Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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

Updated April 9, 2015
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4.2
155 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Director Dr. Ralph Semmel
Dr. Ralph Semmel
68 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Senior 2

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

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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

    Pros

    Great work environment, nice people, beautiful campus, gym, geese. Great benefits, JHU school of engineering campus.

    Cons

    No cons that i can think of.

  2. Great company to work for!

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

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits, vacation package, amazing opportunities for growth.

    Cons

    Heavy workload at times makes it difficult to walk away at the end of the day.

    Advice to Management

    Keep encouraging growth and learning; take a deeper look to understand all the work that goes on at the section level

  3. Great place, great people.

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

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

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

    Pros

    UARC designation allows for interesting work and progressive atmosphere

    Cons

    Matrix management style can be tedious

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  5. Interesting work but lack of career opportunities

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good benefits. Very flexible work schedule. Good work environment with offices shared with one other person. Good facilities and location.

    Cons

    Poor line management in my experience; they don't care about advancement opportunities. Performance management system is new for 2015, based on the modern concept of frequent coaching rather than assessment of performance. No obligation on supervisor to take system seriously; on past and present experience my supervisor will ignore it.

    No systematic approach to career growth. To get a new position within APL one has to apply for a posted opening and interview. Appointment decision lies mainly with the group supervisor for non-management or section supervisor positions, so is prone to subjective decisions by the individual. To progress at APL one really needs to find an informal mentor.

    No information about salary scales. It is impossible to assess how good one's annual raise is from internal information. I have tracked my salary relative to the government's GS pay scale and have barely maintained my starting position in 2002 despite excellent performance reviews.

  6. 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)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    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.

  7. 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)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    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 Management

    Listen to new staff and value their perceptions.

  8. 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)

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

    Pros

    work / life balance, great benefits, collaborative workspace

    Cons

    none that I have experienced

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!

  9. 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)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Helpful (3)

    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

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

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APL Campus
The APL campus

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