Sandia Reviews

Updated August 20, 2014
Updated August 20, 2014
181 Reviews

3.7
181 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  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. 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
  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    Some of the best people to work with anywhere.

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

    I worked at Sandia full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Highly professional, smart staff. Research scientists an engineers from top academic programs across the nation. Excellent work life balance culture. They walk the talk on work life balance because it creates healthy individuals who contribute at a higher level. The mission work and facilities to perform the work are without equal. The work here really matters.

    Cons

    Can feel bureaucratic due to layers of regulations, policies and security rules. However, these factors should be expected given the nature of the mission and work at Sandia. Patience and tenacity are important attributes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust the judgment of your very dedicated, committed employees and managers.

    Recommends
    Positive 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. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good balance, great environment

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

    I have been working at Sandia

    Pros

    healthcare, innovation focused, open to start-up leave, good pay

    Cons

    slow moving, tons of training (ladder training ??),definitely government position but still good.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    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
  9.  

    I am a graduate research intern at Sandia National Labs

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sandia as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    This place has some of the best minds in the country to work with, and also boasts of great infrastructure to go with it. You are given complete control of your research projects, without any administrative responsibilities to distract you.

    Cons

    As with any government organization, there is a lot of paper work and protocol to complete before you can start working independently. Then again, the process is really smooth after the first few months.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 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
  11.  

    The most LGBT unfriendly employer I have ever seen, with institutionalized workplace bullying.

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

    I worked at Sandia full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Do you like it when the place of your employment is completely deserted right at 5pm? Sandia is the place for you. Great for work/life balance if that's what you are looking for.

    Cons

    I had been there for several years, and had been the target of workplace bullying during the last year. When I reported it to management, they whitewashed it and then subsequently knocked my performance appraisal down. Here is an organization that cares more about how you fit in terms of the individual power agendas, and less to none about how performance impacts the enduser customers. They institutionalize bullying by telling people (me included) to not escalate such things up the normal path (i.e., through management, and in writing). That was all I needed to know to make my decision to leave. LGBT? Don't bother. They are very LGBT unfriendly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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