Bechtel National

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Bechtel National Reviews in Kennewick, WA

Updated March 8, 2014
Updated March 8, 2014
38 Reviews

3.4
38 Reviews
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Bechtel National Chairman, CEO, and a Director Riley P. Bechtel
Riley P. Bechtel
14 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews Back to all 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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.'

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    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

    Pros

    Budget cut, I am waiting to be called

    Cons

    Good and challenging Job to finish Important Waste Treatment Plant

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    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

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    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

    Pros

    Better than average benefits. No waiting for most benefits.

    Cons

    Nepotism, Nepotism, Nepotism, Nepotism, Nepotism

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No use

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to have less mid-level management

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Management is in the dark about the workforce they manage.

    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    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

    Pros

    The people, the challenge, the people

    Cons

    A federal job can be a paperwork nightmare!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bechtel: Safety and Quality

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

    Pros

    As a first timer in professional construction, I am profoundly impressed by Bechtel's committment to safety and quality of work. Weekly safety bulletins and quality updates are the norm, and they have set precident in keeping a NSQI questioning attitude. Employees are encouraged to question management and management answers those questions, either through the open forum of quarterly meetings or through the website.

    There is an air of family at the site in which I work, and everyone from engineering, to supervision, to craft, to document control (and a host of other departments) pull together as one team to accomplish a goal of building the project we are currently on.

    Cons

    As a member of document control, specifically an Area Field Specialist, there are few opportunities for further career development. This project that I'm currently at is a wonderful place, however, my department is heavily relied on but sorely taken for granted. In truth, we work hard...very hard with little or no direct recognition from management or senior management.

    Document control is famous (at our site) for following direction given by Engineering and Supervision management, yet we are not considered to be part of Engineering. We are expected to be a mix of document control, dicsipline specialists, pseudo-engineers and administrative specialists, with specific knowledge of all aspects of engineering, and design, with specific knowledge of all procedures. It's a large pair of shoes to fill for us, and we have the smallest department on the site.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please consider on the job training in engineering for those who wish to work hard for the licsence. Some of us are more than capable of the job, but don't have the time (or money) to attend the schools.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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