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SpaceX Internship: Types, Positions, Pay & How To Apply

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Founded in 2002, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is now valued at more than $100 billion according to CNBC.

As one of the leading agencies in space engineering, a chance to intern at SpaceX is priceless, to say the least.

If you’re interested in learning about developing, designing, manufacturing, and testing space-oriented hardware as well as managing an aerospace company, a SpaceX internship is an opportunity you don’t want to pass.

We’ve put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know about landing and acing a SpaceX internship.

Does SpaceX Have an Internship Program?

Yes! Not only are the internship programs at SpaceX one of the most rewarding career-wise, but they’re also one of the most competitive and highest-paying across the globe.

The company offers several positions in technical and non-technical fields of the spacecraft engineering industry.

Types of Internships Offered by SpaceX

SpaceX offers internship programs for both students and graduates.

You can apply for two types of internships with SpaceX:

  • Student internships: These include the “Engineering Internship/Co-op”, “Software Engineering Internship/Co-op”, and “Business Operations Internship/Co-op” programs.
  • Graduate internship: This is the “Associate Engineer-Post Grad” program.

To be eligible for any of these internship programs, applicants must be available to work full-time. That’s at least 12 weeks.

At SpaceX, you can choose the period during which you prefer to join the internship program and apply accordingly. The company offers inter positions throughout the year as follows:

  • Summer (May to Aug)
  • Fall (Sept to Dec)
  • Spring (Jan to Apr)

How Many Interns Does SpaceX Have?

According to Business Insider, SpaceX hires around 700 interns each year.

SpaceX Internship Positions

SpaceX offers internship programs across various departments.

Keep in mind that these positions may vary depending on the SpaceX site location, but here’s a breakdown of possible intern roles you could apply for:

  • Engineering Internship//Co-op: It requires at least 3 months of experience in applied engineering. By the start of employment, interns must also be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in a physics, engineering, or math discipline.
  • Software Engineering/Co-op: It requires at least 3 months of experience in software programming or development experience, as well as experience in software coding using one or more of the languages C, Java, C#, C++, JavaScript, and Python.

By the start of employment, interns must also be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree or graduate program, or within 6 months after graduation.

  • Business Operations Internship/Co-op:  It requires at least 3 months of experience in corporate and business functions. By the start of employment, interns must also be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree or graduate program, or within 6 months after graduation.
  • Associate Engineer-Post Grad: It requires at least 6 months of experience in applied engineering. By the start of employment, candidates must also have one of the following:
    • Completed a bachelor’s degree program in a physics, engineering, or math discipline within the past 6 months.
    • Completed a graduate degree within the past 6 months and holds a bachelor’s degree in an engineering, math, or physics discipline.
    • Enrolled in a graduate program and holds a bachelor’s degree in an engineering, math, or physics discipline.

What Does an Intern at SpaceX Do?

SpaceX interns are either appointed to engineering-related or business-related tasks depending on their application.

Landing a SpaceX internship involves a lot of serious work that matches the level of a full-time engineer.

Intern positions require independence since you’re treated as a SpaceX employee, not someone who gets coffee or gets the boring tasks dumped on. Also, there’s a lot of teamwork with other engineers.

What Does an Intern at SpaceX Usually Focus On?

SpaceX interns will focus on tasks based on the position in their chosen department.

Interns in engineering departments will mostly work on developing, designing, manufacturing, and testing space-oriented hardware.

Interns in the business operations department will be responsible for helping SpaceX further the brand’s success and achieve business goals.

SpaceX is interested in candidates looking to get into the aerospace industry who are currently enrolled at a 4-year accredited university, enrolled in a graduate program, or within 6 months of graduation from university.

What is a SpaceX Internship Like?

A SpaceX internship is an inspiring opportunity.

It allows you to work with some of the brightest minds on the planet, all the while developing critical skills and gaining invaluable experience in a dynamic and exciting environment.

As an interim at SpaceX, you’ll be trusted with lots of serious tasks and responsibilities, almost as their full-time employees so you’ll get a true feel of what a job down there is really like.

SpaceX Internship Process

  • Reading through the required and preferred qualifications: Go to the SpaceX internships page and look carefully through the preferred qualifications so you can determine if you’re eligible and how to increase your chances of getting accepted.
  • Choosing the right internship: Browse the various positions to find the right one based on your education and experience. Positions’ type and availability vary depending on site locations and the season, so keep that in mind.
  • Applying online: After you choose the internship, go to the application page, fill out the required information, and submit the forum when you’re done.
  • Doing interviews: If your application is accepted, the company will contact you for a series of interviews on various technical platforms to make the final decision.

Is It Hard to Intern at SpaceX?

Landing an internship at SpaceX can be a challenge, but once you get it, your time at the company will be very enriching to your career.

Interns at SpaceX work full-time 80 hours per week, distributed as they desire.

Your responsibilities as an intern will be similar to that of a full-time engineer.

While this means diving head-first into complex tasks, it also means that the company trusts your abilities and wants to see them improve.

This may sound “hard” for those who view internships as “light training”, but for those eager to learn and work, it’s everything an intern would want.

What Notable Projects Can Interns Potentially Work On?

Interns at SpaceX get the opportunity to work on unparalleled projects dealing with space exploration, and aerospace engineering, as well as military-related and NASA-related projects.

SpaceX Internship Benefits

An internship at SpaceX is one of the highest-paying programs in the world.

In addition to money, you’ll work with some of the best in the business and learn directly from experts.

The company also provides housing assistance, relocation, and special events.

An engineering internship is a chance to acquire hands-on skills that are essential for career progression.

You’ll learn the ins and outs of the space engineering industry, from automotive and aerospace to energy storage and business operations

Are SpaceX Interns Paid?

