NASA Ames Research Center
3.7 of 5 81 reviews
www.arc.nasa.gov Moffet Field, CA 500 to 999 Employees

NASA Ames Research Center Reviews

Updated Jul 8, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 81 reviews

                             

87% Approve of the CEO

NASA Ames Research Center Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr.

Charles F. Bolden, Jr.

(30 ratings)

73% of employees recommend this company to a friend
81 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Smart people with a good work/life balance"
    in 7 reviews
  • "Relatively calm work environment"
    in 7 reviews
Cons:
  • "Some civil servants lack accountability, abuse their seniority and take advantage of the fact that they cannot "lose" their job"
    in 5 reviews
  • "The salary is not comparable to other employers in Silicon Valley, and for people without US citizenship even going around the campus is challenging"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    It was a great way to get my first engineering project experience, I learned a lot on how to work with a team.

    Electrical Engineer (Former Employee)
    Mountain View, CA

    ProsAdvisers help you a lot, the culture at NASA is friendly, people are there to learn rather than make money.

    ConsTraffic at Ames was a challenge from 101, the happy hour was distracting.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHave some outside shuttle services, continue encouraging learning through colloquiums.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Pleasant and positive summer internship experience.

    Graduate Intern (Former Employee)
    Mountain View, CA

    ProsAs a student intern at a NASA facility, the point is to immerse yourself in various meetings, tours, and groups around the installation. Yes, you have a job to do, but that job may or may not be the most important thing you pull out of your internship experience. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to the professionals and civil servants and diligently did what I could in my assigned project with variables both within and out of my control.

    ConsAs an intern, there might be a risk that the end result is not something to brag home about. But that's not the point.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Bored to death

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsEasy, slow, no pressure, easy to take long vacation, no micro managing.

    Consso bored, nothing to do! old facilities and building, dirty.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInject energy, speed up the work.

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    Great place to work

    Electrical Engineer (Current Employee)
    Mountain View, CA

    ProsYou learn a ton, great area of California, amazing projects to work on. Compensation is fair and leadership is truly there to help you and the project you are on meet and exceed goals and expectations. There is rarely a day where you feel like you're not doing anything short of amazing.

    Conslots of unspoken 'politics' within NASA; government budget cuts

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    important & challenging problems; freedom to be creative; incredible support for continuing education; pay is not great

    Research Aerospace Engineer (Current Employee)
    Mountain View, CA

    ProsI work on air traffic management research, which is fascinating and important stuff that you can't work on in many other places. Given lots of freedom to try explore new approaches. Stable employment - not hard to get the equivalent of tenure. They support me to do grad school part-time at Stanford, which has been a blast. Good benefits. Awesome work-life balance. Very understanding/supportive of parents.

    ConsIn the area I work (air traffic management) it is difficult to actually change the system. Not really NASA's fault, but still a bummer.

    Pay is not great, and promotions hard to come by at higher levels.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the support for continuing education

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    good research experience, bad funding situation

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Proswork life balance, flexible work time, ability to set research goals.

    Consconstantly changing goals and funding issues

    Advice to Senior Managementtake inputs from researchers

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    Explore the universe and save fuel.

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    Moffett Field, CA

    ProsTop notch research scientists team with industry experts to lead the nation's innovations in air and space travel.

    ConsConstant fight for resources, Congress under funds programs but creates unfunded mandates. Lackluster professional development, rampant Balkanization, islands of specialization.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement has a really tough job keeping up morale in a time of shrinkage. Encourage open source use and contribution, actively hand out software products.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Overrated

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsNumber one thing going for Ames and NASA in general is the variety of interesting projects that you don't find at other organizations. If you've been working here for a while you have lots of flexibility to work on roles outside your comfort zone. If you're a space buff this is definitely a place to work, at least for a while.

    ConsSome may consider the laid back atmosphere a pro, but in my opinion the organization could be SO much more if the culture was more vibrant. The compensation is definitely lower than industry. As with any big organization, there are lots of unjustified promotions based on politics rather than ability. If you're interested in developing your technical skills to be industry-ready, this is probably not the place for you.

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    Great place to work at

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsJob hours are very decent, people are just amazing, always smiling and not stressing out. NASA is still a charming place to work in, and you can make a difference in different fields of aeronautics and space research

    ConsThe salary is not comparable to other employers in Silicon Valley, and for people without US citizenship even going around the campus is challenging.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Low pressure with low pay slowing sailing toward unknown destination

    Contractor (Former Employee)

    ProsLow pressure/low stress environment
    Decent job security as long as congress passes a budget
    Impressive resume builder
    Every once in a while you will get to work with extremely talented individuals

    ConsToo easy to fall into complacency
    Vague accountability for progress and facility
    Zero perks - paid for our own filtered water and coffee.
    Department direction unknown

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide a clear and concise goal for entire team.
    Budget for training will lower turnover and improve employee quality
    Make decisions on what is good for the team and not a favorite individual

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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