People Matter

Avionics Design Manager

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Long Beach, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2023

About The Role

Rocket Lab

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.


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 Avionics Design Manager is responsible for the management and execution of electronic design engineering activities for: spacecraft avionics, spacecraft/satellite buses, launch vehicle avionics, and specialist ground support equipment components. This position will report to the Director of Systems & Mission Architecture, and it has significant technical requirements for electronic circuit design, PCB design, electromechanical design, and electronic testing for mission-critical and safety-critical circuits that are optimized for reliability, performance, mass, and regulatory compliance.


  • Lead the overall design, development, test, and delivery of all major avionics components for spacecraft missions
  • Manage the overall design of spacecraft avionics architectures across various orbital regimes
  • Manage the overall design, development, test, and delivery of on-orbit operations systems and processes for spacecraft missions
  • Manage the core avionics design team and work with program managers and systems engineers to facilitate design, development, test, and delivery of all major avionics components for spacecraft missions
  • Work with subcontractors and vendors
  • Conduct performance reviews for the avionics team

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or other engineering discipline
  • 8+ years of experience with hardware development or electronics test engineering
  • Experience with electronic circuits, design principles, and SMT manufacturing techniques
  • Experience with design and implementation of high-speed communications interfaces, both inter-board and intra-board, such as SPI, I2C, SpaceWire, CANBUS, Serial, Ethernet, LVDS, and MII


  • Master’s or PhD in electrical engineering or other engineering discipline
  • Experience with analog sub-circuit and board design, specifically in signal conditioning, ADCs, voltage references, voltage/current sensing, and temperature measurement via Thermocouples or RTDs
  • Experience with high-speed sub-circuit and board design, inclusive of DDR or SDRAM memory technologies, and FPGA/SoC interfaces
  • Experience designing hardware from concept through production
  • Understanding and experience in environmental design testing, such as vibration, shock, thermal, and TVAC
  • Understanding of key, avionics, spacecraft, launch vehicle and flight termination systems regulations
  • Experience in design of high-reliability electrical systems for spacecraft, flight termination systems, or launch vehicles
  • Proficiency with programming languages, scripting tools, and automation (C/C++, Python preferred)
  • Demonstrated success working in a dynamic environment with multiple priorities
  • Demonstrated success meeting aggressive development schedules

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 package based on individual qualifications and experience, which may include cash or equity incentives. 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)
$165,000$195,000 USD

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Rocket Lab Employees must be a U.S. citizen, lawful U.S. permanent resident (i.e., current Green Card holder), or lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or granted asylum, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce, as applicable. Learn more about ITAR here.

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.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for the application/interview process for a job in the United States should contact Giulia Biow at dedicated resource is intended solely to assist job seekers with disabilities whose disability prevents them from being able to apply/interview. Only messages left for this purpose will be considered. A response to your request may take up to two business days.



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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