Bigelow Aerospace

  www.bigelowaerospace.com
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Bigelow Aerospace Reviews

Updated May 17, 2014

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1.6 8 reviews

0% Approve of the CEO

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Robert Bigelow

(4 ratings)

8 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    "Don't trust the Boss"

    General Worker (Former Employee) Las Vegas, NV

    Pros1 - Awesome variety of projects
    2 - Free Ice Cream, cookies and coffee from 10am to 2pm
    3 - Engineers/workers seem to be highly qualified to perform the tasks assigned

    Cons1 - Taking 10 minute breaks are frowned upon
    2 - Do not question the Boss. Even when you know the product/design is poorly constructed. Keep your mouth shut, or you will pay the price.
    4 - It seems as though the middle management is bent on lecturing their employees about certain safety practices, Meanwhile....I noticed safety equipment is worn, frazzled and inspections are out of compliance. Keep in mind, you don't dare mention the equipment compliance issue because it makes you look like a complainer, and that's all it takes to get fired.
    5 - Do not make suggestions for improving speed and efficiency. The middle management does not like it when THEY didn't come up with the idea.
    6 - Do not do anything too noteworthy. If word gets out that the lowest rank and file came up with a brilliant idea, and the idea didn't come from the middle management, then it somehow reflects the INABILITY of the middle management to manage their own section.
    7 - I was told early on to keep a very low profile because you don't want to draw any attention to yourself. This was sound advice. I did not follow this seemingly silly advice and now I find myself in a situation where middle management finds me as a threat and they are now head hunting for a reason to "defuse" the threat.
    8 - Basic training programs are NON-existant. (10K forklift, man-lifts, etc) Employees are left to wonder if they should operate the equipment. Some employees simply do not operate any equipment because they are not sure if they will get lectured or not. The same employee is not going to approach their boss because, if you "bother" the boss with mundane details, you are now a target.
    9 - The job is 99% likability and 1% skill and knowledge. You can be a "wrecking ball" of destruction, as long as the boss likes you, you will never get fired. The reverse is also true.... You can be the only electrical engineer with actual Aerospace experience.....this means nothing. Bigelow Aerospace will fire you, immediately.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf we, (as a company) want to have any chance of meeting the lofty goals recently set before us, the middle and upper management need a complete shift in culture.
    1 - Hire a qualified Aerospace Engineer to replace (Number 2) with an open minded person, with a minimum of 10 years experience in the Aerospace industry to lead this company out of the dismal situation we are in.
    2 - Mr. Bigelow must realize NOW, that the current culture is self defeating, and if we want to implement a system of Quality improvements, we must be allowed to voice our opinion and be a part of the process.
    3 - Moral will not improve because of one seal team six motivational speaker. What we want is to help Mr. Bigelow achieve his dream. We want to be "IN THE GAME"
    4 - Consider replacing Middle management who have proven themselves to be incompetent.
    5 - Have a company meeting and openly discuss issues affecting productivity and morale.
    6 - Discuss mistakes being made and ways to improve and eliminate those mistakes

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    I should have avoided this company from the start.

    Senior Mechanical Engineer (Former Employee) Las Vegas, NV

    Pros1. Living in Las Vegas can be interesting, there is the strip and quite a lot of other exploring all around. LA and OC are just a short drive away.
    2. The cost of living is fantastic and very reasonable for nice areas.
    3. Some of the employees are fantastic people.

    ConsSo much to list, but here goes;
    1. Constant fear of being fired at any time, at any place.
    2. All stick and no carrot, managment says they should follow chain of command, but have no qualms about going around this.
    3. Managers are not leadership, nor do they have any engineering skills. Their expectation for finishing projects and their expected difficulity level have nothing to do with their reality.
    4. Owner is a Billionaire and has no understanding of space or space systems.
    5. Benefits have been degraded and are now very expensive and not quality. Pay is only compensatory.
    6. Engineering changes are made at a whim and have no bearing on what your are actually trying to do.
    7. Owner more interested in building models than actual space hardware.
    8. Security walks around fully armed, at all times.
    9. No extended hours working or anything else.
    10. High employeee turnover rate, about 1/2 have been there less than a year.
    11.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the people you hire to do work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    6 people found this helpful  

    never know which day is your last

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe idea of what the company does is very interesting. Pay was more than competitive. For the record I left at my own will and was not fired.

    ConsNo one wants to work a job where you feel you could get fired at any time for no just cause. They could like you one min and hate you the next. Issues arise from management's priority to watch out for their own back and make themselves look good, while throwing everyone else under the bus. Passion with management lies with impressing the boss and they follow him around like sick puppy dogs.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't hire people to try them out and then fire them at the drop of a hat. Turning peoples lives upside down, after they quit their job or let alone relocated for a position only to be unjustly fired from their new job is unethical. This company retains way less than 1/3 the people they hire which clearly reflects poorly of management to interview and hire qualified people. Those that are qualified leave because the company is managed so poorly and they are able to find better jobs elsewhere.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Rough from the beginning

    Engineer (Former Employee) Las Vegas, NV

    ProsGreat breadth of work if you're an engineer. The opportunity to work on many different things is there due to the lack of Engineers. Strictly 8am to 5pm work day, no overtime or (con) flex time. Many of the things being worked on are cutting edge but are treated as if they can be commercially bought off the shelf to save time and money on design.
    Most of the people you work with are great. However, people tend to walk on eggshells not knowing who to trust in management and if an entire department will suddenly be cut.

