Sandia – Why Work For Us?

Military Bio Fuel
National security is our business. We apply science to help detect, repel, defeat, or mitigate threats.

For more than 60 years, Sandia has delivered essential science and technology to resolve the nation's most challenging security issues.

Sandia National Laboratories is operated and managed by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Sandia Corporation operates Sandia National Laboratories as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and supports numerous federal, state, and local government agencies, companies, and organizations. 

As a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), Sandia may perform work for industry responding to certain types of federal government solicitations. The solicitation must allow FFRDC participation and meet the requirements of Sandia's management and operating contract with DOE/NNSA.

A strong science, technology, and engineering foundation enables Sandia's mission through a capable research staff working at the forefront of innovation, collaborative research with universities and companies, and discretionary research projects with significant potential impact.

In keeping with our vision to be the nation's premier science and engineering laboratory for national security and technology innovation, we recruit the best and the brightest, equip them with world-class research tools and facilities, and provide opportunities to collaborate with technical experts from many different scientific disciplines.

The excitement and importance of our work; an exemplary work environment; partnerships with academia, industry, and government; and our record of historic contributions help us attract exceptional staff. Our employees are recognized by their professional peers for their outstanding contributions.

Although most of Sandia's approximately 10,000 employees work at Sandia's headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or at its second principal laboratory in Livermore, California, others are working at various sites in the U.S. and abroad to deliver innovative and reliable solutions in a changing world.


Solar cell picture


Quality people, quality work


Integrity, excellence, and exceptional service in the national interest.

At Sandia, creativity, multidisciplinary thought, and diverse ideas are encouraged. Our unique work requires the collective minds of the nation's top scientists, engineers, and support staff. Each year, Sandians are recognized for developing a range of breakthrough technologies with commercial applications of global importance.

Sandia embraces diversity, inclusion, and respect as part of our organizational culture. We value individual differences, and we believe that our success depends on the collaborative efforts of a diverse workforce. We also strive to meet the highest standards in workforce fulfillment, safety, security, fiscal accountability, and environmental responsibility.

Our core values

  • Serve the nation. We continually render "exceptional service in the national interest" by fulfilling our government's requests, anticipating its future needs, and benefitting the nation and the world.
  • Deliver with excellence. We deliver superior technical and managerial performance that meets our nation's needs and advances the frontiers of science, engineering, and technology.
  • Respect each other. We applaud and nurture the intellect, skills, diversity, and can-do attitude of each individual member of our workforce.
  • Act with integrity. We are honest in times of disagreement and fully discharge our trust rather than compromise for the sake of temporary expedience.
  • Team for great results. We join together on flexible, multidisciplinary teams and value each member's expert contribution toward our overall success.

Meet Some Sandians

Darren
Darren

Systems and Electrical Engineer, Satellite Systems Engineering
Darren's work spans entire project life cycles from cradle to grave. He conducts assessments to evaluate system performance against well-defined systems-engineering expectations.

"I like my work because I interact with both customers and designers. I also have opportunities to think creatively as I determine how to meet various requirements. Sandia has given me amazing coworkers who challenge me daily."

Jeanne JeanneMechanical Engineer, Biotechnology & Bioengineering

Jeanne's team is exploring lipid membranes to discover the physical mechanisms used to vary their architecture and biochemistry. Her team's work has valuable implications for biological defense and the design of membrane-based materials.

"I enjoy designing and carrying out experiments that help answer important questions. At Sandia, I am surrounded by resourceful people who share my passion for research and are willing to work together to solve problems."
Matthew MatthewNuclear Engineer, Radiation & Fusion Experiments

Matthew has a background in radiological sciences with a concentration in plasma physics. His team conducts experiments that generate intense x-ray pulses on the Z machine, creating plasma that is hotter than the sun. Controlled inertial confinement fusion has applications in stockpile stewardship and inertial fusion energy.

"My research allows me to work with cutting-edge equipment and world-class scientists. I have access to the world's largest pulsed-power machine. Sandia offered me a lot of responsibility fairly quickly, while letting me choose the projects that I find most interesting."

