Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

www.jhuapl.edu
Engaged Employer

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Reviews

Updated August 1, 2015
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4.2
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Director Dr. Ralph Semmel
Dr. Ralph Semmel
73 Ratings

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

  • good benefits but often not very good work (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • This is a matrix organization, meaning you may have to work with several project managers as well as line manager at the same time (in 4 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

160 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great Employer

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time

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

    Pros

    Great employer with lots of interesting work. If you don't like your task, all you need to do is apply for another job within the company and make the switch.

    Cons

    Some bureaucracy exists, but you have to expect that at a 5000 employee company.

    Advice to Management

    I really have no complaints for management; keep the work interesting and keep it fun.


  2. Please stop asking me all of these questions. This is crazy.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sandy Springs, Fulton, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sandy Springs, Fulton, GA

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This place was great. I really enjoyed the work. It's a nice mix of the industry and work that supports the country. Very scholarly work. Great internship.

    Cons

    I didn't get security clearance for my first internship so I wasn't really able to learn much about my intern project. The work was fine but I wanted to understand more.

    Advice to Management

    Continue what you're doing. This was a fantastic experience. If interns require clearance to do work, make sure they get it or find work that doesn't require clearance.


  3. People stay here for a long time for good reason!

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    APL is a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). In a nutshell, this means that APL is a non-profit solving tough critical problems for the US government mostly in the area of national security. If you want to work on tough problems, without the stink of bosses seeking bonuses and stock options, this is the place for you. If you want your work to matter to the country, this is the place for you. Every department and sector is different. It is easy to move from group to group at APL. People do it all the time. With 5,000+ jobs, it is quite easy to move to a new position. APL is away from the big cities of DC and Baltimore. You can live very nearby the lab. I live a mile away. But you are close enough to both cities to enjoy their restaurants and attractions. Lots of extracurricular activities and clubs. What other organization can say it launched satellites to Mercury and Pluto? NONE!

    Cons

    Not the place to be if all you care about is money. Trend over the last 10 years has been to more layers of management unfortunately. APL used to be a much flatter organization. Promotions don't mean much at APL because they never come with a salary increase, usually just more work and responsibility. Technical folks get elevated to managers and many of them lack the people skills necessary to do a good job. Most staff have masters or Ph.Ds. If you don't have a Ph.D., it may limit your advancement in some groups. Ask around during your interview.

    Advice to Management

    Flatten the organization. Mission areas have grown way too large. Let the staff handle more sponsor engagement and business development. Fire bad managers instead of relocating them (sometimes to higher positions!).


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  5. Fantastic

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great place for career growth. Supervisors motivate you to push yourself in your career and your field, and provide you with amazing opportunities for improving your skills and furthering your career. Wonderful work environment that is very casual and friendly. Great benefits - flexible hours - good staff resources. Job security - APL stands by their employees.

    Cons

    Their salaries are fair and competitive but if you're good at what you do you can probably make more money in industry. There is a lot more to a job than pulling a massive salary though.

    Advice to Management

    I honestly cannot give any advice. My management team has been excellent. My managers have provided me with good opportunities to grow as a young professional and are generally very helpful.


  6. Telecommunication Engineer

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great place to work and be exposed to a variety of areas to work in.

    Cons

    Work is often determined by funding and not always available. Ability to perform research is not always available. Most times we must only perform the work required.


  7. Helpful (1)

    JHUAPL

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

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

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

    Pros

    Very stable work place and co-workers are very friendly. Salary compensation is decent, probably about 15-20% higher than in industry jobs.

    Cons

    Lack of cutting-edge research. Lack of opportunities for career grown for researchers on a technical path. Very management centered organization.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be more career opportunities for technical staff. Need better business models for stimulating cutting-edge research.


  8. Intern

    Current Employee - Public Affairs and Communications in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Public Affairs and Communications in Silver Spring, MD

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Paid internship, friendly coworkers, can work full-time or part-time, wonderful work environment!

    Cons

    Personally, I don't have cons to share at this moment. Each department at the Lab is different.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Better Than Expected!

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I've worked in industry for about 8 years, and was extremely impressed with the environment that has been created here at APL. I have never worked at a place that cared so much about a person's happiness, and encouraged them to enrich themselves through education

    Cons

    Not much that I can think of, this is the first place that I can see myself staying at for a foreseeable future


  10. Second Class Employee

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Laurel, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Laurel, MD

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Most definitely promote diversity. APL recently had a gay-marriage ceremony in one of the main lobbies.

    Cons

    Management is an absolute cesspool. Very disappointed in this organization.


  11. Great place to work!

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

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

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

    Pros

    APL is probably the best place I have ever worked. I get to work on a wide variety of projects. I get exposure to new technologies on pretty much every program I pick up. I love the work.

    Cons

    I don't love living in MD but that's where the lab is.



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