General Atomics Reviews

Updated April 13, 2015
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  1. Helpful (5)

    Potential is there....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Department Assistant in Poway, CA
    Current Employee - Department Assistant in Poway, CA

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The 9/80 work week is amazing. Having every other Friday off is huge.

    Job security. The company is constantly growing and hiring.

    Some of the managers really care about their teams and try to keep the morale up through group activities.

    Cons

    Growth. The larger the company gets the more disconnected with its employees it becomes.

    Some of the original employees are still working with the company and while that is great it sometimes enables them to feel invincible and beyond reprimand.

    Some of the managers could care less about their teams and more about the end result of a project.

    The HR department is in constant flux. Nothing seems confidential and you never know when your employees relations contact could change.

    Advice to Management

    Don't lose focus on your employees.
    Provide competitive raises.
    Nail down a firm and reliable HR department.

  2. Mechanical Systems Intern started in manufacturing learning through the production process, ended in mechanical systems.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Engineering Intern III
    Former Intern - Engineering Intern III

    I worked at General Atomics as an intern (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Diverse projects from simple to seemingly impossible. Your projects will definitely push your knowledge of engineering fundamentals and their application. Fellow engineers are extremely helpful and courteous.

    Cons

    All projects are distributed to a few lead engineers where they then disperse them out to the people in their groups. To me this made it hard for me to understand if I properly understood the requirements of the project as it was explained to me.

    Advice to Management

    For interns and new graduates, establishing a methodology for problem solving based/referenced upon company mechanics should be essential. It gives them the direct path for completing assignments efficiently and in a timely manner, as opposed to them taking a extended period of time finding out where and who to go to the hard way.

  3. Helpful (4)

    Electrical Engineer 5

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer IV in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer IV in San Diego, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Best opportunity for advancement, good benefits, hardware electronics is probably the best environment I have seen in 50 years of experience, management is also best. Company values are superior to most companies, especially if you believe in God and family. This is a VERY pro USA company with a feeling of family. Excellent retirement, insurance, vacation. Great people to work with with broad range of experience, especially mechanical and electronics hardware.

    Cons

    Different groups fight to impose their importance. Software is always competing with engineering for budget. Production is always competing with engineering for product responsibility. This needs to be addressed as it is unfair to those of us that are dedicated to our jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more separation between group management and the employees. Management needs to be more involved with responsibility definition between groups. Keep going, all else is fine. I am sorry I ever left the company.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    Beyond atrocious.

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

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time

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

    Pros

    -9/80 schedule allows for every other Friday off
    -Exciting and well-known products
    -Pension plan after three years of employment

    Cons

    Misleading recruiting process. Favoritism is rampant; many departments have a "good 'ol boy" mentality. In these situations, if you are not "in" the clique, your life here will be very difficult. Training is non-existent. Constant bickering and infighting between departments. Unrealistic schedules. The company has a tendency to low-ball on salary, which causes positions to sit open for months. Constantly understaffed. Apathetic management that was more interested in making excuses and finding various cop-outs than acknowledging and correcting problems. Lack of basic break room amenities like plastic silverware and coffee.

    Advice to Management

    So many things need drastic improvement. Training employees and investing more in employee salaries would help with staffing. Cheapskate maneuvers like not stocking break rooms and not allowing employees to have small appliances in their cubicles/offices are horrible for morale.

  6. Helpful (1)

    Been lied to by GA

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - UAS In General in San Diego, CA
    Current Contractor - UAS In General in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at General Atomics as a contractor (more than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    None, they really are substandard in all areas. They promise positions and then reneg at the last minute. The tell lies all of the time.

    Cons

    They flat out lie. I hope their company goes belly up.

    Advice to Management

    Hire good people instead of ex military under achievers.

  7. Helpful (4)

    Incompetent company full of stubborn old men

    Former Employee - Department Specialist III in Poway, CA
    Former Employee - Department Specialist III in Poway, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You can never get fired, no matter how little work you do.
    Benefits are ok.
    Most people under 35 are nice to work with.

    Cons

    You will never be promoted, unless you have a relative who can boost your career.
    There is no free coffee or snacks.
    Salary workers are expected to work whatever schedule management decides on a whim, without overtime pay.
    Your ideas will never be heard or implemented.
    Removal of all personal items from cubes made the place droll and depressing.
    The meetings are complete wastes of time.
    Severely poor management of lab resources.

    Advice to Management

    Retire.

  8. Helpful (2)

    Soul sucking company. Stay away.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technician in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Technician in San Diego, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    Clean facilities. Great company name on your resume profile. Good benefits. Generous amount of holidays that stacks up with 9/80 schedule. VERY flexible work hours thanks to their leave system.

    Cons

    Company is notorious for low-balling employees. How internal bid process to other position within company works is ridiculous. Management is extremely poor. Your hard work goes unnoticed. Almost NO chance to advancement or cross training to expand your resume and skills. My co-workers here are doing everything they can to leave the company, because they cannot bear to work there any longer. Talks of outsourcing is always present, resulting in extremely low morale and outlook among employees.

    Advice to Management

    Promote more employee cross training and personal growth.

  9. Helpful (2)

    Bad place for a software developer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer V in Rancho Bernardo, CA
    Former Employee - Software Developer V in Rancho Bernardo, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Ok pay.
    Good benefits.
    401(k) *and* pension.
    Nice people.
    Regular 9/80 hours, no crazy overtime.
    Very flexible usage of vacation leave time.
    Opportunities for senior developers to work on very large areas of code.

    Cons

    This is focused specifically on working as a software developer, and does not apply to other positions.

    The company is focused primarily on hardware and therefore does not care, or even know much about software. The leadership is almost entirely clueless about what a large swath of the company actually does. The software processes are ill suited to produce quality code.

    New and exciting ideas are almost non-existent. Experimenting with new tools and technologies comes along once every 5 years or so. Purchasing tools that make a software developer's job easier is entirely out of the question except in very small quantities.

    There is a mid sized training bureaucracy that every employee must continually stay up to date on, yet none of the training applies to the job of software developer. Training on what, why and how the software works is non existent, and must be manually repeated to every new hire that comes along, without any recognition for the effort of the person doing the training.

    Due to the nature of the software being a Windows desktop application, or embedded processing work, the skills don't really transfer if you're ever looking for another job. Most job ads these days want different skills. So the longer you stay working on outdated technologies, the less employable you are elsewhere. Beware the trap.

    Advice to Management

    Either focus the organization on software, or cease writing software.

  10. Good pay and benefits, mildly disorganized

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

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Pays well, benefits are quite good. Good place for someone who can manage themselves and their time. Assignments are frequently challenging and appropriate to the employee's skill set.

    Cons

    This company is trying to evolve from small business to major player, but the transition has been challenging. There is mild disorganization right now, but should improve in the next year.

    Advice to Management

    Start adding relevant training to all employee curricula. Encourage employees to pursue work/life balance rather than frowning on exempt employees who aren't working until it's dark outside.

  11. Overall good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Department Specialist III in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Department Specialist III in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    9/80 work week, excellent benefits, company will pay for continued education, friendly and happy employees who are passionate about their work. It is definitely a company that you can grow with. They don't often fire or lay off their people, they like to keep them and use them on different contracts when a contract ends.

    Cons

    Poor communication between codependent departments which often makes for delayed times in getting projects done. Salary is so so...

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