Hieu HieuFinancial Analyst, Safeguards & Security Business Operations

Hieu enables managers to carry out their missions within authorized program budgets. She also helps identify opportunities for investments and efficiencies.

"I help technical staff concentrate on what they do best without worrying about the funding and other financial aspects. My team members value my support, and I appreciate knowing that my work impacts our mission."

Matt MattElectrical Engineer, Semiconductor Technology Development

Matt specializes in semiconductor device physics. His team is investigating new semiconductor technologies and is examining next-generation replacements for flash memory.

"I love researching at the cutting edge of technology. We are investigating ideas that in some cases sound like science fiction, such as a computer that can mimic the function of a human brain. At Sandia, I have the freedom to pursue projects in areas of my strongest interest and expertise."

Karla KarlaSoftware Developer and Mechanical Engineer, Reacting Flow Research

Karla is drawing upon her mechanical engineering background in her position as a software developer. She is creating a scalable, open-source framework for novel programming models that apply computational fluid dynamics to multiphysics flows.

"There is always something new and exciting to learn — an idea or concept to explore. Sandia gives me the opportunity to collaborate with the best scientists and engineers in bioscience, climate, microsystems, and combustion."

Kelsey KelseyAerospace Engineer, Aerospace Systems and Analysis

Kelsey's tasks change daily — from planning wind tunnel experiments to brainstorming about vehicle fuel-efficiency. Her research improves turbulent aero-acoustic models, which are valuable for designing next-generation cars and missile defense systems.

"Sandia provides amazing educational opportunities and career path flexibility. All of my teammates are motivated and passionate about our work. I look forward to a long and rewarding career here."

Daniel DanielElectrical and Computer Engineer, Threat Analysis Technologies

Daniel works in Sandia's cyber security group where he designs tests and tools to find vulnerabilities in hardware and software. He also conducts static and dynamic analyses of software and reverse-engineers hardware and software.

"The work we do is really important to our nation. At the end of the day, I am left with a deep sense of satisfaction. I love many things about Sandia: the relaxed environment, the flexibility to control my own career, and most of all, the incredible work-life balance."






People in park


Your life is not just work


We understand your time matters — that’s why Sandia is flexible in many ways.

Sandia encourages employees to have a healthy, multidimensional lifestyle and achieve a personal balance between home, work, and community life. We offer flexible work arrangements that serve as alternatives to the traditional workweek. Sandia also provides a fulfilling professional environment, a network of employee support resources, and an array of health and wellness programs. In addition, we promote opportunities for community involvement and celebrate significant team efforts.

We provide the following programs to support our employees in both their work and personal lives.

Flexible work arrangements

  • 9/80 compressed workweek. Put in 80 hours over the course of 9 workdays, and take every other Friday off.
  • Flexible work hours and flextime. Shift your hours as needed to an earlier, later, or split schedule.
  • Telecommuting. Work from home or other remote locations when business needs allow.
  • Part-time work. Move from full-time to part-time for personal or family reasons, such as dependent care, educational pursuits, and pre-retirement transitions.

Time away from work

  • Vacation. Start accruing at a rate of three weeks per year, and watch your accrual rate increase as you reach service milestones.
  • Holidays. Enjoy 11 holidays each year, including a winter shutdown period at the end of each calendar year.
  • Sick leave, jury duty, maternity leave, and other paid time off. Take the days you need when you need them.
  • Personal absence. Ask for time off to handle life issues, such as the adoption or birth of a child (both parents); children's school activities; the care of a sick family member; medical and dental appointments, emergencies, and the death or serious illness of a relative or close friend.
  • Job-protected, unpaid leave. Choose how to take leave granted by the Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act — all at once, intermittently, or combined with vacation or flextime.
  • Extended leave of absence. Request leave without pay for the following situations:
    • Child, family, or medical care
    • Military duty
    • Personal or special reasons

Convenient, on-site resources

We know your time is important. That's why we have on-site health clinics, fitness centers, and cafeterias. Employees can also join the Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union, which provides on-site facilities and ATMs in New Mexico and California to serve your banking needs.

Wellness programs

Sandia models, supports, and rewards healthy work-life behaviors. We offer preventive healthcare screening programs, on-site fitness centers, nutrition services, smoking cessation programs, and online heath resources. In addition, Sandia/California hosts a monthly farmer's market and offers on-site massage therapy services.


