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.  

    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
  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.  

    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

  6.  

    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
  7.  

    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
  8.  

    A good place to stay

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

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

    Pros

    The pace is so large you can change professions and still stay with the same employer. You can transfer from department to department or program to program. The work will stretch your capabilities if you will let it. Some of the work is very long range, like photonic computers. Other work is very near term. About 70% of the technical staff have advanced degrees. You can always find someone smarter than you from who you can learn, but there is always someone you can mentor. Some programs are very high pressure, but others are very laid back. I like this place enough to encourage my child to also work here as an engineer.

    Cons

    The salaries are OK, but not tops. If you are willing to put in extra hours and bust your bum you can find better salaries elsewhere. You don't work here for the money, but for the challenging task and the good working environment. For new hires the salaries are competitive, but for those later in their career the raises really taper off. The raises to older staff border on age discrimination.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    A great place to intern and learn!

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

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

    Pros

    Very intelligent coworkers.
    Interesting and important projects.
    Real work for interns. (no coffee runs!)
    Great campus.
    Amazing benefits including the use of a 3d printer!

    As I was only an inter, I cannot directly speak to their promotions. I did however hear that they were reasonable and kept their workers quite happy.

    Cons

    Very few young people.
    Heavy traffic in the surrounding areas.

    Honestly there were very few drawbacks! I had an amazing time and would recommend it to anyone!.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would suggest that the management put more time into fun competitions between the interns. Someone had a great idea to set up an Intern Scavenger Hunt. More ridiculous games would be appreciated.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  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

    Love it here. Interesting work. Smart people. Great benefits. My favorite job I've ever had. Plus there are sometimes food trucks!

    Cons

    Sometimes you'll be either very busy or have a light schedule. The bigger issue is the location (which I know you can't do much about). It's going to be a long commute if you want to live in either of the cities (DC; Baltimore).

  11.  

    APL is a great place to work!

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

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

    Pros

    APL is an exciting and interesting place to work. You will have the opportunity to work on many projects and management is very receptive to placing you on projects you want to be on. If you value a hybrid academic/industrial atmosphere APL might be a good fit for you. Your colleagues are brilliant and management respects a solid work/life balance. Good benefits and 8% match on 4% retirement contribution!

    Cons

    Base pay can be under what you might get for the same expertise elsewhere. It can also take awhile to move up the ranks because no one ever leaves.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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APL Campus
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