Virgin Orbit, LLC

Production Manager, Propulsion

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.


Production Manager, Propulsion


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Production Manager for Propulsion Engine Assembly.  If you join us in this position, you will be leading the teams that perform the assembly of our Newton 3 and Newton 4 engines for Launcher One.  You should have a thorough understanding of Lean Manufacturing and other process improvement tools, as well as prior experience in assembly.  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

  • Develop and maintain the culture of safety, quality and high output that is consistent with the high standards of Virgin Orbit.
  • Measure, report on, and utilize key metrics (safety, quality, schedule, efficiency, utilization) to improve the department.
  • Create and maintain production schedules, identify risks, roadblocks, and work to resolve them. 
  • Own safety on the shop floor including developing policies associated with work practices and PPE.
  • Organize appropriate training to ensure skills are in line with work required.
  • Work with Manufacturing Engineering to ensure that facility layouts are optimized for process efficiency and include human factors such as safety and ergonomics.
  • Ensure the production team follows best practices using standardized work instructions.
  • Set goals and objectives for team members for the achievement of operational results. Implement methods to monitor progress and identify risks or roadblocks preventing success.  
  • Aggressively drive and implement process improvements with a cross-functional approach to reduce cost and achieve quality and rate targets.
  • Hire, train and grow team members. Be willing to lead by example and jump in to help when required.
  • 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…

  • Associate’s degree or equivalent experience in aerospace, aviation or automotive manufacturing.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in a manufacturing management role is required.  This should include direct supervision of staff.
  • Familiarity with automation/control systems.
  • Experience in one of the following manufacturing environments: electro-mechanical assembly, electrical/propulsion/pneumatic systems integration, aviation or aerospace hardware assembly or integration. 
  • Experienced with electronic Manufacturing Execution Systems for work orders and shop floor execution.
  • Demonstrated experience with practical implementation of Lean principles in manufacturing.
  • 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 25lbs (unassisted).
  • Must be a U.S. person as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15).
  • 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.

  • 5 years of experience in a manufacturing leadership role.
  • Professional certifications in project management, supply chain, quality, and/or Lean manufacturing are preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering or engineering technology is preferred.
  • Strong schedule development and management background
  • Experience transitioning production processes and teams from development to full scale production.
  • Demonstrated ability to grow the leadership within a team
  • Experience in a test environment is a plus.
  • Experience with Siemens NX / TeamCenter and Oracle is a plus
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • 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.