Working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory | Glassdoor

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Overview
Lexington, MA
1001 to 5000 employees
College / University
Unknown / Non-Applicable
MIT Lincoln Laboratory, headquartered in Lexington, MA, is a U.S. Department of Defense research and development center chartered to apply advanced technology to problems of national security. We undertake projects in fields as diverse as cyber security, information sciences ... Read more

Mission: Research and development of technology solutions in support of national defense is the primary mission of MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Development of sensors, communications systems, information extraction and decision support systems has been our contribution to national security ... Read more

MIT Lincoln Laboratory – Why Work For Us?

Lexington, MA - Every day at MIT Lincoln Lab provides new opportunities to learn and grow

Rich Technical Challenges 

The real-world challenges of U.S. security and protection provide a continuously evolving array of satisfying, cutting-edge research and development opportunities. Agile thinkers will enjoy the freedom to develop novel ideas and then build and test them in sophisticated real-world simulations. There is stability and funding for long-term research goals as well. Many projects are multidisciplinary and collaborative, allowing staff - who are all experts in their own fields - to learn from and inspire each other. There is also support for building collaborative relationships beyond the Lab. Because of our close relationship with MIT, there are opportunities to consult with MIT faculty and the Lab encourages and supports publication and presentation of results and participation in professional society activities.   

Support to Excel Professionally and Personally 

Lincoln Laboratory provides a variety of benefits and amenities to support professional development and work/life balance, from generous tuition assistance and in-house courses on technical subjects and business management, to an on-site fitness facility, numerous sports leagues and clubs, and access to discounts on movies and museums. Some of our more unique opportunities include the Lincoln Scholars Program, which allows employees to apply for full-time pursuit of Master’s or Doctoral degrees; and eligibility for the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program, which pardons remaining student loan balances after 10 years of full-time Lab service and loan payments. 

Inclusive and Welcoming Environment 

To assist new employees in transitioning into the Laboratory and local area, the Lincoln Laboratory New Employee Network offers opportunities for social and professional networking. Active employee resource groups provide an additional forum for employees to connect with colleagues of similar backgrounds and experiences. 

Community Engagement 

For those who value giving back, opportunities also abound. Educational outreach efforts include the Lab’s “Science on Saturday” program for kids – fun, free science demonstrations offered at the Lab several times each school year – and “CyberPatriot,” a national student competition to defend a simulated corporate network from external attacks. Community-based outreach ranges from “Support our Troops” initiatives to our holiday giving tree.


Please visit our website at to learn more about our opportunities and mission areas and go to to read about the talented employees who are MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  

Working at Lincoln Laboratory

undefinedMIT Lincoln Laboratory technical staff work on applied research and development to provide solutions to national defense problems. Laboratory projects continually evolve with technology, presenting scientists and engineers with opportunities to explore new lines of research. In addition, many projects are multidisciplinary and collaborative.

The Laboratory, employing about 3700 people, has a strong infrastructure to support the research and demonstration activities behind the development of new devices and technologies. Lincoln Laboratory's facilities include dozens of small, specialized labs; a major microelectronics laboratory; an airborne test bed facility and an RF system test facility; the Lincoln Space Surveillance Complex; and a comprehensive library.


undefinedApproximately 1700 technical staff members work on research, prototype building, and field demonstrations. The technical staff come from a broad range of scientific and engineering fields. Two-thirds of the professional staff hold advanced degrees, and 60% of those degrees are at the doctoral level. 

Recognizing the evolving threats in the modern world, The Laboratory has initiated creation of a Cyber Security Division that will invesitgate solutions in Cryptography, Network Security, Penetration Analysis, and other cyber security threats..

The Laboratory’s strong affiliation with MIT provides staff with opportunities to take advantage of MIT’s offerings—courses, seminars, cultural events, and facilities.

The Laboratory’s location just outside Boston affords access to many fine universities and colleges. The Boston area also has excellent cultural institutions and recreation for sports enthusiasts and fans.


