Sandia Reviews

Updated July 3, 2015
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213 Employee Reviews

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  1. Overall Great Learning Experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Summer in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Technical Summer in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Sandia full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    The people there are amazing, and they really care about making sure you learn and succeed if you work there as a student intern. The science and engineering departments are top-notch and it's in honor to work with them. They also offer extended education programs for qualifying individuals.

    Cons

    The management is a bit bureaucratic since it's a federally funded lab, but eventually you get used to it. The management can be fairly easy-going as long as you follow the rules and know what you are doing.

    Advice to Management

    Not bad


  2. Big company culture - lots of opportunities within a bureaucracy

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

    I have been working at Sandia full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Sandia has a laid back research environment with many characteristics similar to a university. It's a large company with lots of opportunities. The people are nearly uniformly conscientious and dedicated. Albuquerque has 300 days of sun a year and has mountain hiking within 10 minutes.

    Cons

    Sandia has a stovepiped management culture - the bureaucracy of a large company - with few career opportunities. While there are lots of opportunities, most people do essentially the same job year after year their whole career.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Sandia Review

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

    I have been working at Sandia full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Stable, fair, safe place to work

    Cons

    Advancement is slow. They do not adequately reward performance.

    Advice to Management

    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.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (2)

    Great pay, great job

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

    I have been working at Sandia full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    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 Management

    Change TotalComp!


  6. Helpful (3)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  7. Helpful (2)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    N/A


  8. Some of the best people to work with anywhere.

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

    I worked at Sandia full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    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 Management

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


  9. Helpful (1)

    Interesting work, annoying bureaucracy

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

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

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

    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 Management

    Listen to the members of the workforce!


  10. Helpful (2)

    Good balance, great environment

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

    I have been working at Sandia

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

    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.


  11. Helpful (9)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 (More than 5 years)

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

    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 Management

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



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