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How to Get
a Job at NASA

Hiring Process, Careers, and Job Search FAQs

Getting a job with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA, is a dream come true for any space enthusiast. NASA offers competitive salaries and amazing career opportunities for its employees. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the space industry, read on to learn how to get a job at NASA.

About NASA: Company Profile

NASA is a United States agency based in Washington, DC that oversees space exploration. Founded in 1958, NASA has more than 18,000 workforces composed of civil servants from various professions. NASA’s Apollo and Gemini space program made it possible for humans to land on the moon in 1969.

NASA has 20 centers and facilities across the U.S. Some of the responsibilities of NASA include exploring our planet’s climate and studying the sun, solar systems, and our galaxy. In the 60 years of NASA’s existence, this agency has conquered unimaginable feats in space.

What’s It Like Working for NASA?

Working at NASA is delightful and provides a chance to interact with the brightest minds in the tech world. NASA offers an opportunity to learn and grow in your chosen profession. The work is exciting, engaging, and challenging, although pacing can be slow at times, due to fluctuating funding.

Working at NASA offers the chance to contribute to projects that have an enormous impact. You also work alongside world-class professionals and experts. The opportunity to grow in your career path is available through many learning paths and mentorships, and you can work flexibly to incorporate this learning.

Life at NASA: NASA Company Culture

NASA believes in breaking barriers to achieve the seemingly impossible. No doubt, this appears to be NASA’s mantra for the past 60 years of their existence. NASA’s working environment highly encourages creative thinking, and its core values include integrity, teamwork, inclusion, and excellence.

Passion for exploration and curiosity is the main driving force at NASA. The common goal for NASA employees is scientific discovery, aeronautics research, space exploration, and beyond. These core values embody the purpose of NASA’s establishment in the first place.

What Do Employees Say about NASA?

Reviews about NASA on Glassdoor shine when it comes to employee satisfaction. Most past and present employees rated their work experience at NASA very high. The team at NASA works together as a family and, according to some reviews, NASA is the best agency in the United States to work for as an employee.

However, working at agencies like NASA has its restrictions, but mostly because it is a government agency. Projects can be put on hold or canceled depending on the budget or government administration at the time. Government employees are also typically not paid as well as their role would be in a private company.

NASA Space Shuttle blasting off into space. Applying for a Job at NASA: Overview

Applying for a Job at NASA: Overview

Like any agency in the US, NASA has a job application system that all applicants must adhere to. Below is NASA’s application process:

1

Create a USAJOBS Account

All applicants must create an account at USAJOBS to apply for a civil service job at NASA. You’ll be required to put in basic contact information, including your residency status, and will finish with any association you have with the Federal government, including past or present military service.

2

Resume

Build a powerful resume and upload it to USAJOBS. USAJOBS offers a resume template that you can fill in and allows you to create more than three resumes. The resume you create for USAJOBS can also be used to apply for jobs at other United States agencies.

3

Search for Jobs

Search for a NASA job that would suit your resume and career path. You can click to view all NASA job descriptions before applying for a position. For a quick search, use the “Saved search” feature.

4

Submit Application

As soon as you find a job posting that suits you, you can click on “Apply” to submit your application. But before you send in your application, read the job description thoroughly to ensure you meet all of the educational and work-related requirements.

NASA Hiring Process

NASA has a transparent hiring process. Applications for NASA jobs are thoroughly perused by the recruiter to get the best candidates for the interview stage. NASA interviews may take longer than expected depending on the position you applied for.

NASA Job Application

Applying for a NASA job is best done through their job board. Applying through the official NASA job board is preferred to third-party websites because there could be misinformation or the job post could be outdated.

NASA Interview Process

NASA interviews may be conducted by video or phone calls, although a physical interview is also required at some point. NASA recruiters screening questions are often based on your professional experience and educational background. They also frequently include situational questions to gauge how you would handle certain situations.

NASA Salaries, Employee Benefits, and Perks

The salaries, benefits, and perks available to NASA employees are impressive. Listed below are the salaries, benefits, and perks, in detail.

How Much Do NASA Employees Make?

According to Payscale, NASA employees earn an average annual salary of $58,261 to $149,868. However, some NASA employees earn more based on the nature of the specific position.

NASA Employment Benefits and Perks

Employees at NASA receive a wide range of benefits and perks in addition to their salaries. NASA employees are entitled to benefits like health insurance, flexible working hours, tuition assistance, annual leave, and membership in Federal Credit unions across the country.

Tech Jobs at NASA: Requirement and Job Description

Tech Jobs at NASA: Requirement and Job Description

NASA regularly updates its job board, so the positions you find will likely still be open. When sifting through open positions, you’ll want to make sure your qualifications meet the requirements associated with the positions you’re interested in. Listed below are some of the jobs available, at the time of writing.

