Orbital Sciences Reviews

Updated October 7, 2014
Updated October 7, 2014
141 Reviews
3.4
141 Reviews
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Orbital Sciences Chairman and CEO David W. Thompson
David W. Thompson
90 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Challenging and interesting work in a high tech environment (in 10 reviews)

  • Flexible work hours and good benefits (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • It can sometimes be hard to maintain healthy work/life balance, it just depends on the number of active contracts (feast or famine) (in 9 reviews)

  • Demanding company, long hours with no recognition (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place for a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Engineering in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Engineering in Dulles, VA

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I feel valued here, am given a great deal of latitude and trust, the company has a pretty strong benefits package, but perhaps most importantly the work is almost always challenging and cutting edge. I'm amazed at the projects I've been able to be involved in over my 10+ years here, and I expect more after the upcoming merger.

    Cons

    In many areas Orbital is still trying to find a balance between being a small company and competing with the big boys, while at the same time trying to adjust to new competition and cost challenges. This occasionally leads to unclear or conflicting direction from upper management.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Crushing schedules, demoralizing work environment, low raises, and little opportunity for advancement...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Sterling, VA
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Sterling, VA

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Talented, intelligent, skilled coworkers. Much of the work is interesting and challenging. Shift differential pay for non-prime shifts. Good quality housing for employees on launch campaigns. Most employees outside of Tech Ops have private or semi-private offices. Benefits are competitive.

    Cons

    Quality of work life varies tremendously depending on the department you are in (as can be seen by the disparate reviews here). Engineers in Tech Ops typically work in small, noisy, dilapidated cubicles, sometimes sharing those cubicles with two or even three three other engineers. Tech Ops is run like a blue-collar factory with management more focused on assigning blame and taking punitive actions rather than rewarding people for jobs well done.

    Raises are embarrassingly low and seemingly unrelated to performance appraisals, especially for over-40 employees. Promotions, which are rare, are often based on cronyism rather than skills and performance. Management provides little guidance as to what is necessary to advance within the organization.

    Employees are often worked to the point of exhaustion to meet unrealistic deadlines. When contract incentives are won, top program management collects *very* generous bonuses, while those who worked so hard might get a treated to a buffet-style lunch or a few hundred dollars (after months of work).

    Employees on launch campaigns spend weeks or even months on the road while travel policies become ever worse, such as per-diem being cut to 70% of government rates. That kind of miserly policy speaks volumes about how little they care about the employees.

    Management's obsession with time cards, mindless, seemingly endless, online "training" courses, and producing meaningless metrics is maddening.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start factoring staff morale into the raises and promotions of supervisors; lower morale should mean lower raises and less chance for promotions for the responsible supervisors (sort of the reverse of how it works now).

    Give people raises that reflect the cost of living and their increased value to the company as they gain knowledge and experience.

    Provide employees with accurate, annual assessments of what they need to do to advance their careers.

    Share contract performance incentives by giving substantial bonuses to the employees doing the actual work.

    Hire a firm to perform anonymous employee satisfaction surveys. Actually pay attention to the results and take corrective actions.

    Upgrade the Satellite Manufacturing Facility. Replace the cubicles with offices. Put in new carpeting. Paint doors, handrails, walls, and everywhere else the paint is damaged or worn off. Upgrade restrooms. Take down the intelligence-insulting signs. Make it a pleasant, professional place to work.

    Recognize that there is often 24/7 staffing in the Satellite Manufacturing Facility. That means you need night-time janitorial and building services. You need an inclement weather policy for second and third shift. You can't have someone work from 11PM until 8AM and then tell them that they have a mandatory meeting at 1PM.

    Get rid of demoralizing policies such as reduced per-diem rates. If you want to save money, don't do it on the backs of the employees; find ways to cut capital equipment costs, equipment lease costs, and costs for services.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Orbital Science Corp in Chandler, AZ
    Current Employee - Orbital Science Corp in Chandler, AZ

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The management is very understanding and flexible with your hours. You can work from home in case you have an emergency, especially if you have kids. The starting pay is not bad. Great benefits so far. Friendly people

    Cons

    They give you a raise every year but not that much! It's better than nothing!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I suggest to hire enough people.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Overall a great company to work for in the Space Industry.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Dulles, VA

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits and vacation package. Able to work into new and upper positions. Get to work on the entire system and not just one aspect of the design.

    Cons

    Program management varies from Program to Program and can change the entire nature of the Project. No sick days, need to use your vacation days.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    A midsized aerospace company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Dulles, VA
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Dulles, VA

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Orbital has traditionally compensated it's employees well. Technology is pretty good and campus life seems active.

    Cons

    Management structure too heavy for this size company limiting its ability to maneuver. Moves too slow to be effective in the market space.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ask, what is the value add to all the management layers?

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Excellent technical staff

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

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    excellent growth opportunities. great working environment, opportunity to work with space hardware.

    Cons

    short project duration. office , lab space not optimal.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Engineering Intern

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

    I worked at Orbital Sciences as an intern

    Pros

    Decent pay, interesting industry, lots of meetings with food

    Cons

    obsessive about time sheets to the point of madness

  9.  

    Great company, interesting work

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

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Location, salary, benefits, interesting work.

    Cons

    Culture is tough, engineers tend to be narrow minded people, they need to think outside the box sometimes.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging workforce

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Chandler, AZ
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Chandler, AZ

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    When I was offered a position with Orbital Sciences I eagerly accepted it with enthusiasm and motivation. I had followed Orbital as a company for several years and was excited to be granted the opportunity to work for them. Some of the pros of working for Orbital were that the benefits were good and it offered an acceptable work/ life balance. Overall Orbital instilled good company cultural, and the majority of the people/ departments I came in contact with acted with professionalism.

    Cons

    The biggest challenge I faced when employed with Orbital was in my own department. Within the first two months of employment it became abundantly clear that my core department was that of an environment of "Good ol' Boys". Despite the distressing atmosphere I made every effort to maintain professional composure while working to the best of my abilities. However, it is very telling when the HR department makes the statement to you, "They are either intimidated by you or they do not like women". Ultimately I left the company because it became obvious that those engaged in the cronyism was not going to change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Take time to evaluate the undertones of your department. Listen with fairness to all of your direct reports, regardless of their level of position. These individuals are in the "environment" and can speak to the environmental makeup.
    2. Understand if the individual you have placed in authority has the leadership skills to fulfill the role.
    3. Show caution and be attuned to the "Good ol' Boys Networks". Such behavior can lead to biasness and potentially cause a department/ company to lose good employees while those that those employees of lesser quality remain.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Nice experience

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Most of your peers are talented, challenging work, good food in the Orbiteria and great medical/dental benefits.

    Cons

    Overkill on some processes which are redundant, time consuming, waste of resources and repetitive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Streamline your processes to avoid overlaps.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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