Underwriters Laboratories

www.ul.com

Underwriters Laboratories Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
195 Reviews
3.2
195 Reviews
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Underwriters Laboratories President and CEO Keith E. Williams
Keith E. Williams
118 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    UL is a great company

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

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories

    Pros

    Sense of family
    Great pay
    Awesome work environment

    Cons

    None!
    Such a great company!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Working for a safer world

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

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The company has transformed itself over the past 10 years, and has certainly moved in a positive direction. What was once a command and control environment has changed into a more diverse, and collaborative working environment.

    Cons

    There seems to be some floundering as we try to remake ourselves and change our current business model. At one time we specialized in testing and certification primarily. We now are trying to move into areas of consulting and knowledge sharing. We haven't figured it all yet, and it feels a bit chaotic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management continues to be transparent to the employees by sharing information, but it would be helpful if they became more in tune with the front line worker and their experiences with our customers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    so so

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories

    Pros

    flexible hours, good clients, little paperwork

    Cons

    overworked, a lot of driving

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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bearacratic and perpetually mis-managed

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

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    For my first 10 years here, it was steady work, albeit not that well paid. We had 38.5 hour work weeks, frequent section outings, it was rewarding. Good engineering staff tries to do The Right Thing. LOTS of technical knowledge in one company

    Cons

    Work is not steady any more. Management thinks it can continually lay off solid people with decades' worth of relevant knowledge, then immediately replace them with wet-behind-the-ears grads and low-cost employees in foreign offices. It has fostered an environment when coworkers are stabbing each other in the back for the most profitable work so their numbers can look better and they won't be laid off in the next round. Performance reviews now include forced ranking to a bell curve, so that lots of good employees are rated low, just to provide easy justification for lay-offs later.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut out the middle 5 layers of management. Executive management needs to become more in touch with what the engineers are dealing with who interface with the customers, and not just by the boot lickers immediately below them. Focus on doing a few things really well, instead of trying to buy more and more lateral businesses to stay relevant. Being in a state of continual transformation is incredibly inefficient.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    Workplace Health and Safety Division

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

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Great brand and name recognition.
    Good alignment with safety professionals.

    Cons

    Not a traditional sales organization.
    Compensation plans are below average
    A ton of turnover throughout the organization

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revamp products
    Treat your people better
    Foster better communication

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great Engineers, Bad Vision

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

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    I have worked at UL for 8 years now and moved all the way from Engineer to Engineering Leader.
    You enjoy the people that work with you at UL and that is the reason the company stays a float. The benefits are decent.

    Cons

    The company is based upon Engineering but there are no engineers in management. When you do make it, you are asked to be a “YES” man or else moved back to a technical role. Well the aspiration of upper management may focus on profit, there is no business plan, foresight, or even any idea what can be done to sustain growth. Former clients who worked at UL are disgusted with UL’s policy and customer service practices. The DMV looks more efficient as UL is littered with red tape. No creativity or recognition is supported by management. No Growth. It is a job and not a career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop taking advice from advisers who claim the emperor's robe is exquisite when he is actually naked.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    salary

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

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    freedom, experience, area of expertise is new.

    Cons

    low salary but everything else is fine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    should be more hands on

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good established company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Camas, WA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Camas, WA

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    I have been with UL over 9 years and changed few positions. UL is a great company to work for! Safety Mission driven organization makes your life meaningful. I enjoy openness and good communication from our CEO. But you may find opposite from lower level management depending on Business Unit. Like in every big corporation you have many opportunities to grow if you have desire, required skills or education.

    Cons

    It is hard to advance your career as non-technical support. You may expect great benefit package but I would rate it as average. Depending on location, Business Unit and Management you may find different working environment. Some BUs are very strict and traditional and not flexible at all towards employees. Others are very good towards employees providing good work-life balance, such as remote work options and flexible hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    5 star for CEO! But lack of communication from VPs.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Interesting and different job. Mediocre pay

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

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories

    Pros

    Benefits are decent. Pay isn't terrible but it could be better. Depending on what area you work in, the people are generally nice.

    Cons

    Too many management layers with high salaries. Once becoming for profit, everything became all about money.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    UL is a good company that falls short in many areas.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Overall the work is rewarding. Benefit package is very good for a company of UL's size. Co-workers are extremely supportive & cooperative. A good place to start your career.

    Cons

    UL is infested with nepotism & cronyism. Company has been "in transformation" for years, with no end in sight. Day to day work is micro-managed. Computer systems are antiquated. More Operating Procedures than one can keep track of. Middle management obsessed with revenue. Upper management focused on golf tournaments and photo ops.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Year after year, employee surveys have highlighted employee concerns, but they have fallen on deaf ears. UL can be a great company - but it won't happen unless you change your ways.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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