Virgin Orbit, LLC

Lead Mechanical Engineer- Structures Engineering

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.



Lead Mechanical Engineer- Structures Engineering


Position Summary 

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Lead Mechanical Engineer on our Vehicle Improvement Team.  If you join us in this position, you will manage & coordinate the day-to-day activities related to all hardware changes on the Launcher One vehicle. You will be directly interfacing with the Structures engineering team as well as leadership across the program to ensure that all hardware design changes have received proper authorization, followed VO engineering design process, and executed in support of company goals & milestones.


A major component of your daily activities are structures engineering team coordination & accountability, identify and de-conflict resource/schedule constraints, & serve as the lead interface between structures engineering and other production/engineering groups. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in the full product lifecycle of aerospace hardware including design, analysis, test, production/manufacturing, configuration management, quality systems, and engineering process.


Additionally the ideal candidate will have a tenacious personality and will mentor/develop teammates to proactively identify issues & coordinate solutions. 


As a lead of the Structures Vehicle Improvement Team, you will have the exciting opportunity to demonstrate utmost ownership of this hardware through deep understanding of your team’s hardware functionality, design, and requirements and see it through all aspects of its life cycle from inception through flight.


This is a Full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Lead and mentor hardware development engineers in all aspects of their job
  • Foster a culture of problem solving and ownership
  • Monitor and maintain team resource plan
  • Review engineering products for content & quality
  • Be accountable for the structures engineering team schedule & project management by:
    • Ensuring that all teammates are properly managing their products
    • Maintain a high level roll up plan/schedule that is coordinated across engineering and production teams
  • Partner with engineering and production teams to deliver fully functional products and systems
  • Support hardware through test, production, integration, and flight
  • Consistently innovate to improve reliability and capabilities while minimizing cost and schedule
  • Participate in failure investigations, root cause, & corrective actions as required
  • Support all aspects of vehicle readiness including in-field support at test and launch sites
  • 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 assigned

What you bring

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering discipline, Master’s degree in Engineering discipline preferred
  • 5+ years of professional experience in aerospace hardware development
  • 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
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 15lbs (unassisted)
  • 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


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

  • Strong preference for launch vehicle experience
  • 5+ years of professional experience rapidly designing and delivering highly reliable products; strong emphasis on full life cycle development of new hardware products
  • 2+ years of technical leadership experience
  • Proven, professional experience with hands on testing, troubleshooting and debugging mechanical systems
  • Proven, professional experience with fast-paced projects
  • 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

Salary Range

$130,000 - $160,000

Total Rewards at Virgin Orbit

At Virgin Orbit, we are STRAIGHT UP, which means we encourage honest and transparent communication. Our goal is to help you interpret the pay range you see and understand that compensation is much more than simply base pay.  Individual compensation packages are based on candidate-unique attributes, including, but not limited to, skills, experience, qualifications, and other job-related factors.  Cash compensation is only part of the total reward package, and the range reflects a strong market-based salary.  Some jobs may also be eligible for bonus, overtime pay, weekend work compensation and differentials.  In addition to cash compensation, all Virgin Orbit teammates are eligible for equity which includes stock options and/or RSUs (Restricted Stock Units) and an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP). 


At Virgin Orbit, you work alongside some of the best and brightest, on the coolest premier dedicated small satellite launch service.  We also know that benefits and belonging are an important piece of your total rewards package.  At Virgin Orbit we offer some of the best around:


  • Robust time off with holiday shut down between Christmas and New Year
  • Better than market 401k including a Safe Harbor plan
  • Superior health and welfare benefits offering an average 90% of benefits premiums paid, including some plans with zero employee contributions
  • Financial wellness through Northstar which includes your personal financial advisor
  • Paid parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • A variety of optional benefits such as pet insurance and discounts, and remote and/or hybrid opportunity for some positions
  • Health Reimbursement program providing up to $3,000 max per year for eligible teammates 
  • Employee Resource Groups, Virgin cultural gatherings and success celebrations, professional growth opportunities, and more!

At Virgin Orbit, pay and total rewards is about offering competitive programs for any stage of your life and career. We constantly look for opportunities to enhance our programs and reward our teammates and we update our benefits offerings regularly.

Other Requirements:

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.