The difficulty of getting hired at Tesla will depend on the role you’re applying for.
While it may be easy to get a typical factory job as a production associate or a process tech, it’s a bit more difficult getting an engineering job at Tesla. Unless you’re an amazing engineer, you’ll need some experience and a bachelor’s degree to even be considered.
While the requirements may not be high, actually getting hired at Tesla is a different thing. The obstacle here is the huge amount of applications Tesla receives every month. You might get considered, but to get hired you’ll need to stand out.
Requirements to Work at Tesla
Your requirements to work at Tesla will depend on the position you’re applying for. Most people just want a general overview of what it takes to get a Tesla job, so let’s look at a few typical positions at Tesla.
Requirements for the typical factory positions such as production associate are minimal, and you don’t have to satisfy anything special. For example, requirements for a production associate include:
- high school diploma (preferred),
- 18 years of age,
- you can speak and write in English,
and that’s pretty much it. The only qualifications here are a high school diploma, and that is only preferred, not necessary. No experience is required. Therefore, requirements are quite low, so getting a job as a production associate at Tesla should be easier.
However, requirements for a Quality Engineering Technician are a bit higher. You need to have at least a year of experience in a Manufacturing, Quality, or Process focused role. As you gain this experience you’ll also satisfy other requirements for this role such as:
- Mechanical inspection experience using various tools
- Ability to read and interpret basic mechanical drawings
- Understanding of fundamentals of GD&T
- Experience writing work instructions
- Knowledge of Lean Manufacturing practices
Not too bad is it? These are all learned by working in such roles, and no degree is generally required. Therefore, to get hired in a typical role for a Quality Engineering Technician, you’ll need at least a year of experience in similar roles beforehand, and that’s pretty much it. This is still fairly easy to gain, and it’s on the low to medium difficulty for most people.
On the other hand, requirements for a typical engineering position at Tesla include:
- Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, etc)
- Proficiency in a CAD software
- Experience with component design, analysis, and validation
- Proficiency in Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing
- Previous experience in working on such projects (preferred)
Notice the “preferred” part. Tesla has openings from entry-level to expert positions in engineering, which is why previous experience is preferred, but not necessary. You just need to be familiar with basic skills in working in CAD software, have an engineering degree, and at least some experience, whether in professional or academic projects.
Remember, that even though Elon Musk says a college degree isn’t necessary if you’re shooting for an engineering role without a degree, you better make sure you have some great experience you can show them to even be considered.
Similarly, keep in mind that Tesla is quite popular these days and gets a huge amount of resumes and applications, not just in the US but across the world. While you may satisfy some basic requirements, it’s going to be difficult to get an offer unless you stand out somehow.
What Does Tesla Look For in Employees?
Tesla actively seeks talented and driven individuals who are prepared to work a minimum of 40 hours per week (often exceeding 50 hours), demonstrate a strong work ethic, and commit to the company long-term. They prioritize exceptional engineers and highly-motivated individuals who can handle occasional challenging work hours.
While it’s true that many Tesla employees face long working hours, it’s important to note that this doesn’t apply to all departments. The demanding nature of the automotive industry means that some roles, particularly engineering positions, may require more effort than usual, reflecting the expectations set by CEO Elon Musk.
Employee opinions on this matter vary; while some find the long hours undesirable, others don’t mind, either due to their competitive compensation or the significant impact their work has on the future. Tesla often provides stock-based compensation (typically RSUs), and Tesla’s stock has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, particularly since 2020.
Many individuals are drawn to Tesla because of its mission to spearhead the transition to electric vehicles and its ambitious goal of colonizing Mars under Musk’s leadership. These team members are enthusiastic, motivated, highly skilled, and generally a pleasure to collaborate with.
The majority of Tesla employees are friendly, talented, and hard-working. If this description resonates with you, you might find the company culture a good fit. Explore Tesla Careers to discover the team that aligns with your interests and expertise.
Tesla’s Hiring Process: What to Expect
The hiring process at Tesla typically begins with an online application, followed by a phone screening with a recruiter, and one or more interviews with the hiring manager and team members.
Depending on the role, candidates may also be asked to complete technical tests, coding challenges, or design exercises. The process can be lengthy, often taking several weeks to a few months.
The Challenges of Applying for a Job at Tesla
Applying for a job at Tesla can be challenging for several reasons:
- High standards. Tesla is known for its high expectations and standards for employees. They look for top talent with exceptional skills and experience, which can make it difficult to secure a position at the company.
