Argonne National Laboratory Reviews

Updated March 24, 2015
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138 Reviews
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Argonne National Laboratory Director Peter B. Littlewood
Peter B. Littlewood
14 Ratings

Pros
  • Great work life balance and great salary for a post doc (in 7 reviews)

  • They offer good benefits like retirement matching and a lot of vacation time (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Like most things that deal with the government, the amount of red tape is crazy (in 4 reviews)

  • Also there is not nearly enough support staff to address their work load (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great learning experience

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

    I worked at Argonne National Laboratory

    Pros

    Wide variety of people and talents

    Cons

    plenty of red tape. Very slow moving

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    change processes to become more efficient and able to respond quicker

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 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)

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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
  3. Great educational opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Technician in Lemont, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Technician in Lemont, IL

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory

    Pros

    Education is paid for 100% up front. Argonne is a big advocate for continuing education. The paid time off as well as 401k benefits are great too. They match 9% of your annual salary if you contribute 2.5%.

    Cons

    There aren't always opportunities for career advancement. There isn't always funding to get experience with new technology. You become an expert at maintaining old systems.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote productive workers and put them into a position of leadership. Be open to new ideas from workers that have experience in the outside world.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Good for postdocs preparing for next jobs with enough salaries

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

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Higher salaries than other postdocs.
    Able to conduct interdisciplinary research.

    Cons

    The research direction is somewhat narrow due to DOE oriented mission.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory

    Pros

    Plenty of seminars to attend, opportunity to learn things of own interest (although largely depends on division and supervisor). Genuine people who sincerely want you to grow. AGL definitely believes in the well being of its employees, and there are plenty of activities on campus.

    Cons

    Red tape. Lots of it.

  7. Dynamic

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

    I worked at Argonne National Laboratory

    Pros

    You have a chance to work with the most brilliant people in the world. The location is good, close to Chicago - lot of cultural diversity. Working hour can be somewhat flexible.

    Cons

    Traffic and weather can be sometimes really really bad. Depending on which sector you work, you may need to frequently work over weekends and overnight.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. Great place to do fundamental or applied research in a variety of disciplines related to the mission of the U.S. DOE.

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

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory

    Pros

    Competitive pay for Chicago area, excellent health benefits, good retirement benefits, starting vacation accrual 1 day per month, large variety of high tech science pursued with many activities like seminars, some of the most advanced computers in the world available for work, many clubs for outside work interests, access to excellent technical library, and just all around great place to work.

    Cons

    Depends on funding from the U.S. congress.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. nice place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Intern in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory

    Pros

    people are very friendly and nice. the working don't have too much pressure

    Cons

    salary is not very high compare to other company

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. great place to start your career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Scientist in Lemont, IL
    Current Employee - Assistant Scientist in Lemont, IL

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    growth oppertunity, a lot of exposures, collaborations, can do great work and publish top niche papers

    Cons

    slow overall, a lot of politics if you stay here long enough

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. Lovely place to work, but not challenging or conducive to pushing the state of the art envelope.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in Naperville, IL
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in Naperville, IL

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory

    Pros

    The benefits are reasonable, and the company is located within a forest refuge which makes the setting quite lovely. Most people have their own office instead of being in a cubicle or shared office.

    Cons

    While the work-life balance is good, the work that I was asked to complete was not as interesting as I would like. There is also considerable red-tape on how to start new projects as all work must be completed on a cost code, even new business planning. Food on campus is not so delicious, and the choices around the area are not so healthy either - especially if you have any dietary restrictions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less rigidity in the time management, allocating funds for research.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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