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Sr. Security Software Engineer (Starshield) - Top Secret Clearance



Software Engineering
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2024

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


Starshield leverages SpaceX’s Starlink technology and launch capability to support national security efforts. While Starlink is designed for consumer and commercial use, Starshield is designed for government use, with an initial focus on earth observation, communications, and hosted payloads. The Starshield team is building highly reliable in-space mesh networks, designing secure systems to guarantee access to space, designing next-gen communication and sensing software, and more.

As a Security Software Engineer you will influence the security of software across our product lines. We are looking for people with a track record of shipping reliable software and who have a broad understanding of the security design of today’s Internet, including the cryptographic primitives involved. You see the big picture, prioritize accordingly, and are comfortable with working at different levels of abstraction. Ideally, you have notable skills in one or more of the following:

  • Software engineering
  • Applied cryptography
  • Network security
  • Operating system security
  • Secure/Authenticated boot
  • Incident response and adversary detection
  • Vulnerability research

Being flexible, communicating clearly, and establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with other engineering teams are paramount to success. If you are passionate about building quality products, love the challenges of outsmarting adversaries, and want to make an impact on an inter-planetary scale, then you will fit right in.


  • Design and build security infrastructure for Starshield, including cryptographic services and other security-critical services
  • Develop security features for Starshield systems, including our router, dish, gateways, and satellites
  • Design security into factory processes and provide network services in support of this
  • Maintain existing production systems and improve security posture via both direct implementation and recommendations to other teams
  • Build prototypes and help identify, design, and test security improvements
  • Further our mission of providing secure and reliable Internet to underserved communities


  • Bachelor's degree in computer science or another STEM discipline and 5+ years of professional experience in security software development; OR 7+ years of professional experience in security software development in lieu of a degree
  • Experience with one or more software development languages (i.e. Python, C++, Golang)
  • Experience designing and implementing security solutions for operating systems, distributed systems, or other enterprise/large-scale infrastructure
  • Active Top Secret, Top Secret SCI, or DOE Level Q clearance


  • Experience contributing security improvements to complex systems
  • Experience working with special purpose security hardware such as Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) and Hardware Security Modules (HSMs)
  • Fundamental understanding of network protocols; including the TCP/IP stack as well as UDP based protocols
  • Experienced in navigating large, complex, interactive systems
  • Flexibility, communicating clearly, and establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with other engineering teams
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team
  • Demonstrated ability to deal with ambiguity and to learn new technologies quickly
  • Advanced degree in a technical or engineering discipline


  • Must be willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed
  • An active clearance may provide the opportunity for you to work on sensitive SpaceX missions; if so, you will be subject to pre-employment drug and random drug and alcohol testing


Pay Range:
Security Software Engineer /Senior: $168,000.00 - $230,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.


  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX 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, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.