Solar Turbines Reviews

Updated September 16, 2014
Updated September 16, 2014
68 Reviews
3.1
68 Reviews
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Solar Turbines Chairman & CEO Caterpillar Inc. Douglas R. Oberhelman
Douglas R. Oberhelman
30 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work/life balance and opportunities to take classes for which CAT will pay (in 6 reviews)

  • This is a great environment to work in and San Diego is a fabulous place (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • No one cares about new ideas or innovative solutions (in 3 reviews)

  • A lot of information isn't well-documented and requires finding out who has the tribal knowledge to get things done (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

8 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great people to work with, but no job growth.

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people you work with are friendly and are willing to assist you. Solar Turbines provides engineers with the opportunity to Design, Analyze, and Test their designs. If you are out of college, this is a great starting job.

    Cons

    No career opportunities. The company is extremely complacent and are resistant to change. They have lots of opportunity for improvement, but they are resistant to change. If you have work experience at another company, definitely don't work at Solar Turbines

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to start, but very limited growth potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Strong business model brings good merit increases and annual bonus. Company values development, cross-functional development. Has tuition reimbursement program for basic or advanced degrees. Generally intelligent leaders, but very limited in focus.

    Cons

    Easy to work up through first couple of promotions, but then it's all about who you know. Culture is dominated by "good ol boy" network. Styles that succeed are very conservative, and don't speak out. Name of game is to make boss look good, and consistently agree with upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop telling employees that accountability matters if annual tasks such as the "employee opinion survey" continue to be disingenuous and patronizing. Would be nice to see a manager with consistently poor EOS scores actually REMOVED from management. It is clear that the standards of accountability for employees and for managers are very different on many different issues. Corporate politicking alive and well at Solar.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Mid Management .. Retired

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Solid company for many years- even before Cat.

    Cons

    Change over from a small company atmosphere to a Big over whelming the company due to Cats influence. No brave hard chargers are wanted here. You must be a Butt kisser and have no moral compass to be successful. Allot of Mid Level Managers running around never commented to anything or anyone but themselves. They take credit for what others have done and blame others for their mistakes- LACK OF LEADERSHIP. A bunch of ticket punchers that will never have an original thought or idea in their life's. What made Solar was hard work, honesty and integrity, now it is who you know and what is the right butt to kiss this week. I loved working for Solar, however the poor decisions that are being made now will effect this fine company for years to come.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get into the real people that really carry the company the day to day workers. Really understand what made the company a challenging place to work. You are making the same mistakes now that were applied 20 plus years ago. The company learned the lessons and mistakes then and you are repeating these same mistakes now!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great at First!! but after 5 years you will run away!

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    1.Right out of college was the best thing ever! they will treat you well, you will learn a lot.
    2. Good benefits comparing to other companies in SD- minus the pay.
    3. best location ever though expensive.

    Cons

    1. Solar does not appreciate hard workers who are smart and highly educated.
    2. Most managers are not qualified to do the job. they simply act like kids out of a high school. tons of employees are not qualified either!
    3. Once you get hired it's almost impossible to get promoted you have to move to different jobs to get promoted.
    4. Hard work and education does not mean anything to Management. all they care about is personality and if you're friends with them you will get promoted.
    5.Full of inadequate employees -super low performers- some don't even work, they just get paid what a shame! a lot of the Six SIgma Black belts are just waste! Solar will never fire lazy employees they will be kept and placed in some Black Belt position making good money and wasting everybody's time with projects that don't help the company or the bottom line.
    6.Big High School Drama!
    7. nepotism is big!! your relative has to be working in the company to get a good salary grade!!! it's so pathetic!
    8.The pay is pathetic if you've been at the company for a while new hires with no experience usually make 15%-30% more than you. it's so unfair! you have to train new hires who make much more than you!
    9. Solar loves to hire unqualified managers with no degrees or with degrees from crappy fake online schools.
    10.No one cares about new ideas or innovative solutions!! they're stuck in the past!!
    11. Politics!!! all they care about is politics! hard work does not equate to promotion! bullshitting is the essence at Solar.
    12. insensitive managers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    treat your real degreed engineers with some respect! pay them! Solar is losing great talents because of it!

    get rid of waste! including lazy employees and low performers!! enough is enough!! that's why we will never make it to the 100 best companies to work for!! not even the top 10000 companies to work for!

    get rid of unnecessary positions!! no need for unqualified Black Belts! they're waste of time and money!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Low principles and integrity with a lot of slandering and deception.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Field Service Representative in Odessa, TX
    Current Employee - Field Service Representative in Odessa, TX

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time

    Pros

    Job can be interesting and but very demanding. Skill level for this position is 80% manual labor mechanics, 10% electrical and 10% computer.

    Cons

    As a new employee, be ready to do the job duties that no one wants to do and be able to take abusive criticism for your imperfections and faults for not knowing. Senior personal lacks integrity and respect for authority, they also know that management won't do anything for fear of retaliation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop turning a blind eye to the actual problem, get a backbone and know that no one person is indispensable. - A few bad apples ruins the whole bunch.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Behind the times, not progressive, slow to adapt, IT leadership stuck in the 1950s, lack of diversity in management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - IT Analyst in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Solar Turbines

    Pros

    Comparitively stable company and subsidiary of a Fortune 50 company. Decent benefits but not that great for a Fortune 50 company. Good work environment for engineering and blue collar manufacturing positions. Good training and educational programs. Understand the politics, keep a low profile and you will do fine.

    Cons

    Not a dynamic work environment. The company culture feels stale and stagnant for the most part. Buildings at the coporate headquarters (Harbor Drive) may be historic but makes for poor working conditions for non-production line employees and may pose health hazards. Managers for the most part are very cautious and maintain a low profile. Most of them have little personality - bland clones easily replaced by upper management so they don't dare rock the boat or be innovative. Difficulty in career advancement due to senior management holding on positions for long periods of time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Succession planning should be a priority for the company. Most of current upper management will be retiring soon and the next wave of upper management needs to be innovative and in tune with the times. The company has lost several talented employees who have gone on to be directors and managers at other Fortune 100 companies because it takes a lifetime to get ahead.

    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    A place to make alot of money and screw up your personal life.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Field Service Representative in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Field Service Representative in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Solar Turbines

    Pros

    Lots of $$$$$ to be made because of poor scheduling choices. This involves MUCH unintentional overtime for which you get paid 1 1/2 or double time.

    Cons

    Management couldn't really care less about you AS A PERSON. All they really want is a warm body to throw at the issues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop making choices that affect people everyday and put them in harms way. Is a carbon footprint reduction REALLY worth sacrificing safety in a smaller vehicle?????

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    boring job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - IT Analyst in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Solar Turbines

    Pros

    stable place to work. good mix of diversity

    Cons

    no growth potential after a level

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    too much focused towards managers

    Approves of CEO

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