Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated August 26, 2015
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137 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    It's a job not a Career.

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

    Pros

    Good befits, plenty of work

    Cons

    Low moral, not very many advancement opportunities, manager leadership is nonexistent.


  2. Not too bad for a government contractor/facility

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Procurement Specialist in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Procurement Specialist in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The pay and benefits are generally good. The work expectations are not overwhelming compared to some commercial companies.

    Cons

    Being a government facility with extensive DOE oversight, it is a bureaucratic place. There isn't the consistency of focus on the business side as there is in the private sector but being a scientific institution that's probably expected. The place can be fairly arbitrary with regard to equality in opportunities and compensation - they don't follow their published policies and procedures.

    Advice to Management

    Be more consistent and less cliquish with respect to employee opportunities and compensation.


  3. Good company for long-term career in R&D

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

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

    Pros

    Ability to do cross-disciplinary work on important national security problems. Ability to interacts with a lot of really smart people in a range of scientific disciplines. Pays well. Great outdoor opportunities.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy and paperwork required to 'get things done' have increased significantly in last few years. Cost of doing business is too high.

    Advice to Management

    Really focus on cutting back on burdensome requirements; this would result in less of a need for oversight (and overhead funded) staff and would hence reduce costs.


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  5. Rewarding and interesting

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design Specialist in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Design Specialist in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great opportunities, a lot of new science

    Cons

    mid and upper level management

    Advice to Management

    Let those who know do, shape up or leave.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Stable employment, but low satisfaction and morale

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

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

    Pros

    LANL is a long-time employer in the region and jobs tend to turn into careers. There are lots of opportunities for variety and enrichment for the very motivated. Salaries tend to be higher than market for similar work. Technical projects are beyond anything available in the commercial sector, which has both positive and negative aspects. When funding is available, work is very satisfying and challenging. The region is absolutely gorgeous, and much of the property is essentially wild. Several locations are remote, with the drives passing through or next to national parks areas. Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities. The community is somewhat small, but attempting to grow.

    Cons

    Business decisions are almost always driven by office politics and personality; the 'good old boy' network is still going strong. A few years ago, the company transitioned to a 'for profit' status, but the management environment seems not to understand what that means - the vast majority of middle managers are promoted from internal technical positions without external commercial experience. Individual success seems less based on achievement than acquaintance, with many actions taken based on perception rather than fact. Technical merits are given a backseat to marketing. Working on the most interesting technical problems tends to lock you in to the enterprise, as most results and even scope of work can not be communicated outside a classified environment. This is severely limiting. Finally, morale has hit bottom and begun to dig. Fraught with management and technical problems, the middle and upper management have seen fit to impose further restrictions on the work force in the form of forced work stoppages, increased training that is of little or no use, and compliance issues that make one wonder why we bother working at all.

    Advice to Management

    Several enrichment programs have been suggested but ignored; most of these would dramatically increase worker retention and performance for very little cost. These include cross-training, provisions for team building away from property, engineer swaps & invited brainstorming, and more encouragement for external professional development. The current environment is fearful and antagonistic, with the work force seeking only to sustain, not excel. Drive excellence by promoting excellence rather than mediocrity.


  7. A good place for applied science

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

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

    Pros

    Good colleagues, nice place to live, beautiful setting, good compensation, good job security. Los Alamos is a safe community, and the people are highly educated. The schools are good.

    Cons

    In the past, there was considerably uncertainty to working at the lab because of a string of safety and security issues. Over the past eight or ten years, these problems seem to have subsided. If you are of a very theoretical bent, you might be happier at a University.

    Advice to Management

    No advice. They're doing a good job.


  8. Great place to work in spite of itself

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

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

    Pros

    The benefits are great. Very good healthcare, dental, vacation, holidays and retirement. Plus a really good fitness center with great exercise classes. The Lab has some of the smartest people in the world working there and you can learn things that you can't get elsewhere. There are lots of potential for collaboration to do some really cool science.

    Cons

    There is too much paperwork and bureaucracy. One of the biggest barriers to doing science is the very high overhead.

    Advice to Management

    The management is too focused on weapons research. While that may be where the money is now, there will come a time when that goes away. The Lab needs to diversify its research to tackle other problems related to national security. While there are some efforts at diversification, there isn't much support for program development outside of the Lab's core mission.


  9. Its fun, but kinda slow

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

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

    Pros

    -Friendly people -Interesting projects -Good pay -Beautiful Location

    Cons

    -Bad Location -Can be slow hearing from people in other departments -Can be difficult to locate problems with permissions on computers

    Advice to Management

    - Streamline a way to find who you are looking for within the company, often it is difficult to find the contact info for whom you are looking for. Also the communication between staff and interns is very poor.


  10. Good company

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Provides very good benefits and a stable job.

    Cons

    There is a large amount of bureaucracy - hard for good science to get done quickly.


  11. Los Alamos lab should be avoided.

    • 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

    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 Management

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



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