Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

  www.selinc.com
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Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
85 Reviews

3.7
85 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. President Edmund O Schweitzer III
Edmund O Schweitzer III
74 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance, friendly coworkers , emphasis on learning (in 5 reviews)

  • The company operation is very transparent and it is 100% employee owned company (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Small town, not much of a variety except for outdoor type activities (fishing, hunting, etc (in 4 reviews)

  • New buildings sit empty and unfinished (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Company Review of one man

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Shipping Receiving Warehouse Clerk Delivery Driver, Assembler  in  Pullman, WA
    Former Employee - Shipping Receiving Warehouse Clerk Delivery Driver, Assembler in Pullman, WA

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Outstanding company that continually identifies, measures, and improves it's processes to make power safer, more reliable, and more economical. An asset to the community as well as continual worldwide innovation. A leader in their industry! They also provide health and dental insurance to all their employees.

    Cons

    During the time I worked in the manufacturing departments, I noticed many people became jaded from the repetitive tasks, and poor involvement of management. First, most of the supervisors were not understanding of people who really needed to use a few sick days, they would usually take them on a guilt trip. Second, I would give an "F" in leadership and delegation to a few individuals in management (of which some no longer work at SEL). They wouldn't get to know their employees enough to make a stronger team. In other words, our improvement was stagnant compared to the potential of what our team could be. Looking for the diamond underneath and polishing it till it shines in the people who have a greater potential in another areas, as well as leadership. It would also stimulate more pride and dignity of work to be offered different positions by supervisors who really get to know their employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Like I stated above, get to know your employees more. Take some necessary risks to scout out those who have the potential for another position even if they don't see it or request it, and polish those diamonds underneath. There are some young, natural leaders out there. It is discouraging to fight a long battle upstream just to get a dream position, even though it can really bring out the character a person. It's all about forming the best team you can, make the most of what you've got!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Small feel, great aspirations

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Supervisor  in  Pullman, WA
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Supervisor in Pullman, WA

    I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Community, values, Friday Lunch, campus life, educational assistance, moral of the story, this company really cares about its employees.

    Cons

    At times there is a difficult Work/life balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dissemination of information

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Excellent Learning experience- Could use an immigration department which actually likes their jobs

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

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time

    Pros

    Excellent work environment and values. Learning curve of employees goes sky high in no time.

    Cons

    Poor legal department work force. They know what they are supposed to do, but they don't.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep your promises to the new hires and update your job descriptions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Engineer  in  King of Prussia, PA
    Current Employee - Associate Engineer in King of Prussia, PA

    I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time

    Pros

    Very stable company and good benifits .

    Cons

    low salary than us ave

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    good mntg

    give opportinuty for devepment

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    You are valued as a person, not just a resource

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Technician I
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Technician I

    I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Any time I think of the reason I'm still here, I think of the overall value-add services provided by the employer. Any technical industry will have its ups and downs, but what really means a lot is consistent treatment through all of that.

    Our leadership is compassionate but steadfast and no-bull. We have reasonable compensation (made into excellent compensation by the Employee Stock Ownership Program retirement payment), no layoffs, and solid core values and processes which make our customers trust the products we release. Employee Stock Ownership Program keeps all employees linked to the company (and their compensation) at large, so you don't tend to have the problem of "dead-weight" team-members. Work assignments have been varied and interesting. Even as a technician, I have had an opportunity to achieve recognition from experienced power engineers and software engineers here.

    We have an LQ (Life Quality) team, which is something unique. This means, for free, any time, you can email to get advice on health concerns and even sign up for free one-on-one counseling/coaching to work through personal planning/goals. We have also had our health insurance costs remain steady and even go down (perhaps because of the LQ Wellness options/coaching/counseling).

