Virgin Orbit, LLC

Tool Design Engineer

Job Locations US-CA-Long Beach
Req No.
Regular FT


Long Beach, CA



Job Type:


Who we are



At Virgin Orbit, we are launching the small satellite revolution, enabling missions that were previously unimaginable. We are delivering Virgin’s legendary customer experience by combining advanced technology with a diligent, hard-working team. We have built a workplace and a workforce of the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today are launching the industries of tomorrow. We have engaged a diverse and inclusive community of doers and dreamers alike, empowering all those working today to build satellites and constellations that will change the world.


At Virgin Orbit, we are opening space for good. Search all of our job openings on our career portal.


Tool Design Engineer


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Tool Design EngineerIf you join us in this position, you will support the development and manufacturing of tools and fixtures for the production of LauncherOne launch vehicles.  The ideal candidate will be experienced in the design and development of jigs, fixtures, ground support equipment and tooling that is used for the precise assembly and manufacturing of components and sub-assemblies.  Successful candidates will have experience working in fast paced integrated product teams with development engineering, supply chain, quality and production.


If you’re looking for an opportunity to be part of the team creating the standard for a world class factory and the most efficient launch system – this could be for you. 


This is a Full-Time 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
  • 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
  • Create design review presentations and analysis reports to communicate and substantiate your designs
  • 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 vehicle engineering
  • 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.
  • 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

What you bring

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or in “STEM” Majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience required.
  • Experience in aerospace, automotive or consumer goods
  • Experience as a manufacturing tooling designer within aerospace, aviation or automotive.
  • Ability to create tooling using solid modelling CAD systems such as NX (preferred), Solidworks or similar.
  • Background in strength analysis methods, with initial sizing based on hand calculations and building of Finite Element Models using industry tools such as NASTRAN, FEMAP or NX Advanced Simulation to iterate on tool designs.
  • Demonstrated experience in new product introductions from development through to volume production.
  • Experience with new product introductions, lean manufacturing, cost and quality optimization is highly desired.
  • Direct experience transitioning from development to higher volume manufacturing will be essential to be successful in this role.
  • 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.
  • Must be a U.S. person as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15)
  • Must be able to work varying hours/shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed.
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space.
  • Ability and desire to perform in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment.
  • Self-driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement, inter-team communication skills, and attention to detail.
  • Must be able to provide proof of US-approved Covid-19 full vaccination status, unless otherwise exempted by an approved reasonable medical or religious accommodation from Virgin Orbit.

Skills we Value

  • Certifications or experience within aerospace, aviation or automotive is highly preferred.
  • Excellent organizational skills and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, coaching, and leadership skills.
  • Creative problem solver, able to work in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’.
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team.
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness.


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. 


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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.