Tesla to Add 10,000 Jobs in Austin Area

Elon Musk has announced on Twitter that Tesla plans to add 10,000 jobs in the Austin area. It needs workers for the manufacturing facility being built in Austin. Many of these positions will not require a college degree, but may be a good way to get one’s foot in the door with Tesla.

The facility is slated to begin operations in the fourth quarter of this year. The job postings on Tesla’s website indicate that the Tesla facility will manufacture batteries for its vehicles. Available positions include an IT manufacturing support technician, which requires five years’ experience but no degree, and a construction foreman, which requires a degree or “exceptional experience in the field of civil engineering or construction management.”

Musk has also indicated that he is hiring in the Brownsville/South Padre area for SpaceX’s launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Most of the open positions for Texas on SpaceX’s website are for engineers, technicians, and builders.

Musk had previously noted that Austin could become the United States’ next boom town after his highly publicized move from California to Texas in the wake of his scraps with California’s state and county level officials over their response to COVID-19. The ramping up of his companies’ presence in the area includes plans for a new manufacturing facility for SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.

This could be good for young people living in the Austin area who have considered going into engineering as a career or may have lost jobs due to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, Elon Musk isn’t waiting around. Earlier this week, he announced donations worth $30 million for downtown renovation projects and improvements in education in the Brownsville area in a bid to attract professionals who may be willing to relocate for a job at SpaceX.

One job posting for an engineering manager does note that the position is “not for the faint of heart” and “changing the world isn’t easy.” That could be a reference to Elon Musk’s reputation for being a demanding boss, which seems to come with its own can of worms in the form of occasional legal scraps with former employees.

One legal case involved a former employee who leaked sensitive documents to the media. The former employee claims he did it to reveal unsafe conditions at Tesla’s existing factory in Nevada. Another case involved a software engineer who transferred sensitive files to a personal Dropbox account, although the employee claims that he had no malicious intent and the files were deleted from the Dropbox.

Tesla and Musk have also run afoul of state and federal labor regulations, including a case that was opened with the National Labor Relations Board in 2018 in which Musk was accused of threatening employees who supported unionization efforts in a tweet. Last week, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Musk should delete the tweet and hold a series of meetings in which employees would be educated about their rights.

Even with the legal battles, Tesla may have little trouble finding qualified applicants in the current job market, which is just beginning to recover from COVID-19’s impact. Even with the addition of hundreds of thousands of jobs in both February and March of this year, the number of available jobs is still well behind the number of job openings before the pandemic started. Although the Gigafactory in Austin isn’t expected to begin operations until Q4 2021, it may still be worth getting your application now if you are looking for a job.