Bechtel National Reviews

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2.7
12 Reviews
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Bechtel National Chairman, CEO, and a Director Riley P. Bechtel
Riley P. Bechtel
4 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. A career like a sequoia: strong, reaching great heights... and grows very slowly.

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Bechtel hires great people. The great majority have top-level skills, are very professional, and consistently produce good work. There's a genuine sense among most employees that the company's projects are important, even vital, and they bring that sense to the table in getting the work done.
    The projects are, in fact, usually high-profile and significant, whether measured by national security, ecological safety, or the advancement of science.
    Line management I've worked for have been quick to recognize talent, and when it's being under-utilized. They also see when talented folks are under-compensated, and work hard to rectify the problem, including getting approval from corporate-level management (that is, above the project level) for greater-than-average increases in compensation.

    Cons

    The downsides are what you'll get with any world-class contractor working on Federal projects, most of them both nuclear and defense-related: every stage of the project takes years, requires crushing levels of documentation and inspections, and has layers of security that make it pretty much impossible to stay within five years of the rest of the world in technology.
    These truths make it very difficult to grow a career with any speed. In the last three years, I've tried to set "performance goals" that had some meat on their bones, that would expand my skills, deepen the pool of skills in the department, and broaden my opportunities within Bechtel's Global Business Units (cross-unit mobility is highly prized and openly developed). I've been required to thin out these goals to near-invisibility, and I get the sense that I'm "rocking the boat" by aiming so high. Maybe cross-unit mobility isn't so desirable in employees who, like me, are outside of engineering and project management; maybe it's the supervisors in my direct line. Either way,

    Advice to Management

    The talk about "quality" is nearly as constant as the talk about "safety," but the elephant in the room is that quality is a lot harder to measure than safety is. The result is metrics that are created solely to measure themselves, while "quality" is still defined negatively ('quality is the absence of [these things]') and by 'I know it when I see it.'

  2. An agonizing experience at the Hanford WTP Project, which is haunted with innumerable logistical hurdles -

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Document Control in Richland, WA
    Former Employee - Project Document Control in Richland, WA

    I worked at Bechtel National full-time (more than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Tangible corporate benefits package, comprehensive in nature, modest corporate match to their internally-subsidized pension plan. Sufficient provision for Paid Time Off; adequate justification has to be initially proffered to Immediate Management for approval; upon approval, Time Off is best utilized judiciously, attributable to intense, overhead scrutiny, again by Management. Payroll, for the most part, is accurate and timely, these are predictable incentives to ensuring that personal, domestic fiscal affairs are consistently kept in order.

    Cons

    Watch your backs, for the love of God, for the gossiping and perpetual BACKSTABBING, ever prevalent in Richland, on this momentous project. People will STOP AT NOTHING to undermine your professional integrity, contrary to the DIRECTLY STIPULATED Bechtel Code of Conduct, which essentially doesn't amount to anything substantive, in the first place. Covert machinations are perpetually prevalent among the rank and file, watch your back on this one, lest your professional integrity again be unduly compromised, in direct violation of the Corporate guidelines of Conduct. Internal strife IS RAMPANT on this project; you will go home nightly, mentally wiped out, just from maintaining your mental equilibrium, during the respective course of a given work day. Corporate etiquette...nothing of the sort exists, you have to exercise the individual initiative to allow this to manifest itself. Is this a 'real-world' nuclear-grade Construction Project...FORGET IT. It exists in the mere GUISE of the same; in the context of reality, this is pure MYTH. I grew up around Commercial Nuclear Construction during the 1970's and early 1980's here in this state; the WTP Project is by comparison, PATHETIC in contrast, on all fronts. In the news of recent, significant structural components of this cumulative endeavor are now not projected to be completed until THE YEAR 2028...WHAT GIVES? In addition, rhetoric abounds pertaining to the impending construction of a hypothetical, secondary "Pre-Treatment" facility. What the hell is the necessity for this ancillary construct, when the pre-existing one is already almost 66% complete, and has the majority of the concurrent Structural Design at or above 90% completion?? WHAT ever happened to having the present, existing PTF completed by approx. 2019?? Again, more pervasive hypocrisy that invariably results from the preceding. This project is literally turning into a massive exercise in 'smoke and mirrors', LITERALLY. Lies and hypocrisy, in summation, formulate the basis of conduct for this entire cumulative endeavor.

    Advice to Management

    Design should have been AT LEAST 90 PERCENT COMPLETED, prior to the initial onset of Construction, back in the early 2000's. Huge logistical oversight there. At the Human level, TRY ATTAINING to a CONSISTENT LEVEL of Project Staffing; at the rate of perpetual turnover on this Project, it is a genuine wonder if the damn thing will ever, ultimately reach eventual fruition!! In ancillary fashion, attempt to show some RESPECT AND DIGNITY to the average employees on a daily basis; this WILL ASSIST TREMENDOUSLY in restoring the already DECREPID Morale, to this vastly DEMORALIZED Project!

