Solar Turbines Reviews

Updated July 6, 2015
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3.0
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Solar Turbines Chairman & CEO Caterpillar Inc. Douglas R. Oberhelman
Douglas R. Oberhelman
10 Ratings

Pros
  • Good promotion of work life balance (in 6 reviews)

  • Long time presence in San Diego (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • While giving us lots of room to learn, there is little room to move forward on a career path (in 3 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

24 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Engineer

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines

    Pros

    -very flexible hours -great people -Safty Culture

    Cons

    -Unimpressive Pay -Too many meetings and slow processes


  2. Engineer (3 yrs following 2yr Rotation Training program)

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time

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

    Pros

    Tasks are delegated to you to work more or less independently, or with your group's teammates as support. The expectation is that you will get all the assistance and support you need without much input from management. The location on the San Diego Harbor is one of the best perks, with access to good food in Little Italy and nearby downtown, and the parks/waterfront across the street.s

    Cons

    Being a subsidiary of CAT means our companies priorities may be affected by macro business cycles. R&D funding is also tighter compared to other similar companies (like GE, Siemens, etc.). The level of inter-organizational dysfunction affects day to day work in frustrating ways such as downtime for operating equipment required to perform job functions. Each group has it's own preferred ways of operating, and the variation in professionalism (outside of Engineering, though Engineering has it's own quirks between groups regarding responsibilities, communication style, and lack of agreed prioritization) can make some interactions awkward in terms of role/responsibilities across pay grades and levels of experience.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate business needs more clearly to give engineers better perspective on the work they are performing and be more proactive to engage with staff on day-to-day work. Don't play the "busier than thou" card to avoid attending meetings where support is needed and stay better organized to allow your team to interact efficiently and avoid feigning interest in reports that you asked for.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Group Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Fun place to work with a fantastic product line in an exciting industry. Living in San Diego is nice and the company engages is moderate philanthropy. Committed to providing equal opportunities.

    Cons

    Executive Management do a poor job of explaining the corporate mission. San Diego is expensive. Managers tend to jump from job to job before they can be productive and "peters principle" is rife.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace change management concepts more effectively.


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


  5. Great learning, paid in peanuts.

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good people, location and product. Stable in general as a workplace. Only had a layoff period in the late 90's well before I joined. Lots of athletes come out of this place because the jobs are not super demanding. Would recommend if you are a honeybadger.

    Cons

    Management plays musical chairs, there's a lot of nepotism. They tend to hire young engineers for highly specialized jobs and they train them on the "sink or swim" philosophy. They tend to burn out fast. Old mentality, controls are lagging compared to the industry and I wonder if the products will stay competitive in 5+ years, due to the lack of effort in keeping talent and acquiring new tech or simply investing in streamlining their processes. They need people with different opinions and with a lot of knowledge to change their paradigm and I don't think they will go in that direction.

    Advice to Management

    Your online degree is worthless if it's not paired up with people skills, technical expertise and a sound vision for every member in your team and the piece of the product line you support. The lack of foresight most of you have cannot be compensated with good will. You should be able to challenge your employees to achieve their full potential and you should stay in your jobs for more than two years.


  6. Ok, but.......nepotism

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    1. stable. 2. backed by CAT.

    Cons

    1. the pay for San Diego is not comparable to the industry. 2. to get promoted you have to have someone related to you (big on nepotism). 3. A lot of unqualified managers with no degrees or sub-bar degrees from online trade schools. 4. No one interested in new ideas, they will laugh at you if you suggest anything. 5. Nepotism is a huge problem! everybody is related !

    Advice to Management

    to the CEO: look at nepotism!


  7. Software Engineer

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good people around. Very Helpful

    Cons

    Very sad culture. Disgusting management. not recommended

    Advice to Management

    Be Open minded about what your employers do and trust them


  8. Great Company

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Love working there. People are supportive and enthusiastic

    Cons

    Can become boring if you are there long enough. Pays less than industry


  9. Helpful (1)

    Work environment

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines

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

    Pros

    Still some reminants of the dynamism and customer focus that made Solar, Solar.

    Cons

    Clunky, process ridden and only focused on bottom line. Cat's influence is ever so present.


  10. Solar

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time (Less than a year)

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of overtime, great training.

    Cons

    You Have To Know Someone To Get hired.

    Advice to Management

    Try to understand your workers.


  11. Positive working environment

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Good pay, like to hire from within, good life / work balance

    Cons

    Tough to drive change, due to lack of formal processes and too much tribal knowledge.

    Advice to Management

    Initiate formal processes and hold employees accountable.



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