Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated April 17, 2015
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4.0
67 Reviews
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Bill Goldstein
8 Ratings

67 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good place for independent research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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

  2. Postdoctoral Researcher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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

  3. I learned a lot, got assigned to different projects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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.

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  5. High end security for retailers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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.

  6. leading edge work plus bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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.

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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.

  8. Valuable Summer for Student Interns

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Laser Science, Optics, and Targeting in Livermore, CA
    Current Intern - Laser Science, Optics, and Targeting in Livermore, CA

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cutting Edge Research, Lots of Professional Enrichment Programs

    Cons

    Can be isolated, intimidating employees

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work! Lab is run well

  9. Helpful (1)

    Great place to do research while maintaining life-work balance

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Good work environment, great work-life balance, decent benefits. If you want to do the kind of research they do at NIF or need super-computer muscle then this is one of the best places to be at.

    Cons

    It is a national lab so there is a lot of friction and red tape. Tasks that would be easy elsewhere might require significant effort here.

  10. Helpful (4)

    Good job security job, interesting work, frustrating funding environment

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    LLNL has a lot of interesting and smart people working for it, and that makes for a fun and engaging environment. There's always another opportunity to go to a seminar about something you've never thought about before. The pay is also pretty good, and the benefits are great. Livermore the town is a lovely place, exactly what you would want from a wine country area.

    Cons

    It's a government lab, so there's a lot of red tape and oversight. Having the government provide the funding pipeline comes with lots of frustrations (being subject to the whims of Congress). And while there is money for great equipment, the buildings and facilities tend to be old and antiquated. The Lab doesn't strike me as agile, in a business sense.

    Advice to Management

    Be attuned to the Lab's "image" problems, both inside and outside.

  11. Helpful (4)

    Great place to start a career, but no reason to stay too long

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There are many smart people working here in many fields. Entry level pay and job stability and strong. The equipment you get to use, computers, science experiments is top notch. Benefits are overall very good with a high 401k match, good insurance options, twelve paid holidays and more sick time than most people can use. The problems to work on are hard and interesting and cutting edge in the field. Overall these are very strong plusses and are mostly the big things. Also, the funding situation is looking up right now with the lab not able to hire enough people quick enough (see cons) to fill open positions.

    Cons

    Many of the best people leave mid-career due to better pay, funding issues (erratic) or advancement opportunities elsewhere. While pay at the entry level is competitive the cost of living in Livermore is steep and flatter pay scale and slow salary adjustments for rising employees encourages this. While it used to make sense to stay if you had a pension now it is more worthwhile to spend 5 or so years learning a lot and moving on to greener pastures if you are really good. The result is while retention is good for mediocre or good people top talent gets poached. Many buildings are falling apart and maintenance of them is slow, compartmentalized and not always prioritized well. Vacation time is on the low end and takes a long time to increase, plus with older employees on the pension things feel very two tiered in terms of benefits. Then there is the issue with government running things so that you can be penalized for not spending all your money in a year, if something happens in Congress it ripples out etc. Also, HR and hiring are slow.

    Advice to Management

    Fix up facilities. Figure out a way to have rapid advancement of technical workers including potentially paying some more than managers. Let employees float some of their holidays (we really do not need a day off in April) so they can have more discretionary vacation time. Shelter some of the government bureaucracy so that end of the year doesn't result in a race to spend money otherwise we will lose it. Streamline hiring and other HR tasks like performance reviews, which seem to be a lot of work for the little bit they impact pay.

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Dec 3, 2014

    Thank you for taking the time to post such a thorough and constructive review. It is great to see that you would recommend us. We view retention as a critical issue, and efforts to streamline the ... More

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