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Principal Tool Engineer/Senior Principal Tool Engineer

Requisition ID: R10035159

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location IconLocation: Palmdale, California, United States of America
  • Citizenship IconCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Clearance IconClearance Type: 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: 4

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.

Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems has an opening for a Principal Tool Engineer/Senior Principal Tool Engineer to join our team of qualified, diverse individuals. This position will be located in Palmdale, CA.

We're seeking a motivated team player to implement and assist activities for our tooling assembly line. Typical candidate has a background/experience/education in manufacturing/mechanical engineering, design, graphics, writing/ illustration, views, and animation.

Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordination of design and fabrication requirements for tools and fixtures with customers, both internal and external

  • Coordinate/develop & execute test plans

  • Performing tolerance analysis to ensure form/fit/function

  • Conduct root cause failure investigations and implement associated corrective actions

  • Develop & evaluate process improvements

  • Assist Product Development Team with new product designs to ensure manufacturability, validate process/technology.

  • Developing manufacturing processes, plans, and procedures for the fabrication of tools and equipment in support of our process work instructions and visual aids of our shop planning process and other functions that affect product performance.

  • Managing all phases of project: design, document, fabricate, assemble and validate

Core Competencies

  • Manufacturing Methods - Knowledge of manufacturing, methods, fabrication processes (e.g., forming, stamping, machining, heat treatment, machines/machine tools, cutting tools and fluids, N/C programming, instrumentation, data acquisition and control systems). Ability to select the best method of producing parts, tools or assemblies. Verifiable performance record that includes the various aspects of assembly line operation

  • Project Management - Successful project management and leadership experience. Coordination of design and fabrication requirements for tools and fixtures with customers, both internal and external.    

  •  Computer Aided Design Tools - Basic knowledge of computer aided design tools and systems (e.g., computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM), computer aided three dimensional interactive (CATIA), Mentor Graphics, Unigraphics). Able to manipulate data sets, (e.g., compare CATIA to measurement data, create stereo lithography files).

  •  Engineering Drawings & Specs - Basic ability to read, understand, and interpret engineering drawings and specifications. Basic level understanding of GD&T

Basic Qualifications for Principal Tool Engineer:

  • Bachelor’s Degree with 4 years of experience OR a Master's Degree with 2 years of experience OR an Associate’s Degree with 6 years of experience OR a High School Diploma/GED with 8 years of experience in medium to large scale tooling fabrication and/or production fabrication including composites, metallic, coatings application, and/or production manufacturing operations

  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a DOD Secret or Top Secret Clearance as well as Program Special access prior to starting

  • Ability to work any shift

Basic Qualifications for Senior Principal Tool Engineer:

  • Bachelor’s Degree with 8 years of experience OR a Master's Degree with 6 years of experience OR an Associate’s Degree with 10 years of experience OR a High School Diploma/GED with 12 years of experience in medium to large scale tooling fabrication and/or production fabrication including composites, metallic, coatings application, and/or production manufacturing operations

  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a DOD Secret or Top Secret Clearance as well as Program Special access prior to starting

  • Ability to work any shift

Preferred Qualifications:

  • STEM Degree (Science, Technical, Engineering or Mathematical)

  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)

  • Direct Aerospace Tooling experience

  • Direct Experience with Catia and or NX or some CAD

  • Ability to Read/understand blueprints/GD&T in accordance with ASME 14.5

  • 1 year of Experience working with SAP

  • Current active DOD Secret clearance with an investigation date/periodic review within the last 5 years

  • Able to communicate with various levels of leadership, must be able to coordinate and resolve interpersonal and technical problems and must work well either in a team or independently with limited guidance


Salary Range: $92,200 USD - $138,400 USD
Salary Range 2: $114,300 USD - $171,500 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.