Child care referral service

We provide assistance in locating, selecting, and evaluating child care providers in the community. Sandia/California employees can also rely upon the quality services of a nearby highly regarded child care center that is limited to the children and grandchildren (ages 6 weeks through 12 years) of Livermore laboratory employees.

Expectant parent assistance

Few life events cause as much excitement and stimulate as many questions as becoming a parent. Parenting not only affects your personal life, but your professional life as well. Sandia offers an Expectant Parent program that assists employees before and after the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child by providing relevant information regarding:

  • Protecting the health and safety of you and your unborn child
  • Sandia benefits available to you, including sickness absence
  • Time off options for child care
  • Sandia's policies on flexible working arrangements
  • Federal and state regulations and benefits (e.g., paid family leave)
  • Points of contact and additional resources
  • Breastfeeding support, encouragement, and information

Reimbursement spending accounts

Employees can set aside pretax dollars for the reimbursement of dependent or elder care expenses and unreimbursed healthcare expenses.

Employee associations

Sandia offers employees free membership in two associations: the Sandia Employee Recreation Program (SERP) in New Mexico and the Livermore Laboratory Employee Services Association (LLESA) in California. Both groups provide recreation activities for Sandians and their families. SERP and LLESA members can receive discounts on items such as movie tickets; gym memberships; bus passes; and tickets to museums, amusement parks, and sporting and entertainment events. The groups also provide opportunities to play team sports and rent low-cost camping and sport equipment. Moreover, LLESA members have access to the nearby LLESA Children's Center, which provides high-quality, year-round child care services for children and grandchildren ages 6 weeks through 12 years of age.

Volunteer opportunities

Sandia participates in an annual United Way Campaign and a number of rewarding community involvement programs. Sandia also provides a limited number of hours for employees to participate in corporate-sponsored community education programs. By sponsoring contests and awards, serving as science fair judges, and hosting family science nights, our staff seeks to foster the natural curiosity in children and demonstrate the exciting aspects of science to inspire the next generation of scientists.

 


Bioscience


Working at Sandia has its benefits

From health and compensation to diversity programs, flexible career tracks, community outreach, and more, Sandians receive great rewards for their great work.

The benefits of working at Sandia extend far beyond the traditional packages advertised by other companies. Yes, we offer competitive salaries and great benefits. But more importantly, Sandia is the kind of workplace that exists in your dreams — giving you opportunities to perform challenging and meaningful work without sacrificing your personal life. We fully support our staff with flexible work schedules. Working from home and taking every other Friday off are viable options. Learn more about Sandia's efforts to support employees in maintaining a work-life balance.

We also make everyday life convenient by offering on-site resources. Most crucially, we view ourselves as corporate cheerleaders for our staff. We encourage employees to achieve their highest potential by providing recognition and rewards for outstanding achievements, educational assistance programs, and multiple career pathways.


Balloons Time away from work
  • 11 holidays, including a winter shutdown period at the end of each calendar year
  • Vacation hours
    • 3 weeks in your first year of employment
    • Increase in vacation hours as service milestones are reached
  • Sick leave, personal absence, jury duty, and other paid time off
  • Job-protected, unpaid leave granted by the Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act
  • Extended leave of absence for child, family, or medical care; military duty; and personal reasons
Worker at computer Flexible work schedules
  • 9/80 compressed workweek with every other Friday off
  • Flexible work hours and flextime to shift your hours as needed
  • Telecommuting from home or other remote locations
  • Part-time work arrangements for personal or family reasons
Lab worker Compensation
  • Competitive base salary
  • Non-base cash awards for significant achievements and performance
  • Patent royalties
Retirement Retirement – 401(k)
  • Immediate vesting
  • Employee contributions: 2–25%
  • Sandia matching funds: 2/3 of the first 6%
  • Additional service-based contribution: 6–7%, subject to 3-year vesting service requirement
Researchers Fulfilling work environment
  • Challenging assignments at the leading edge of advanced technologies
  • State-of-the-art research facilities
  • Employee recognition through service/merit awards and special appointments
  • Diversity network and resources
Career development Career development
  • Career mobility to change projects and teams as you wish (e.g., work in cyber defense one year and space systems the next)
  • Mentoring and collaboration opportunities with top scientists and engineers
  • Leadership development programs
  • Special leaves of absence for qualifying research and professional opportunities
  • Corporate education, development, and training resources
Health programs Health programs
  • Medical, dental, and vision plans
  • Same-sex domestic partner benefits
  • Life, accident, and disability insurance
  • Health care and dependent care spending accounts
  • Sickness absence plan
Wellness programs Wellness programs
  • On-site fitness centers with fitness assessments and personal training
  • Preventive healthcare screening programs
  • Nutrition services and smoking cessation programs
  • Online health resources
  • On-site massage therapy services and monthly farmer's market (Sandia/California)
Student in graduation garb Education benefits
  • Tuition assistance for job-related courses at accredited institutions
  • Special degree programs for employees interested in earning bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees
Habitat for Humanity workers Community involvement
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Employee and corporate giving programs
  • K–12 education outreach programs in science and math


