General Atomics Reviews

Updated August 27, 2015
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3.3
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General Atomics Chairman and CEO Neal Blue
Neal Blue
68 Ratings

Pros
  • Great benefits and lots of jobs (in 10 reviews)

  • 9/80 work schedule for most employees (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Very poor upper management, unqualified (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

251 Employee Reviews

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  1. Software Engineer

    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Poway, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Poway, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I liked my immediate management, felt comfortable talking to my supervisor.

    Cons

    Nothing really to complain about.


  2. Electrical Test Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Poway, CA
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Poway, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Wonderful coworkers, good work life balance

    Cons

    lacking growth opportunity, lack of process


  3. Mechanic4

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanic IV in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Mechanic IV in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at General Atomics (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good people to work with. Workplace was very positive. Aknowledgement of your contribution was regular.

    Cons

    New management changed procedures and direction became a little muddled. Managemnt did not seem to want input from workers when decisions were made.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to include input from employees on the job when changes are contemplated.


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  5. GA-ASI

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - UAV Systems Specialist in Poway, CA
    Current Employee - UAV Systems Specialist in Poway, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with a vast variety of personnel to provide the customers with the best product available. No tied to the office, with flexible work environment.

    Cons

    It is called a job for a reason. Communication between departments needs to be improved.

    Advice to Management

    Employee retention could be enhanced by providing better career goals and counseling.


  6. Helpful (1)

    10+ yrs in Engineering with no regrets, yet GA-ASI's future success is not guaranteed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in Poway, CA
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in Poway, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - variety of technical challenges & opportunities - company's mission & products are meaningful - strong performing employees are generally recognized & rewarded - meaningful work: I can reflect on my time at the company and easily identify many ways that I personally have added value to the company & its products - the Predator family of remotely-operated aircraft systems is a really cool product and awesome to be a part of! - amazing learning opportunities from many leaders who are responsible for the company's success this far - easy to move around within the company to pursue growth opportunities

    Cons

    - despite significant growth over the past decade, many elements within the company continue to resist *growing up* to a level of maturity that should be expected of an organization this size - the company's limited budget for annual raises over the past ~5 years causes the average employee's compensation to fall behind market value within a few years unless the employee or his/her manager takes specific action to maintain equity - persistence of small-company behavior: e.g. senior executives remain too involved in detailed design decisions, rather than establishing clear requirements and empowering the design teams to achieve them - mediocre process definition / implementation / consistency: too much reinventing the wheel - company is struggling with recent enterprise-wide MRP software change to SAP

    Advice to Management

    To ensure another 20+ years of GA-ASI's success, you must proactively develop and empower the next generation of leaders. Specifically, Engineering leadership -- especially VPs & Directors -- need to focus more on developing and empowering cohesive teams of highly capable people, and less on being personally involved in the technical details of the company's current/future products. We also must continue innovating while molding our legacy culture into a long-term sustainable business.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Good benefits, not much growth.

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

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    All around good work environment, resources and materials are available to get your job done. We get every other Friday off, but be prepared to work long hours. Overtime is available for those who are hourly. 401k and pension available. Don't be afraid to ask what you deserve.

    Cons

    This is a matrix organization. This means if you are an intelligent and bright-eyed employee, it may take a very long time to get to the top. Usually the worst employees are the most aggressive in getting what they want.

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to know your employees and see what they do. Too many people are getting away with murder, while hard-workers get left in the dust. In other words, reviews SHOULD be based on success and accomplishments. My experience so far is that employees who are not "in their range of appropriate salary" get a very good review in order to give them a raise, leaving the people who work their tail off, without raises. Bring people in at what they deserve so that people like me don't feel under-appreciated.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Great for stability, but terribly overworked w/No incentive

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Human Resources in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Human Resources in San Diego, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great technology Corporate Perks and retirement plans Co-workers were fun and made great friends Good company to put on your resume

    Cons

    Growth is very limited. No training programs for employee development, and the positions are very specialized - once you're in a position, you're pretty much stuck. When there is a position open, an external applicant has always been chosen over promoting from within. Very demotivating. Management will always ask you what your career goals are during the interview and during reviews so you'll think there is hope, but nothing ever comes out of it. Compensation is minimal for the amount of work you are expected to do. Especially for the worker bees who are rewarded a lot less, but are constantly stressed out to make other people look good. Employee morale doesn't seem to be a priority because there is always a line of people wanting to work at GA. If you're coasting to retirement, this is a good fit for you. Otherwise, don't expect any promotions and minimal pay increases in this department.


  9. Avionics Tech

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Avionics Field Service Representative in El Monte, CA
    Former Employee - Avionics Field Service Representative in El Monte, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at General Atomics (More than a year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to for deployment overseas

    Cons

    Lowest base pay in the industry


  10. title

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer III in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer III in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time

    Pros

    Cool high tech projects, great location, autonomous & unstructured work environment, tons of opporunities to learn

    Cons

    Sometimes you get yanked from project to project, depending on which contracts are hot. Also there are inefficiencies in procurement and subcontracts that can be frustrating when you are trying to make things happen

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on dedicating overhead funds to training and developing your existing employees. Re-evaluate your employee evaluation and incentive scheme.


  11. General Atomics

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager III
    Current Employee - Project Manager III
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at General Atomics (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Dynamic work environment, still a small company feel, motivated employees will go far, many skilled technicians and engineers, lots of pilots

    Cons

    Suffering from growing pains, inconsistent processes/procedures based on who you're dealing with, accountability is an issue amongst many people, there are very highly motivated people and many that are completely unmotivated

    Advice to Management

    Hire some managers that have experience with larger companies and companies that have had to deal with the rapid growth that GA is experience. Empower your people, especially your subject matter experts rather than making decisions for them, working around them, and ultimately degrading their confidence.



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