    Cons

    Career growth can be a little challenging for an hourly employee. Many of the things normally considered admirable (doing off the clock study of company educational materials) is restricted by laws outside of our control. That being said, as aforementioned, opportunities to work with (and prove yourself to) higher-up engineers abound.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider the value of a week-long or so opportunity of career shadowing/out-of-the-box studying/working. Make the permissible frequency of such a program reasonable (such as once every two years).

    Our college degrees only take us but so deep into the broad array of subjects. It would mean a lot to be able to shadow a supervisor/senior team member to determine feasibility of a certain future career move (i.e. from SW to HW engineer).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer  in  Pullman, WA
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer in Pullman, WA

    I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Nice and smart colleagues. Good facility, ESOP. The company has a program to leverage your career and sponsor your education. Its a good place for international employees, the company apply for GC after 2 years since H1b

    Cons

    Low starting salary. Pullman is boring without society activities. Snow and windy in winter. The quality of apartments in Pullman is very low. Rental prices are expensive,too

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Children care center with lower tuition for employee's child

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

    Love the people, not the job

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

    I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The people that you work with are some of the best people you could ask for in a workplace. This is of course a bit dependent upon where you work within the company.

    There is a lot of room for growth and management responds well to being willing to trying to take on more responsibility.

    Does a great job of delivering great products to an industry that literally has others lives on the line.

    Always willing to go that extra mile for customer needs.

    Small town life at its best (don't really need to lock doors during the summer)

    Free mass prepared Friday Lunch that doubles as a company wide business meeting.

    Cons

    Process paralyzed. Since there is such high risk for what can happen if something goes wrong with our products we have to have a lot of process to ensure our products are the highest quality. The processes used, however, are not always applied in an intelligent manner, and it's hard to get any meaningful change to the process without risking upsetting people above your pay grade.

    The work life balance is usually work over life, especially if you want to advance in the company. Management is more than willing to let you take on a new task, especially if compensation for the additional responsibility can be delayed.

    There's some opaqueness between upper management and the low level workers, some of it is expected, but compared to the message (everything is open) it seems like a complete contradiction between the message and the reality.

    Inflexible work environment. Small accommodations are made based on need, but there's a lot that could be done to make work life more comfortable. We spend the majority of our waking hours at work, so every little bit of comfort that is invested into that will help make us want to be there. Taking a lesson from some of the silicon valley companies may help.

    Small town life at its worst (over 90 miles to the nearest "big" city on some of the most boring highways in the nation).

    Free mass prepared Friday Lunch that doubles as a company wide business meeting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not enough trust is given to lower level employees. As we spend a lot of time making sure that we hire the best employees, we should start with trusting them, and only once its lost should we address that individuals abuse of the trust.

    Approach employees with how can SEL make being at work enjoyable instead of what is the bare minimum that the company can do to make sure that employee's don't leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Enjoyable and great place to learn and grown in your field.

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

    I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great culture, very laid back, and encouraging of innovation.

    Cons

    Pay and benefits are below industry standards. They aren't very competitive. Also, sometimes people with less skills are hired to fill positions as needed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to work closely with employees and really spend more time on technical aspects when it comes to hiring new candidates.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Pretty good overall, with a few minor exceptions

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

    I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good company with good benefits, training opportunities and helpful coworkers. They provide free lunch on Fridays to discuss company issues. All of the coworkers that I talk to seem to be happy, and will go out of their way to help you.

    Cons

    If you have to move to Pullman to work here, and you came from a large suburb, you will get very bored very quickly. Not much to do in Pullman besides watching the wheat grow.
    The pay schedule is difficult to get used to and not super-consistent (the 2nd business day after the 15th and end of month). Can be up to 18 days between pay days.

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

    Great place to work!

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

    I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great culture & values and focus on quality. Company looks for opportunities to invest in their employees and technologies. Clean environment and good core management group. Education benefits are a plus!

    Cons

    Small town, not much of a variety except for outdoor type activities (fishing, hunting, etc..).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work and continue keeping employees as a central focus.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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