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • No work-life balance for the people who work on the production floor (in 25 reviews)

  • People complain about long hours, but nobody forces you to stay for 10-12 hours a day (in 33 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    A Very Special Place to Work

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

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

    Pros

    No matter how much work there is to do, knowing that what you're working on is changing the world and advancing humanity makes it seem less like a job. If you're excellent at what you do and eager to achieve greatness, there's very little that will get in your way.

    Cons

    Not enough time in the day to accomplish everything. Parking off site.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    An annual cash bonus for high performers would be a great motivator.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Manufacturing Engineer Intern

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

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The company is fantastic because it gets things done, and done quickly. In that way, the experience that I've gained at SpaceX is unlike anything else I can get anywhere in the world. The technology keeps the employees going and the challenge of every day work never leaves you bored.

    Cons

    As a young engineer, even I was often overly exhausted. As a SpaceXer, one has to be ready to work 10, 12, ...14 hour days. This can really depend on your team and how HOT your work is, but it is important to know what you're getting into.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Exciting work, especially young engineers fresh out of college

    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Propulsion Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Propulsion Engineer in Hawthorne, CA

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

    Pros

    Awesome Work. Exciting to come to work everyday.
    You are faced with numerous engineering challenges during typical work

    Cons

    Lack of a good work/life balance. Long hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing. You guys are doing great!

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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    I would not feel safe in this company's manned spacecraft.

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

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

    Pros

    Very fulfulling work, feeling like you are contributing to an important chapter of history. Good cafeteria on site. The ability to walk down to the first floor and talk with shop workers about manufacturing limitations, and see spacecraft being built all around you.

    Cons

    SpaceX is quickly losing its small-company feel. By now it's unthinkable for the engineers actually to fabricate parts, and production parts are the high priority in the shops (not R&D). The stock options are a joke at this point, and they're bringing in a classroom full of people every week. Don't come here if you're expecting the company SpaceX was 5 years ago.

    High turnover and burnout rate. Their MO is to hire fresh college graduates, overwork and underpay them for a few years because they don't know any better. There used to be free dinner at 7:30, the CEO emailed the company criticizing those who stayed until 7:30 for the dinner then left, then they just started charging for the dinner.

    Meager benefits, (notice how many people list "free coffee and frozen yogurt" as 'Pros'? That should illustrate how much one has to stretch. You'll quickly tire of eating frozen yogurt every day, and how much would you be spending on your own coffee? $1.50/day? Wow, awesome 'perk.')

    Universal condemnation and lack of respect for competitors, even the CEO blatantly jokes about competitors. Blind CEO/COO worship, even a senior manager commented that it's a "Emperor's New Clothes" atmosphere in that no one brings serious glaring issues to the top officials and problems get ignored and swept under the veneer of everything being great, operating nominally, etc. Of course, when you feel you could be fired any given day, why would you?

    Overall a cult-like atmosphere of superiority, and yet an "us vs. them" childlike clique mentality between groups, lots of blame and finger pointing over delays. Lots of media hype-mongering as well, future projects are touted as if they're fully operational and tested, while problems with real hardware are ignored and hush-hushed. At one point a launch feed video blackout was explained away as "we decided to forego the video feed because launches have become so routine." WHAT?!

    Boring location; you have to live at least 10 miles away if you want to be anywhere interesting and it takes 15 minutes to get from the parking garage to HQ.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    A thrilling but challenging place to work

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    The thrill of exploring space

    Cons

    You will be worked to death.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Human resources should be valued as much as machines, which they are not.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (less than an 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
  8.  

    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 (more than an 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
  9. 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 (more than an 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
  10.  

    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 (more than an 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
  11. 13 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 (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

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