Argonne National Laboratory – Why Work For Us?

Make your life's work matter. Argonne employees bring passion to their jobs every day to solve the most challenging scientific and societal needs of our nation.


The world’s best and brightest minds come to Argonne National Laboratory to make scientific discoveries and technological innovations that improve the quality of life throughout the nation and the world. Argonne’s scientists and engineers are dedicated to solving society’s most pressing problems in sustainable energy, a clean environment, economic competitiveness and national security.

  • Full- and part-time job openings at Argonne are searchable online. Each position description includes instructions for applying.
  • The Argonne Named Postdoctoral Fellowship – These postdoctoral fellowships are awarded internationally to outstanding doctoral scientists and engineers who are at early points in promising careers.
  • Postdoctoral/Predoctoral Openings – Postdoctoral/Predoctoral positions that are available within different divisions throughout the Laboratory.
  • Student and Faculty Programs – Opportunities for domestic and international participants interested in energy research and training in science and technology.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​LAB ATA GLANCE (FY11)​


  • 3,456 total employees (FTEs)
  • 1250 scientists and engineers
  • 303 postdoctoral scholars
  • 650 graduate and undergrad students
  • 157 joint faculty
  • 5,204 facility users


  • 14 research divisions
  • 7 national scientific user facilities
  • 9 centers, joint institutes, program offices
  • Over 200 research projects
  • Collaborate with over 600 companies, numerous federal agencies, and hundreds of research institutions worldwide


Argonne is dedicated to hiring, developing and retaining top-quality staff. The laboratory offers job stability, advancement, outstanding benefits and the opportunity to contribute to research that addresses the nation’s major R&D challenges and advances the frontiers of science and technology.

The laboratory is committed to nurturing and developing talent. More than 1,500 college graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from some 190 U.S. universities gain valuable experience every year as part of our daily R&D activities. The Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program, one of many educational opportunities available to employees, develops future research leaders who are well versed in strategic thinking.

Argonne strongly encourages its employees to balance work, home and community activities. The laboratory’s lengthy list of benefits includes an on-site child care center, a credit union, flexible work schedules and generous leave and vacation programs. A wide variety of social clubs such as the Hispanic Latino Club, the Arts and Crafts Club, Engineering Golf League, Running Club, Chinese Association, Choral Group and Chess Club promote fellowship and diversity at Argonne.

Argonne employees support local and national nonprofit health and welfare agencies and have contributed more than $4.5 million in the past five years through the Argonne Combined Appeal.

The laboratory’s pollution prevention programs and sustainability efforts have saved Argonne and taxpayers millions of dollars since 1996 by diverting waste from landfills, conserving energy, improving indoor air quality and reducing operating costs. Argonne’s land management program protects its natural habitats of tall grass prairie, oak savanna, oak forest and wetland areas, which clean the air and water, reduce flooding and enhance the site’s aesthetics.

Located 25 miles southwest of Chicago in DuPage County, Illinois, Argonne occupies 1,500 wooded acres surrounded by the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Numerous biking and hiking trails are available throughout the laboratory and the forest preserve.

Argonne’s surrounding communities offer diverse, attractive housing choices. The Chicago area boasts top-rated schools and universities and a superior transportation network of interstate highways, rail and bus lines. The laboratory’s campus is about half an hour by freeway from two major international airports, O’Hare and Midway.

Argonne’s proximity to Chicago offers employees world-class museums, a diverse theater scene, major music and dance companies, the fabulous lakefront, boating and fishing, premier shopping and fashion, distinct and culturally diverse neighborhoods, more than 7,300 places to eat and drink, and sports teams in all major professional leagues and more than 100 college teams.

Argonne strives to attract and hire the most talented people who can contribute to the laboratory’s mission of excellence in science, engineering and technology. We strive for an inclusive culture that welcomes contributions from everyone and empowers all employees to do their best work.

Our commitment to diversity

As one of the world's leading research and development institutions, Argonne brings together diverse individuals from many backgrounds and nations. Argonne's employees contribute a wide range of experiences, ways of thinking and problem-solving styles. This rich diversity is key to the laboratory's success in discovery and innovation. When Argonne respects, fosters and integrates each person's unique and creative approaches, it leverages individual strengths to achieve excellence.

Our leadership’s vision for diversity and inclusion

Argonne’s employees respect, appreciate, and value individual differences so that we can capitalize on the strengths of a diverse workforce to better perform our mission through teamwork and innovation. Our focus on inclusion includes proactive efforts in the following strategic areas:

  • Diverse Workforce: We are expanding efforts to source, attract and recruit, and develop the best talent.
  • Inclusive Workplace: We explore and implement programs, policies and practices that meet the needs of a changing and diverse workforce.
  • Education and Community Outreach: Community outreach initiatives make us a good neighbor to surrounding communities and educational programs that enrich science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
  • Supplier Diversity: Our supplier diversity programs support small business and deliver high quality products and services to the laboratory.

