Aug 17, 2017
With all of the rocket, missile and spacecraft development activity happening in Central Florida, high-tech and advanced manufacturing jobs are not in short supply.
Nearly three times a month, rockets are blasting off from Florida’s Space Coast and more companies are wising up to the idea of either building rockets here or refurbishing them for launch again — saving time and money. And while rockets are shaping up on the coast, other space-related companies are building space capsules and rovers for space exploration and mining. Meanwhile, defense companies are landing military contracts to develop parts and design missiles.
All of this activity is leading to hundreds of tech-related jobs in the area — most of which are high-wage, paying more than $70,000 a year.
Here, we identify eight space, tech and defense firms that are hiring a total of 844 workers, ranging from software engineers to launch technicians:
Lockheed Martin Corp.: The Bethesda, Md.-based defense firm (NYSE: LMT) is hiring 663 workers in Orlando, Cape Canaveral, Melbourne and Titusville. In Orlando, the company needs 608 workers in positions that include systems engineer, software engineer, antenna designer and RF systems engineer, F-35 information systems security officer and more. In Cape Canaveral, the company needs 45 workers and has openings for mechanical, software, systems, and aeronautical engineers. In Melbourne and Titusville, the company needs 10 workers, with openings for information systems analyst, multifunctional information system analyst and technical service engineers. Lockheed Martin employs more than 7,000 workers in Orlando, and more than 600 in Cape Canaveral. The firm often scoops up big contracts for its F-35 jet fighter, various missiles and target systems, and simulation training programs.
Northrop Grumman Corp.: Falls Church, Va.-based aerospace and defense company (NYSE: NOC) wants to hire 121 workers in Central Florida— 102 in Melbourne, 16 in Orlando and four in Apopka. Job titles include cyber security engineers, audio/visual technicians, cyber systems engineers, software developers and more. Like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman often lands big contracts in Central Florida — usually for its E2 aircraft program. The program supports about 800 jobs in Melbourne.
SpaceX: The Hawthorne., Calif.-based rocket company that launches from Cape Canaveral at least twice a month is hiring 17 local workers. Job titles call for civil, launch and recovery engineers, launch quality inspector, technician and more. SpaceX plans to launch its largest rocket, the Falcon Heavy, in November,and plans to to launch astronauts to space next year. SpaceX has been a pioneer in lowering costs of rocket launches by landing and reusing a booster.
Craig Technologies Inc.: The Cape Canaveral-based space and defense contractor is hiring 16 workers — 10 in Cocoa Beach and six in Cape Canaveral.The company that often works with NASA is hiring an aerospace engineer, cybersecurity analyst, software engineers and manufacturing engineers. In June, Craig Technologies was named a subcontractor on a project that involves NASA’s most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System. The company will help design and build the Universal Stage Adapter — a device that will provide environmental control to payloads during ground operations, launch and ascent, while also providing communication paths between the rocket and the Orion space capsule.
Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc.: The Sacramento, Calif.-based aerospace and defense company is hiring 13 workers for its offices in Orlando. Job titles include mission assurance engineer, mechanical engineer, final assembly technicians and more.
Moon Express: Billed as the first private aerospace company with approval to land on the moon, Cape Canaveral-based Moon Express is hiring eight workers— a flight software engineer, spacecraft systems and mechanical engineers, mission design analyst, project engineer, thermal engineer and more. Moon Express is building and testing its MX-1 moon lander that will make its way to the moon by the end of this year. The company plans to build three other spacecraft later on, too.
Blue Origin LLC: Kent, Wash.-based rocket company Blue Origin, which is owned by Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, i s hiring three workers in Cape Canaveral, but the company may ramp up hiring very soon. Blue Origin is slated to open its $205 million, 750,000-square-foot rocket center in Exploration Park on Dec. 20. That rocket center will create 390 jobs, paying an average annual salary of $89,000. Job titles for Cape Canaveral are launch vehicle stage integration manager, subsystem integration manager and tank production manager.
Boeing Co.: Chicago-based Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) has two openings for its location in Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center, but job demand may change as it continues to build its Starliner spacecraft for NASA astronauts. The two job titles are structural design engineer, and quality engineer. Right now, Boeing is competing against SpaceX with spacecraft capsules for NASA. Boeing will test and launch its spacecraft sometime next year. Boeing’s Starliner will be tested inside the company’s Commercial Crew & Cargo Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center. Boeing’s Florida-based operations employ 1,600 workers, with supplier and vendor purchases totaling $1 billion.
United Launch Alliance: The Centennial, Colo.-based rocket firm that is a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing is hiring for a training specialist in Cape Canaveral. ULA often lands big contracts with the U.S. military to use its launch services and rockets. ULA has an upcoming launch on Aug. 18. The Atlas 5 rocket will carry the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System to orbit. The TDRSS will connect mission control with the International Space Station and other orbiting satellites.