Los Alamos National Laboratory

  www.lanl.gov
  www.lanl.gov
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Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated September 15, 2014
Updated September 15, 2014
107 Reviews
3.4
107 Reviews
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Los Alamos National Laboratory Director & President Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
43 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fantastic work life balance, secure and stable funding in most areas (in 10 reviews)

  • Good pay and some of the benefits (in 10 reviews)


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

  • Upper management lost in terms of helping the employee (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    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
  2.  

    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 for 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
  3.  

    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 for 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
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  5. 2 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 for 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
  6. 3 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 for 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
  7. 1 person 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 for 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
  8.  

    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

  9.  

    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 for 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
  10.  

    Aging dinosaur

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Basic science and engineering research benefits from an extremely large nuclear weapons budget, the chaff, of which, provides opportunity for the industrious researcher to pursue independent avenues of study. There are a number of large facilities, e.g. Roadrunner, LANSCE, WNR, and DAHRT, which provide the primary unique capabilities that Los Alamos National Laboratory has to offer.

    Cons

    The mission of Los Alamos is to manage the Nuclear Weapons Stockpile. This is primarily an engineering and manufacturing activity, and this is reflected in the high level management structure. All resources and policies pertaining to risk management, compliance, security, personnel management, etc. derive from the Mission organizations and are pushed out into the supplicant Capability and Support organizations without consideration for their applicability. The Lab also has a bloated, senior level (Associate Director and above) focused, bureaucratic structure, where all authority resides. Mid-level management (Division and Group Leader) are left to mete out compliance and discipline policies, and the occasional 2% raise, thereby resulting a relatively poor morale environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Los Alamos Review

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay and some of the benefits.

    Cons

    Lack of concern for employees. Major accident after major accident and management doesn't seem to care or to learn from the repeated mistakes. Retirement is geared around forcing people to work to age 65. not for time of service. Housing in the local area is hard to find.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start protecting the whistle blower and people that are willing to stand up and say stop work and not punish them. Which include termination. New upper management comes in stirs the lower management to correct the issue that caused the issues in the first place. The same problem manager just stay in their jobs or find others. sometimes higher in the management chain. Just because you have a degree does not mean you can lead or manage people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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