Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated August 26, 2015
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137 Employee Reviews

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  1. Laid back federal organization with outdated research esp in biological sciences

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Scientist in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Outdated research!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 Management

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


  2. Incredible scientific community with very interesting interdisciplinary projects.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist II in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Scientist II in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Los Alamos is one of the best DOE laboratories to work in science. The major advantage is the comprehensive research that can be done here, since the lab has a lot of infrastructure and expertise in all aspects of science. From theoretical to experimental scientists, the projects enjoy the whole spectrum of scientific endeavor.

    Cons

    One the major obstacles is the burdensome and crippling bureaucracy everywhere in the lab. Additionally, the overhead to bring in new funding is way higher than in many institutions, making it extremely difficult to get grants into the lab.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce management! There are way too many managers, which financially burdens the scientific community at LANL in form of overhead.


  3. My experience depended on which project I worked on.

    Former Employee - Post-Baccalaureate Fellow in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Post-Baccalaureate Fellow in Los Alamos, NM

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

    Pros

    Job depends on where you work.

    Cons

    When landing in a good position, you learn a lot.


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  5. LANL

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    LANL has some very talented staff that does great work.

    Cons

    Talented staff is thwarted by bureaucracy which has increased overhead and decreased performance simultaneously. Rules are not employed uniformed.

    Advice to Management

    Double-dipping was NOT a good idea and has adversely affected people relying on the pension fund.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Like being a kid in a candy store, but you can only choose one candy.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist II in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Scientist II in Los Alamos, NM
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good holiday, vacation and sick leave with mild time flexibility in a small, rocky mountain town. Great ergonomic support, computer monitors and supercomputing opportunities. Many technologies to play with across a broad corporate structure. Significant training opportunities. Engineers and physical scientists are highly valued.

    Cons

    Approved software is greatly restricted. The town is too small and remote for most people, or at least most people's families. The culture values narrow specialists -- to be the best in the world at one small thing. Most people get type cast before they find that one thing they like, and have to stay in their original role. Most of the place runs on software with mild software engineering and a computer science phobia. Computer scientists will be lonely.

    Advice to Management

    High morale leads to hard work and innovation. Boost moral so people return to their late night work habits and world class research publications.


  7. 15+ experience providing R&D and Nuclear Material Support.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits, however culture has shifted over the years. There is opportunity to do some diverse work at LANL, everything from weapons research to bio science.

    Cons

    Support to do real science is often times a hold up. Promotions tend to come by who you know vs what you know.


  8. Geophysics intern

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

    Pros

    Very intelligent people, laid back workplace, 980

    Cons

    Lots of bureaucracy, hard to see things being implemented


  9. Not All It Could Be

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Non-staff in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Technical Non-staff in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good people. Mission oriented. Largely excellent teamwork. Wonderful natural surroundings. If in weapons work there is high job security (says a lot about human nature). Excellent area to raise children.Excellent community services. Lots of bright people. Great weather.

    Cons

    Poor pay and advancement for non-scientists. For-profit management appears to be adding to a perceived decline in worker morale. Dearth of decent restaurants in local area. Local government by well- meaning amateurs, some of whom take themselves too seriously..

    Advice to Management

    Don't kill the Goose for the bonus.


  10. Great place to start a career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Academic freedom, work-life balance, meaningful work, fun people, great work environment, compensation and benefits. People at all levels can contribute in big ways. Great town for families.

    Cons

    Long commute if you don't want to live in Los Alamos. There is relatively little (permanent) new blood. The bureaucracy is so expensive that it is difficult to get external funding for research projects, and if you are an engineer, it is sometimes difficult to win internal funding for research.

    Advice to Management

    Nothing they don't already seem to be considering.


  11. Very good place to work for postdoc

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    LANL is a place where scientific staff members are devoted to supporting the career development of postdocs. Entire career support department and career fair are organized for that purpose. Salary is good and support for travel and purchasing books are excellent.

    Cons

    Bureacractic procedures in usual government organizations. As long as you know how to navigate the system and try to make arrangements ahead of time, this usually is not a big problem.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management takes too much overhead from scientific staffs. For the place to grow, it has to install a system to re-assign old staff members who are not doing research and mainly sitting on internal funding (with the postdocs being the workhorse in those projects). Only then can it free up resources to bring in and keep new talents.



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