Employment at MIT Lincoln Laboratory brings with it the opportunity to participate in a variety of benefit programs. Benefit programs are reviewed periodically, and as a result, the programs and descriptions provided here are subject to change. More details on the programs can be found at MIT's Employee Benefits site or by visiting our multimedia virtual tour.


  • Medical:  For employees and eligible dependents, available health plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Point-of Service (POS) plans.
  • Dental Employees can choose a basic or comprehensive PPO dental plan that includes a large network of participating dentists with low out-of-pocket costs.
  • Vision:  An optional vision plan defrays costs for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Life Insurance MIT-paid Basic Life Insurance up to $50,000 and optional Supplemental Life Insurance are available to most employees through the Group Life Insurance Plan.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance:  An optional employee-paid plan is available to eligible employees, retirees, their eligible spouses, spousal equivalents, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, and grandparents-in-law.
  • Long-Term Disability:  This MIT-paid benefit available to eligible employees protects against the loss of income when an employee cannot work because of illness or injury.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts:  Employees can set aside money (up to IRS maximum limit), on a calendar-year basis, that is sheltered from federal, state, and FICA taxes to pay for certain planned medical, dental, and dependent-care expenses.
  • Adoption Assistance Program:  Up to $5000 per finalized adoption is available for eligible expenses. Further details are available.

Retirement Plans

  • Supplemental 401(k) Plan:  A "defined contribution" plan that provides an opportunity for employees to invest for their future through pre-tax contributions. When employees contribute to the 401(k) Plan, MIT will match their contributions up to 5% of their salary. Employees choose how their contributions and MIT's matching contributions are invested.  Employees are vested immediately.
  • Basic Retirement Plan:  A "defined benefit" plan that provides a benefit payable as lifetime, monthly income at retirement. MIT pays the full cost of the Basic Plan and enrollment in the plan is automatic. New employees hired after July 1, 2011, will be required to complete a 3-year vesting period. Service immediately preceding your employment at MIT for another not-for-profit organization or as a leased employee while working at MIT for a period of at least 1 year can be used as a credit toward the 3-year vesting requirement.

Educational Assistance

  • Tuition Assistance Plan:  Available to help employees obtain, maintain, and improve the skills necessary to develop their careers at MIT by providing financial assistance for qualified courses of study at accredited universities. Plan may provide as much as $5250 per year in tuition costs for approved courses.
  • Children's Scholarship Plan:  The plan provides educational grants for childrenof employees to attend MIT and, in some cases, accredited universities outside of MIT.
  • Children’s Educational Loans:  Employees may request a loan from MIT to help pay for higher education for eligible dependent children.
  • Lincoln Scholars Program:  For staff members interested in pursuing formal technical graduate programs at either the master's or doctoral level, the Laboratory offers the opportunity to apply for admission to the Lincoln Scholars Program, which enables full-time graduate study at MIT or other approved Boston-area universities.
  • Additional educational opportunities include Lincoln Laboratory's Technical Education Program, Professional Training and Development Program, and Computer Training Program.


  • Vacation:  A competitive vacation program is available to all employees. Detailed information is available at the time of interview.
  • Holidays:  Employees receive 12 paid holidays each year. Details are available upon request.
  • Sick Leave, Extended Sick Leave, and Parental Leave are also available to eligible employees.


A competitive relocation program is available to eligible employees. Details are available at the time of interview.

Additional amenities offered at Lincoln Laboratory

Cafeteria: The Laboratory has onsite food services catered by a local firm.  Breakfast and lunch are available along with coffee, beverages, and snacks.

Fitness Center:  Employees may join an onsite fitness center run by the MIT Athletic Department. The fitness center includes state-of-the-art equipment, as well as locker rooms and showers. A variety of aerobic and fitness classes are also offered.

Transportation:  The Laboratory operates a shuttle service between the Laboratory and MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass. Public transportation is also accessible to and from Lincoln Laboratory.

MIT Federal Credit Union:  All MIT Lincoln Laboratory employees may become members of the MIT Federal Credit Union, which offers savings plans and low-interest loans.

