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Broad range of roles

From engineers and scientists to project managers and support services

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A growing sector

Opportunities at start-ups, SMEs, space agencies and in industry

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International opportunities

Jobs across Europe (and beyond)

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30 years in space

RHEA has been working in the space sector since 1992

Mission team at ESA's ESOC operations centre © ESA / J. Mai

What roles are there in the space sector?

There are many job types and disciplines in the space industry, some of which exist in both the upstream and downstream segments. These include:

  • Space system engineer – has overall responsibility for the spacecraft design
  • Mission operations and ground segment system engineers
  • Mission scientists
  • Astrophysicists and astronomers
  • Software and hardware engineers
  • Data scientists and programmers
  • Model-based system engineering.

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More roles in space

In addition to engineering- and science-related jobs, the space sector relies on a wide range of roles across the supply chain, such as:

  • Project management and quality assurance
  • IT and security, including cybersecurity
  • Sales and pre-sales
  • Legal
  • Marketing and communications
  • Recruitment and HR
  • Administration

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Ariane 5 liftoff image copyright Trevor Mahlmann

Career development

Those at the start of their career should look for space-related opportunities both in industry, including internships, and within universities and research centres. Space scientists and engineers tend to stay in the same domain, so it is likely that your first job may determine your career path – choose carefully.

RHEA has been working in the space sector for 30 years and has long-term relationships with many of our clients. We have a variety of roles in the space sector, some long-term, including positions within major agencies and institutions such as the European Space Agency (ESA). We provide opportunities to move jobs and even countries, as we collaborate with key space players across Europe.
Image © Trevor Mahlmann

Careers at RHEA

What qualifications do you need?

The qualifications required for jobs in the space sector vary by role and organization. For a role in space engineering or science – particularly within a space agency such as ESA – you will need a Masters or PhD in a relevant discipline, such as mathematics, physics or engineering. Doing a space-related degree thesis is ideal and will help you find a first job in space.

For other roles and at smaller companies, the requirements will be broader. For example:

  • Start-ups/SMEs – A good first technical or science degree may suffice
  • Management – MBA
  • Project management/quality assurance – relevant certification
  • Legal, marketing, communications, administration – Relevant degree and/or qualification

Other degrees may be applicable for some space roles: for example geography pairs well with Earth observation and atmospheric science; and psychology, medicine and biology with human spaceflight. AI and machine learning is another growing field within the space sector.

Skills and experience

For all space roles, having a ‘system mindset’ – seeing the ‘big picture’ – is important because space services and solutions all rely on a range of ‘subsystems’ that need to work together.

Beyond that, the skills and experience required will vary according to the role and organization. Apart from internships, large industrial organizations and space agencies (including ESA) are likely to seek people with demonstrable experience and pertinent technical knowledge, whereas start-ups and SMEs may have different requirements.

Other skills and personal qualities that may make you stand out, depending on the role, include:

  • Curiosity, adaptability and willingness to learn
  • Team player with a collaborative mindset
  • Communication, presentation and negotiation skills
  • Good English; fluency in other European languages is an advantage
  • At ease in any size and type of organization
  • A demonstrable passion for space!

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