- Rigorous interview process. The interview process at Tesla is designed to test not only your technical knowledge and skills, but also your ability to adapt to new situations, think critically, and solve complex problems. This can make the interview process demanding and challenging.
- Intense competition. Due to Tesla’s reputation and innovative work, the company attracts numerous highly-qualified candidates, making the competition for job openings fierce. This means you’ll need to stand out among a pool of impressive applicants.
- Work culture and expectations. Tesla’s dynamic work environment and expectations for long hours can be difficult for some candidates. It’s essential to assess your compatibility with the company’s culture and be prepared for a demanding work schedule before applying.
- Rapidly evolving industry. As a leader in the electric vehicle and renewable energy sectors, Tesla operates in a rapidly evolving industry. This can be challenging for job seekers who need to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and demonstrate a willingness to adapt to new technologies and methodologies.
How Hard Is It to Get a Tesla Internship?
Tesla internships can be difficult to get unless you’re at one of the Universities they’re recruiting from. They recruit regularly from Universities across the world, so if you’re in one of those Universities you’re in luck. They may not pay top dollar for those recruited interns, but you can get in easily.
Tesla requires a 3.5 GPA, and although some recruiters might accept one that’s slightly below, most of them are strict with this requirement.
Another requirement often seen in a university student is previous internship experience. While this may not apply to everyone, most interns have some previous experience whether a small or a big company doesn’t matter.
An additional plus for getting a Tesla internship is extracurricular activities. Tesla is big on projects and interesting experiences, whether academic or personal. Anything interesting you’ve worked on, better yet – finished, is a big plus.
During your internship interview, you’ll have some generic questions about why you chose your major, what you know about Tesla, how you work in a team, projects you worked on, etc. So be sure to read on about Tesla, check some Tesla interview experiences online, and practice how to answer some of these interview questions.
How Hard Is It to Get an Interview at Tesla?
Tesla recruiters get dozens of applications daily, and they reject 90% of them without even looking into the great detail of each applicant. They know who can get the chance just by glancing at them. Therefore, unless you’re a great fit for the job role or have a contact, getting an interview at Tesla can be quite difficult.
With that in mind, to get an interview at Tesla you’ll need to stand out, or at least connect with the people who can refer you to the right person. This person then needs to give you a chance.
Sure, applying at the Tesla site is easy, but judging by how many applicants they get every month, it’s very difficult to get noticed, so the Tesla acceptance rate is fairly low. You need to find some way to increase your chances of at least getting a phone screen.
You could study for a few years, get a nice degree and then apply, but that’s not the answer you want. The only other way is either to gain some relevant experience or to network your way in. In the case of networking, you’ll need to fix your social network profiles, find the right people online and in the real world, and connect with them.
I’m writing a neat article on getting a job at Tesla where I’ll go into more detail on this. Look out for future articles about Tesla.
The Importance of Networking for Landing a Job at Tesla
Networking can be vital to increasing your chances of landing a job at Tesla.
Connecting with current or former Tesla employees, attending Tesla or industry events, and participating in relevant online forums or social media groups can help you gain valuable insights about the company, its hiring process, and potential job openings.
These connections may also provide opportunities for referrals, which can improve your chances of getting an interview.
Tips for Standing Out in the Tesla Hiring Process
To stand out during the Tesla hiring process, consider the following tips:
- Tailor your resume and cover letter to emphasize your relevant skills, experience, and passion for Tesla’s mission.
- Prepare for interviews by researching Tesla’s products, projects, and company culture, and practicing responses to common interview questions.
- Demonstrate problem-solving abilities, creativity, and initiative during interviews and technical assessments.
- Be prepared to discuss your long-term goals and commitment to the company, as Tesla values employees who plan to stay and contribute for an extended period.
- Follow up with a thank-you email after your interviews, expressing your enthusiasm for the role and gratitude for the opportunity to interview.
What is the competition like for jobs at Tesla
The competition for jobs at Tesla is intense, as the company attracts numerous highly-qualified candidates seeking to work for an innovative and reputable organization.
What are some common mistakes to avoid?
Some common mistakes to avoid during the Tesla job application process include submitting a generic resume or cover letter, not researching the company and its mission, and being unprepared for the rigorous interview process.
Is it necessary to have a degree to get a job at Tesla?
While a degree can be advantageous, Tesla considers candidates with relevant experience and skills even if they don’t possess a formal degree, as the company values practical knowledge and hands-on expertise.