Virgin Orbit, LLC

Propulsion Manufacturing Development Engineer

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


Long Beach, CA



Job Type:


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.



Propulsion Manufacturing Development Engineer


Position Summary 

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Propulsion Manufacturing Development Engineer.  If you join us in this position, you will be broadly responsible for the development of new insourced and outsourced manufacturing processes for components of the Newton 3 and Newton 4 rocket engines for the LauncherOne vehicle. This role has an initial emphasis on braze process development but also extends to sustaining engineering-focused activities in the fabrication areas of castings, forgings, EDM, electron beam welding, additive manufacturing, and beyond.  This role will report to the Propulsion Advanced Manufacturing manager. You will need 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 qualified braze and weld processes for dissimilar metals on complex propulsion components.
  • Establish requirements for external suppliers to follow and work closely with them to ensure critical components are completed successfully.
  • Thoroughly document procedures, best practices, and acceptance criteria for new manufacturing processes and transition these controls to Production when hardware achieves maturity.
  • Develop tooling, test, and automation solutions that supports high quality and rapid delivery of Virgin Orbit hardware
  • Collaborate with Production, Quality, and Materials & Process teams to qualify new processes for liquid propulsion flight hardware.
  • SAFELY execute test plans and procedures, troubleshoot hardware, post-process test data, and present findings to team members
  • 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…

  • B.S. in Engineering
  • 2+ years of relevant experience in manufacturing process development for metallic components
  • Familiarity with manufacturing techniques for metal alloys and equipment related to welding, metal forming, machining, bonding and/or automation
  • Mechanical component and/or tooling design using CAD
  • Experience with Design for Manufacturability and Assembly (DFMA)
  • Experience writing and maintaining process documentation
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement
  • Experience solving complex problems with multi-disciplinary teams
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness
  • Must be a U.S. person as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15)
  • 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.

  • Experience transition complex products from development volume manufacturing in a fast-paced environment
  • Knowledge of the basic principles of chemistry, engineering, fluid dynamics and mechanics of materials
  • Experience using Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T)
  • Familiarity with common aerospace industry metals such as copper alloys, nickel superalloys, aluminum, and stainless steels
  • Familiarity with benefits/downsides of common metal joining processes such as brazing, TIG welding, electron beam welding, etc.
  • Experience with destructive and non-destructive inspection methods of metallic components to verify the components meet requirements.
  • Strong ability to quickly turnaround competently written technical reports for consumption of other team members.
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’

Salary Range

$85,000 - $115,000

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.