Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated February 23, 2015
Updated February 23, 2015
130 Reviews
3.7
130 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
Los Alamos National Laboratory Director & President Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
54 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fantastic work life balance, secure and stable funding in most areas (in 11 reviews)

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


Cons
  • Located in a remote, small town (may be a plus, depending on your preferences) (in 9 reviews)

  • too much red tape, bloated management, oversight and mistrust (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Very disorganized place

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

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Decent salary. Great benefits

    Cons

    Terrible people. I was always watched by pretty much everyone. They did not trust co-workers. My bosses did not like me from day 1. Too many strange and complicated policies. If I complain, they always say "if you don't like here, just leave!".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect employees who are doing the hardest work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Los Alamos lab should be avoided.

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

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits. however retirement is age based more then time in service. The pay is better then what is available in the area, so people tend to stay, remain quiet and hope for the best.

    Cons

    Lack of commitment from management for safety. repeated people getting injured or near misses and hollow words to make improvement. firing people that speak out for safety.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    change the way you do business, before DOE shuts you down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Going downhill...

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

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

    Pros

    Used to have a campus environment, but now is corporate.

    Cons

    Most of the qualifications held are self - made for management positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Follow national standards in all technical and managerial positions. Stop allowing old timers to invent their own position with lax quals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    pretty bad

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

    Pros

    science is very good, interesting work

    Cons

    too much red tape, bloated management, oversight and mistrust. The place could never do a Manhatten project again. After private company took over, number of senior managers (associate directors and higher)
    went from 7 to 23

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    reduce management by half. Reduce paperwork.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Sexist old white men scientists; now a workplace full of c students from third tier universities, if that.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Staff Member (TSM) in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Technical Staff Member (TSM) in Los Alamos, NM

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    If you like to mountain bike, road bike, hike, camp, ice skate, swim at 7200' elevation, rock climb, run, x-c or downhill ski, this is the place to be!

    Cons

    Racist, incompetent, sexist managers; pointless research opportunities that imprison one to work in nuclear bomb research one's entire career (get out asap or you'll never get another good research job at a decent university); lip service only to safety; endless red tape and 'training;' worst joband place to work I have ever experienced. Everyone I know who still works there is staying because of benefits and salary and are counting the days to retirement. Due to Q clearances, people don't get the psch help needed;lots of DV, drinking, stress, anxiety.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote people to management who actually have skills to do the job; do not promote scientists who have written grants and secured tons of funding for reasearh to management positions.

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

    A highly dysfunctional, poorly managed organization with its best science & engineering in the past.

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

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

    Pros

    New Mexico is great! Los Alamos is a historical place. Superb climate.

    Cons

    No longer strong in science and engineering; mostly just an outrageously overpriced "Beltway Bandit" type organization that does government services and environmental cleanup. Many scientists and engineers have left or been laid off. Has been poorly managed for many years, but things seem to be getting worse. Plagued with severe misogyny, integrity deficiencies, waste & bureaucracy, two many pointless layers of management, many poor supervisors and managers (stupid, incompetent, control freaks, bullies, mental ill, or some combination), an HR “Department” that is belligerent and sadistic beyond belief, and even pockets of racism. The town used to be quite beautiful, but two major wild fires plus inept county management have made it ugly. The town is isolated, dysfunctional, unfriendly, mean, boring, and kind of creepy. Lots of skin and eye damage due to uv at altitude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    LANL has no future and the U.S. does not need 3 nuclear weapons labs. Close up shop, clean things up, leave, and go find something you are actually good at doing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Laid back federal organization with outdated research esp in biological sciences

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

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good salary, excellent work-life balance. Flex hours and with schedule like 9/80, one can spend lot of time with family!

    Cons

    Poor growth opportunities, promotions driven more by whom-you-know than how-good-you-have performed! Outdated research! Not much exciting projects especially in biosciences.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote research by rewarding good scientific publications; promote developing new processes and acquire key patents!

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

    Unproductive work environment -- unstable funding and poor management led to poor project completion.

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

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Possibility of doing physics research which cannot be done elsewhere.

    Cons

    Poor management at many levels, and chaotic priorities arising from unstable funding.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dismal morale could be slightly improved by empowering scientists to do work. Much of management activity is focused on hindering work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Can be a good place, my experience is horrible

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Pros

    Multidisciplinary environment, good work-life balance and great benefits

    Cons

    Poor career opportunity and career growth

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Hard conversion from private industry to government R&D.

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

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

    Pros

    A lot of people diligently working on tasks passionate to them

    Cons

    The cold war is over and so is the interest and need of much of this laboratory. It is apparent in the 30+ year-old decrepit buildings and projects the workforce is dealing with. Morale is low, future uncertain.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Los Alamos National Laboratory Photos

NSSB - Main Admin Building for the Lab
NSSB, Tech Area 3

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