How to Get a Job in Commercial Space

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If you've ever dreamed of exploring the final frontier, now's your chance. 

The commercial space industry is booming, creating a world of new opportunities for professionals looking to make their mark in this exciting field. 

From satellite launches to space tourism, this sector is poised for takeoff, with a galaxy of careers waiting to be explored.

Opportunities in Commercial Space

Whether they're launching rockets, building satellites, or developing space tourism experiences, the companies and organizations involved in the commercial space industry are at the forefront of innovation and discovery, bringing new technologies and approaches to the field and inspiring the next generation of space professionals.

The top 5 commercial space companies are:


Established by entrepreneur Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX has rapidly become a leading name in the space industry. Renowned for its groundbreaking reusable rocket technology, the company has successfully launched numerous satellites, resupplied the International Space Station, and even transported astronauts to space.

Blue Origin

Launched by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2000, Blue Origin is dedicated to developing reusable space launch vehicles and engines. The company has successfully launched and landed its New Shepard rocket multiple times and is currently working on a new heavy-lift rocket called New Glenn.

Virgin Galactic

Founded by Richard Branson in 2004, Virgin Galactic focuses on space tourism and suborbital spaceflight experiences. The company has successfully sent its SpaceShipTwo vehicle to space on multiple occasions and plans to begin commercial space tourism flights in the near future.


Established in 2012, OneWeb aims to provide broadband internet access from space using a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites. The company has launched more than 100 satellites to date, with plans to launch hundreds more in the coming years.


Founded in 2010, Planet is a leading provider of Earth-imaging data and services from space. The company operates a fleet of over 150 small satellites, which capture high-resolution images of the Earth's surface for various applications, including agriculture, forestry, and environmental monitoring.

Challenges and Trends in the Commercial Space Industry

The commercial space industry is taking off, brimming with countless opportunities for innovation and exploration! 

But, it's not without its challenges, such as navigating the complex world of regulations and overcoming the steep costs associated with research, development, and spacecraft maintenance. 

Plus, as more companies join the space race, the competition gets fiercer, making it tough to secure contracts, funding, and partnerships.

​​"The power to overcome our challenges lies not in the stars, but within ourselves." - Matthew McConaughey as Cooper in Interstellar (2014).

But, don't be discouraged! Many experts are optimistic about the commercial space industry's potential to soar to new heights in the coming years, as we continue to push the boundaries of exploration and technology.

One example of this is how dynamic the commercial space industry is with new trends and innovations popping up left and right! 

A major trend is the increasing investment pouring in, as companies and governments alike recognize the sky-high potential for growth and development. For example, the UK Space Agency is backing a project by Rolls-Royce (yes, the luxury car company) to explore building a nuclear reactor on the moon that can be used to generate electricity for a future space station that astronauts can work in. 

Another key trend is the booming demand for satellite data and services, fueling innovation in remote sensing, earth observation, and navigation. And as more players enter the commercial space sector, collaboration and partnerships become crucial. Companies are teaming up to leverage each other's strengths and resources, striving towards shared goals.

All these exciting trends point to one thing: the commercial space industry is set to grow and evolve in thrilling ways in the years ahead!

So, there’s no time like the present to start aligning your skills with the future.

How to Find Career Opportunities in Commercial Space

From software development and mechanical engineering to project management and business strategy, the commercial space industry demands a wide range of specialized skills and qualifications, all of which are essential to achieving success and making a lasting impact in this exciting and rapidly growing field.

But, just how do you go about pursuing one of these career opportunities?

In order for you to have a higher chance of landing a role in commercial space there are a few in-demand skills to have on your resume.

Space galaxy in orbit

Knowledge of International Traffic and Arms Regulations

To succeed in the space industry, it is important to have a deep understanding of the regulations and laws governing the export of defense-related items, including those that apply to the space industry such as technologies and systems used for surveillance, communication, or other military purposes, including satellite systems or other space-based technologies.

Project Management

Effective project management is critical in the space industry and requires skills such as budgeting and scheduling to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.

Python Programming

Python programming is an essential skill in the space industry, as it is widely used for tasks such as data analysis, simulation, and modeling.

Physics and Avionics

A strong foundation in physics and avionics is essential for success in the space industry, as it involves the study of electronics, engineering, and avionics systems used in space vehicles.

System Engineering 

System engineering is a crucial skill in the space industry, as it involves designing and managing complex systems, ensuring that all components work together effectively and efficiently.

