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Principal Operations Systems Engineer – Top Secret (Satellite/Space Systems)

Requisition ID: R10069533

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location IconLocation: Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, United States of America
  • Citizenship IconCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Clearance IconClearance Type: Top Secret
  • Telecommute IconTelecommute: No- Teleworking not available for this position
  • Shift IconShift: Any (United States of America)
  • Travel IconTravel Required: Yes, 10% of the Time
  • Positions IconPositions Available: 2

At Northrop Grumman, our employees have incredible opportunities to work on revolutionary systems that impact people's lives around the world today, and for generations to come. Our pioneering and inventive spirit has enabled us to be at the forefront of many technological advancements in our nation's history - from the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean, to stealth bombers, to landing on the moon. We look for people who have bold new ideas, courage and a pioneering spirit to join forces to invent the future, and have fun along the way. Our culture thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work — and we have an insatiable drive to do what others think is impossible. Our employees are not only part of history, they're making history.

This Principal Engineer role is located in Albuquerque, NM, supporting our National Security Space Systems programs that include technical roles at the mission, segment, and component levels. They span the entire program life cycle from early concept studies, design development, system integration/test, launch and early operations, mission operations/sustainment, and system disposal. Programs range from small feasibility studies to medium-sized on-orbit technology demonstrations and large-scale national systems.

Successful candidates for this position will work in a technical role for a space program in Albuquerque, NM, in the National Security Space business area within the Space Systems Group. This systems engineering position will support an experimental on-orbit mission. The responsibilities of this role may include:

  • Scripting for various satellites and payloads
  • Shift work advising operators and providing recommendations
  • Work with ground software and software systems
  • Mission planning and analysis, including orbital dynamics

This position will expose the candidate to equal parts technical competency, forward thinking ideas, and execution focus. This position requires a functional understanding of systems engineering as well as a basic understanding of orbital dynamics; guidance, navigation, and control; software and ground systems; and Python. This position requires shift work, which may include nights and weekends for 24/7 operations, and a strong interest in space systems and their operation.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in STEM or related discipline + 5 years of experience or a Master’s Degree in STEM or related discipline + 3 years
  • Must have U.S. Citizenship with a current or active Top Secret level clearance
  • Previous systems engineering experience, especially on space development programs or satellite operations

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Active or current Top Secret clearance with SCI
  • Education or experience in orbital mechanics and/or guidance, navigation, and control (GNC)
  • Knowledge of any programming language, particularly Python, and/or experience scripting for test or operations
  • Experience using or developing ground software and/or software systems


Salary Range: $87,600 USD - $131,400 USD

Employees may be eligible for a discretionary bonus in addition to base pay. Annual bonuses are designed to reward individual contributions as well as allow employees to share in company results. Employees in Vice President or Director positions may be eligible for Long Term Incentives. In addition, Northrop Grumman provides a variety of benefits including health insurance coverage, life and disability insurance, savings plan, Company paid holidays and paid time off (PTO) for vacation and/or personal business.

The health and safety of our employees and their families is a top priority. The company encourages employees to remain up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. U.S. Northrop Grumman employees may be required, in the future, to be vaccinated or have an approved disability/medical or religious accommodation, pursuant to future court decisions and/or government action on the currently stayed federal contractor vaccine mandate under Executive Order 14042 https://www.saferfederalworkforce.gov/contractors/.

Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit http://www.northropgrumman.com/EEO. U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.



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What's great about
Northrop Grumman

  1. Be part of a culture that thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work.
  2. Use your skills to build and deliver innovative tech solutions that protect the world and shape a better future.
  3. Enjoy benefits like work-life balance, education assistance and paid time off.


Did you know?

Northrop Grumman leads the industry team for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most complex and powerful space telescope ever built. Launched in December 2021, the telescope incorporates innovative design, advanced technology, and groundbreaking engineering, and will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe.