Hispanic Diversity
R&D Technician III

R&D Technician III

companyRocket Lab
locationAlbuquerque, NM, USA
PublishedPublished: 5/17/2024
Full Time


Rocket Lab is a global leader in launch and space systems. The rockets and satellites we build and launch enable some of the most ambitious and vital space missions globally, supporting scientific exploration, Earth observation and missions to combat climate change, national security, and exciting new technology demonstrations. Our Electron rocket has provided reliable access to orbit since 2018, becoming one of the most frequently launched rockets in the world. Neutron will be our next rocket on the launch pad, an advanced 13-tonne payload class, reusable rocket to launch the mega constellations of the future. Our space systems business includes our extensive line of satellites and components that have enabled more than 1,700 missions including the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA Psyche Mission, Artemis I, Mars Ingenuity helicopter, and more.  

Join our pioneering team and launch your career to new heights!


Rocket Lab’s Space Systems team is responsible for every satellite and satellite component made by Rocket Lab: from complete satellites destined for missions to the Moon and Mars, to the individual components and subsystems that make up a satellite like solar panels, flight software, reaction wheels and star trackers, separation systems, radios, and more. Our Space Systems team is made up of engineers, technicians, and designers who design, create, and put together our own satellites for missions across the commercial, government, and defense sectors, or who build and assemble satellite hardware and software that supports other satellite missions. 


Based out of Rocket Lab's site in Albuquerque, NM, the R&D Technician III is responsible for operating and maintaining equipment, building and testing engineering parts, and conducting experiments used to develop new space solar products. You will support R&D engineers in solving design problems related to the integration and assembly of space solar panels, with the ultimate goal of realizing lower cost, lighter weight, more functional, and higher performance space solar panels.


  • Make hands-on contributions to real hardware that operates in space.
  • Participate in the development of leading space solar technology.
  • Develop expertise in the use and maintenance of testing and manufacturing equipment:
    • Setup and maintain lab space.
    • Perform minor repairs and calibration of equipment.
  • Develop and apply proficiency in assembling space solar panels, specialized tooling and test articles:
    • Configure and build new hardware.
    • Create new work instructions and update existing ones.
  • Perform experiments to support engineering projects, involving:
    • New materials
    • New processes
    • New equipment
  • Lead the configuration of new products, processes, and test articles:
    • Drawings
    • Part numbers
    • Work instructions.
    • Hardware configuration documents
    • Test plans.


  • 8+ years of technical experience as a service, manufacturing or R&D technician
  • High school diploma


  • Associate’s degree in a two-year trade school or community college
  • Experience in a high-tech manufacturing company or R&D laboratory.
  • Proficiency operating and maintaining manufacturing or laboratory equipment.
  • Experience with the assembly of solar panels.
  • Experience with resistance welding equipment and processes.


  • Standing for long periods of time, climbing up and down ladders, bending, grasping, sitting, pulling, pushing, stooping, and stretching may be required to perform the functions of this position 
  • Able to lift up to 25lbs. unassisted 
  • Must be able to climb ladders and be comfortable working in tight spaces. 
  • Must be able to move repetitively, bend or twist, and use hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls. 
  • Must be able to walk or stand for extended periods – 8 hours min 
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces  


We’re on a mission to unlock the potential of space to improve life on Earth, but that’s not an easy task. It takes hard work, determination, relentless innovation, teamwork, grit, and an unwavering commitment to achieving what others often deem impossible. Our people out-think, out-work and out-pace. We pride ourselves on having each other’s backs, checking our egos at the door, and rolling up our sleeves on all tasks big and small. We thrive under pressure, work to tight deadlines, and our focus is always on how we can deliver, rather than dwelling on the challenges that stand in the way.   

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Rocket Lab Employees must be a U.S. citizen, lawful U.S. permanent resident (i.e., current Green Card holder), or lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or granted asylum, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce, as applicable. Learn more about ITAR here.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for the application/interview process for a job in the United States should contact Giulia Biow at g.biow@rocketlabusa.com.This dedicated resource is intended solely to assist job seekers with disabilities whose disability prevents them from being able to apply/interview. Only messages left for this purpose will be considered. A response to your request may take up to two business days.


For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant.  These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations. 

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality.  For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.