Chief Engineer


NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NCE) chief engineers are recognized as experts and have the final say in many instances when it comes to safety and technical issues. Chief engineers enjoy enormous input in the development of such aeronautical programs as the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Mars Exploration, James Webb Space Telescope, and Constellation. One of the primary duties of the Chief Engineer is to recognize potential problems and issues before the engineering process goes too far and warn the NESC Chief Engineers (NCE). In addition, the Chief Engineer leads any investigations of problems or accidents.


Chief Engineers must constantly educate themselves on new and emerging technologies. Because much of their work is cutting edge, they must be especially creative in thinking out of the box and finding solutions to complex issues and problems.


Applicants must be United States citizens. Those hired are subject to random drug testing. Candidates for the position of Chief Engineer should have a post-graduate degree in engineering or related field from an accredited university or college, preferably a PhD.


NASA will provide some training on the job.


This position often requires a lot of traveling.

Salary and Benefits

NASA benefits include sick leave, short- and long-term disability protection, life and travel insurance, an employee assistance program, annual leave, paid federal holidays, and a retirement plan.

$123,556.00 – $152,000.00

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