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SpaceX Reviews

Updated February 22, 2018
877 reviews

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4.4
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877 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Launch sites are high energy fast paced (in 140 reviews)

  • Working at SpaceX gives you the opportunity to work with some of the best engineers in the US (in 36 reviews)

Cons
  • The long hours can make work/life balance difficult (in 206 reviews)

  • Engineers work extremely long hours (in 331 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Very engaging work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at SpaceX full-time

    Pros

    The work was very engaging

    Cons

    Very little down time to relax


  2. "FALCON heavy!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Integration Technician in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Integration Technician in Hawthorne, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SpaceX full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If your heart is in the right place as to why you want to work here with this team of amazing individuals there is no limit to the things that you may accomplish if you set your sights high and keep reaching goals. If you want to work somewhere where your work is valued and you value your work that’s here and you will love all of what this place has to offer. As for the work, there’s tons to spare and as the saying goes around SpaceX, “everyone is their own slave driver!” I am here frequently enough and it’s fantastic to see when I’m walking around that I’m never really alone in wanting to work my butt off. The factory is always alive with people working on various projects and everyone’s always so nice. I’ve stop plenty of people in the middle of what they’re doing to ask a few questions and they’ve happily obliged.

    Cons

    Everyone has their version of the “dream job” and because of my personal reasons, I’ve found mine here, It would really be unjust and nit picky for me to pick anything worth mentioning.

    Advice to Management

    The atmosphere was seemingly lacking in cross-functionality amongst specific departments, but I’ve noticed the shift in training and gearing towards well rounded teams. IMO communication is key. Keep up the attention to detail regarding that and the welfare of the “small guys” and the sky’s the limit.

  3. "Crew Dragon Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SpaceX full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Freedom to do your job how you want.
    Interesting projects.
    Dedicated and highly intelligent people all around.
    Family time is respected, flexible hours are cool.
    Super fun culture.
    Astronauts in the office.
    Big challenges and hard work = rewarding

    Cons

    Big egos, but you get used to it.
    There’s a lot of work, driven by aggressive schedules which can be unrealistic at times.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the benefits great, and consider on-site child care. Even if it’s not covered, it would be convenient and a huge perk!


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Super cool, but tiring, place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cape Canaveral, FL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cape Canaveral, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SpaceX full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I've been working here for just over three months. It's an exceptionally cool place to work - being involved in rocket launches is just, well cool. You get to think outside the box, come up with novel ideas to overcome challenges - I like that there isn't a "that's the way we've always done it" mentality and relatively light bureaucracy to get things done.

    Insurance is second to none - absolutely fantastic.

    Cons

    Work-life balance SUCKS. Work schedules constantly change (due to the nature of the business) and it's difficult to plan things. For those who want overtime, it's there in abundance. However, for those who do not want overtime, it's still there in abundance. Also, in my particular profession, vertical opportunities are slim. However, I lateral opportunities can exist if you're willing to go for it.

    Lack of a matching 401(k) is a big draw back; Also, in a field that is constantly evolving, tuition reimbursement would be a huge plus.

    Advice to Management

    I know we like running like a start up - but some business (not technical) areas should mature to help create better accountability and efficiency.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "View of a 90 Day New Employee/ Engineer with 10+ Years Experience in Aerospace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SpaceX full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Opportunities to work with highly intelligent people/ be the dumbest person in the room.
    Satisfaction of seeing your work make an impact on actual product.
    Getting to work around rockets and their components.
    Down to earth colleagues.
    Tons of opportunity for growth and learning. It is okay to not know everything here and need to learn how to do something new.
    People are not protective of their respective work areas.
    When major issues are identified, they seem to float to the top quickly and are disseminated to the wider company.
    Its okay to make mistakes, but they need to be identified and resolved.
    If you have a good idea, people are willing to try it out (the best idea wins).
    Subsidized food (can get a full blown lunch from $3 to $5) and the food is actually good.
    Management has worked to provide a work-life balance. I haven't experienced the horror stories that some people have shared on here regarding the brutal hours. I've been working 45 to 50 hours per week, but do not work directly for production. My manager stated his main concern is I'm getting my assigned tasks done and him seeing results. My impression is if you work directly for production, expect brutal hours as you will have hard/ ambitious deadlines to meet.
    The stock award has the potential to pay out big time if the company's trajectory stays on its current path.
    Hands off on getting work done. My manager assigns me work and trusts me to go out and make an impact with practically no supervision. I have freedom to attack problems as I see fit.
    The processes here are not set in stone. If something is wrong or there is a better way, things can get changed quickly.
    The culture is very open. If you want to/ know how to dig through SpaceX's systems, you have full access to everything and can dig through rocket component drawings, issues, etc.
    Flat organizational structure. There isn't many layers of management here and SpaceX doesn't have the bureaucratic inertia other major aerospace companies have.
    The benefits very good. The onsite medical and dental makes seeing the doctor or dentist incredibly convenient. There are a variety of other perks you get for working here that many other companies do not offer.
    The chance to be a part of something that is truly inspirational and fun. When you're employed here, the suspense of a launch and the exhilaration of success is fantastic.
    Year round summertime in Southern California.