    ConsNo relocation help (unless you make it through your 4 month probation period, at which point they will reimburse you for moving costs, much less than what your actual move costs...)
    The Management isn't very good, people get fired quite frequently and the owner feels that Engineers are a dime a dozen. Since he has made his fortune running hotels, he feels that engineers are like maids, one is the same as the next.
    The salary for senior engineering staff is seriously low, even by Vegas standards. The company is in a not-so-nice area of Las Vegas, so if you want to work there and live in a nice area you need to drive at least 30 minutes to work.
    Also, when you arrive at work in the morning, leave for lunch, return from lunch and when you leave at night it is logged at the gate by security. Even Engineers need to swipe in and out to prove you've worked your 8 hours. Coming in early and leaving early is not an option. They have a very strict 8-5 policy.
    Much of the project is "winging it" where you are trying to design something to interface with another part of the spacecraft without the slightest hint of interface requirements. Actually, there are very few requirements that can be gotten from anyone there because they don't really know what they want, but they are sure they need your board done in 3 months.
    Turn-over is really high due to the fact that people get very annoyed with the fact that they are required to do things they have no requirements for.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUnderstand that engineers have limits as far as what they can accomplish in a given period of time (even the best of us who work extremely fast). Be willing to press for interface requirements, and understand that Commercial off-the-shelf parts and boards need to be designed to requirements as well. They don't just come in and work. Most of the people in charge are Mechanical Engineers, and have no idea about electrical design. This can be very frustrating. Have a Mechanical Engineer manager for the Mechanical group and an Electrical Engineer Manager for the Electrical group.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Career Opportunities

    6 people found this helpful  

    Thrilling highs, but more frightening lows

    Systems Engineer (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsExciting and interesting work. Very motivated teams and freedom to accomplish some good work. Good salaries.

    ConsEmployee Turnover is VERY high. Very few original employees. Culture is broken and I would never work at the Vegas office. We had a Houston office at that time. Careful before you jump in this shark tank.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    8 people found this helpful  

    Unprofessional with poor benefits and worse management

    Engineer (Former Employee) North Las Vegas, NV

    ProsUnique opportunity to work with space flight hardware. Really unusual tasks. Small informal company. Where else could you get an opportunity to do anything you want with a spacecraft.

    ConsManagement is incompetent and spends most of their time trying to prevent the owner from finding out. Benefits are atrocious: For the first 2 years you only get 5 days combined for sick and vacation, and every hour you take is charged against it, there is no make up time. No opportunity for advancement. Salaried workers are treated like hourly, and no respect is given to engineers. The owner finances the whole company out of pocket and will lay off workers and cut pay to cover stock market losses. As of September 2011, half the company was laid off and all workers were forced to take a 10% pay cut.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to use real processes. The owner needs to talk to someone besides senior management and find out what it going on in his company

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    work is technically challenging, but the day-to-day operations and upper management is extremely frustrating

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) North Las Vegas, NV

    Prosawesome project to work on, technically challenging, trailblazing new projects, could possibly change how outer space is utilized by mankind, first-line managers do the best they can to help their direct reports make progress on projects. You work from 8AM to 5PM.

    Consupper management rules with an iron fist. Speaking up or asking "why?" is very frowned upon by upper management. Time-off is extremely hard to get due to management requirements. No working before or after hours due to security reasons. Very hard to make progress of spacecraft development when management is reluctant to purchase flight-like or even ground-test equipment. Very little communication from upper management to rank-and-file employees

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more open about company progress and status. A spacecraft is expensive, it's going to cost money....start spending or all you'll have are the mockups. Treat employees like grown-adults...and not like kiddies that need to be supervised and put into timeout. Don't be afraid of people asking "why"....it helps motivate employees to know how they fit into the grand scheme of things.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    6 people found this helpful  

    Not for engineers, run by motel mogul

    Systems Engineer (Former Employee) North Las Vegas, NV

    ProsLots of responsibility due to lack of people.

    Coolness of working in space industry

    VEGAS baby! (gets old though)

    The coolness of working in the space industry is very alluring. Companies like SpaceX and Blue origin are prime examples of why people want to get into this new industry. Bigelow Aerospace is in that industry, but that is all it has in common with the other companies. You will get a lot of work since there isn't that many experienced people in the company and also because its a small compnay. So if you know what you're doing (sr level +) then it may be fulfilling

    ConsLittle to no career growth potential

    Underpaid with sub par benefits

    Management not very competent

    Run by owner who values "mock ups" more than actual hardware

    Their 1-2 year turnover rate is well over 50%, probably closer to 70%. That should say a lot right there. The owner does not value people as assets. He's from the hotel industry and to him, engineers are overpaid construction workers and you will get treated as such. The biggest problem that is evident throughout the company is that the owner doesn't trust anyone other than his direct program managers (~ 2 people). There are no flex hours, you must work no earlier than 8 and no later than 5 pm. Anything else requires prior manager approval. They have gun touting guards to check your time in and out of the gate every day. All vacation require 2 weeks approval and you must fill out a form, and this approval isn't always easy to get near holidays. Again, this is for an engineer position.

    There is NO tuition reimbursement and no employee training. As an HR rep told me, "The owner would rather invest in his company than the people"....

    Benefits include med, dental, vision, but 401k takes 6 yrs to vest, so it's sub par to me.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to engineers and know that getting to space isn't cheap.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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