Space Exploration Technologies

  www.spacex.com
  www.spacex.com

Space Exploration Technologies Reviews

Updated December 11, 2014
Updated December 11, 2014
184 Reviews
3.8
184 Reviews
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Space Exploration Technologies CEO and CTO Elon Musk
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148 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.  

    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 an year)

    Pros

    Tons of learning experience
    Cool Projects

    Cons

    Very intense
    Long work hours
    Little training or support

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 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
  3.  

    Excellent Company

    • 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

    Pros

    The coworkers make this place great. Everyone is highly motivated, brilliant, and helpful. You will work a lot, learn a lot, and work on more space missions that actually fly than most people will do in their entire careers.

    Cons

    The long work hours take their toll over time, it's hard to keep up with the grind year after year.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Work environment of Spacex

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

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

    Pros

    lucrative company with generous stock option offerings

    Cons

    Very high stress environment with poor work/life balance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    interact more with the non-management staff for feedback

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Overrall great experience, Fast-paced, not a place to build a long lasting career

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

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

    Pros

    You will learn so much in the first years working at SpaceX than at any other company in the industry. Young engineers given incredible amount of responsibility. The more work you produce the more work you will get. You have the opportunity to work on cradle-to-grave projects. You work with a diverse group of people from various backgrounds.

    Cons

    The best employees/managers are former DoD employees (i.e. /Boeing/Northrop...etc.). The company is not what it used to be a few years ago (stock options are not worth it, this late in the game). Poor communication among departments, increased bureaucracy, and finger-pointing. Fro-yo and candy gets old after 3 months, compensate and recognize people for their contributions. People burn out here fast (high turnover).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow for increased upward mobility among employees between departments (rotation programs).
    Need more systems engineers to help improve communication between departments.
    Stop hiring people without engineering/industry relevant backgrounds (criminal justice/restaurant managers/cops...etc.).
    Improve work life balance (less hours), compensate more, offer higher education reimbursement to retain top talent or they will leave.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Structural mechanics

    • 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

    This company is very detailed don't be a Mr.know it all if you want a job at spacex its very simple.Know your craft,be very confident in your answer.I cant stress this enough listen,listen,listen,Give a detailed answer.The interviewer,is judging your character and demeanor.Keep it simple.

    Cons

    I dont know yet.Just got hired

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support your team.

  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Exciting experience for a summer, nothing more

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

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

    Pros

    As a graduate intern, I was given a lot of responsibility and power to work on and lead real projects. In fact, SpaceX probably gives interns too much freedom and power (in an unsafe manner), but as an intern I wasn't complaining. Meh discount housing, shuttle to work, cheap and delicious food, amazing product, excited workforce.

    Cons

    The company is in chaos. There is little organizational clarity, teams have no idea what their neighbors are doing, and all decisions seem short term and unthought out. The facilities are unable to support the now massive engineering force (power outages, no AC, cycling lighting, zero personal space, monitors touching your neighbors on both sides). There are many software packages used by different teams that are not compatible with others.
    Obviously, work-life balance is nonexistent. Interns are expected to work 50-60 hours a week, and full timers 65+ without overtime or fair compensation. You will be compensated similarly to that of other aerospace companies, but then worked to death in expensive LA.
    Employee retention is ludicrously low, and the company does not seem to care.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate more with the workforce on more than "we're going to mars!" All information passes via word of mouth nowadays, so much of it is inaccurate.
    The attitude currently conveyed to employees is "work yourself to death or get out, we can easily replace you."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great learning experience & terrible work-life balance

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

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

    Pros

    My 6 month Co-Op was a great learning experience, and SpaceX really values the practical application of knowledge. Student project team experience has a lot of weight in the interview/application process, and they seemed to prefer applicants with actual design/production/implementation experience. I also found that the high GPA "Honor roll" students really struggled here, and are probably a better fit at a large prime contractor where interns push paper around most of the time. I left this Co-Op with a lot of great experience, and was able to take components "full cycle" from design, through prototype and into production. Tons of freedom and you don't get bogged down with red tape and bureaucracy.

    Even a few years ago, the company offered employees a lot of "day to day" perks that have been removed from many offices in the age of corporate cost savings. A little free coffee goes a long way. The overall culture here is awesome, and everybody truly wants to see the company succeed. Most of the engineers are very young, and there's a lot of socializing out of work. HR hooks interns up with furnished apartments at a discounted rate in a pretty nice area too.

    Cons

    The intern salary would have been very good for a 40 hour/week role, but we routinely worked 60+, which can really burn you out after a few months. One needs to realize that this company operates very differently than most aerospace companies, which is not a bad thing, but don't expect a successful internship at another big company to guarantee success here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Never stop innovating!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great company undergoing growing pain

    • 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 full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The mission; the people and the thrill of watching something you directly helped come to fruition break the bonds of earth.

    Cons

    SpaceX needs grow fast and would really benefit from some change management experts and organizational design experts. It's growing too fast without the infrastructure and design to support it. Leads to a lot of employees getting lost in the shuffle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retooling of HR; bring on board leadership with experience bringing organizational change to an organization, especially a start up one. Bring in consultants and listen to them about how to be the company you want to be.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Instrumentation Technician in McGregor, TX
    Former Employee - Instrumentation Technician in McGregor, TX

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

    Pros

    you get to work on rocket engines that eventually will be in space on missions..

    Cons

    in the middle of nowhere and pay scale not quite up to standard for the industry..I gained incredible experience and enjoyed everyday at work...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    weed out the snakes and yes men..find out who is really committed to their job and excellence..

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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