Underwriters Laboratories

  www.ul.com
  www.ul.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Underwriters Laboratories Reviews

Updated September 11, 2014
Updated September 11, 2014
159 Reviews
2.9
159 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Underwriters Laboratories President and CEO Keith E. Williams
Keith E. Williams
102 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Additionally this company allows for a great work life balance (in 30 reviews)

  • A company that works to improve public safety (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management seems to not understand the core process (although this is getting better now) (in 10 reviews)

  • Constantly changing direction, underpaid employees, no clear path for career advancement (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Great company to work for and lots of room for growth

    Cons

    The hiring process is very long

  2.  

    Good history, roots, market recognition. Disconnect between vision at top and direct line management

    • 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 full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    The work can be rewarding depending upon which business unit you work for. Projects can be interesting and customers good to work with.

    Cons

    Company has potential to be a long term leader in industry, unfortunately it has lost it's way with minimal recognition of the value of leadership and strategy within certain business units, instead managing almost solely to short term (financial) objectives, which is a good way to shrink you market share, drive away talent, and ensure you are not relevant in your industry long term. Perception by front line staff is company has lost it's drive or passion for the stated or historical mission, which is unfortunate as this has been the sole of the company and driver for it's success for multi-generations. Company is struggling as it transition to a for profit company, leadership not experienced in the for profit market, as a result the pendulum has perhaps swung too far to one side too fast.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While there is a need for transitioning of the company, it may be good to back off the accelerator pedal on the for profit side temporarily, level off, assess the dynamics and objective, rebalance leadership verses management, make sure there is a strategy in place for each business unit then begin to apply the accelerator pedal strategically not as broad brush stroke across all.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    UL has changed

    • 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 for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The staff at UL are dedicated to the company mission of public safety and are great to work with. There are opportunities to move around between the various business units. Decent benefits.

    Cons

    UL recently changed from a not for profit entity to a for profit. Since then, there has been a change in management philosophy from "do it right" to "make the numbers or else", Poor communication from management, stressful environment, no strategy/vision for integrating the large number of recent acquisitions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Carefully plan how a newly purchased businesses will be integrated into the UL structure. Better/more extensive validation before new processes and IT systems are rolled out. Think strategically, rather than knee jerk reactions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    GREAT COMPANY TO WORK FOR BUT NO PLACE FOR GROWTH

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

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    As I started working for UL I really enjoyed learning a lot of new things which really benefited me to get a much better job. I really liked working with my Manager here at UL. She was the most amazing person I have ever met. Relaxing environment as long you keep doing your job. Office culture: Relaxed dress code, Fridays were jeans day which was really cool and every pay period there was bagels, donuts and the other Fridays were popcorn. Sometimes there will be cake and food. Good benefits and 401K plan.

    Cons

    It was only a Temp position and there was no assurance on when a full time offer would have been given.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper Management needs to be more strict and know what they are doing. Every employees works differently so ratings should be given by performance not by daily hours of work. Saw people chit chatting all day and still gets raised and gets bonuses. No that is not fair. People those working really hard are getting the same raise and same bonuses which is really not fair. Some Managers needs to go because they don't know what they are doing and upper management really needs lots and lots of training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 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 for 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
  7.  

    good and challenging job

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

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

    Pros

    - good people
    - company policies

    Cons

    - laggard in technology
    - benefits aren't as good

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - more training
    - more perks

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great People, Not Great for Career Advancement

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

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories

    Pros

    The people I worked with were great.
    Flexible with hours.

    Cons

    Not a lot of career advancement opportunities. Most of the people I worked with had been there doing the same thing for a LONG time.
    Somewhat overworked. I knew some people who could not take all their vacation days. They need more employees, but I don't think they can afford it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve career advancement opportunities

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

    An excellent learning experience.

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

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    This is a company of PEOPLE. The work to life balance is incredible. The work is not stressful and it can be fulfilling. There is a ton of training classes internally to take. If you do not like where you are in the company, you can transfer to a different department. This is a global company, so if you would like to relocate there is a possibility.

    Even as this company has become for profit, their values and morals for creating a safer world have not slipped. This is a company of values and morals, and it's ingrained in them.

    Cons

    Personal growth is stagnant. Your career is set out as soon as you join. (This is not necessarily a bad thing, it really depends what type of person you are) Any career jumps faster than expected will not come within 8-10yrs of employment here(and usually involves changing departments). Salary is not very competitive with the engineering field as a whole. The job is not complicated, this means anyone can do it. There are a multitude of engineering roles filled by non engineers, we just call them "project handlers"

    This company is a little confused as to what they would like to become. BUT there is one thing for sure, this CEO wants to make the world a better place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a competitive environment where people feel they can work hard and be compensated for it. This company is no longer a not-for-profit. Yet the mentalities have stayed. All of that aside. The managers care about their workers. (This is not all of them, but a great majority).

    If you're lucky enough to work under Jerry M tell him I said hi!! =D

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Not for Growth

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

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

    Pros

    Good Full-time benefits and the people are nice and easy-going

    Cons

    The position, "engineer" ,is degrading here. The training is endless but you wouldn't really grow as an engineer. You're actually a monkey doing the same repetitive tests for clients and the motivation is dry. There is a lot of mis-communication between what goes on between the upstairs business politics and the downstairs labs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The Senior Engineers shouldn't be upstairs. They should be downstairs supervising the team physically while doing their own tasks. As for the Program Managers, try going downstairs more often and see your team. Walk around and strike a conversation here and there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Excellent Company to work for. Did not lay off any staff during the recession

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

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Great pay and benefits, tuition assistance, etc

    Cons

    work/life balance a little off

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get to know your employees better

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Underwriters Laboratories Photos

lab test area

+ Add Photo

Worked for Underwriters Laboratories? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.