Virgin Orbit

Returning Applicant?

Sr. Tooling and Design Engineer (Contract)

Sr. Tooling and Design Engineer (Contract)

Req No. 
Job Locations 
US-CA-Long Beach

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 a Tooling Design Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will assist in the design and build of tooling to support all rocket production activity, including manufacturing and testing of tanks, fairings, and engines for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time contractor or consultant position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.



Your Mission

  • Design and manage the build of tooling to support all rocket production activity, including manufacture and testing of tanks, fairings, and engines
  • Support design and flow of activity on the production line
  • Design and get fabricated tooling designs that include material handling systems, flight hardware handling systems, jigs, fixtures, holding devices, and tooling
  • Work with internal and external teams to ensure tooling gets built and implemented on time and meets build requirements
  • Tooling designs will range from material handling carts with light aluminum strut to 100,000 pound class test stands and heavy structural steel
  • Suggest and incorporate changes in design to improve manufacturability, error-proofing, ergonomic handling, efficiency, and production
  • Use of precision metrology systems. Support the specification of the metrology systems we will procure and use
  • Be hands on with the initial builds supporting the implementation of tools onto the shop floor
  • Support the GD&T input into the drawings for released components working closely with the design and engineering teams for propulsion, avionics and structures
  • Actively support the use and analysis of ergonomics to ensure human factors are taken into consideration in the design phase of the tool
  • Collaborate with engineering and technicians to ensure tooling does not damage parts
  • Responsible to develop and design error-proofing tooling to assure build quality
  • Provide support to root cause build issues in development and production
  • Support the specification, evaluation and implementation of new capital equipment for the production process.
  • 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…

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or equivalent experience
  • 5+ years of industry experience is preferred
  • Experience in tool design for fiber reinforced composites
  • Ability to create tooling using solid modelling CAD systems such as NX, Solidworks or similar.
  • Proficent in UG NX
  • Demonstrated experience in new product introductions from development through to volume production.
  • Considerable knowledge and understanding of lean tooling concepts and its application to low and medium volume production programs.
  • Experienced in the qualification of outside vendors for tooling fabrication.
  • Familiar with the use of PFMEAs to reduce risk to the manufacturing process.
  • Ability to create capacity plans to support departmental budgeting for capital equipment.
  • Experience setting up new production facilities or work cells is required.
  • Ability to work in both R&D and production rate environments.
  • Ability and interest in teaching and improving the quality of production drawings throughout the Structures group
  • 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
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 10lbs (unassisted)

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


  • Certifications or experience within aerospace, aviation or automotive is highly preferred.
  • 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!”

Search all of our job openings


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.




Not ready to apply? Build the Future with Us for general consideration.