Sandia Reviews

190 Reviews
3.7
190 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
Sandia President Paul Hommert
Paul Hommert
68 Ratings
  1.  

    Good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Member of Technical Staff in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Principal Member of Technical Staff in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Sandia full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work, lots of freedom, good job security, flexibility to move around the company, ability to work from home, low pressure, many smart and capable co-workers, flexible 9/80 work schedule

    Cons

    No/limited bonuses, relatively low morale at the CA site, performance review is not done well and can be discouraging (they rank all employees a la Microsoft), writing research proposals is a time sink and not very rewarding (esp LDRD process)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rethink performance review, make LDRD process more collaborative with management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Sandia Interviews

Updated Oct 22, 2014
Updated Oct 22, 2014

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

86%
9%
3%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

48%
27%
11%

Interview Difficulty

2.8
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy
  1.  

    Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kirtland AFB, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kirtland AFB, NM
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    First off, I cheated. I have been a contractor at SNL for a few years. I had already developed a reputation and several professional contacts within Sandia before I applied.

    1) Search for the job on Sandia's website.
    2) Apply for the job via Sandia's website.
    3) Discuss application with manager filling the position.
    4) Wait patiently for official email response from Sandia's hiring group.

    Once I received the official email inviting me to an interview, I had a great deal of background paperwork to fill out. Most of this was easy, as I already carry a security clearance and had filled out similar paperwork two years before. Be prepared to detail everything about the last 10 years of your life.

    I was also invited to a benefits meeting, where an HR rep detailed the benefits that Sandia offers.

    Two weeks after the interview, I was given an official verbal job offer. Two days after that I received the official offer letter.

    IMPORTANT POINT: The interview took place in the Limited Area. Do no take any personal electronics with you - no cell phones, mp3 players, cameras, etc. You will need to stay close to your escort the entire time you are in the Limited Area.

    Interview Questions
    • Why do you want to leave your current position as a contract employee?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    The hiring manager knew my current wage since I was a contract employee. This actually took a lot of the uncertainty out of the process. I was able to ensure a 13% increase in pay through casual conversation. This put me at just about the mid-point in the pay scale I was being hired into.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

Sandia Awards & Accolades

Something missing? Add an award
Readers' Choice Top 20 Government Employers (#6), Workforce Diversity Magazine, 2009
Top Intern Employers, CollegeGrad, 2009
Top Entry Level Employers, CollegeGrad, 2009
Top Master's Employers, CollegeGrad, 2009
Top Intern Employers, CollegeGrad, 2008
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Additional Info

Website www.sandia.gov
Headquarters Albuquerque, NM
Size 5000+ Employees
Founded 1948
Type Government
Industry Government
Revenue $2 to $5 billion (USD) per year

Sandia stands for national security. Established in 1949 as part of the Manhattan Project, Sandia National Laboratories performs research and development related to national security and defense. Its focus is nuclear weapons systems research, but the lab also performs nonproliferation assessments, infrastructure assurance, and research and development in such areas as energy and environmental security. Sandia's duties have expanded in recent years to combat terrorism, aid homeland security, and support the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sandia, which operates with a... More

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