Onsite Library and Information Services: The library at Lincoln Laboratory provides complete information services to facilitate the staff's research. It offers a highly focused and comprehensive collection of technical books, reports, and electronic journals and databases in all Laboratory technology areas. Information specialists with degrees in physics, mathematics, aerospace engineering, and computer science are available to provide training and research support.

Child Care:  The Technology Children's Center is an independent, nonprofit child-care center managed by Bright Horizons and serving the Laboratory. The Center, located in Lexington, Mass., has programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Back-up Child Care and Elder Care Referral Program:  Benefits-eligible employees have access to this program through Parents in a Pinch.

MIT Activities Committee:  The MIT Activities Committee purchases blocks of tickets which, in turn, are made available to employees at discounted prices.  Activities include popular events, theater productions, and group outings to events throughout the Northeast.


Note: Benefits are available to employees working 50% or more of a full-time work schedule in an eligible classification. However, specific benefits may be affected by working less than 100% time or one year of employment. This site is intended to provide a brief summary of benefits and services. If there is an inconsistency between this site and the plan documents, the plan documents will govern. MIT reserves the right, at its discretion, to modify, change, or revoke any of the plans, programs, practices or policies described here, as MIT may require, with or without notice at any time. Nothing in the guide shall be construed as creating an express or implied obligation on the part of MIT.

Professional Development

undefinedMIT Lincoln Laboratory's commitment to the professional development of its staff is founded on the recognition that the Laboratory’s extensive research and development contributions are made possible through the staff’s continuing excellence and accomplishments.

The Laboratory encourages its staff to pursue advanced degrees and continuing education. The tuition assistance program provides support for educational endeavors at MIT or other schools in the Boston area.

The Graduate Education Program fosters staff participation in a number of initiatives.

  • The Lincoln Scholars Program, for which staff are eligible to apply, enables the pursuit of advanced degrees on a full-time basis.
  • Distance learning programs with Carnegie Mellon University and Pennsylvania State University make it possible for technical staff to complete master's degrees in information technology while continuing to work full time at the Laboratory.

Our in-house education program offers courses in technical subjects such as electro-optics, one-day technical seminars, classes in software applications and systems, and workshops in leadership and business skills.  

Support for professional activities is strong. The Laboratory encourages staff to publish in technical journals, attend conferences, and participate in activities of their professional societies. In addition, interdisciplinary projects and the diversity of work allow individuals opportunities to follow new interests and grow professionally.

The library at Lincoln Laboratory provides complete information services to facilitate the staff's research. It offers a highly focused and comprehensive collection of technical books, reports, and electronic journals and databases in all Laboratory technology areas. Information specialists with degrees in physics, mathematics, aerospace engineering, and computer science are available to provide training and research support.

"MIT Lincoln Laboratory recognizes that its continuing success is achieved through the appreciation and support of the diverse talents, ideas, cultures, and experiences of its employees."

                                        — Dr. Eric D. Evans

Employee Resource Groups

undefinedLincoln Laboratory New Employee Network (LLNEN)

LLNEN helps new employees transition into the Laboratory and the local area, and provides support to new employees through social and professional networking. LLNEN is committed to community outreach, facillitating opportunities for members to get involved in projects such as building houses with a local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

Lincoln Laboratory Technical Women's Network (LLTWN)

LLTWN is a forum for women technical staff to share experiences and resources. LLTWN's goals are to promote the professional development and achievement of technical women employees at all stages of their careers. 

Lincoln Laboratory Hispanic/Latino Network (LLHLN) LLHLN fosters diversity and inclusion by enhancing awareness of the Hispanic culture, supporting professional development, and promoting educational outreach. On Thursdays, LLHLN holds a Spanish-spoken-here luncheon; the Lab community is invited to enjoy the camaraderie and polish up their Spanish. LLHLN members also volunteer to help with campus recruiting.

Lincoln Laboratory Veterans' Network (LLVETs)
Recognizing that Lincoln Laboratory employees who are U.S. veterans have unique concerns and perspectives, LLVETs provides support to veterans transitioning directly from the military, engages in outreach to local active-duty troops and veterans, and works to create a network that informs members of activities and legislation affecting veterans. 

