Los Alamos National Laboratory

  www.lanl.gov
  www.lanl.gov

Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated December 10, 2014
Updated December 10, 2014
121 Reviews
3.6
121 Reviews
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Los Alamos National Laboratory Director & President Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
50 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

31 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    My experience depended on which project I worked on.

    Former Employee - Post-Baccalaureate Fellow in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Post-Baccalaureate Fellow in Los Alamos, NM

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

    Pros

    Job depends on where you work.

    Cons

    When landing in a good position, you learn a lot.

  2.  

    LANL

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

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    LANL has some very talented staff that does great work.

    Cons

    Talented staff is thwarted by bureaucracy which has increased overhead and decreased performance simultaneously. Rules are not employed uniformed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Double-dipping was NOT a good idea and has adversely affected people relying on the pension fund.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Like being a kid in a candy store, but you can only choose one candy.

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

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

    Pros

    Good holiday, vacation and sick leave with mild time flexibility in a small, rocky mountain town. Great ergonomic support, computer monitors and supercomputing opportunities. Many technologies to play with across a broad corporate structure. Significant training opportunities. Engineers and physical scientists are highly valued.

    Cons

    Approved software is greatly restricted. The town is too small and remote for most people, or at least most people's families. The culture values narrow specialists -- to be the best in the world at one small thing. Most people get type cast before they find that one thing they like, and have to stay in their original role. Most of the place runs on software with mild software engineering and a computer science phobia. Computer scientists will be lonely.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    High morale leads to hard work and innovation. Boost moral so people return to their late night work habits and world class research publications.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Not All It Could Be

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good people. Mission oriented. Largely excellent teamwork. Wonderful natural surroundings. If in weapons work there is high job security (says a lot about human nature). Excellent area to raise children.Excellent community services. Lots of bright people. Great weather.

    Cons

    Poor pay and advancement for non-scientists. For-profit management appears to be adding to a perceived decline in worker morale. Dearth of decent restaurants in local area. Local government by well- meaning amateurs, some of whom take themselves too seriously..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't kill the Goose for the bonus.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    It's a job not a Career.

    • 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

    Good befits, plenty of work

    Cons

    Low moral, not very many advancement opportunities, manager leadership is nonexistent.

  7.  

    Not too bad for a government contractor/facility

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

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

    Pros

    The pay and benefits are generally good. The work expectations are not overwhelming compared to some commercial companies.

    Cons

    Being a government facility with extensive DOE oversight, it is a bureaucratic place. There isn't the consistency of focus on the business side as there is in the private sector but being a scientific institution that's probably expected. The place can be fairly arbitrary with regard to equality in opportunities and compensation - they don't follow their published policies and procedures.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more consistent and less cliquish with respect to employee opportunities and compensation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Stable employment, but low satisfaction and morale

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

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

    Pros

    LANL is a long-time employer in the region and jobs tend to turn into careers. There are lots of opportunities for variety and enrichment for the very motivated. Salaries tend to be higher than market for similar work.

    Technical projects are beyond anything available in the commercial sector, which has both positive and negative aspects. When funding is available, work is very satisfying and challenging.

    The region is absolutely gorgeous, and much of the property is essentially wild. Several locations are remote, with the drives passing through or next to national parks areas. Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities. The community is somewhat small, but attempting to grow.

    Cons

    Business decisions are almost always driven by office politics and personality; the 'good old boy' network is still going strong. A few years ago, the company transitioned to a 'for profit' status, but the management environment seems not to understand what that means - the vast majority of middle managers are promoted from internal technical positions without external commercial experience.

    Individual success seems less based on achievement than acquaintance, with many actions taken based on perception rather than fact. Technical merits are given a backseat to marketing.

    Working on the most interesting technical problems tends to lock you in to the enterprise, as most results and even scope of work can not be communicated outside a classified environment. This is severely limiting.

    Finally, morale has hit bottom and begun to dig. Fraught with management and technical problems, the middle and upper management have seen fit to impose further restrictions on the work force in the form of forced work stoppages, increased training that is of little or no use, and compliance issues that make one wonder why we bother working at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Several enrichment programs have been suggested but ignored; most of these would dramatically increase worker retention and performance for very little cost. These include cross-training, provisions for team building away from property, engineer swaps & invited brainstorming, and more encouragement for external professional development.

    The current environment is fearful and antagonistic, with the work force seeking only to sustain, not excel. Drive excellence by promoting excellence rather than mediocrity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good company

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Pros

    Provides very good benefits and a stable job.

    Cons

    There is a large amount of bureaucracy - hard for good science to get done quickly.

  10.  

    LANL great depending on where you are

    • 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

    Pay, Benefits, Workload. If you have a family that takes a great deal of time. This is the place.

    Cons

    Upper management lost in terms of helping the employee. Let us work don't drown us in paper work!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop living in fear of getting work done.

  11.  

    Well-paying employment at a price

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay and used to be good benefits (I'm not current on that), flexible schedule, opportunity to learn and acquire new skills

    Cons

    Must obtain security clearance for any significant position and especially for career advancement. Security clearance means waiving certain rights and freedoms. Precarious employment for foreigners, and even naturalized US citizens born in sensitive countries. Politically driven funding may require you to switch projects often. Culture changes with politics in Washington.
    Located in a remote, small town (may be a plus, depending on your preferences)

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Los Alamos National Laboratory Photos

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

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