NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Careers | Glassdoor

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Careers

Pasadena, CA
5001 to 10000 employees
Nonprofit Organization
Federal Agencies
Unknown / Non-Applicable
New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire ... Read more

Mission: To serve the nation by exploring space in the pursuit of discoveries that benefit humanity.

Company Updates

  • Meet Nicholas, a Systems Engineer at JPL. Inspired by his uncle, an electrical engineer, Nicholas’ early interests focused on electronics and technology. He started at JPL as an intern while pursuing his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at USC. After graduating, he joined JPL full-time. Nicholas is currently the Lead Systems Engineer of POINTER, a project that researches and develops indoor tracking technologies for emergency first responders. He is grateful for the opportunity to work on a project that has the potential to save first responder lives and make a huge impact on society. His favorite thing about JPL? The diverse and accepting workplace culture, where everyone shares a common goal of pushing the limits of technology. A member of JPL’s Asian American council, he is inspired by Yao Ming who “left a huge global impact and legacy both on and off the court, despite all the skepticism and racism he initially received.” Nicholas’ advice for students in STEM: “Keep pursuing what you’re passionate about and people will recognize your passion and work ethic.” #APAHM

  • When the NASA Perseverance Mars rover lands on the Red Planet, it will be caching rock samples for a future mission to collect and return to Earth. For Mars 2020 Deputy Project Scientist at NASA-JPL Katie Stack Morgan, studying rocks is not only important in the search for ancient life, but it’s also a hobby. Follow Perseverance’s journey to Mars:

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Why Work With Us?

Discover What You're Made Of

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a unique collaboration between NASA and Caltech. We are funded by the space agency to serve the space program and national interests, while staffed and managed by one of the world’s premier academic Institutions. This synergy offers opportunities and technical resources that would not be possible in either realm alone. 

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers — literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission — your opportunity — is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.  

Explore our opportunities:

Why work at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory?

1. Our mission is bigger than all of us.

You could say our mission is as big as space. Our discoveries in technology and space exploration advance humanity in many directions. We are creating new solutions, new potential, and even new ways of seeing the universe and life itself. If that sounds a little grandiose, it's because it is.

2. We're not just dreamers, we're doers.

The bigger your imagination, the better you'll like it here. Just remember, we don't stop at imagining big things — we make them happen. Some people are visionary and some people are pragmatic, but we need to be 100% both. So now that you have dreamed it, how will you make it so?

3. We like impossible.

To us, insurmountable odds aren't frustrating — they're stimulating. Pursuing solutions is an obsession with us. It's why we get out of bed. And the more challenging the struggle, the more amazing it feels when that solution is at hand.

4. We always have more to learn.

It's impossible to know everything, but that doesn't stop us from trying. We crave knowledge, and we're always looking for the chance to learn something new. That's just how we're wired. Fortunately, it's also one of the things that makes us great at what we do.

5. We're in it for the journey.

A longer journey takes us more places we've never been. We discover things most people will never see. Instead of getting tired, we just grow more committed to the destination. More invested. Sometimes a little possessive. And nothing is going to pry us loose until we see what's at the end of the journey. 

6. We elevate the work by elevating each other.

We all have a vested interest in each other because our mission won't succeed unless we all succeed. It's a simple reality with a powerful effect — when you need help, it will always be there. Because what elevates one will elevate us all.

JPL benefits from a workforce comprising of diverse, independently minded people. Our people thrive on analysis and are energized by dialectic. As the saying goes, if you get five JPLers together, you will have at least seven viewpoints. The give-and-take that characterizes all our meetings, reviews and decisions is what strengthens our designs, plans and results.

JPL’s college-campus-like atmosphere breathes innovation. At JPL, our relaxed dress code and outdoor workspaces allow JPLers to work and think freely, coffee carts give us an extra afternoon boost and the constant pedestrian foot-traffic guarantees a broadband of intellectual exchanges.


Our quests are the profound questions we strive to answer.

Our vision lies in our universe and beyond — to serve the nation by exploring space in the pursuit of discoveries that benefit humanity. 

Our quests are the profound questions we strive to answer.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Reviews

  • Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "Great atmosphere with a variety of projects and room for growth"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)


    University-like atmosphere, knowledgeable colleagues, a variety of different projects and positions with a lot of movement for people every few years, excellent pay and benefits (especially for government-like work)


    Some project phases require long hours (but the reward is worth it!)

    Advice to Management

    Keep developing people as leaders, and not just engineers, and the workforce will continue to get even stronger.

See All 792 Reviews

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Photos

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Women's History Month at JPL
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Mars 2020 Family Day
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Mars 2020 Family Day
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Cassini's Grand Finale
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Find Your Place 2017
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Virtual reality exploration in our Operations Lab
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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview


    Failure Analysis Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA) in January 2020.


    Applied online, first received a fairly brief phone interview answering a couple 'describe a time' questions, followed by a request for an all-day onsite interview. The request came toward the end of December, and I found myself unavailable to take a day off from work right before the holidays, but they were willing to accommodate and wait until January. The on-site interview was composed of mostly one-on-ones with a presentation to the team about halfway through, each event lasting 30 minutes to an hour:

    1) HR
    2) Lab supervisor + lab tour
    3) Related group supervisor
    3) Lunch with team
    4) Presentation to team (~15 min) + question and answers with everyone
    5) Teammate
    6) Section management.

    Everyone was friendly, the environment was very relaxed. It felt like more of a meet and greet than most interviews I've had, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.

    Interview Questions

    • Most questions were about what I have experience in, FA scenarios, and what equipment I use in what frequency. The majority were can-you-be-useful-to-us questions, and are-we-going-to-want-to-work-with-you questions, which make way more sense to me than the textbook-memorization types I've gotten in other interviews. I recall a few technical questions, but nobody was bothered with extreme details, general comprehension seemed more important. Some technical examples:

      - How does photoemission work?
      - How does CT work?
      - Can you draw the IV curve of a diode?   Answer Question
See All 220 Interviews

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Awards & Accolades

  • CIO 100 Award, CIO Magazine, 2020
  • Robert J. Collier Trophy, National Aeronautic Association, 2012
  • Foundation Award for Excellence, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), 2013
  • One of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT, OCIO, 2013
  • CIO 100 Award, CIO Magazine, 2019
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Pledges & Certifications

Veteran Hiring Commitment

Committed to helping America's military veterans find work

Pay Equality Pledge

Committed to paying equitably for equal work & experience

Tech Hiring Commitment

Helping to train, hire and promote more technology workers

Diversity Commitment

Has programs that support a diverse and inclusive workforce

Pledge to Thrive

Taking steps to prioritize employee well-being

First Job Programs

Maintain entry-level hiring and career development programs to give people career starts

Work at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory? Share Your Experiences

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