Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated June 27, 2015
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3.7
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Los Alamos National Laboratory Director & President Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
55 Ratings

Pros
  • Multidisciplinary environment, good work-life balance and great benefits (in 11 reviews)

  • Good pay and benefits, however culture has shifted over the years (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • I've seen that the small-town mentality can diminish some goals and passion of employees (in 9 reviews)

  • The amount of red tape is incredible (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

125 Employee Reviews

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  1. Research Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - R&D Engineer in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - R&D Engineer in Los Alamos, NM

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart, interesting people. Wonderful location. Many different opportunities.

    Cons

    Government red tape. Contract management company.


  2. Nasty cruft with a delicious gooey center

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Amazing people, the best at what they do in physics, material science, chemistry, biology, and computer science.

    Cons

    Government bureaucracy -- it could take you two weeks to get running on a LANL computer. It could take even longer to get accounts for the high performance computers. But once you're up in running, you're running faster than anywhere in the world.

    There's a lot of annoying training, rules, and regulations.

    Advice to Management

    Try to speed up the start up process a bit -- especially for new hires.


  3. Good place to work if you want to live in a small town

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Los Alamos, NM

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Good salary and benefits. Los Alamos is a nice place to live if you like quietness. If you have a very active nightlife, this place would be boring to you.

    Cons

    Los Alamos is a small town so if you have a stay-at-home spouse, there is not much to do. Well, unless you have a bunch of kids to take care of. If that is the case, Los Alamos is a good place to raise kids.

    Advice to Management

    When dealing with Postdocs, be honest regarding future hiring opportunities. Sometimes it is better simply ignore all the promises and look for job opportunities elsewhere.


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


  5. Average Workplace

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CSP III in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - CSP III in Los Alamos, NM

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

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

    Pros

    Pay is Fair. Team players don't always get treated right.

    Cons

    Politics, Politics. Not cutting edge tech.


  6. Programming @LANL

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer III in Albuquerque, NM
    Former Employee - Software Developer III in Albuquerque, NM

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Interesting work choices, interesting people.

    Cons

    Long commute, Los Alamos is boring if you choose to live there.

    Advice to Management

    Support from management can be hard to come by.


  7. LANL Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Business Analyst in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Financial Business Analyst in Los Alamos, NM

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent Benefits and salary for the area.

    Cons

    Not much room to advance and middle management.

    Advice to Management

    Needs Leadership Skills


  8. Hundreds of opportunities, little guidance

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    LANL is full of projects in dozens of different fields - if you hustle and focus on personal professional development, you really do have the chance to work on almost anything you want (within reason). The rank-and-file here tend to be open and egalitarian.

    Cons

    Management hasn't been able to decide once and for all if they are a research lab or a company, and we have too many layers of management and bureaucracy.

    Advice to Management

    Drop two layers of management, and identify areas where we can be more risk-acceptant.


  9. Staff Scientist

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits package, great climate, good scientific reputation, flexible work schedule.

    Cons

    Geographically isolated in a state that is (relatively) sparsely populated. Raising a family in Los Alamos quite often involves much commuting to cities like Santa Fe and Albuquerque to participate, e.g. sports.
    The town of Los Alamos lacks many modern day conveniences that you could typically find in another US town of comparable size. Before the 2014 opening of the "mega-Smiths", a very typical Saturday was spent (wasting) the entire day driving to Santa Fe to find Target/TJ's/Ross/Walmart/Lowes/restaurants - stores that other US cities of comparable size have.

    Advice to Management

    Scientifically: Great, keep up the good work.
    Socially/Economically: Move all LANL function out of the townsite, and onto LANL property south of the bridge, allowing for a downtown that will eventually normalize to competitive rent prices more in line with the rest of the US, eventually enabling more family friendly business to eventually develop (after the market equilibrates).


  10. Helpful (1)

    research associate

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    People are friendly in the lab. Natural environment is nice. Pay is good for postdoc research associate. You can get various training.

    Cons

    Working pace is actually a little bit slower due to various regulations. It takes me one and half months to get all the training courses finished.


  11. Great experience!

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The materials team collaborates well, pursues relevant science and technology, and has extensive laboratory resources. The work-life balance is exceptional, and the work is rewarding.

    Cons

    My experience was very positive. I have heard from others on the team that the overhead burden makes it challenging to be successful on cost competitive projects.

    Advice to Management

    It would be very helpful to continue to identify ways to reduce the overhead burden to make technical teams more cost competitive.



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