The best way to include these skills on your resume is to show how you used them in projects where you tracked your progression and achieved the desired outcome. Our Ultimate Bundle includes Resume Revision which shows you how to use action words when showcasing your skills and achievements. We work with you to tailor your resume to your desired role. 

If you’re undecided on what your desired role is, our Career Consulting and Job Search Strategy services (which are also included in the Ultimate Bundle) can help you pinpoint what the best fit for you is in the commercial space industry.

These are just a few of the most in-demand jobs to give you an idea of what to expect:

Application Software Developer

This job involves creating and testing software applications for the space industry.

Computer System Engineer 

This role entails designing, implementing, and maintaining computer systems and software for space exploration.

Mechanical Engineer

A mechanical engineer is responsible for designing, developing, and testing mechanical systems and components.

Electrical Engineer and Aerospace Engineer

These roles involve developing and designing electrical and electronic systems and structures for aerospace and space exploration.

Project Manager

The role of a project manager is to oversee the planning, budgeting, and scheduling of projects to ensure they are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.

Manufacturing Engineer

This job involves designing and optimizing manufacturing processes and systems for space exploration.

Civil Engineer

A civil engineer is responsible for designing and developing infrastructure, buildings, and other structures for the space industry.

Architectural and Engineering Managers 

These managers direct teams of architects, engineers, and other professionals involved in designing and developing structures, systems, and components for space exploration.

Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers

This role involves designing and implementing quality assurance procedures to ensure that software applications and systems meet required quality standards and specifications.

Once you’ve pinpointed your target role, we’ll help you prepare for your interviews so that you can clearly articulate your skills and thoughtfully answer those tough questions.

Our Interview Prep service is also part of the Ultimate Bundle which is designed to be our all-in-one career service package. We’ll help you launch that new space career in no time!

Professional Development and Advancement in the Commercial Space Industry

We all know that in any industry it’s important to keep your skills sharp. 

And in the rapidly evolving and dynamic field of space exploration, ongoing learning and development is essential for professionals who want to stay ahead of the curve and make a lasting impact on the industry.

Here are some resources that you can use to sharpen your skills in the commercial space industry: 

  • Altair Space Academy is a cutting-edge online platform that offers online courses and training programs for professionals and space enthusiasts alike. Popular courses include "Essentials of Rocket Propulsion" and "Space Sustainability," providing in-depth insights into key topics. With flexible online courses and expert instructors, Altair Space Academy is your ticket to a cosmic adventure of learning and skill-building!
  • The Space Commerce Institute leverages the Space Foundation's extensive 40-year history of advocating for the global space community to provide practical and accessible programming. The institute offers valuable insights from experts who have honed their skills in navigating the evolving mandates for creating and implementing concepts in the global space economy.
  • The 2024 International Space Convention is set to be one of the most exciting and informative events of the year for space industry professionals. This virtual event on Zoom is THE place to be for early-career and professional space enthusiasts alike, bringing together 160+ industry experts for a 5-day extravaganza. With 45 different topics, you'll dive deep into the latest space exploration and technology trends. Connect, network, and create lasting bonds with like-minded professionals as you propel your career to new heights.
Night launch of spacecraft

Passionate Space Enthusiasts to Follow on LinkedIn:

  • Courtney Stadd: After dedicating over 35 years to drafting and implementing federal policies and regulations to boost the growth of commercial space, Courtney Stadd has become a widely consulted expert in the industry.
  • Jennifer Pickerel: Jennifer Pickerel is a decisive and inspiring leader with over 15 years of experience in business aviation recruitment. She is the Vice President of Aviation Personnel International, working directly with API’s clients and speaking at various industry events on employee attraction, retention, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Jennifer is also actively involved in industry organizations and was recently accepted into the International Women’s Forum’s Leadership Fellows Program.
  • Ramzi Gharbi: As the Gateway NASA Module Integration Lead at the Canadian Space Agency, Ramzi Gharbi is responsible for leading the integration of an AI-driven robotic system on the Space International Gateway Program and working on sustainable human deep space exploration. He collaborates with various stakeholders to send humans further into our solar system, with the Moon representing a crucial stepping stone in humanity's evolution.

Charting a Course for the Future

It's clear that the commercial space industry is an industry on the rise, offering professionals an opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation and exploration. 

Whether you're a seasoned veteran or looking to make a splash in the industry, there's a galaxy of possibilities waiting for you in this exciting and rapidly growing field. 

So don't wait - take the leap and embark on an adventure that's truly out of this world!

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