Latinx Jobs
Principal Avionics Engineer, Launch - Mission Formulation

Principal Avionics Engineer, Launch - Mission Formulation

companyRocket Lab
locationLong Beach, CA, USA
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023
Full Time

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action oriented.


Based out of Rocket Lab’s global headquarters in Long Beach, CA, the Principal Avionics Mission Formulation Engineer is responsible for developing high-performance launch vehicle systems in support of the Launch Systems Business Development and Strategy team. You will support the Director of Business Development and Strategy, and play a key role in developing future missions for Electron and Neutron.

The Mission Formulation team works closely with other Engineering teams and Production to bring new concepts to life. As a Principal Engineer at Rocket Lab, you will be strongly influencing the design of the world's first mass-produced orbital launch vehicle. Given the high launch cadence of Electron and pace of Neutron development, you will have unparalleled opportunities for end-to-end hardware development and seeing your designs reach space.

Success in this position will be measured by the value of the knowledge and experience in launch vehicle design and mission experience that you bring into this role, your ability to lead design projects without supervision, successful collaboration with other teams across Rocket Lab, and the skillful prioritization of competing engineering development projects across the group.


  • Primary Avionics Design engineering contact to Business Development for proposal and mission concepts, including:
    • Electron and Neutron mission operational concept development
    • Electrical and RF design and analysis for unique payload accommodations including processing, vehicle integration, and launch site
    • Working with external stakeholders and customers for mission-specific requirements engineering
    • Documenting the proposed avionics design solution and participating in design reviews with the customer
  • Work with the Rocket Lab Engineering and Production teams to:
    • Develop tools and processes for automating common proposal analysis tasks
    • Participate in program execution of Electron and Neutron system commissioning and calibration


  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering (Aerospace/Electrical/Computer Engineering)
  • 12+ years of working experience in Engineering
  • Proven experience developing full design solutions for significant avionics or electrical systems in orbital launch vehicle or missile systems
  • Active DoD US Government security clearance or, ability to obtain and maintain one


  • Active clearance (TS/SCI)
  • Rapid conceptual design iteration experience
  • Hands-on development and testing experience: FPGA, ARM processors, etc.
  • Ability to take a product from concept through to production with little supervision
  • Master’s or PhD in mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering
  • Experience with requirements assessments and interface control document generation
  • Creative, analytical, good at problem solving
  • Ability to work on own initiative and to plan daily workflow to meet higher level tasks
  • Clear communication skills and calm under pressure

The expected salary range for the position is displayed in accordance with the California Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Final agreed upon compensation is based upon individual qualifications and experience. 

In addition to base salary, Rocket Lab offers a comprehensive total compensation package based on individual qualifications and experience, which may include cash or equity incentives. Employees will also be eligible for medical, dental, vision coverage, 401(k) retirement plan options, and to purchase discounted stock through Rocket Lab's Employee Stock Purchase Program.

Base Pay Range (CA Only)$150,000—$195,000 USD

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Rocket Lab Employees must be a U.S. citizen, lawful U.S. permanent resident (i.e., current Green Card holder), or lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or granted asylum, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce, as applicable. Learn more about ITAR here.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for the application/interview process for a job in the United States should contact Giulia Biow at dedicated resource is intended solely to assist job seekers with disabilities whose disability prevents them from being able to apply/interview. Only messages left for this purpose will be considered. A response to your request may take up to two business days.


For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant.  These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations. 

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality.  For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.