Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
3.8 of 5 98 reviews
www.jhuapl.edu Laurel, MD 1000 to 5000 Employees

98 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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Space Department has incredibly talented scientists & engineers, lead by PhD's instead of those with real experience.

Senior Engineer (Former Employee)
Laurel, MD

I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

ProsSuperb technical personnel and some great opportunities if you get in with the right groups. Great atmosphere for learning and continuing your education with a great engineering curriculum brought onto the Laurel campus (The Whiting School of Engineering). Great location (read NOT Baltimore and NOT DC)! This is a great place to start your career. The APL moniker is one of the finest around and they have the technical breadth to do the job right.

ConsIf you don't have the sheepskin, your experience is not accepted as valid.
Little fiefdoms protected fiercely from outsiders.
High expectations from middle managers with no consistent knowledge of the customer. The customer's needs were considered secondary to securing the next round of funding or securing a foothold in their spaces. I was told repeatedly not to be so forthright with my NASA counterpart; my job was to sell our technical position and our people to do a job, not to teach others the how-to or know-how. I have some real heartburn with that, and I am glad I have moved on. Project Managers here are considered the necessary evil as bookkeepers to schedule and budget, but not respected for their technical input. That's a shame and a waste of good technical hands-on experience. The Space Department has a wonderful new building that they could not afford even before we moved in. Feels like a mausoleum. Especially since the projects keep dying off in the current budget fiasco and good people are told to find work outside of the department or be shown the door.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou have way too many middle managers that have no business managing people, let alone customers. Your technical wizards should be the faces your customers see and interact with; not the smarmy folks you call Program Managers. The PMs have technical talent, but most appear in the customer's eyes as self-centered and not serving the customer needs. Do you really want that as your first line of exposure with your clients?

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Not a good place for Software Engineers

Associate Professional Staff I (Current Employee)
Laurel, MD

I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than a year


Pros: You share an office which (depending on your building) is fairly nice. Everyone is equipped with dual monitors… Cons: I'm a recent college graduate and my salary/compensation feels significantly lower than people I know working at neighboring contractors. Stack ranking favors giving raises to… Advice to Senior Management: Salaries need to be higher across the board but especially for new hires who tend to leave after a year or two for greener pastures. You… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More

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Great place to work.

Signal Processing Engineer (Current Employee)

I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years


Pros: Lots of projects and opportunities. Lot to learn as well.… Cons: Because the APL is a non-profit organization, there are no… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More

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