    Cons

    Many people here don't seem to understand how to make a quality product, or take the quality of a product for granted.
    People don't understand yet the impact my group's function has and my group seems to be an after thought most of the time. If we were involved upfront and our processes respected, SpaceX would save costs and improve quality.
    There are a ton of people in Southern California and a good chunk of LA has relatively high pollution areas. Living in areas with less pollution is more expensive.
    People can drive like maniacs around Hawthorne. Be careful when crossing the street or riding a SpaceX bike on the street. There are stories of multiple people being hit in the crosswalks on Crenshaw.
    There is some shadiness. People stealing equipment/ scrap materials and selling them for personal gain. People circumventing processes and using equipment they shouldn't be. People sleeping in their cars or walking around socializing all day.
    There seems to be a lack of accountability. People can get away with doing shady stuff and not get fired for it. From what I've gathered during my brief time here it is remarkably hard to get fired from SpaceX. They tend to lose people mainly from burn out or they get a job that offers more pay with less hours outside of the company.
    People have told me this isn't the best/ safest area of LA, but I haven't seen anything that has made me feel uneasy. On the walk to Wilkie along the train tracks you may see some homeless people along with piles of their garbage and the walk over the canal can stink.
    My manager and some colleagues can be/ are completely unresponsive to emails. Only time I can get questions answered is during 1:1s.
    Onboarding process was unorganized/ non-existent. I showed up expecting to hit the ground running and it appeared they didn't know what they wanted me to work on. My expectation was there would be a clear set of tasks and things to see/ do upon my arrival, and a process in place to accomplish these for a new employee. With my group this did not happen/ was not in place.
    Some groups have a lack of professionalism. Maybe it is what SpaceX considers scrappiness, but if you're expecting a highly professional, white collar environment that isn't SpaceX. There are plenty of blue collar/ Joe Schmoes at SpaceX that are a bit rough around the edges (for better or worse). I've also observed management talking about their employees behind their backs, which makes one wonder what management is saying about them behind their back.
    Senior management seems out of touch with what my group is doing and how to help us accomplish our goals.
    No 401k match. Pretty much all other major aerospace companies offer a substantial 401k match that provides an extra boost to retirement savings.
    The stock award is great but if the company tanks for whatever reason, the stock could be worth nothing. Plus the stock awarded to a typical employee doesn't have the same class as what the executives get, such that if the company does tank the executives get to claim the value of what's left of the company with the average employee not getting anything from their stock. Keep in mind in order to claim the full stock award, you will have to pay the taxes on it. If you can't afford to pay the taxes, it will be taken out of your stock award which means you will not get as much stock as they advertised in your offer.
    Base salary isn't as good as the other major aerospace companies (I took a cut in base pay to come work here).

    Advice to Management

    Better work-life balance for employees at large. Work-life balance is something that employees with families HIGHLY VALUE. Some of the best talent out there isn't in their twenties and cannot work 50 to 60 hours a week and maintain a happy family life. If things are not happy at home, employee performance and retention will suffer. Work on making it okay to work 40 to 50 hours a week. Younger, motivated employees that can spend the longer hours at work will put in the extra hours to expedite their career growth.
    Make sure clear onboarding steps and projects are in place for new employees before bringing them in. My onboarding was very disappointing.
    Add 401k matching or pay the taxes on the stock award.
    Hold employees accountable for not following the rules.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Plenty of overtime!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quality Inspector in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Quality Inspector in Hawthorne, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SpaceX (More than a year)

    Pros

    Cutting edge, fast paced, dynamic team enviornment.

    Cons

    Compensation could be better, but the overtime will make up for it.

    Advice to Management

    Match the 401k plans


  7. Helpful (3)

    "The race to the finish line can be frustrating, but SO worth it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technician in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Technician in Hawthorne, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SpaceX full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Watching what you build soar into space is a huge reward.
    Most people use SpaceX as a resume stepping stool.
    Elon is a pretty awesome guy, but don't expect to talk to him.
    Work is challenging and you have to think outside the box.
    We build rockets and spacecraft. We just put a car into space. How else can I describe it??

    Cons

    The food.....it's just....weird.
    Work/life balance. If you want to just come in and work a regular schedule, you won't last.
    Overtime is slowly going away for some teams.
    I really hate seeing quality employees leave for other companies.
    Managers who manage by spreadsheets.

    Advice to Management

    Screen promotion candidates more thoroughly.
    Provide normal food for us normal people. I would die for a regular salad bar.
    A lot of self centered individuals who are just either here for the fun ride or themselves.

  8. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Material Flow Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Material Flow Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SpaceX full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great energy and people, awesome mission

    Cons

    Long hours, crazy deadlines and an ever-changing priorities

    Advice to Management

    None


  9. "Intense place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Cape Canaveral, FL
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Cape Canaveral, FL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SpaceX full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very rewarding work environment and exciting projects

    Cons

    very long hours and intense work environment


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Structures Engineer that Loves their Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Structural Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Current Employee - Structural Engineer in Hawthorne, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SpaceX full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent coworkers! Working at SpaceX gives you the opportunity to work with some of the best engineers in the US. This combined with the "wear multiple hats" aspect of employment at SpaceX means that you get a lot more exposure than other employment opportunities and the quality of content that you are learning is just incredible.
    The work environment is set up so that you do not feel the long hours. If you are hungry, they always have food. There is pretty much anything to satisfy a craving while you are at work.

    Cons

    The barrier to entry for working on meaningful projects is quite large. It takes a solid 2 weeks to get all of the necessary information to do fairly basic tasks. All of the information is easily reached, but the quantity of material that must be known for every small step is burdensome in the beginning.
    The work is very interesting, and in my opinion makes the long hours very easy to endure.

    Advice to Management

    Put complaints into action, hire more people to free up bandwidth, and encourage working in other departments for short stints to get a better breadth of knowledge.


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