Underwriters Laboratories

  www.ul.com
  www.ul.com

Underwriters Laboratories Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated December 8, 2014
Updated December 8, 2014
183 Reviews
3.1
183 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
Underwriters Laboratories President and CEO Keith E. Williams
Keith E. Williams
112 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Additionally this company allows for a great work life balance (in 33 reviews)

  • The staff at UL are dedicated to the company mission of public safety and are great to work with (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management seems to not understand the core process (although this is getting better now) (in 11 reviews)

  • Not a lot of career advancement opportunities (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

49 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great and rewarding experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Project Engineer in Northbrook, IL
    Current Employee - Associate Project Engineer in Northbrook, IL

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule was nice. It was a great learning environment.

    Cons

    It seemed as if there were "chosen" people that got the larger and more visible projects, unfairly.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Now and then

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Handler in Northbrook, IL
    Former Employee - Project Handler in Northbrook, IL

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories as a contractor (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Paid for your education was easy to get to

    Cons

    Lost its loyalty to employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember the good old days when UL mattered

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    okay for a stepping stone job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Northbrook, IL
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Northbrook, IL

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    comfortable work conditions, personal laptop, fixed work hours

    Cons

    repetitive projects, too many meetings, low pay, slow promotion, an engineering company that specializes in obsolete technology

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop over glorifying small achievements and over-killing small issues.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Project Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good work environment. Very good co-workers

    Cons

    Leadership values $ over people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of your people and the $ will take care of itself

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good working balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tax Intern in Northbrook, IL
    Current Employee - Tax Intern in Northbrook, IL

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Colleagues are very friendly. All team members always go out for lunch. Even VP of the department is willing to have lunch with other employees.

    Cons

    Lots of work. Work overtime. We need more staff on our department. But our department is growing. Hope everything would be better and better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management need to be more well-organized. Even there is regular meeting and tracking process. But it would be more effective to log in working hours on each project.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    slow working pace, encourages to balance between life and work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Strategy Analyst Intern in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Strategy Analyst Intern in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    not stressful, do not need to work extra hours

    Cons

    not so many young people working there.

  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great colleagues, too much politics, flawed management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Project Engineer in Northbrook, IL
    Former Employee - Associate Project Engineer in Northbrook, IL

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    My peers were fantastic. All of the joys and frustrations were shared mutually, and we made sure never to hang anyone out to dry. Even if management didn't show a lot of respect to their subordinates, we subordinates would show that respect to each other. The noble ones --- and there were several --- were the hardest to leave because they were the ones who kept the optimism going when the morale dropped. They were the ones who stayed and kept doing their job, or they left and found positions deserving of their dedication and abilities.

    The fitness center in the basement, and the extracurricular activities ran by the employees were a lot of fun and helped with managing the work-life balance. Those helped foster the deep relationships beyond a simple working one. The fitness center especially was worth it --- a $10/month perk that had classes and quality equipment.

    Medical, dental, and vision benefits were excellent, and

    Cons

    A month after I started, they re-structured the management hierarchy, and a year after that, they made the move to a for-profit structure. These changes clouded the actual mission of the company, and it lowered morale everywhere. Political games were played during the management re-structure, preventing several people deserving of promotions and creating an untrusting environment that remained for the duration of my employment. This extended into the technical hierarchy, making it difficult to become technical reviewers and leaders unless you played the games. I knew of several colleagues that left because of it.

    The other major drawback of the management re-structure was the movement of managers into departments of which they had no knowledge and/or about which they didn't care to learn. The departments which which I interfaced were run in the same manner with very little flexibility for the nature of the department's business. Some groups had a harder time getting projects through, but the whip was always cracked onto other groups less deserving.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop playing games with your employees. There were/are several engineers with significant potential that were/are thumbed down and lost/are losing their motivation. They are the knowledge base, the technical expertise, and if you want to keep them in your company and not leaving for your customers or your competitors, treat them with the same respect you want from them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    none

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Laboratory Intern in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Laboratory Intern in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    opportunity, good culture, personal growth

    Cons

    low pay, no benefits, slow work flow

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n/a

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    lab tech experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lab Technician III in Northbrook, IL
    Current Employee - Lab Technician III in Northbrook, IL

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great company to work for and lots of room for growth

    Cons

    The hiring process is very long

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Men favored over women.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Collections in Northbrook, IL
    Former Employee - Collections in Northbrook, IL

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are okay. Every year they seem to get more expensive and the deductibles higher and higher. They have short term disability, but not long term disability available.

    Cons

    Management is so-so. There seems to be no communication between the various levels of management. If you get a good manager to work for it is pure luck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It seems as though management only cares about the engineers. They put them on a different level than all of the other employees. The average person is undercompensated in general.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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