Lincoln Employees' African American Network (LEAN)
LEAN was established to help the Laboratory promote the recruitment of top African American candidates, provide support for the professional development of African American employees, and foster an environment of inclusion.

Lincoln Laboratory Out Professionals & Employees Network (LLOPEN)
LLOPEN serves as a resource for the Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community at Lincoln Laboratory. The group also provides the Laboratory with guidance in dealing with LGBT issues, helping promote an inclusive workplace.


Diversity and Inclusion Presentations

2013 Diversity Summit

undefinedMIT Lincoln Laboratory's second Diversity Summit addressed the challenges in fostering an environment of inclusion. Held on February 22 in the Laboratory's main auditorium, the summit is part of the Laboratory's commitment to finding and supporting excellence in its staff. The event featured a talk by Dr. Kristin Lane, assistant professor of psychology at Bard College, whose research on bias highlights how people's conscious beliefs about their biases are often at odds with implicit attitudes they unconsciously hold, as well as a panel discussion on ways to promote an inclusive work environment.   

The Bamboo Ceiling
Dr. Chris Yu, division leader of the Embedded Navigation and Sensor Systems Division at Draper Laboratory spoke on the cultural and organizational factors that prohibit Asian Americans from attaining executive positions.

Forum Discussion: Options for Dealing with Gender-Specific Difficult Situations and Difficult People

Sponsored by the LLTWN, this discussion was led by Mary Rowe, an MIT ombudsman and adjunct profesor of negotiation and confllict management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. The session suggested various ways to manage responses to harassment in the workplace, to discourage unacceptable behavior, and to deal with difficult people.

Disability Etiquette: Challenging Our Assumptions 
Michael Muehe, executive director of the Cambridge (Mass.) Commission for Persons with Disabilities, discussed how to conduct workplace interactions with people with disabilities.

Recognizing the Best and the Brightest: Gender and Race in Research
Sally Haslanger, professor of linguistics and philosophy, and the director of Women's and Gender Studies at MIT, discussed reasons why women and minorities are still underrepresented in many fields, including engineering and the sciences. This presentation was coordinated by LLTWN and the Laboratory's Diversity and Inclusion Office.   

Mentoring Programs

The role of both informal and formal mentorship in fostering employees' professional development and job satisfaction has been well documented. Recognizing mentoring's important effects on employee productivity and retention, the Laboratory established formal programs to complement informal mentoring arrangements. The programs are designed to help employees at different stages of their careers.

  • New Employee Guides – introduction to the Laboratory
  • Early Career Mentoring – one-on-one support during early stages of one's career development
  • Circle Mentoring – participation in discussion groups focused on career-related themes
  • New Assistant Group Leader Mentoring – support from an experienced group leader for a staff member taking on a new leadership role

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion



Throughout the year, informational displays increase awareness of the contributions, perspectives, and cultures of various groups.

National "months," such as Hispanic-American Month, are opportunites to introduce cultures. Themed menus at the Laboratory's cafeteria, special performances in the Noontime Concert Series, and guest lectures all enhance awareness.


The Noontime Concerts give employees a chance to experience many styles of music; the offerings range from classical European to American jazz to Latino dance music and to even Tuvan throat singing (poster at left).






MIT Lincoln Laboratory is committed to the principle of equal opportunity employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ancestry, national origin, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, or veteran status. U.S. citizenship is required for employment.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Reviews

Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Director Eric Evans
Eric Evans
78 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (9)

    "Best place you'll ever work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Staff in Lexington, MA
    Former Employee - Associate Staff in Lexington, MA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)


    Intellectual Freedom and Support - Anyone has the opportunity to propose new research projects, regardless of how crazy they may be, and potentially receive (large) funding from a wide range of sources. Colleagues at all levels are extremely supportive both intellectually and logistically. Doesn't matter if you are brand new or a veteran scientist/engineer, the opportunities are everywhere and you'll find no shortage of people to both encourage, advise and support, both informally and through formal programs.

