Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

  www.llnl.gov
  www.llnl.gov

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated October 15, 2014
Updated October 15, 2014
165 Reviews
3.7
165 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Bill Goldstein
21 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The Lab also encourages work/life balance far more than almost any other comparable job (in 27 reviews)

  • There are a lot of smart people working there - lots of higher degrees (masters & Ph (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • It is a government facility, so you have to get used to the red tape (in 11 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  

    Megacorp Policies with Government Regulations

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Good compensation, beautiful campus, interesting things to work on (outside of IT), good (low level) management

    Cons

    Terrible portable buildings for many workers, frustrating and enigmatic security policies, complicated political battles and territorial squabbles, nowhere to go professionally, tendency to offload employees to contractor positions, uncommunicative management, confused technical direction (in IT)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great summer intern opportunity for lots of growth and learning.

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

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The location is amazing, pay is great, people are very friendly, amazing benefits.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, which isn't much of an issue as an intern, but I'm told it gets worse the more you hit it. The secured campus makes it hard for any family to come visit your work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to provide the guidance to interns that you are!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Still a Great Place to Work

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

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

    Pros

    Science in the national interest, worklife balance, love my job!

    Cons

    Salary increases were a challenge because of federal government budget issues

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too much middle management and more need for SME's and individual contributors.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Best job I've had, by far, but still a couple things that frustrate me

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    1) Real purpose. The work we do here isn't to increase revenue by a penny or two. We are literally saving lives.
    2) Challenging. Because our work matters, this place only hires the best, and we all take our jobs very seriously. It's an honor to be among the best, and I regularly find my coworkers pushing me to grow and improve.
    3) Work-life balance. While there are times where I come in early or stay late to complete a project, I am never pressed to make that a practice. Soccer during lunch, great benefits. Massages when I get sore. Plenty of time off.

    Cons

    1) Bureaucratic. It seems to always take longer than expected to get things done. This is my biggest frustration.
    2) Old school mentality. I actually see this changing, so its much less of a con than when I came on board a few years ago. But resistance to change into a 21st century enterprise does still exist in some pockets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward speed and initiative, and embrace change.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    If you like boring nuclear or homeland defense, and want to stress out about accounting, work here...

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

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

    Pros

    When I came here, they appreciated free thinkers and you were encouraged to develop. Now that UC is no longer in charge, its run like a for profit business, but without the understanding of what a for profit business is about.

    Cons

    Some extremely arrogant and unqualified managers (because people interested in science are seldom interested in management, so the worst go into management...)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire managers from outside who have real world experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    life as a contractor on site

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

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    get to work with cutting edge technologies, very intelligent people

    Cons

    too many PhDs without a business minded manager to prioritize and manage projects. Schedules are ever-changing taking away from personal life. No chance to move within the department assigned or the laboratory as a contractor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire real business/project managers to aid in managing the wide array of projects and personalities involved. When everyone has top priority, no one does.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not much interest in publishing

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

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

    Pros

    Salary/benefits, most people I interact with are friendly and very smart, they try and take care of you here, especially postdocs (socially, comments/concerns, etc), travel opportunities

    Cons

    The senior researchers I have been working with do not seem very interested in publishing great science. They are more interested in getting the next grant. I understand because the overhead is so high here, but eventually not doing the science will catch up to you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lower the overhead for basic science research (i.e. not classified work) it costs way too much to do science at this institute.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    May 7, 2014

    We really appreciate this input. Publishing is critical to the Laboratory, and we do put a lot of effort into placing postdocs with mentors who support this. We encourage you to reach out to ... More

  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work with a lot of research and experiments

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sr. Electronics Tech in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Sr. Electronics Tech in Livermore, CA

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

    Pros

    The lab has its up and down but overall it is a very good place to work. Great benefits, good pay and job security. There are a lot of fascinating researches at the lab and funding is somewhat stable considering the economy. I am fortunate to have worked at the lab and learn as much as I did. You can move around from job to different job as well as between organization within the Lab. In summary the Lab is a great place to work and there are all kind of people from every part of the country.

    Cons

    Slow advancement but that is true for all government work. I find it difficult to keep my motivation as it has become more of a grind each day. My desire to learn each day and more development work has become limited and decided to leave. Still it has been a blast working at the lab.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The lab is heading in the right direction. A lot of good management at the top.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots of opportunity, great work life balance, amazing coworkers.

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

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    I worked as an intern during my summer breaks at LLNL and had a great time. There are TONS of opportunities for interns, and you can really learn an amazing amount just in one summer. The staff who take on interns for the summer are over all very supportive and friendly. I always felt like I could go to my adviser if I had any questions about my work.

    Cons

    As with most DOE/government funded institutions, funding is key. Stress level of the management is clear when times are tough, and it is a constant worry for the individuals who do not procure the funding. People tend to get shifted around often, especially in administration. Admins are the first to be let go and are often over worked with mandatory over time, but I do not know that it is any more frequent than outside companies. However, through all the shifting, LLNL is more likely to move you to a different department than to hire someone new since it's less time and money to train a new individual and to have their background cleared.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more clear with with all employees about job security.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Returned to LLNL after working outside government.

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

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

    Pros

    Multiple programs allow specialist to move from one project to another without changing employer. Mission space of National Security is inspiring and relevant. Demographic of current employees means that new hires will have great opportunities to advance as the aging workforce retires.

    Cons

    Conservative corporate culture which is slow to change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase training budget, provide early career employees leadership opportunities, encourage middle level mangers to change or move aside.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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