Argonne offers employees a variety of organizations and clubs to encourage celebrating diversity, learning, networking, outreach, socializing and inclusion. Some examples include:

  • Women in Science and Technology (WIST) Program & Steering Committee
    • Established by the Deputy to the Laboratory Director, Argonne's Women in Science and Technology (WIST) program was created in 1990 to recruit, retain and develop women in an effort to diversify and strengthen the laboratory's scientific workforce. Through WIST, the laboratory strives to encourage and develop the full potential of women in science and technology.

  • Argonne Clubs
    • African American/Black Club. Established in 2004 to promote fellowship, share the richness and diversity of African American/Black cultures, network as professionals and co-workers, and share ideas and resources that benefit the African American/Black community and all Argonne employees.
    • Chinese Association at Argonne. Established in 2005 to promote fellowship, share the richness and diversity of Chinese cultures, network as professionals and co-workers, and share ideas and resources that benefit the Chinese community and all Argonne employees.
    • Hispanic Latino Club. Established in 2003 to promote fellowship, share the richness and diversity of Hispanic/Latino cultures, network as professionals and co-workers, and share ideas and resources that benefit the Hispanic/Latino community and all Argonne employees.


  • Argonne Laboratory Diversity Award: To demonstrate the high value Argonne places on diversity, the laboratory created the Women in Science and Technology (WIST) Diversity Award in 2011. This award acknowledges employees who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to promoting diversity at the laboratory and who have demonstrated leadership and creativity by initiating, or participating in, diversity-related activities at Argonne. The 2011 Diversity Award recipient was the Argonne Hispanic/Latino Club.
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE) - Chicago Region presented Argonne with the “2011 Golden Family Award.” This award honors a company in the Chicago area for its commitment to the support of family issues, including the delicate balance between work and family.
  • Postdoc Best Places to Work. The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory was recently ranked the fourth-best place for postdocs to work by The Scientist, a life sciences magazine. The magazine's ninth annual Best Places to Work for Postdocs survey recognizes this year's award winners as leaders in striking that fine balance in providing young researchers both guidance and independence.

Argonne National Laboratory Photos

Argonne National Laboratory Reviews

139 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Argonne National Laboratory Director Peter B. Littlewood
Peter B. Littlewood
14 Ratings
  • 1 person found this helpful

    Excellent at start or end of career. Difficult in the middle. Declining federal funding for science hurts.

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

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


    There are many excellent scientific programs and a lot a nice people here. Total compensation package is quite good, although you have to factor in the vacation and 401K match as compensation is not all money up front. Because of this, Argonne is a great place for experienced scientific/technical personnel. Due to the basic research quality, this is also a great place to go as a post-doc or co-op. Hours are flexible. Work pace, although sometimes frantic, is overall somewhat leisurely.


    Vacation is not as liberal as it once was. No chance to be promoted into management, although promotion to higher grade within your classification is possible. Way too much academic politics results in a lot of work for no apparent reason coupled with arbitrary and capricious deadlines. Organizational structure of laboratory makes it essentially impossible to utilize resources in other divisions. Insane overhead costs. Technical staff are expected to put in large amounts of uncompensated overtime, and there is no "comp time". Much better place for a scientist than an engineer, programmer or technician. Opportunities for training are nonexistent. Continuous decline in overall government funding year on year plus shifted priorities has cut out all the fat and is not slicing into meat and bone, to the detriment of some groups. This has resulted in some sections of the institution doing very well and being able to retain talent, whereas other sections are imploding. The same job title can be wonderful in one division, terrible in another.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Break down the inter-divisional arbitrary walls. Remove arbitrary overhead charges that make shared projects impossible. Strengthen privacy considerations so that employees feel they can apply for internal transfers without fear of repercussions. Develop alternate costing structures to make internal resources at least occasionally cost-competitive relative to using outside contractors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Argonne National Laboratory Interviews

Updated Mar 16, 2015
Updated Mar 16, 2015

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Senior Technician Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lemont, IL
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lemont, IL
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at Argonne National Laboratory.

    Interview Details

    I met with 3 professionals from the field for this IT position. One was a technician and the other two were system administrators. The interview was very informal and it lasted about 45 minutes. After that time was used, I then met with the IT group leader. I was asked about past work experience and technical abilities. This lasted about 30 minutes. It was a very relaxed and laid back interview experience. There were 300 applicants. Out of the 7 people that interviewed, I got the job.

    Interview Questions
    • How well do you handle redirection? This is a large facility and sometimes you get pulled in many different directions.

      Do you have customer service skills?
      Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

Argonne National Laboratory Awards & Accolades

Something missing? Add an award
101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in Chicago, 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For, 2009

Additional Info

Headquarters Lemont, IL
Size 1 to 5 Employees
Type Other Organization
Industry Accounting & Legal
Revenue Less than $1 million (USD) per year

Argonne is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, where “dream teams” of world-class researchers work alongside experts from industry, academia and other government laboratories to address vital national challenges in clean energy, environment, technology and national security.

Through collaborations with researchers here at Argonne and around the... More

Mission: Argonne integrates world-class science, engineering, and user facilities to deliver innovative research and technologies. We create new knowledge that addresses the... More

Work at Argonne National Laboratory? Share Your Experiences

Argonne National Laboratory

Click to Rate