    Financial Freedom - The lab is well funded and well equipped, You can probably find what you need to try what you want and if not, there are many opportunities to get funding for such, most of which are easy and approachable, even for a new hire.

    Personal Growth and Fun - The lab has superb financial support for those who want to learn more about an area professionally, become professionally certified in specific skills or get a higher degree, even from MIT. No other lab in the country has such a breadth and depth of financial and logistical support programs for its staff growth..

    Fun - Smaller Scala Darpa Grand Challenges and annual 'Try out your crazy idea and show it to the entire lab' competitions abound. They are incredibly fun but are as difficult as you'd like. Strap a laser radar to a dog, fly in a helicopter, program a remote controlled submarine, cure all viruses in rats. Where else are you going to find this?

    Resume - The lab's street cred in outside institutions, even those outside the defense industry, is absolutely top tier. I heard it was true when I worked there, but it wasn't until I left that I believed it. Lincoln's legit.

    Responsibility - Despite all the fun and innovation, the lab's commitment to national security issues is its first, second and third priority. This is engrained and non-negotiable. Despite what you may have heard in other places, research is hard, development is harder. You have to be committed to the mission. You have to take pride in your work. If you don't have it when you get there, you'll have it when you leave.


    Number of people - Lincoln can't grow without bound. The people that work there are great, but there are relatively few of them. This means you need to wear many hats and sometimes you'll be asked to work longer or harder than mortals would consider reasonable.

    Ladder Opacity - Rank is important. How good you are at your job depends not only what your skills are but how you apply them. I didn't know this until I left, but know the following:
    Assistant staff (leaf)- Be great at whatever specific skill you were hired for. Grow your skill set in that area using the Lab's plentiful resources to become a subject matter expert. Focus on extreme competence in your skill.
    Associate staff (twig)- Be the best subject matter expert you can be. Be competent in your core skills, but know more about the area than anyone else.
    Technical staff (branch)- Broaden your knowledge past your subject matter and know everything you can about that branch of research and the many areas it touches.

    The rank (promotion/compensation) ladder is a zero sum game, if you move up, someone else moves down. This is surprisingly non-competitive, as it is about how good you are at what you do best, relative to how good someone else is at what they do best. If you don't know whether to focus or broaden in advance, it is hard to navigate. The pull by your colleagues in both directions can be disorienting.

    Advice to Management

    Give the Tech Office as much freedom and money as they can get. They are the spark of innovation that feeds the fire that keeps the lab both exciting and on the bleeding edge of development.

See All 220 Reviews

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Photos

MIT Lincoln Laboratory photo of: The Laboratory's Main Entrance
MIT Lincoln Laboratory photo of: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
MIT Lincoln Laboratory photo of: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
MIT Lincoln Laboratory photo of: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
MIT Lincoln Laboratory photo of: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
MIT Lincoln Laboratory photo of: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
See All PhotosSee All

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Co-Op Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory (Lexington, MA).


    I applied for the position through the job site portal. I was contacted through email less than two weeks later to schedule an in-person interview. The interview was essentially a tour of the campus, and a brief questionnaire with HR. I recieved an email less than a week later with an offer. I accepted. I had to submit all of the background/security paperwork before my first work day. (it took roughly four weeks to process - when they tell you to do it with haste: DO IT).

    Interview Questions

    • Describe relevant experience/skills you posses with regards to the position you are applying for.   Answer Question
See All 91 Interviews

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Awards & Accolades

  • Three R&D 100 Awards, R&D Magazine, 2015
  • Three R&D 100 Awards, R&D Magazine, 2015
  • R&D 100 Awards, R&D Magazine, 2014
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence - Research & Development Category, U.S. Small Business Administration, 2013
  • Two R&D 100 Awards (Photoacoustic Sensing of Explosives & Structured Knowledge Space (Software)), R&D Magazine, 2013
See More

Work at MIT Lincoln Laboratory? Share Your Experiences

MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
Click to Rate