Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

www.jhuapl.edu
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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Reviews

Updated February 2, 2015
Updated February 2, 2015
152 Reviews
4.1
152 Reviews
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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Director Dr. Ralph Semmel
Dr. Ralph Semmel
66 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Your colleagues are brilliant and management respects a solid work/life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • Good benefits and 8% match on 4% retirement contribution (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Matrix organization, I have three bosses and the one who never talks to me decides my fate (in 4 reviews)

  • The quality of the project managers varies (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Best place to work ever!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Laurel, MD
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Laurel, MD

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

    Pros

    They care about their employees, the retirement is the best I've seen as well as their benefits package as a whole.

    Cons

    Too conservative for their own good sometimes. The lab is very big on education therefore, they prefer degrees before experience.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Exceptional employer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Laurel, MD
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Laurel, MD

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

    Pros

    The APL is one of the best places to work. They have exceptional benefits, the pay is good, and the culture is very conducive to people with a STEM background. Both my group and section supervisors have created a very friendly work-group where people can interact and learn from each other. There is very little "tribal knowledge" and older engineers are very helpful to younger engineers wanting to learn. I have never worked at a better place than the APL and will probably never find a better place in the future!

    Cons

    The APL is located in Maryland. Maryland sucks. There is nothing but crime-filled, dirty cities and dense forest. If you like city life you won't like Baltimore, if you like country life you won't like western Maryland. If you like hiking you won't like the Appalachian Trail, if you like mountains you won't like any of the "bumps" that Marylanders call mountains. If you like cycling you will die, if you like going for relaxing drives you will be tailgated by some psychopath and if you like driving fast you will be cut off by some bumbling tourist who has no idea where they are going. Skiing is out of the question, boating is also out (unless you love filthy Chesapeake Bay water). I you don't have a spirit of adventure and just like throwing back beers with your buds while watching the big game, Maryland might be the place for you! If the APL was located anywhere other than Maryland it might be the perfect place to work!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing! Don't cave in to the "cut everything to appease stockholders" mentality that is hurting other government contractors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Best job I ever had!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Recruiter in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Recruiter in Columbia, MD

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    work / life balance, great benefits, collaborative workspace

    Cons

    none that I have experienced

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Very good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Writer/Editor in Laurel, MD
    Current Employee - Technical Writer/Editor in Laurel, MD

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Professional and personal growth encouraged; not a cut-throat environment; emphasis on sharing knowledge.

    Cons

    Some of the management staff are entrenched in their ways of conducting business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to new staff and value their perceptions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    A good place to grow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Staff I (Engineer) in Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Associate Staff I (Engineer) in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great facilities and mentorship. Also a good retirement plan.

    Cons

    There is no shuttle service linking the lab to public trasportation (e.g. the Laurel MARC, Greenbelt station) or to the main JHU campus in Baltimore. Also, they got rid of the library. Both factors made me less excited working there as a young person.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Great place to work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

    Pros

    great place to work with great management

    Cons

    pay tends to be lower than industry

  8.  

    Review

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

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

    Pros

    Access to government roles & responsibilities.

    Cons

    Limited advancement unless former military.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    Great learning experience, Awesome work environment around co-workers, not so awesome intern atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Software Developer/Analyst in Laurel, MD
    Former Intern - Software Developer/Analyst in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    - Get the opportunity to learn a lot about certain DoD contracts; get to understand the context of what you are doing in the midst of an entire project
    - Great work environment; laid back, and co-workers understand that interns want to learn, and will do everything in their power to help you do so
    - Great weekly presentations by others in the department that I worked in, helped me understand the many different accomplishments of the department

    Cons

    - compensation is good, but not the best
    - intern atmosphere is lacking; there weren't many campus-wide intern events throughout the summer to get to know interns
    - some departments have more interesting projects than others
    - DoD contracts can sometimes run dry, resulting in certain parts of projects not getting done (happened to me when part of a project I participated in cancelled)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - pay your interns a little bit more (thus accepting fewer interns)
    - Do a better job at giving a background of what each big department does when recruiting interns, and do a better job of describing sub-departments within APL branches

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Wonderful Place to Work

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

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I've been here for 14 years now and don't plan on leaving until retirement (one week away from five weeks of leave!). APL provides challenging work while at the same time taking care of all the extra stuff well (benefits, tech support, etc.) for you so that you can concentrate on your work.

    Cons

    I have not experienced many cons that I wouldn't have seen at any other organization that relies on government contracts. That can have its ups and downs, but when in place, it provides an opportunity to do good for the country. That said, after seeing the salary ranges here for people of my APL classification, I'm not sure I'm as satisfied with my salary as I was 10 minutes ago! :)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on vision and direction. Helping us to know what you are thinking our future is helps keep morale high.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Wide variety of Opportunities

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

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

    Pros

    One review is not adequate as there is a large variety in the kind and type of work assignments. Staff should consider moving around with in the Laboratory to find optimal work. Network building around the Lab is key to success. Best work environment I've ever been in.

    Cons

    None that I know of!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What made the Lab successful may not work in the future.....be more cutting edge!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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