CI&E News

15 Space Industry Jobs You Didn’t Know About

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

When you ask most people to name a space industry job, you’ll likely hear “astronaut” or “rocket scientist.” While those are certainly important, the scope of space industry careers expands much further than the space program.

Every part of modern life is connected to space-based technologies. Space-related careers are available to all skill sets—STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and non-STEAM. There are thousands of space technology patents available for commercialization by entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Everyone has the opportunity to contribute to delivering space technology solutions that we depend on here on Earth, like more accurate weather forecasting, new manufacturing materials, advanced global communications, healthcare innovations and precision agriculture. The rapid growth of both the public and private space sectors means there are more ways than ever before to build a career in the space industry.

Here are 15 space industry jobs you may not know about.

15 Space Industry Jobs to Consider

1. Test Technician

Nothing in the space industry goes from the manufacturing floor directly to the launch pad. There is an extensive testing process that items must endure before being placed in service. Test technicians verify high quality levels during manufacturing and test materials and finished products to ensure safe and successful operations.

2. CAD Designer

Computer-aided design (CAD) designers use complex software to create 2D and 3D specifications and models for systems and parts. Using this software, CAD designers can create drawings or prints specifying how to make or assemble parts used in space travel and exploration.

3. Technical Writer

The space industry requires a lot of documentation. Technical writers are tasked with writing clear and simple documentation for technical equipment and processes, which might include guides, manuals, scientific white papers and articles, and repair procedures.

4. Photographer

Space is stunning and quite visual. Photographers are needed in this industry to document the progress of a mission as well as to capture images from space that the organization can share with the rest of the world.

5. Producer

Producers in the space industry are in charge of facilitating the creation of various types of video content for promotional or educational purposes. Video content might be used to train staff, promote an upcoming mission, or report on the history of a program. Producers collaborate with the proper people to set budgets, schedule shoots, and create the required content.

6. Public Relations Specialist

The public helps fund some space programs and also has a strong interest in what is happening with space. A public relations (PR) specialist in the space industry ensures that the general public remains informed about space-related news, projects and discoveries. They can also arrange news conferences and schedule speakers for meetings and school events.

7. Laser Technician

Laser technicians work with various laser equipment and technology in the space industry. They design, assemble, operate, calibrate, test and repair lasers used for building space exploration equipment, conducting experiments and executing missions.

8. Biologist

While we’re always searching for life in distant places, biologists have another role to play in the space sector. By studying living things and organisms in extreme environments, like space, biologists can find new ways to address human challenges like disease and malnutrition.

9. Satellite Technologist

There are currently more than 4,500 active satellites in space, with more being added all the time. Someone needs to understand how they work, and that “someone” is the satellite technologist. Satellite technologists build, install, operate and repair satellites for their employer.

10. Robotics Engineer

Some parts of space aren’t accessible to humans just yet, and some tasks are more safely or affordably performed by robots. The space industry uses robotics engineers to design, produce, test, and repair these machines to handle a variety of intricate and sensitive tasks.

11. Geologist

Geologists are scientists who study the materials, events, and geological history of physical elements. They might design experiments that take place in space on elements coming from the Earth or study materials that are returned from space, such as Moon rocks or asteroid pieces.

12. Software Developer

Software developers create software programs or applications designed for specific tasks, such as launching a rocket or monitoring oxygen levels. Software developers are in high demand in every area of the space industry.

13. Atmospheric Scientist

Similar to meteorologists, atmospheric scientists observe the weather and climate as well as different atmospheric phenomena. They collect and interpret information to learn more about a planet’s weather and climate.

14. Cloud Architect

Cloud architects design systems that involve remote cloud storage, so there is no need to worry about hardware failure in a single location. Space organizations are starting to implement cloud-based systems for mission control, so they will need cloud architects on board to help.

15. Plasma Physicist

Scientists who study plasmas are in demand in the space industry because this material occurs naturally in stars and space. Research on plasma helps us learn more about the universe, such as predicting space weather conditions and protecting aircraft communications and other critical infrastructures.

Learn more about space industry jobs and professional development.

Center for Innovation and Education delivers workforce development and economic opportunity programs for students, teachers, entrepreneurs and professionals.

  • For students and educators, we help improve STEAM skills through education programs that help build a sustainable space industry workforce.
  • Aerospace professionals age 35 and younger can launch their careers further through our New Generation program.
  • Entrepreneurs who want to expand their business within the space industry can take advantage of the nationwide Space Commerce Program.