Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

  www.llnl.gov
  www.llnl.gov

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated December 16, 2014
Updated December 16, 2014
174 Reviews
3.7
174 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Bill Goldstein
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The Lab also encourages work/life balance far more than almost any other comparable job (in 28 reviews)

  • There are a lot of smart people working there - lots of higher degrees (masters & Ph (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • Beware: you will drown in red tape which comes first over science (in 13 reviews)

  • Slow to change because of older employee base but they are changing (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Usually no reasonable limit to project funding. Store is very well stocked. Compensation and Time off comparable to industry.

    Cons

    Compensation and Time off comparable to industry.

  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    I could do better on the outside

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I've worked here for more than 20 years.
    The pay is just ok. I could get more on the outside.
    Benefits are ok but I actually have my benefits through my spouse now with an outside business because they are better.
    The main reason I stay is I'm close to my small children and I do have the flexibility to do things with them.
    I really like the people I work with but find management doesn't have a clue what they are doing and they treat employee's poor. You might be a great scientist but stink as a manager.
    The Matrix system is really nice and I've been given the opportunity to work all over the lab on different projects. If funding goes away you can usually find something within a month instead of being laid off.

    Cons

    During the UC days it was great. We knew pay was better on the outside but we had a company mentality and wanted to retire here. Now new people come in and then head off to Google or Yahoo for lots more money. Scientists don't make good mangers. In all my years I can think of only 2 or 3 people I felt were great managers and one got pushed out of management for not drinking the management Kool Aid.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the PADS and listen to your worker bees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    A changing lab

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Scientist in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    LLNL rewards people whose work aligns well with the laboratories programs, particularly if theyre successful in starting new programs

    Cons

    Science is no longer the prime motivation of the laboratory, and often the individuals best able to fund new programs are not the most competent

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide an internal review system to ensure that quality proposals are being submitted to sponsors

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    There are no career opportunities here for computer software developers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Lots of unique computer resources available. Livermore and the surrounding area is a nice place to live meaning minimal or no commute. The work here covers a wide range of topics so it is relatively easy to move between projects.

    Cons

    The working conditions are horrific. Buildings and offices are unmaintained and uninhabitable. If you are a software developer you will spend all of your time cleaning up ill conceived code written by PhD Physicists. Software professionals are not given control of the development of major codes. Hence, the opportunities for advancement or even for visibility of a computer software developer are extremely limited. For the past 5-10 years the Lab has been rudderless. There is no clearly articulated vision or direction. As a result the Lab has been on an accelerating downward trajectory. The layers of management and stifling bureaucracy make getting even the most mundane things done a major effort. I have personally needed to walk 1/2 mile to find a functioning color printer. The performance review process is more or a beauty pagent than a real performance review. There is little connection between one's ranking and ones productivity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value the people who are doing the real work here. It's high time that software and the professionals who develop it are valued, recognized, and given control of software development. The Lab's posters tout that the Lab promises "a first class work environment to our employees". In fact the work environment here is third world. The office conditions are shameful. How do you expect to attract or even keep talent when your employees are forced to work in buildings with completely non-functional facilities? The Lab desperately needs a vision and direction. I'm not talking about a cute slogan but a real vision for growth and how to achieve that growth. In particular how does the Lab become competitive in the real world. Our cost structure is so out of line with the real world that we can not compete. This fact has been recognized for some time but nothing is ever done to address it. Finally, the Lab is fundamentally broken. Lots of fundamentally broken organizations have turned themselves around but that requires recognition that things are broken and a will to fix it. Currently the Lab has neither. In fact the opaque, multi-layered management structure here has institutionalized everything that is broken.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good respectful working environment. Grea for R&D work. Perfect for engineers and scientists.

    Cons

    Somewhat inflexible sometimes: Too much red tape.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seek and consider new ideas.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Had a good 13 years there as an admin. Not much growth opportunity in that area, though. Great if your a scientist.

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

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Compensation, Benefits, Retirement, work-life balance, paid vacation

    Cons

    Budget issues, lack of communication, some management

    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Engineer

    • 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 Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    No stress work place, lots of intelligence people

    Cons

    if yuor not in the inner circle you're not going up, too many managers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    diversify.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Smart people, lots of bureaucracy and reluctance for new process

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, friendly environment, interesting projects

    Cons

    People are reluctant to learn new technologies. Lots of lifers with limited exposure to current trends and practices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to employees, realize that pedigree doesn't always trump innovation and outside experience

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good work-life balance with limited career advancement opportunities on the administrative side of the organization.

    • 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 Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Decent salaries and benefits. Work can be exciting if you are a scientist.

    Cons

    Very bureaucratic. As a government contractor constrained by congressional budget.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think outside the box more. Hold managers more accountable.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    World-class research and development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Regulatory Compliance Analyst in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Regulatory Compliance Analyst in Livermore, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with brilliant scientists and engineers

    Cons

    As a federal government contractor, there are many bureaucratic procedures

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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