Virgin Orbit

  • Manager, Tooling

    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 Manager of Tooling. If you join us in this position, you will own the tooling and ground support equipment 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 position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

    Your Mission

    The manager of tooling will be responsible for leading our team of tool design engineers and fabricating or procuring finished tools. The position will work in close collaboration with our engineering, manufacturing and production teams to develop and apply best-in-class tooling practices which includes advanced planning, tooling concepts, tool design and documentation, oversight of external tool fabrication, tooling for automated processes, process improvement, periodic inspections, and repair.

    • Provide technical expertise and direction for design, development, implementation, & verification of existing and new tools.
    • Produce fixturing and  tooling for automated and semi-automated processes using multi-axis machines, including NDI, trim & drill, and automated laminating
    • Collaborate with Manufacturing Engineering to develop tooling concepts and part workflows to support Production and Engineering Requirements.
    • Assist with factory planning
    • Develop and maintain professional relationships with tool design and fabrication vendors.
    • Oversee tool fabrication, including at outside vendors
    • Develop cost and ROI estimates for tool design and fabrication
    • Recruit and manage VO’s Tool Design Engineers
    • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
    • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members
    • Perform other duties as assigned

    What you bring

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

    • Bachelor's Degree in a relevant field
    • Ideally 10+ years of tool engineering expertise, including significant time leading a technical team
    • Extensive knowledge of tooling for composite structures including common processes such as laminating, trimming and bonding.
    • Experience with tooling for filament winding, fiber placement and automated UT scanning.
    • Experience with manufacturing process improvement and support for increasing production rates
    • Strong background in CAD systems and drafting including GD&T
    • Strong background in tool ergonomics and manufacturing safety
    • 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 25lbs (unassisted)


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

    • Background or knowledge of launch vehicle tooling
    • Exposure to the design and analysis of carbon fiber composites, including bonded structure
    • 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.




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