Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated June 27, 2015
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4.0
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Bill Goldstein
8 Ratings

Pros
  • The work-life balance is quite good (in 28 reviews)

  • There are a lot of super smart people here that you can work with (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • Beware: you will drown in red tape which comes first over science (in 13 reviews)

  • Slow to change because of older employee base but they are changing (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

72 Employee Reviews

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  1. Research Scientist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Freedom to work on any project. The diversity of work there. Interesting research. Lots of smart people.

    Cons

    Lots of bureaucracy. Some red tape. Paperwork. Some underperformers.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Technical excellence/programmatic immaturity

    Former Employee - Research Specialist in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Research Specialist in Livermore, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Pros

    LLNL offers the ability to work in many technologies, but not just working with those technologies: working at the forefront of scientific and technical knowledge.

    Cons

    It's kind of like a sandbox. The two separate organizations I was part of both were developing systems that no one else could build, but they didn't do that good a job outlining requirements. If you came straight from grad school, everything was peachy, but, coming from an outside engineering organization, I was a little taken aback by their unwillingness to talk resources and requirements — especially as that was the foundation for every well-executed engineering program I had ever been a part of.
    Having said that, it's a big organization, and in my five years I worked for only two small groups.

    Advice to Management

    Again, from my relatively limited exposure to the organization as a whole, I saw managers being selected in one of two ways: 1) Technical excellence. 2) Ability to schmooze. Although both those skills are important, they are not the primary skills required to manage a technical program well.


  3. Great First Work Experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Student Security(Summer) in Livermore, CA
    Current Intern - Student Security(Summer) in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    LLNL is a big name, has tons of funding, and stuff going on. All STEM fields, and some non-STEM, have something to do at LLNL. There's something for everyone. The people there are also very smart and friendly. Livermore is a distance from Silicon Valley, so commutes are in reverse, and parking is readily available. It preserves an open "suburban feel", instead of the packed and bustling city on San Jose or other cities. I'm not sure about salary, but as a freshman in college in his first job, I think I'm getting paid relatively well at $19/hour. I also received benefits as an intern, such as paid vacation.

    Cons

    The immense scrutiny, bureaucracy, and security involved really hinders productivity. I have witnessed many, many times where my supervisor was hindered and couldn't progress with his work, because of small incidents where protocol is broken. It's hard to comprehend just how much of an issue and hindrance these problems are.

    Advice to Management

    None, since the cons stated are inherent to government-involved work.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Work/Life balance is great. Benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    Large level of government bureaucracy. Given vacation levels don't bump until 10 years of service but do start higher it seems.

    Advice to Management

    Bump vacation at 5.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Good place for independent research

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    - freedom to choose projects (much more compared to industry)
    - working with exceptionally brilliant scientists
    - chance to work on impactful projects

    Cons

    - bureaucracy
    - federal laws and limitations


  7. Postdoctoral Researcher

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Cutting Edge Research and great opportunity to build your scientific career

    Cons

    Interaction with members outside your group is little


  8. Helpful (1)

    I learned a lot, got assigned to different projects

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Scientist in Livermore, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    1. It's a research environment so work is laid back compared to a corporate world.
    2. Most co-workers are competent, good to work with -- not too stressed out.

    Cons

    It's a government contractor, so there's the bureaucracy you would expect from anything having to interact with the federal government.

    Advice to Management

    You're doing okay, just make sure to modernize - like allowing cell phones onsite.


  9. High end security for retailers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Security Guard in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Security Guard in Las Vegas, NV

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Awesome coworkers and got to network with lots of clients.

    Cons

    Standing all day and odd shifts.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doin what you're doin.


  10. leading edge work plus bureaucracy

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    first-rate colleagues, exciting research in progress, excellent computer facilities, flexible hours, nearby housing is cheaper than most San Francisco Bay Area locations.

    Cons

    Heavy-handed unproductive "oversight" by the Department of Energy, lots of rules, generally unhelpful and unfriendly Bechtel-based upper management culture.

    Advice to Management

    Try to be more open about what you're doing and why.


  11. A vibrant ecosystem of talented scientists and engineers working on multidisciplinary problems.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Physicist
    Current Employee - Physicist

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The ability to work with a wide variety of people with varying skills.

    Cons

    A sometimes narrow and short-sighted focus on research directions that prohibits adequate investment for real impact.



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