Orbital Sciences Reviews

Updated April 16, 2015
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  1. Fun and mostly fair. The benefits rock!

    • 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

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

    Pros

    Everyone is extremely bright. We get to work on a wide variety of cool space stuff (Deep-space spacecraft, telecommunication satellite, NASA projects, National Defense, Ground systems, Launch Vehicles, etc.).

    Cons

    Program management work hard, as you might expect. But, they choose (or perhaps are forced) to run programs to unrealistically short schedules.

    Advice to Management

    Don't make us sign up to unrealistically short schedules. It robs our design space of better and cheaper solutions.

  2. Helpful (2)

    Fun but challenging at times.

    • 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 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The product and people were exciting. There was rewards and recognition by programs.
    There was also some opportunities to create your own job.

    Cons

    If you were effective the hours could be very long and you may be supported/rewarded mainly by program management. There was little or no training or training budget and keeping up with any industry news or advances was mainly done on your own time.
    The communication between levels and in general was poor and any thing which had any budget and was not
    "direct labor" was prone to be cut or minimized. (This does not help long term productivity)

    Advice to Management

    Not enough (or incorrect) experience at senior levels (Directors and mid manager level)
    There are directors and managers who have been put in positions which are either beyond their experience level or who have not had the external (or internal) experience in the specific job to do a good job at directing and improving the areas of responsibility.
    They seem to be more of the answer the boss's questions and not being capable of effectively directing or improvements on their own [yes men].
    There are more junior experienced people who could or have had the experience to run a better organization except they are kept either very busy or not given the "Budget or Time" to improve the situation perpetuated by some current management.
    The senior VP's need to get a true experienced professional staff and not rely on some of the current folks who are beyond their levels of competence.

  3. Helpful (3)

    Not a great experience

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

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    The benefits weren't bad and for me the commute was pretty easy. Launches were a big deal which was pretty cool.

    Cons

    Management and supervisors who did not have the skills or experience to be in those positions. Cliques - I felt like I was back in high school. Rather than use my work experience and skills to the company's advantage I was given busy work that literally bored me to tears. I stayed there less than one year and couldn't have been happier to leave. I was at least the 3rd person in my position in the last several years and management viewed the turnover as the fault of the former employee (and was vocal about those faults) rather than considering that there may be internal problems that need to be addressed.

    Advice to Management

    Don't promote willy-nilly. If a department is experiencing high turn over consider that there could be reasons other than the employees being hired are incompetant and do something about it.

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  5. Satisfyingly close to flying things

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

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

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

    Pros

    I enjoyed the opportunity to work on different projects, and be close to the technical action. People worked well together. Opportunities for training and external education were good.

    Cons

    Sometimes HR processes were kind of disorganized or slow (hiring, trying to place RIFed workers). This may be increased for a while with the addition of ATK.

    Advice to Management

    Enhance the ability of employees to look for jobs in other locations and divisions. Increase priority for finding opportunities for laid-off workers.

  6. Great Overall Work Environment

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Variety of interesting engineering projects. If you are eager to learn, there is a wide variety of topics to explore and master. Orbital is great about hiring interns/entry level engineering - there always seems to be opportunities for fresh talent.

    Cons

    Salary increase and career tracking is poor. Merit increase and performance tracking is all but non-existent. People who are relatively useless technically/engineering wise and performing tasks an intern or engineering aide should do are Principal, Sr. Principal and even Master level Engineers. It is easy to fool management due to the poor performance tracking. This is not a cutthroat environment - slackers and eager-to-achievers are treated nearly the same (differentiated by maybe 1% salary increase yearly).

  7. Good Environment

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    People, steady work, accommodating of vacation schedules

    Cons

    Overtime about 25% of the year

    Advice to Management

    Overtime pay is poor

  8. Helpful (1)

    Not the best experience you'll ever have, but ok.

    • 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 8 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I was a Principal Electrical Engineer in SSG for many years until recent layoffs (2013-14). As far as I can tell over 200 employees were RIFed company-wide.

    Interesting work. A great experience to work with a company that manufactures communications satellites.

    Most MEs at my level had more fun in the highbay and get to work with cool CAD tools. Most EEs have a more boring secondary function of managing subcontracts.

    Flexible work hours and good benefits. Salary with overtime pay during some crunch periods.

    It’s a pleasant environment with nice landscaping, cafeteria, workout room, attractive offices/cubes with windows.

    Travel can be enjoyable to sites all over the world.

    Cons

    We were required to take lots self-training courses repeated over and over every year, some of which did not apply directly to what we were doing.

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

    At times, middle management could be downright hostile to employees. I noticed this rubbing off between employees. At times there was some task offloading forced on one group, for example, the Mechanical group to the RF group in crunch periods.

    Orbital can be a stressful and sometimes toxic work environment. Hour by hour work task prediction and task progress with efficiency scoring is required by all employees using a daily tracking program (WALT). If you’re not so good at predicting your own work load, which can include a lot of unpredictable tasks due to the nature of the work, and your honest about your hours on each task, you could be putting yourself in jeopardy of being axed from your job. I observed employees fudging the numbers in protest.

    Don’t plan on doing much, if any, hands on work if you’re in the RF components group. There’s just no need for it. All build and test is done by the component subcontractors prior to shipment. Testing at spacecraft level is intentionally handled by others.

    Most recognition/awards seem to be limited to upper management.

    Contract wins are not guaranteed, lay-offs can happen. Orbital is now in the process of merging with ATK.

    Engineers need actual training and professional development opportunities to maintain interest.

    Slow salary growth and little potential for career development.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in the latest software technologies, training employees, and continue process improvement. Stay ahead of and contribute to the latest advances in payload flexibility as if your success depended on it. I think you know this already.

  9. Great place to work

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, convenient location, nice campus

    Cons

    Some reporting tools end up costing the company millions but had very little positive effects.

    Advice to Management

    Don't waste money on ineffective processes which frustrates your employees with useless repetitive tasks.

  10. Helpful (2)

    Great place to work if that's all you want to do

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

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

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

    Pros

    The pay is pretty good. I think the management is fairly honest with their employees.

    Cons

    I can sum this up in one phrase. Work-life balance. Essentially, there is none. You work rotating shifts, weekends, holidays. Now I'm sure that there are jobs in this company where you get to go home on weekends, and holidays, and you don't bounce back and forth from days to nights and back to days like a ping-pong ball. But if you work in Building 5 at Dulles, there's a good chance you don't have one of those jobs. I have no sleep cycle anymore. I take pills to sleep and pills to wake up. My doctor has advised quitting for my health.

    Advice to Management

    Work-life balance needs to be more than a buzz-word.

  11. Helpful (3)

    Interesting Work

    • 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 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazing caliber of people at the Chandler site. Well-structured systems and processes. Industry leading Quality. Where else do you get to build and launch missiles?

    Cons

    Unbelievably debilitating good-old-boy network. Hostile and unprofessional work environment created by some senior leaders causing good people to leave. HR has no control.

    Advice to Management

    Get control of hostile senior leaders before you end up with a lawsuit.

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