Oak Ridge National Laboratory Reviews

Updated June 30, 2015
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3.9
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Oak Ridge National Laboratory Laboratory Director Thom Mason
Thom Mason
32 Ratings

Pros
  • Smart people doing work that is important to the nation (in 7 reviews)

  • Low cost of living, decent restaurants, entertainment, etc (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Most scientists are doing R&D works and writing proposals rather than focusing on scientific research (in 3 reviews)

  • Government bureaucracy/red-tape, ORNL regulations, and tough-to-come-by funding made doing research difficult sometimes (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

88 Employee Reviews

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  1. postdoctoral researcher

    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Oak Ridge, TN
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Oak Ridge, TN

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

    Pros

    world class facility, multidisciplinary team, collaborative environment, open communication, innovative environment,

    Cons

    need to devote 50% time to user project,


  2. Variety and opportunity

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Systems Engineer in Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - Computer Systems Engineer in Knoxville, TN

    I have been working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    * Diverse, smart and passionate staff from all over the world
    * Large, beautiful campus
    * Many interesting programs/projects to contribute to
    * Many opportunities to collaborate outside one's own group
    * Showing initiative / being creative is often rewarded
    * Access to state of the art technology
    * The region offers low cost of living / high quality of life

    Cons

    Being a government lab, even an innovative one, there is still some bureaucracy/administrivia that one may not find in corporate environments. This concern may only apply to those who have the choice of working in either environment (e.g, technical professionals or scientists with skills that commercial orgs are interested in).

    While salaries for some positions are competitive on a national scale, others are adjusted to a more regional cost of living. This can be frustrating for someone relocating from a higher cost of living area.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to innovate in computing offerings as well as business processes


  3. HERE intern

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Internship in Golden, CO
    Former Employee - Internship in Golden, CO

    I worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Many motivated people to work with, nice facilities, everyone was very helpful

    Cons

    Hard to get a job unless you have your Masters degree or PH.D


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. ORNL review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Omaha, NE
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Omaha, NE

    I worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good pay for research scientist.

    Cons

    few chance to get promoted.


  6. Post-Doc Researcher

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

    I have been working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Clean friendly place to work.

    Cons

    Parking becomes difficult in the summer months.


  7. Great multi-disciplinary research facility

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in Oak Ridge, TN
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in Oak Ridge, TN

    I have been working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with experts in a wide variety of research fields. Well respected in the research community. Good pay and flexible work hours. Major campus modernization effort has given it a university feel. Large community engagement focus, including United Way, STEM education, etc.

    Cons

    Government organization which brings some red tape that makes things move slower than you'd like sometimes.


  8. Uncertain

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Optimistic Software Developer in Oak Ridge, TN
    Former Employee - Optimistic Software Developer in Oak Ridge, TN

    I worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    University atmosphere
    pay is close to market
    not a bad place to research or just cruise during a career

    Cons

    Too many "lifers"; hard to move up the ladder

    Advice to Management

    Don't let IT people leave for 45% raises 8 miles away


  9. good place, solid national lab

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - good work hours, work-family balance, nice people
    - practical place with strong infrastructure, so all kind of things can get done
    - expertise in nuclear, neutrons, supercomputing, materials is really impressive

    Cons

    funding/politics is always an art, and always difficult
    patience is required, as things can move slowly
    government lab rules/procedures can be frustrating


  10. Conducive Research Environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oak Ridge, TN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oak Ridge, TN

    I worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Everyone is friendly and sharp. The pay and compensation is fair. You'll have more than enough resources to accomplish your tasks/

    Cons

    Outside of ORNL, there wasn't much to do if you weren't into the outdoors. It won't necessarily be attractive to those looking for a cosmopolitan environment.


  11. Got to Be a Better Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Oak Ridge, TN
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Oak Ridge, TN

    I worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Since they are funded by Federal Government they wont be going bankrupt anytime soon.
    Even though the campus extends over miles and miles with many buildings, they have their own taxi service when you need to go to other buildings.
    They also have their own fire department right on the campus, so when someone has an explosion in a lab help gets there quickly.
    They assign devices for the employee to wear in order to monitor your radiation exposure monthly to be sure you are not getting more than whats considered safe.

    Cons

    If the project you are hired for ceases to receive funding for continuation you are out of work. You, along with sometimes 30 or more others, can apply for available positions with new projects but you never know how long each project may last.
    You have to wonder how long you can continuously receive a safe amount of radiation before it is no longer safe.

    Advice to Management

    Try not to treat your employees as expendable commodities.



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