  3. Senior Pipe Hanger Designer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Designer in Richland, WA
    Former Employee - Designer in Richland, WA

    I worked at Bechtel National full-time (more than 5 years)

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Budget cut, I am waiting to be called

    Cons

    Good and challenging Job to finish Important Waste Treatment Plant

    Advice to Management

    I will Love to come back and try to be part of Team.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    Not good in the long run

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

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay, decent benefits, some benefit of the project(s) down the line once bechtel finishes or is run out.

    Cons

    Management, culture, arrogant corporate mgmt, there are two companies, corporate and project. Unless your part of the in-crowd, might as well forget it. Mgmt consists mostly of amoral self involved salesman that would tell anyone (above them in rank) whatever they wanted to hear, and they really, really do not care on whit about employees, the majority of rank and file folks are thought of as garbage behind closed doors.

    If you dont mind being on the Con, or at the least can use orwellian "doublethink" you can do very well at bechtel.

    Advice to Management

    All of this "great place to work" nonsense is your fault, no one wants to work for narcissists.

  6. Helpful (3)

    By no means a "Great Place to Work"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Construction Assistant in Richland, WA
    Current Employee - Construction Assistant in Richland, WA

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

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

    Pros

    The Benefits are decent
    Pay Check
    If you are hired in and do manage to join the right cliques you will be going places

    Cons

    Annual Reviews are a nightmare
    Its very difficult to advance because promotions and other achievments are primary granted based on who you know. You could be great at your job, but if you aren't playing golf with departmental manager on Sunday then you may go unnoticed for years. It seems that most Bechtel jobs are poorly managed. This is because most of upper management spends their time, in conference calls, in meetings, and on business trips. They have no clue about the work going on just outside their office doors. However, they make all the decisions that pertain to this work. Your direct superviser is your only ally, and that is only if he is not in with upper management.

    Advice to Management

    You need to stop sitting in meetings all day and actually get a feel for what the people you manage do all day. Only then can you make good decisions.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Do you have contact or a mentor?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Eng in Richland, WA
    Current Employee - Eng in Richland, WA

    I have been working at Bechtel National full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Better than average benefits. No waiting for most benefits.

    Cons

    Nepotism, Nepotism, Nepotism, Nepotism, Nepotism

    Advice to Management

    No use

  8. Enjoyed my 10+ year career here.

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

    I worked at Bechtel National full-time (more than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    High compensation in the form of 401k match, bonuses (for higher level people), and salary. Bechtel did a great job of training and trying to give me opportunities to grow. I think this was available to only the top 5% or so of employees as most of the "numbers" on the floor did not seem to get this treatment. They took safety and quality very seriously, at least that was the published stance.

    Cons

    When the project ends, your job ends. You are essentially on your own to find your next position and if you don't have a network inside the company it is not a sure thing. They may find a job for you but it could be anywhere in the world - often not glamorous locations. A main con is the way certain groups were treated, the average Engineer who was working on cranking out drawings or calculations was often pushed hard by a large and complex management structure to get work done quickly (to meet schedule) as opposed to correctly or safely. Like Office Space, many had 5 bosses telling them what to do. I was lucky to not have this problem.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to have less mid-level management

  9. Helpful (2)

    Engineer,WA

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

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

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

    Pros

    Good support to encourage higher education.

    Cons

    1) Worst place to work: They hire you with a job describtion, soon after ~ 1 yr, they move you to another job/title with least engineering taskes (paper work 100%). Very demotaviting for new grads/engineers.
    2) In the name of flexibility, move people to remote locations with odd schedules.
    3) No place for diversity, no promotion or awards for achievement.
    4) Starting pay is very attractive, but will soon realize that it will never increase other than 1-2% every year.
    5) Be prepared : Absolutely no family life or so called balance.

    Advice to Management

    Please advise new hires during interview of what changes to expect. Not to dump people in the name of economy or budget cuts. THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES THAT ARE HIGH END,COMPETETIVE and TECHNOLOGICALLY ADAPT that like to lead and employ career seeking engineers.

  10. Helpful (2)

    Company more interested in their image than real improvement.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in Richland, WA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Richland, WA

    I have been working at Bechtel National

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Employee compensation is good causing an accumulation of marginal employees.

    Cons

    Schedules slip without any real accountability. Management will make decisions to not use something after months and hundreds of manhours have been expended. Some middle managers are not held accountable for their decisions/mistakes. Many decisions made to stall in order to attempt payment from anothers budget causing impact on project progress.

    Advice to Management

    Management is in the dark about the workforce they manage.

  11. Helpful (3)

    Making history everyday!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Civil Field Engineer in Richland, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Civil Field Engineer in Richland, WA

    I have been working at Bechtel National

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people, the challenge, the people

    Cons

    A federal job can be a paperwork nightmare!!

    Advice to Management

    A federally funded construction job has a way to drain/tax your talent. I would strongly suggest you figure out ways to motivate and boost the morale of your workforce so that you don't lose them.

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