Sandia
3.6 of 5 158 reviews
www.sandia.gov Albuquerque, NM 5000+ Employees

Sandia Reviews

Updated Apr 15, 2014

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3.6 158 reviews

                             

65% Approve of the CEO

Sandia President Paul Hommert

Paul Hommert

(49 ratings)

76% of employees recommend this company to a friend
158 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "There is a great focus on work life balance"
    in 27 reviews
  • "9/80 work schedule, reasonable benefits, salaries not as good as they used to be, generous time off policies"
    in 18 reviews
Cons:
  • "Performance Review Process: The"
    in 9 reviews
  • "Technical Staff, Principal Member of the"
    in 5 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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The goals of the work are somewhat challenging yet

Senior Technologist (Current Employee)
Livermore, CA

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

ProsVery flexible, 9/80 work shift, employment security, non-routine work.

ConsOpportunities for promotion are extremely limited for someone with a B.S. Because of a lack of higher degree, technical work is handed down at a minimum. Also, below average pay for non-PhD staff. Salaries constantly frozen or cap is reduced.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Few limits here on what one can do

Distinguished Member of Technical Staff (Current Employee)
Albuquerque, NM

I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 10 years

ProsI've worked in the research area here for nearly 30 years (with short stints at a start-up company and at a university), and have been extremely happy. There is a sense of working to advance knowledge for the long-term benefit of the nation, rather than for the short-term profit that a company would be rewarded for, or for the short-term reputational glory that a university professor would be rewarded for. If one is really trying to advance the frontiers of knowledge with that mindset, there is very little that limits what one can do here. If you have a great idea, it will (eventually!) be supported. If you're in between your own great ideas, you can contribute to teams with a deep bench of colleagues with their own great ideas. If you want to switch fields to better match where the great new ideas are percolating, you can do that too.

ConsFirst, there is a lot of bureaucracy: extremely strict ES&H and time-card reporting; project milestones that get fixed too early and don't allow for real-time adaptation to new developments; managers who spend a lot of time dealing with the bureaucratic stuff and hence are less deep technically. Second, the performance review system in some organizations over-emphasizes solo over team accomplishments, and this can sometimes cause competition rather than cooperation between staff. Third, this is not the place to get extremely wealthy (like at a start-up company) or extremely famous (like at an elite university) -- but it is a place where you can do terrific technical work while also having a terrific life outside of work.

Advice to Senior ManagementI think the single most important thing upper management could do to improve the research environment here would be to figure out how to create a first-level management position that attracts great managers. The first-level manager is where among the most important decisions here are made: recruiting, hiring, inspiring and nurturing great technical staff; and leading and cheer-leading the matches between science & technology push and mission (energy, security, etc.) pull. It should be a position to which staff who are deeply creative technically and who care about people would aspire. It's not, now, and that doesn't bode well for the future.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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This could be the only job you ever need

Principal Member of Technical Staff (Current Employee)
Livermore, CA

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

ProsGreat people to work with. Best of both academia and industry combined into one. Work has meaning and purpose.

ConsHyper-sensitive to safety and training plus some government bureaucracy red tape

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Not bad

Postdoctoral Appointee (Current Employee)
Albuquerque, NM

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

ProsIf you're here for research, there's a great community of knowledgeable people to learn from. The pay is good, and the job security is good if you can make the conversion to staff.

ConsManagement often interferes more than they help. The work-life balance was not so great, and there's always the scrabble to find enough funding to stay employed, particularly during the currently tight times.

Advice to Senior ManagementVet your lower managers better.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Learned to work at the absolute slowest pace possible.

Technical Summer (Former Employee)
Livermore, CA

I worked at Sandia as an intern for less than a year

ProsThe projects have national importance and are scientifically interesting. There is a great focus on work life balance.

ConsI was told several times to work slower and less efficiently on the grounds that there wasn't any more to be done on a project and the funds weren't used yet. Under utilization of funds would result in the department loosing funds, so work had to be dragged out accordingly...

Advice to Senior ManagementReward efficiency, don't just expand funding for the departments that have gone over budget and punish those that haven't by cutting their funds.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good people, but boring beauracratic business

Member of Technical Staff (Current Employee)
Livermore, CA

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

ProsLots of fun activities organized by the workforce outside of work hours, but not in a way where anybody holds things against you if you don't choose to participate. Most people are relaxed and patient, and politics seem to at least be handled civilly.

Others give you your space, which I have mixed feelings about.

ConsAs I become more acquainted with the business, I see the numerous organizations and bureaucracy that make achieving anything in a reasonable time impossible. Requirements are subject to change years into work.

Though the hands-off approach might be out of fear of micromanaging (positive), I feel a visit from my manager of more than a couple times of month might spark some motivation. I generally get bored and read the news because I think no one cares and requirements will likely change soon anyway... so why bother?

Also, the training process in regards to the big picture can be slow. In my group, the training on the actual work was good, but getting context is slow. I don't blame that on the people as much as on the complexity of the "complex."

Advice to Senior ManagementThe advice I would give is to push hard against the government bureaucracy. There are so many layers and organizations to field a product to drive one bonkers and make product time lines infinite. I don't know if management has much power here, but that's what makes work rough.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Good company with good work

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 10 years

ProsGood culture on mission side
Good work
Good people

ConsThe mission support organizations are bureaucratic and not focused on supporting the mission
Some trending towards compliance without regard to effectiveness

Advice to Senior ManagementReorient the missino support to focus on supporting the mission instead of process

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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One of the greatest places to work in the country!

Embedded Systems Engineer (Current Employee)
Albuquerque, NM

I have been working at Sandia full-time for more than 10 years

Pros- Flexible work schedule
- Numerous job opportunities within one company
- Never bored
- Casual dress code and relaxed atmosphere

Cons- A lot of the work at Sandia is based on the federal budget so when congress fails to pass a budget (as it usually does) things can slow down or projects can get shut down until a budget is passed.
- The quality of the benefits has declined a bit over the last few years due to government cutbacks and such but Sandia is such a fun and amazing place to work that I tend to let that fact slide.

Advice to Senior ManagementN/A

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Post-Doctoral Fellow

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Sandia

ProsGood quality resources for good quality research

ConsNot many permanent job opportunities

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Good people, good research and Nice place to live = Excellent Place to work

Post Doctoral Employee (Current Employee)
Livermore, CA

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

Prosvery good compensation, and beautiful place to work. very pro collaboration.

ConsForeign Nationals have restricted access to site and resources and may become tiring after a while

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Sandia reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Sandia CEO Paul Hommert. All 158 reviews posted anonymously by Sandia employees.