Lawrence Berkeley Lab Reviews

Updated August 26, 2014
Updated August 26, 2014
160 Reviews

3.7
160 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Lawrence Berkeley Lab Lab Director Paul Alivisatos
Paul Alivisatos
68 Ratings

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
  • Extreme cost of living, and government bureaucracy (in 3 reviews)

  • No chance for promotion or recognition (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Overall, wonderful!

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Berkeley Lab

    Pros

    Great environment, excellent culture and diversity

    Cons

    N/A, nothing negative to say or comment on

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    A great place for research, good benefits, great location, lots of beurocracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Computer Systems Engineer II  in  Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Computer Systems Engineer II in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Depending on your department the lab has fairly flexible hours, time off is pretty standard, and there are lots of paid holidays per year. The research being done at the lab is important.

    Cons

    The lab is set up for research, its hard to advance when you're not on the scientist track. There is a good amount of bureaucracy to wade through, lots of forms to fill out, online trainings to take, etc.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great group of people working together for the greater good.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Subcontracts Administrator  in  Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Principal Subcontracts Administrator in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great work-life balance. Easy atmosphere. Great research and development opportunities. Really making a difference in the world. In the process of upgrading their PeopleSoft financial system to a much newer version. This will hopefully make some of the work a little easier. But there will be some hard times during the initial roll-out, which is expected at any company when making such a big jump in software versions. I applaud the Lab for spending the money and time to roll out this latest version.

    Cons

    Systems can be tricky to learn, Having to understand both Educational and Government procurement, because the Lab is run by the University of California, but is funded by the Department of Energy.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Beautiful location with view of SF Bay and great scientists to work with.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Computer Systems Engineer II  in  Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Computer Systems Engineer II in Berkeley, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Scientific community, great pay, great benefits, run by the University of California, close to UC Berkeley, tuition paid for is it relates to your job, and many noble prize winners work here.

    Cons

    Parking can be a problem if get there in the afternoon and office space is limited so they are expanding to Richmond.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep open communication with your employees and treat them with respect and dignity. Hire more women!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Wonderful pure research environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Physicist Postdoctoral Fellow  in  Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Physicist Postdoctoral Fellow in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Colleagues and mentors that are world leaders in their field. Top-notch administrative and technical support for any problems you need help with. You can focus almost solely on research, however, there is an excellent opportunity to mentor graduate students and exceptional undergraduates from UC-Berkeley, and they're among the brightest students in the world.

    Cons

    Due to DOE funding structure, certain papers may need to focus on something that fits well in that structure, and doesn't necessarily match your final interests in the paper. Very difficult to transition from postdoc to more permanent position. INSANELY expensive cost of living. Housing costs are going up way faster than salaries.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Awesome environment, smart and friendly colleagues.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Scientist (Materials Science)  in  Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Project Scientist (Materials Science) in Berkeley, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Lots of learning opportunities. I had the chance to work with really smart people that were always willing to share their knowledge and expertise and to collaborate.

    Cons

    The only thing I have to complain about is the absence of an on-site daycare facility. Considering the size of LBNL, it would be extremely useful.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Nice place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Geological Postdoctoral Fellow  in  Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Geological Postdoctoral Fellow in Berkeley, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A good place to start a career with nice salary, good benefit package, and prestigious name. It is possible to participate in some big research projects and get some really good publications.

    Cons

    Postdoc is really low in the food chain. Even for senior members, they have quite some pressures to get funded to cover their salaries. Therefore, you are pretty much on your own to get the job done. Senior members don't have much time to give guidance on your projects as in Universities. The direction of research projects changes a lot really depending on the DOE funds. Therefore, you might work on different projects. Some might fit your background and interests, some might not.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too focused on the number of publication, not on the scientific problems. No continuity on funding.

    Recommends
  9.  

    Ok place to work for, but could be so much better if it weren't for politics

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

    I worked at Lawrence Berkeley Lab

    Pros

    Work life balance was great. Some chances for career advancement. Salary was not competitive compared to what other companies had to offer. Ideal place for people starting new families.

    Cons

    Politics. Whether having government shutdowns or politics inside the office where managers play favorites, be prepared for a lot of politics.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Fancy building, Close Collaboration, Cool Science

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Lawrence Berkeley Lab

    Pros

    World-renowned lab, productive research environment,

    Cons

    very competitive, must do very good job to stay

  11.  

    A great opportunity to be introduced to engineering and research as student intern.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Student Assistant  in  Richmond, CA
    Former Employee - Student Assistant in Richmond, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Berkeley Lab as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Chance to participate in exciting research and work with interesting prototype devices.

    Cons

    Working at the Richmond Field station was lonely and isolating and there was no easy access to food on or off campus.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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