Los Alamos National Laboratory

www.lanl.gov

Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated December 31, 2014
Updated December 31, 2014
126 Reviews
3.7
126 Reviews
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Los Alamos National Laboratory Director & President Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
52 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fantastic work life balance, secure and stable funding in most areas (in 11 reviews)

  • Good pay and benefits, however culture has shifted over the years (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Located in a remote, small town (may be a plus, depending on your preferences) (in 9 reviews)

  • too much red tape, bloated management, oversight and mistrust (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Laid back federal organization with outdated research esp in biological sciences

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

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good salary, excellent work-life balance. Flex hours and with schedule like 9/80, one can spend lot of time with family!

    Cons

    Poor growth opportunities, promotions driven more by whom-you-know than how-good-you-have performed! Outdated research! Not much exciting projects especially in biosciences.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote research by rewarding good scientific publications; promote developing new processes and acquire key patents!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Unproductive work environment -- unstable funding and poor management led to poor project completion.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Scientist IV in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Scientist IV in Los Alamos, NM

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Possibility of doing physics research which cannot be done elsewhere.

    Cons

    Poor management at many levels, and chaotic priorities arising from unstable funding.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dismal morale could be slightly improved by empowering scientists to do work. Much of management activity is focused on hindering work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Can be a good place, my experience is horrible

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Pros

    Multidisciplinary environment, good work-life balance and great benefits

    Cons

    Poor career opportunity and career growth

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Aging dinosaur

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Basic science and engineering research benefits from an extremely large nuclear weapons budget, the chaff, of which, provides opportunity for the industrious researcher to pursue independent avenues of study. There are a number of large facilities, e.g. Roadrunner, LANSCE, WNR, and DAHRT, which provide the primary unique capabilities that Los Alamos National Laboratory has to offer.

    Cons

    The mission of Los Alamos is to manage the Nuclear Weapons Stockpile. This is primarily an engineering and manufacturing activity, and this is reflected in the high level management structure. All resources and policies pertaining to risk management, compliance, security, personnel management, etc. derive from the Mission organizations and are pushed out into the supplicant Capability and Support organizations without consideration for their applicability. The Lab also has a bloated, senior level (Associate Director and above) focused, bureaucratic structure, where all authority resides. Mid-level management (Division and Group Leader) are left to mete out compliance and discipline policies, and the occasional 2% raise, thereby resulting a relatively poor morale environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Hard conversion from private industry to government R&D.

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

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

    Pros

    A lot of people diligently working on tasks passionate to them

    Cons

    The cold war is over and so is the interest and need of much of this laboratory. It is apparent in the 30+ year-old decrepit buildings and projects the workforce is dealing with. Morale is low, future uncertain.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Los Alamos Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Quality Assuance in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Quality Assuance in Los Alamos, NM

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good pay and some of the benefits.

    Cons

    Lack of concern for employees. Major accident after major accident and management doesn't seem to care or to learn from the repeated mistakes. Retirement is geared around forcing people to work to age 65. not for time of service. Housing in the local area is hard to find.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start protecting the whistle blower and people that are willing to stand up and say stop work and not punish them. Which include termination. New upper management comes in stirs the lower management to correct the issue that caused the issues in the first place. The same problem manager just stay in their jobs or find others. sometimes higher in the management chain. Just because you have a degree does not mean you can lead or manage people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    A so-so place to work

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Pros

    Time and life balance is great.

    Cons

    Soft money is going away - makes it hard to recommend LANL as a place to work. Can be tough to remain at the top of your profession, there is not a lot of support for professional development.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Once a paragon of scientific endeavors, now just a jobs program

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Middle Management in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Middle Management in Los Alamos, NM

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    This laboratory was once a beacon of strong scientific work. Many scientists of repute wanted to work at the laboratory.

    Living in Northern New Mexico is a truly great experience. And the Dept. of Energy still assists in keeping the local schools competitive with the best nationally.

    Cons

    The laboratory is raping the scientific programs to maintain its position as a jobs program for Northern New Mexico. Bloated management and even more bloated support structure that is immune to budget issues. Those are borne by the scientific staff.

    Bechtel has turned the place into a site for rotations of their management members. They come for a few years, refuse to live in Los Alamos and after reeking havoc for a couple of years, return to the mother ship.

    The schools are falling apart to maintain salaries that are among the highest in the state.

    This organization cannot propose a major activity and complete it within schedule and budget. And this mindset has permeated the entire laboratory.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop ripping off your employees for the benefit of the lab contractors. The saddest day in this lab's history was when management decided to become a for-profit organization. Now it is all about the fee and profit, not the excellence of the work being done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Career ladder about one rung for most, or the hyper-Peter sets in.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Engineer III in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Research Engineer III in Los Alamos, NM

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great entry level pay and benefits, stops there.

    Cons

    No career path or support from the Lab

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    World Class Laboratory my ass!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Health and Safety Professional in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Health and Safety Professional in Los Alamos, NM

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Los Alamos is a beautiful place.

    Cons

    The work culture is a culture of crap. They preach safety but do not support safety personnel efforts. I was a safety engineer who tried to implement their core safety values but they wanted me to look the other way. They also hire local drug addicts.
     LANL has ruined the environment and now the tax payers have to pay to have it cleaned up by out of state contractors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You all need to communicate better with your employees and stop living in a code of secrecy. This creates a culture of mistrust and fuels gossip.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Los Alamos National Laboratory Photos

NSSB - Main Admin Building for the Lab
NSSB, Tech Area 3

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