Virgin Orbit

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Sr. CNC Programmer

Sr. CNC Programmer

Req No. 
Job Locations 
US-CA-Long Beach
Regular Full-Time

More information about this job

Who we are

At Virgin Orbit, we launch the small satellite revolution, accessing space for missions that were previously unimaginable and fostering new ideas and technologies to create a truly spacefaring civilization. We deliver Virgin’s legendary customer service by pairing technological advancements with a clear focus on our customers’ needs. We build a workplace and a workforce for the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today will launch the industries of tomorrow. We engage a diverse and inclusive community of dreamers and achievers in a shared mission to access space to improve life on Earth. At Virgin Orbit, we boost imagination. Search all of our job openings on our career portal.


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as CNC Programmer. If you join us in this position, you will assist in lead the programming of machined parts for the LauncherOne small satellite program. The ideal candidate will be an experienced CNC Programmer/Operator to support programming and operations of multi-axis mills and CNC lathes. Parts fabricated on these machines will vary widely in material, complexity, and tolerance requirements. This role will support current development efforts and future production volume requirements and must be comfortable working in a cross-functional team including engineering, quality and manufacturing. The ability to critically assess designs for acceptable manufacturability is important along with excellent communications skills to assist engineering with input to drive to a high quality lower cost component. The ideal person for this role must be able to quickly produce quality hardware with minimal support and with significant attention to detail. Prior experience in a fast-paced start-up manufacturing environment is required. Experience with new product introductions, lean manufacturing, cost and quality optimization along with tooling design is highly desired. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Assist in the development of programming procedures and manufacturing practices.
  • Create CNC Program from 3D model or drawings.
  • Ability to modify CNC programs based on data from quality and other sources
  • Interface directly with internal customers or departments to deliver an estimate of completion and tooling requirements of individual machined projects.
  • Proficient in reading and interpreting 3D & 2D engineering models.
  • Experience machining large parts a plus.
  • Experience using SolidWorks a plus.
  • Welding experience a plus but not required.
  • Effectively program and operate CNC 3 and 5 axis mill and CNC lathe machines to deliver quality hardware.
  • Assist with equipment operation, maintenance, and procurement.
  • Assist with other metals parts and fixture fabrication work, as needed – including cutting, jigging, anodizing, passivation, welding, physical dimensioning, etc.
  • Support inspection of parts to ensure accuracy, including multiple alloys.
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members
  • Performs other duties as assigned

What you bring

If you want to join us, you’d better have all of these…

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field
  • Graduated from a technical college or other recognized apprenticeship
  • 3-5 years of experience in a CNC programmer role is preferred.
  • Prior experience as a CNC programmer on multi axis mills is a must to be successful in this role.
  • Ability to review parts in CAD system and assure CNC program accuracy.
  • Ability to read and interpret engineering drawings and specifications including GD&T notes and specific criteria.
  • Provide tooling selection, set-up documentation as needed to CNC machinists.
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness
  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods – 8 hours minimum
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 40lbs (unassisted)

… and you should probably have a bunch of these, too.

  • Works with CNC machinists and other team members to optimize and standardize CNC programs.
  • Ability to trouble shoot CNC programs for issues and errors.
  • Demonstrated experience in new product introductions within aerospace, aviation or automotive.
  • Considerable knowledge and understanding of lean manufacturing and its application to the machine shop environment.
  • Strong experience with using standard inspection tools and methods in the evaluation of machined parts.
  • Experienced with MS Office and ERP systems.
  • Creative problem solver, able to work in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal, coaching, and leadership skills.
  • Ability to work in both R&D and production rate environments.
  • Familiarity with Mastercam, Fanuc and Mori Seiki controls.
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’

ITAR Requirements

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


Personal Requirements

Our idea of a happy life: build rockets, work with brilliant people, serve purposeful customers, and open access to space. Sir Richard Branson’s belief is “If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success.” From the very start, we have placed top priority on growing and fostering a team of creative, diverse, and talented women and men. In the words of Sir Richard Branson “We believe it’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!”

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Virgin Orbit is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Orbit is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.




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