Virgin Orbit

  • Manufacturing Engineer - Composites

    Job Locations US-CA-Long Beach
    Req No.
    Regular Full-Time
  • 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 Manufacturing Engineer - Composites. If you join us in this position, you will assist in Aerospace manufacturing and composite part development. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position at a rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California. 

    Your Mission

    • Provide manufacturing engineering for production of composite structures, with a focus on drilling, routing, bonding, and assembly processes. 
    • Stay current on the latest technology for composite machining, bonding, and assembly processes and implement new technology as appropriate into the manufacturing process.  
    • Develop tooling concepts required for manufacturing and for coordinating with the tooling team on design and fabrication. 
    • Create work instructions and work orders for the production processes/assemblies within the scope of the role.
    • Oversee and provide manufacturing engineering input for assembly processes on the production shop floor.
    • Provide technical expertise into the design of the components and assemblies to maximize quality level, minimize cost, and achieve rate targets. 
    • Organize and maintain the production floor layout in the facility, continually analyze and plan workflows, and develop space requirements and equipment layout.
    • Develop error-proofing techniques to minimize risk and assure build quality
    • Support root cause analysis for manufacturing issues in development and production
    • Provide the specification, evaluation and implementation of new capital equipment for the production processes.
    • Evaluate alternative manufacturing and assembly processes to improve quality and cost.
    • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
    • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members

    What you bring

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

    • Minimum of 3 years of experience in a manufacturing environment required.
    • Engineering degree in aerospace, mechanical or equivalent
    • Experience with new part introduction and creating manufacturing processes for composite structures, including trimming, drilling, structural bonding, and assembly processes.
    • Demonstrated experience in DFx techniques to support reduced cost and lean manufacturing
    • Capacity and rate planning experience for manual work centers and capital equipment.  
    • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
    • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members

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

    • Demonstrated experience in new product introductions within aerospace, aviation or automotive
    • Considerable knowledge and understanding of lean manufacturing and its application to low and medium volume production programs
    • Experience with training technicians and others in the correct build techniques for composites
    • Experience with TeamCenter, Siemens NX and Oracle is a plus
    • Familiar with the use of PFMEAs to reduce risk to the manufacturing process.
    • Creative problem solver; able to work in multi-disciplinary teams
    • Excellent interpersonal, coaching, and leadership skills
    • Formal GD&T training or certification. 
    • Experience working in both R&D and production rate environments
    • 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


    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.