People Matter


Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Long Beach, CA, USA
Posted on Monday, May 22, 2023

About The Role

Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action oriented.

Life at Rocket Lab


This is a rare opportunity to play a key role in Rocket Lab’s evolution into an end-to-end space company that delivers launch, spacecraft, and on-orbit operations. The Space Systems Division is shaping Rocket Lab’s future with Photon, our brand of high-performance satellites, enabling innovative missions in low Earth orbit and beyond including missions for NASA to LEO, the Moon, and Mars and commercial customers, including leading the design and manufacture of 17 high-power telecommunication spacecraft buses for Globalstar.

Rocket Lab is also growing our spacecraft components business, anchored on the acquisition of Sinclair Interplanetary manufacturing reaction wheels and star trackers in Toronto, SolAero Technologies manufacturing solar power and primary structure solutions in Albuquerque, Planetary Systems Corporation manufacturing launch separation systems in Silver Spring, and Advanced Solutions, Inc., provider of flight and ground software as a service in Denver. Our components business is key to vertically integrating our spacecraft solutions and enabling constellations for customers.


Based at Rocket Lab’s global headquarters in Long Beach, CA, the HITL Lead is responsible for designing, maintaining, and operating hardware in the loop (HITL) systems. You will lead the HITL team and provide support to the Space Systems organization, with deliverables required for internal leadership, board of directors, and investors.


  • Lead a small team dedicated to designing, operating, and maintaining the HITL systems to support all of Rocket Lab’s spacecraft missions
  • Ensure the HITL systems are subjected to an appropriate level of engineering rigor and documentation
  • Work in a cross-disciplinary team to verify the functionality and performance of the Photon spacecraft bus
  • Prioritize, manage, and drive multiple projects at the same time
  • Give transparency to the wider business on current project statuses, key blockers, and accommodate any discussions which can unlock current or future blockers
  • Assess and estimate technical requirements and capacity for projects
  • Expand and develop the HITL team, increasing its capacity for future projects

YOU’LL BRING THESE QUALIFICATIONS (Note: you must meet every qualification in order to be considered):

  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical, electrical, or aerospace engineering; or other technical discipline
  • 5+ years of engineering experience
  • Experience leading or managing a team in a technical setting


  • Master’s degree in mechanical, electrical, or aerospace engineering; or other technical discipline
  • Ability to understand and create technical documentation via system diagrams, schematics, ICDs, procedures, test/anomaly reports
  • Proven track record of leading a team to deliver multiple complete and successful engineering projects from conception to operation
  • Strong troubleshooting skills and an aptitude for technical guidance and mentoring of junior engineers
  • Ability to function as a technical contributor while managing a team
  • Ability to work under pressure and adhere to tight deadlines
  • Experience with harnessing manufacture, electrical connectors, crimping, and soldering
  • RF experience, especially related to spectral analyzers and other ground support equipment
  • Computer networking experience
  • Familiarity with CAD for test fixture and support equipment layout/design
  • Experience reading engineering drawings
  • Experience with PLCs, relays, and power systems
  • Familiarity with Python, C++, Linux, CI/CD, Git, NX, and SolidWorks
  • Knowledge of spacecraft systems or similar highly complex and autonomous systems
  • Experience with general design, documentation, and presentation in Microsoft Suite (Teams, Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Experience with quality reporting and management, work instruction peer review, test procedure or data review, and time recording in Jira
  • Experience supporting production engineers
The expected salary range for the position is displayed in accordance with the California Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Final agreed upon compensation is based upon individual qualifications and experience.

In addition to base salary, Rocket Lab offers a comprehensive total compensation offer package based on individual qualifications and experience, including company stock. Employees will also be eligible for medical, dental, vision coverage, 401(k) retirement plan options, and to purchase discounted stock through Rocket Lab's Employee Stock Purchase Program.
Base Pay Range (CA Only)
$130,000$170,000 USD

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations fromthe U.S Department of State.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant. These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality. For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.

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