Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated August 1, 2015
180 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
Employment Status

Reset

180 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (4)

    I could do better on the outside

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

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


  2. Helpful (1)

    If only the pension still applied

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you were hired before the contract transition to private sector management, the pension makes everything worthwhile.

    Cons

    If you were hired after the transition, the deal isn't so good. A small 401K match is pretty much it, with some years with no raise at all, other years a 2% increase.

    Advice to Management

    The value proposition for younger employees needs a boost.


  3. Helpful (3)

    A changing lab

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

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


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (2)

    Software Engineer

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Full of challenges, management gives you a wide latitude to research and deliver solutions. You are treated like a highly trained individual, not a 'cog in the machine'. Good work/like balance for people with families. Working in Livermore means you can find a lot of affordable housing (example: Tracy, $300k houses, 20 miles east of lab).

    Cons

    Salaries are not very competitive once an employee grows their skills and responsibilities into a senior software engineer/architecture role. Your salary will typically rise to the average salary level, then plateau. This is good for people that want a stable, 40 hour job, and are more focused on their family, but frustrating for someone that is ambitious.

    Advice to Management

    The salary ranking system for computer scientists constrains the size of raises that new, ambitious, hard working employees can get. I've seen this result in newer computer science employees learning a tremendous amount at the lab in their first few years, then getting disillusioned at the 3-5% raises they get. Facebook or Google is usually thrilled to offer them a 30% higher salary and grab them after we've done such a great job turning them into a highly skilled HPC software engineer. I think these issues are common across the DOE and other government labs. It's just exasperated because we're located net to Silicon Valley, a highly competitive area.

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Aug 28, 2014

    Thank you for taking the time to share this. We view compensation as a critical issue and will make a point of sharing your input with senior management.


  6. Helpful (4)

    Wonderful place to work. Best of the DOE national laboratories

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Absolutely wonderful location in the San Francisco bay area, RELATIVELY affordable to live near by (in Livermore), and lots of opportunities to work on really unique and interesting projects. The people you meet there are absolutely the best part about working at a DOE national lab. Lots of employee activities through the abundant networking groups.

    Cons

    Lots of regulations and rules to follow. Compensation is very slow to respond to added responsibility. And if you have to deal with Washington DC, the politics might be more than some people can handle.

    Advice to Management

    Try to find what people are good at and focus them on that. Too many good scientists are bad managers. Promotion to management should be because of management aptitude, not because of technical achievement.


  7. Helpful (2)

    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.


  8. Helpful (4)

    There are no career opportunities here for computer software developers.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


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

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

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

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Budget issues, lack of communication, some management


  10. Helpful (3)

    Engineer

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    diversify.


  11. Helpful (1)

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

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    Think outside the box more. Hold managers more accountable.



Showing 180 of 196 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

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