Sandia Reviews in Albuquerque, NM

Updated September 11, 2014
Updated September 11, 2014
182 Reviews
3.7
182 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Sandia President Paul Hommert
Paul Hommert
65 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great for work/life balance if that's what you are looking for (in 30 reviews)

  • 9/80 work schedule, reasonable benefits, salaries not as good as they used to be, generous time off policies (in 20 reviews)


Cons
  • Performance review can feel a bit arbitrary (in 9 reviews)

  • There are "technical staff" who couldn't balance an equation if their life depended on it (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

96 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great pay, great job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Management Professional  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Business Management Professional in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    The pay is great, especially considering the cost of living in Albuquerque. The people are some of the smartest in the industry, and the work they do is truly cutting edge. One of the biggest benefits, though, is being able to transfer to other areas with relative ease. You can work your entire career here, and have a ton of very different jobs.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy can be frustrating, but it's understandable. Also, the performance review process is ridiculous. 10% of people have to be rated a 2 on a 1 through 5 scale. It's really hard to give someone the equivalent of a D, especially considering we hire some of the smartest people from the best schools in the country.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change TotalComp!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Sandia Review

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

    I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Stable, fair, safe place to work

    Cons

    Advancement is slow. They do not adequately reward performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You will continue to lose young talented employees if you do not adequately compensate them and offer them room for advancement. People thrive on risk and challenge. Offering stability and safety are not enough to attract and retain talented and passionate employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not a bad place to start after graduation but after five years, you should think about working someplace else.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cyber Security R&D  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Cyber Security R&D in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Projects are varied and interesting. You can find work in nano technologies, quantum computing, cybersecurity. It is more than just a nuclear weapons lab.

    Cons

    Too much NNSA oversight. They tend to interfere with research. The promotion cycle also sucks. Corporate calls it "Total Comp" but the staff affectionately call it "Total Crap". They may start you at a high salary to compete with similar jobs in the market, but your promotional raises are small. Criteria for promotion is highly subjective and not consistent from department to department. Opportunities for future growth has been cut just as bad as our benefits have. For example, attending conferences in order to stay current in your research area is very restricted and subject to DOE HQ's approval. As a result, members of the staff don't get to attend Black Hat, RSA, Schmoocon, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Push back on the lab director's Total Comp. Members of the staff are very frustrated with the promotion process and paltry raise packages. We are currently suffering from brain drain to Silicon Valley companies because of TC.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    If you are thinking to relocate for the job with SNL think twice.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Interesting projects, good weather throughout the year, outdoors, rich Native American culture.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, office politics, location, inferior public schools, expensive private schools.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Interesting work, annoying bureaucracy

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

    I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great work life balance and good starting salary. Lots of interesting R&D work to pursue. There are opportunities to do research in many different areas, so an employee could potentially have many different careers while working there. The onsite health clinic is very convenient and same day appointments are available. There are also a lot of other services available to Sandia employees thanks to being located within an Air Force base. Layoffs are pretty much unheard of.

    Cons

    Inefficient government bureaucracy. Starting salary was good, but after a new compensation and performance review system was put into place, salary increases are not much, just barely above inflation. Good work is not really rewarded, and bad work isn't really punished unless it causes a major security or safety problem. Also, seems to be a glass ceiling if you don't have a PhD. Many people in upper management seem to value degrees more than experience. The Albuquerque area leaves something to be desired, but if you like living in a desert, then it's probably not so bad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the members of the workforce!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Excellent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PMTS  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - PMTS in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great sense of value and purpose. Tremendous amount of respect and independence. Great work life balance. Great benefits and salaries. Great training programs.

    Cons

    In some ways, Albuquerque. Some bureaucracy and politics. Congressional budget fluctuations can cause disturbances. Slow degradation of benefits will hurt eventually. Reward system is improving but upward mobility is still slow mostly due to low turnover and limited budgets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Downsize the recent influx of financial analysts.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Awful company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I can't think of a single thing. I am quitting soon and going back to academia.

    Cons

    1. There is no money for R & D
    2. If you have a PhD you will be treated without the respect earned by your degree
    3. There are "technical staff" who couldn't balance an equation if their life depended on it
    4. The lab is full of lazy staff members
    5. FFRDCs are losing funding and as a Sandian you cannot compete for money which is handed out to universities
    6. if you are a PI, then some idiot manager will be placed in charge of your budget and will spend all the money on the "deadweight"
    7. There is no focus on sound scientific research and development
    8. Focus is on nuclear weapons and nothing else matters
    9. No latitude for creativity
    10. 90% of the technical staff is over the age of 50
    11. Employees will tell government agencies anything they want to hear
    12. Many people here do not understand the scientific method (engineer culture) or the value of hypothesis testing
    13. Poor culture towards women, minorities, and LGBT (I am a white male)
    14. Avid climate change deniers in Senior Management
    15. A tattle culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Scuttle the ship?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Politicized management; some dedicated staff keep Sandia alive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Member of Technical Staff  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Principal Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    There are still a huge range of interesting topics that you can contribute on. 9/80 schedule is fantastic. Many dedicated staff that will help you get work done, though don't expect it to be recognized by management. Your job satisfaction will only come from pride in a job well done, so be sure the projects you get on have some personal interest.

    Cons

    All national labs are becoming steadily less relevant as development money is disappearing from government budgets and research money is sent more to universities. Can't compete for a lot of fundamental research money as a FFRDC, and things you could compete for you are effectively priced out of because of ridiculous overhead rates.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trim unproductive staff and reward dedicated staff. Why should someone kill themselves for a 2.1% raise when you can do no work and get 1.7%.?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    You will not find a better company to work for! There’s nothing like it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    This is my top ten list:
    1. Easy to get a job. Lack of candidates with US citizenship and advanced degrees resulted in hiring those who couldn't get or keep jobs in private sector. Interviews consist of behavioral questions, and no technical questions are asked.
    2. Non-existent dress code. I have seen more cleavage and butt cheeks here than at Hooters. There are many college coeds and office admins who dress provocatively. A+
    3. Work-life balance would make French jealous. Many employees take 2 hour lunch breaks and/or always come in late and leave early. Working over weekends is so uncommon, you will not see another living soul around. Telecommuting is encouraged, and some employees never show up for work.
    4. Encouraged to come up with the most ridiculous ideas that get funded. Never mind if there is no market for your product/idea because you will get more money to go around and market this product to other groups and customers. It is a great place to reinvent the wheel.
    5. At the end of each financial year, you get to splurge on new equipment, computers, and etc to spend down unused funds.
    6. Get time off for working overtime.
    7. Traveling to conferences and training is encouraged.
    8. Outstanding educational benefits – You get to go full time to an Ivy League university while getting paid 75% of your salary.
    9. Opportunity to shake hands with state officials and senators who like to come over and brag how much they did for SNL and NM.
    10. Free healthcare at the onsite clinic.

    Cons

    No downsides at all to working here. This place will ruin you for other jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing the same thing. There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Mixed bag, but overall positive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PMTS  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Former Employee - PMTS in Albuquerque, NM

    I worked at Sandia full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Lots of very smart people, challenging problems, excellent facilities. Opportunity to work on problems on national importance.

    Cons

    Far too much bureaucracy, compensation system has severe defects. Too tighly controlled by DOE

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward system (esp. compensation) needs to recognize differences between divisions. Having comparable salary distributions in all divisions is stupid.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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