JPL is NASA's Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) operated by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). From our groundbreaking space exploration work to our mind-blowing scientific pursuits, research, technology and engineering, come to JPL if you want to change the course of human history, and etch a legacy in the stars.
A unique place
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) holds a special place in the history books. The success of our first spacecraft, Explorer I satellite, in 1958 helped lift America into the Space Age. From there, our spacecraft have flown to every planet in the solar system, the Sun, and into interstellar space. The beginnings of JPL also launched something more intangible: generations of dreamers on a trajectory of belief—that it was possible to do what seemed impossible.
Pushing the boundaries
You've heard of our work, probably in the context of remarkable accomplishments. It was a camera on Voyager 1—built at JPL—that captured the pale blue dot of Earth from 3.7 billion miles away. It was JPL who built and landed several rovers on Mars to search for signs of ancient life. JPL helped build and manages one of the four cameras aboard the James Webb Telescope.
Almost a century later, JPL scientists, engineers, technologists and more continue to redefine what’s possible, and open doors so you and those who follow will do the same. Join us for exciting work in these areas:
Closer to home, JPL spacecraft, science instruments, and airborne missions help humanity study and track climate change, manage natural resources, and respond to disasters. JPL also applies its capabilities to national security in areas aligned with its work for NASA, and develops technologies for uses on Earth in fields from public safety to medicine, capitalizing on NASA's investment in space technology.
JPL employees have a strong sense of purpose. We believe in looking after one another and our planet, if we are ever to explore the stars.
We do like to refer to ourselves the center of the universe because we built and manage the Deep Space Network (DSN), which sends and receives data from nearly all spacecraft traveling beyond the Moon.
Groundbreaking technology and research
We believe that our success and influence are measured by the foundations we build to advance all of humanity's technological capabilities and scientific understanding. Many of the technologies you use or see in your day-to-day life began at JPL, from cell phone cameras to wireless signals to self-driving cars and GPS. JPL discoveries in the areas of nanotechnology, rocket propulsion, robotics and computer science opened the doors for well-known and loved tech innovations in the commercial space.
Focused on the future
What's next? We're working on missions to investigate the surface and interior of Venus and to study the ocean deep below the icy crust of Jupiter's moon Europa. JPL is taking part in missions to map Earth's surface and to chart minute movements of the planet's ice and land-covered surfaces. Together with the European Space Agency, we plan to bring Martian rock samples back to Earth in the search for past signs of microscopic life on Mars.
A place for academic freedom
We are funded by an agreement between NASA and Caltech - two premiere research and scientific institutions and work on NASA missions (we're currently working on 40 active missions)—and as an arm of Caltech we also get to work on our own research projects and priorities. JPL is a place where impossible ideas come to life. Want to build an autonomous swarm? Write code that controls complex robots in outer space? At JPL you can pitch your ideas, receive funding, knowledge, resources and institutional support to make them happen. We believe today's impossible ideas are the foundations of tomorrow.
At our core, we're a research institution that believes we learn as much from our mistakes as our successes. We believe in daring the big, impossible things even if we might fail because that is better than never trying at all.
Ready to start your career at JPL? Search our open jobs.
DARE MIGHTY THINGS TOGETHER: A PLAN FOR JPL, 2023-2026
First of a kind. Pathfinding. Groundbreaking. Impactful.
These are words that describe JPL and the work we do every day. What brings JPLers together is a shared passion for imagining and then achieving what others might think impossible – in other words, we Dare Mighty Things Together.
We are courageous explorers, driven by our conviction to take informed risks and expand the edge of possibility. We build and manage complex missions designed to tackle the most challenging scientific questions and address global challenges. We are motivated by building first-of-a-kind systems and by knowing that out discoveries will advance knowledge and drive positive change.
We create a collaborative culture where our teams, colleagues, and partners feel valued and empowered to innovate. We appreciate excellence, expertise, and experience across all disciplines. We embrace difference with respect and curiosity. We create environments where teams can achieve things not thought possible. We take pride in the breadth of our reach, engagement, and impact.
We operate with integrity and the highest professional standards. We do the right thing. We honor our commitments. We work to advance our relationships. We share information and expertise with each other, with partners, and with the world. We work together toward ambitious common goals and outcomes.
Areas of expertise
Our areas of expertise include science, engineering, computer science, technology, business and mission support.
You too can be part of one-of-a-kind science, research and technology that help our fellow humans, here on Earth and one day out there in space. We also offer careers in the business of space, including administration, communications, human resources, finance and more.
In partnership with the Society for Women Engineers (SWE) and iRelaunch, JPL’s Project Discovery is a returnship program that focuses on bringing professionals back to the workforce after an extended absence.
Our JPL recruiters and technical representatives participate in many career fairs and conferences throughout the year. They do interviews, talks, and on-the-spot offers, so if you’re interested in a career at JPL, don’t miss out, and register today for an event near you.
Whether you LinkedIn, Insta, Tweet or Facebook, follow us @NASAJPLCareers on social media to stay up-to-date on JPL happenings, exclusive behind-the-scenes looks, and career opportunities. You can also check out our employee reviews on Glassdoor.
Get the merch
There is no official dress code at JPL, but we do love our swag! Saw the launch and need that shirt? Want to wear what employees are wearing? Check out the JPL store for the latest JPL merch!