Yes, SpaceX pays all of its interns and associates.

The average salary of a SpaceX intern is $75,963 according to Glassdoor.

Compared to the national average of $43,209, SpaceX interns are paid significantly higher.

Keep in mind that the salary of a SpaceX intern varies depending on the type and location of the positions.

Requirements for Getting an Internship at SpaceX

SpaceX hires hundreds of interns each year, but the application load is massive.

The acceptance rate is around 33 percent, which is rather low compared to similar companies.

The basic requirement for a SpaceX engineering intern position is to be enrolled at an accredited 4-year university or college.

Applicants for software or business operations internships must be enrolled at an accredited university or college or within 6 months from graduation.

As for preferred qualifications, these include a minimum 3.5 GPA, the ability to work in a team, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to meet tight deadlines, and the ability to accomplish tasks with limited resources.

Also, it’s preferred to have prior experience relevant to the position as well as intermediate-level skills using Windows and Microsoft Office.

Suggested Areas of Study for SpaceX Interns

SpaceX offers internships in multiple technical and non-technical areas of the engineering industry, so various majors can help you land a position in the company’s programs.

Some of the suggested areas of study for SpaceX interns include the following:

  • Aeronautical/Aerospace
  • Software Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering and Management
  • Computer Science
  • Business
  • Physics
  • Civil Engineering
  • Cybersecurity
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Material/Manufacturing

Does SpaceX Care About GPA?

Yes, SpaceX cares about GPA. While there’s no minimum GPA requirement, the company prefers applicants to have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

That said, GPA isn’t necessarily a deciding factor for SpaceX when choosing interns.

Recruiters care more about the candidate’s work experience, professional skills, and ability to deliver results rather than what school they went to or what grade they achieved.

Recommended Skills for SpaceX Interns

Above all else, SpaceX interns need to have solid communication and collaboration skills.

They need to be diligent, punctual, and extremely time-efficient.

As a SpaceX intern, you also need to show commitment and be able to follow orders, think analytically, and solve problems.

Does SpaceX Background Check or Drug Test Their Interns?

Yes, SpaceX will background check its intern candidates.

This is a must before hiring potential interns and employees due to the level of sensitivity of the projects SpaceX is involved in.

On the other hand, SpaceX doesn’t drug-test potential interns or employees.

The company will do so only in case of a work-related injury where it’s suspected that the hire is under influence.

Do SpaceX Interns Get Hired?

Yes, SpaceX interns have the opportunity of getting a full-time job offer after completing their internship.

The likelihood of a SpaceX intern landing a full-time job at the company depends on your performance during the duration of the program.

If SpaceX team members and recruiters are happy with your productivity, results, and attitude, there’s a good chance you’ll be eligible for a permanent position.

How Do I Get an Internship At SpaceX?

If you’re interested in getting an internship with SpaceX, you need to make sure you meet the basic qualifications listed on the company’s internship page.

It helps your chances if you also meet some or all of the preferred qualifications.

Additionally, you need to submit an internship application and pass a few follow-up interviews.

Where to Find SpaceX Internship Opportunities

You can easily find SpaceX internship opportunities right on the company’s website.

Open the SpaceX internship page and you’ll be able to see the available positions at the top of the page.

Click on any of the opportunities to view the details of the position.

If everything checks out, you can apply online from the same page.

Just enter the required information, answer the questions, upload your resume, and submit your application.

Interview for a SpaceX Internship

If your application is accepted, the company will contact you for follow-up interviews.

These series of interviews are conducted on various technical platforms by a team lead at SpaceX. The questions will cover your education, professional experience, workspace behaviors, and personality traits.

What Should I Wear to a SpaceX Internship Interview?

For a SpaceX internship interview, you should stick to a smart casual or business casual dress code.

Keep things simple and sleek with some slacks, appropriate-length skirts or dresses, and a blazer or cardigan on top of a polo, blouse, or button-up shirt.

You want to look professional and presentable, so stay away from anything too flashy.

How to Answer “Why Do You Want To Work at SpaceX?”

One thing to remember when answering this question is that there’s no right or wrong answer. However, it should reflect your own thoughts, values, and ambitions.

We recommend you explain to the interviewer why you’re passionate about engineering in general and aerospace in particular.

Discuss how you relate to the company’s goals, how you want to learn from the experience, and how you’ll use your acquired skills to advance your future career with SpaceX.

How Do I Prepare For a SpaceX Internship?

Preparing for a SpaceX internship starts by updating your knowledge of the company, its latest endeavors, and the newest development in your field.

You need to practice basic interview questions and get ready to articulate your skills, achievements, and challenges. Polishing up your resume is also critical.

Once you land the intern position, you want to come in every day with an eagerness to learn and a positive mindset.

Is SpaceX a Good Internship?

Yes, SpaceX is an ultra-successful company. A chance to intern for it is truly exceptional.

A SpaceX internship is not just worth it, it’s a privilege.

The quality and amount of hands-on experience you’ll get working in this company and the connections you’ll build are some of the finest in the aerospace industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions for applicants wanting to know more about SpaceX internship programs.

Does SpaceX hire international students?

SpaceX hires applicants who are a United States citizen and a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

The company also hires those protected as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.

If international students meet one of these categories, SpaceX has no issues hiring them.

Does SpaceX require a cover letter?

No, SpaceX doesn’t require a cover letter.

In addition to your contact information, SpaceX recommends including the following on your resume:

Your university name, degree and major(s), graduation date, and cumulative GPA. All previous relevant internships/co-ops or jobs. Any involvement with relevant projects and your role on the team.

Wrapping Up

A SpaceX internship is a tremendous learning experience for your career in engineering or business operations.

You’ll develop unique skills, make valuable professional connections, and maybe even land a full-time job!

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