Senior Systems Engineer

Minimum Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or a related field

Skills Requirement: Management of EGS, program management

Experience Qualification: 1-year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level

Locations: Kennedy Space Center, FL

Senior system engineers at NASA review and execute complex multidisciplinary projects that involve payload or spacecraft. Also, Senior systems engineers’ duties include developing tools, methods, and techniques to resolve technical projects.

Management and Program Analyst

Minimum Education Required: N/A

Skills Requirement: Management, planning, budgeting

Experience Qualification: 1 year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level

Location: Houston, TX

A management and program analyst at NASA is responsible for coordinating high-profile initiatives and special projects. They also provide decision support to leadership teams concerning data collection, information analysis, and recommendations.

IT Cyber Security Specialist

Minimum Education: N/A

Skills Requirement: IT security programming

Experience Qualification: 1 year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 level

Location: Moffett Field, CA

NASA IT cyber security specialists are responsible for mitigating, identifying, and eliminating security system or application security threats. They also ensure IT security software and systems are functioning optimally, and safety information policies are followed.

Information Technology Specialist

Minimum Education: N/A

Skills Requirement: UX, UI Design

Experience Qualification: 1 year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level

Location: Houston, TX

An information technology specialist at NASA has the responsibility of managing Orion software, hardware, and application. They’re also responsible for IT Security compliance. They team up with IT leads in Gateway, ISS, and EGS.

Computer Scientist, AST, Computer Research and Development

Minimum Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering

Skills Requirement: Data programing, software development

Experience Qualification: 1 year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13

Location: Moffett Field, CA, and Des Moines, IA

This position at NASA requires you to develop software, as well as plan and integrate software tools that support in-flight autonomy. You’re also tasked with providing high-level technical support for aeronautics or aerospace projects.

Lead Systems Engineer

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or Engineering

Skill Requirement: Designing, programming, leadership

Experience Qualification: 1 year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 level

Location: Edwards, CA, Moffett Field, CA, Washington DC, and Cleveland, OH

The lead systems engineer is responsible for leading the technical management and technical solutions team. They are responsible for developing and modifying immediate and long-term goals, as well as planning, monitoring, and administering projects. Overall, their position requires them to be at the forefront of every system engineering issue.

Aerospace Engineer

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science

Skill Requirement: Designing

Experience Qualification: 1 year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level

Location: Huntsville, AL

Aerospace engineers at NASA tackle developing test methods and lead test projects from the planning and designing to the implementation. This position requires them to prepare and implement safe test procedures.

Senior Tech Leader

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering

Skill Requirement: Programming

Experience Qualification: 1 year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-15 level

Location: Greenbelt, MD

Senior tech leaders carry out technical and advisory services. They act as a GSFC’s technical liaison between the US and other international corporations and provide support for end-to-end systems engineering activities. They also ensure the completion of regular and technical projects.

Electronics Engineer

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, physical science, or engineering

Skill Requirement: Programming, designing

Experience Qualification: 1 year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 level

Location: Greenbelt, MD

Electronic engineers interface with NASA missions and make sure that all they need are reflected in the ground station requirements. They are also responsible for managing complex modifications and enhancements of the Near Space Network.

Software Systems Specialist

Minimum Education: N/A

Skill Requirement: Python, C++

Experience Qualification: 1 year of directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 level

Location: Huntsville AL, Edwards, CA, Moffett Field, CA, and Washington DC

Software systems specialists create software code and applications that can perform autonomously in any circumstance. They also design innovative artificial intelligence systems using machine learning and autonomous technologies.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job at NASA?

It can be hard to get a job at NASA because of how competitive the application process is. Usually, candidates for positions at NASA are highly skilled experts, making it difficult for recruiters to choose from the long list of applicants. However, with the required education, experience, and skills, your chance at landing a job at NASA is as good as anyone else’s.

How to Get a Job at NASA FAQ

It takes between 45 to 60 days for a hiring manager to inform you if you were selected to work as a NASA employee. However, the time frame to get this feedback from NASA varies based on the role that you applied for.

NASA accepts applications for volunteer opportunities and professional positions, from candidates as young as 16 years old. However, age restrictions may allow depending on the job or program details.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in March 2016, the average salary for NASA employees was $119,665 per year.

Most NASA positions require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in one of the STEM fields, including computer science, engineering, mathematics, physical science, or biological science. Having graduate school credentials will further boost your appeal.

The skills needed to get hired by NASA vary depending on the role you’re applying for. Some roles require critical thinking skills and teamwork skills, while others require leadership skills and technical skills. Generally, all positions will require a combination of a technical skill and soft skills.

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