Lawrence Berkeley Lab
3.7 of 5 149 reviews
www.lbl.gov Berkeley, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Lawrence Berkeley Lab Reviews

Updated Jun 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 149 reviews

                             

84% Approve of the CEO

Lawrence Berkeley Lab Lab Director Paul Alivisatos

Paul Alivisatos

(62 ratings)

77% of employees recommend this company to a friend
149 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "work-life balance, benefits, stimulating research environment, location, relaxed and friendly culture"
    in 8 reviews
  • "good work life balance, smart people(depends on the team)"
    in 11 reviews
Cons:
  • "Most scientists apply for extramural funding, DOE takes a high overhead for support staff"
    in 20 reviews
  • "Extreme cost of living, and government bureaucracy"
    in 3 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Depends on Department

    Software Engineer (Current Employee)
    Berkeley, CA

    ProsPrestige, location, salary, benefits, on-site services, health services on-sight, compensation package outside of salary, colleagues (peers)

    ConsInstitutionalized, middle management corruption, bureaucracy, few lateral opportunities, too many meetings, salary review process

    Advice to Senior ManagementInstigate 360` performance evaluations for staff with supervisory duties. Some managers are connected really well to important Lab administrators, all the while running their department notoriously poor creating a hostile work environment. As much as I love working at the lab, my manager has a reputation for being a tyrant, and because she is so well connected, there's no way to remedy the situation without retaliation. My entire department is mis-managed, and people outside the department know it - yet nothing can be done. This type of situation should be remedied, you loose, and will continue to loose good people for the sake of this one, oppressive, manager. Please reconsider your processes, people shouldn't be afraid to effect change with their managers.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great science and awful bureaucracy

    Graduate Student Research Assistant (Current Employee)
    Berkeley, CA

    ProsAn outstanding opportunity to meet interesting people, learn a lot of things, and on the state of the art equipment.

    ConsToo much bureaucracy. If you are a grad student at UC Berkeley, the things often get even more complicated due to poor communication between the lab and the campus officials. Purchasing for the research needs through the lab might be a nightmare.

    Advice to Senior ManagementImprove the efficiency of administrative processing related to human resources and purchasing for the research needs.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review

     

    Beautiful location but research environment could be more engaging

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsBerkeley (the city)! Its proximity to UC Berkeley is also a plus, since it makes it easier to collaborate.

    ConsVery distracting work environment (lots of noise).

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
  • We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No

     

    Berkeley Lab

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat environment. Interesting work and people. Many career development opportunities available to all. Definitely recommend.

    ConsPolitics. But what places does not.

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Excellent place to work. Great job with great benefits.

    Senior Laborer (Former Employee)
    Berkeley, CA

    ProsThe history, the view, the people. Lots to learn and do.

    ConsNone that I can think of

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Highly dependent on your PI

    Research Assistant (Current Employee)
    Berkeley, CA

    Pros+Pretty good benefits compared to lower tier biotechnology companies.
    +Renowned guest speakers.
    +Good cafeteria/cafe with rotating menu.
    +Various groups/clubs and events (Yoga, karaoke, tennis).
    +Very (very) nice view.
    +Highly dependent on your PI (funding, work-life balance, workplace environment).

    Cons-Getting paid less than market rate.
    -Very difficult to advance in this position.
    -Old buildings (depending on department).
    -Too secluded for a quick dash out for lunch.
    -Parking is hard to find.
    -Highly dependent on your PI (funding, work-life balance, workplace environment).

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           

     

    Excellent

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood pay for the work, good benefits

    ConsResearch changes with politics, so you switch projects even if you are not done

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore postdoctoral social gatherings. Have blood donar van come to Potter street

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Senior Research Associate

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat place to work if you are interested in pursuing a career in research or academia. Interacting and learning from colleagues is a great experience.

    ConsPay is somewhat below industry standards

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Awesome Innovative Environment

    Lab Assistant (Former Employee)
    Berkeley, CA

    ProsGreat environment, location. The lab is perched in the hills with a beautiful jaw-dropping view of the San Francisco Bay. Lots of support, training for employment. As an undergrad the pay was pretty good. Access with the shuttles is super easy (run frequently, and real-time arrivals available on nextbus.com)

    ConsCan be a lot of bureaucracy to deal with. Lab is very concerned with safety, to the extent that you'll need to take a class on how to properly climb a ladder if you're required to use one for your work. If you have the time for such things as a student, can be fine, but otherwise can seem like a waste of time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry to streamline the bureaucracy. Lots of different people/offices/trainings. Could easily be consolidated.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           

     

    Slow moving government agency

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Berkeley, CA

    ProsTime to experiment with new tools and processes

    ConsSlow to implement process and systems changes

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for Lawrence Berkeley Lab? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.

Glassdoor is your free inside look at Lawrence Berkeley Lab reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Lawrence Berkeley Lab CEO Paul Alivisatos . All 149 reviews posted anonymously by Lawrence Berkeley Lab employees.