Bigelow Aerospace Reviews | Glassdoor

Bigelow Aerospace Reviews

Updated August 16, 2018
70 reviews

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2.1
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Robert Bigelow
56 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Free Cookies, Ice Cream & Coffee" (in 11 reviews)

  • "It could be the free cookies and ice cream" (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • "No direction, no training, no team work, no real products, no real customers, no respect, no vision, no career path, no job security, no good benefits" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Vacation policy: you don't start accruing until 120 days" (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Bigelow Aerospace is not “FAKE” like the bad reviews!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Las Vegas, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bigelow Aerospace full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    All of the positive reviews are real!!! Many of us do likworking at Bigelow Aerospace. There is a good culture here. Challenging projects are ongoing. Give the “fake “ bad reviews a rest!!!

    No need to list all of the positive aspects of the company. Just visit the website and see the benefits page. It’s posted right there and it is not “fake”.

    Cons

    Most of the cons are no longer with the company!!!!

    Individuals who could not and would not work to improve the company. No one group or individuals are easily replaceable but bad apples are bad apples. Time to move on and realize that you had an opportunity to work as a team and you chose not to. That is no ones fault but your own. Should have stepped your game up and not “faked” your way out the door!!

    You can list all that you think was bad but you don’t see the big picture and don’t have all the facts.

    Advice to Management

    Talk with the staff and communicate the great things that are currently happening and what the future may hold. Cultivate the go team atmosphere and build on the progress we are making.


  2. Helpful (11)

    "Don't bite the hand that feeds"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    38 hour work week, free lunches, and great projects to name a few!

    Cons

    Ungrateful employees who think they are entitled to more than they deserve. You are NOT irreplaceable, and if the people writing these reviews are caught they will be terminated immediately. Engineers and machinists need to realize that they are a dime a dozen, and people are begging for jobs here. You should be grateful to be a part of this team, and grateful for Mr Bigelow and his management teams experience. For those of you who are loyal to Mr Bigelow, thank you. For the rest, management is watching, and you will find out just how replaceable you are.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing, don't let a bunch of whining children make you think you're not doing a great job.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Up to the challenge"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Las Vegas, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bigelow Aerospace full-time

    Pros

    Challenging work load. Interesting projects. Great support staff. Solid benefits with 401k and vacation.

    Cons

    Tough projects with short deadlines. Under staffed. More Aerospace experienced individuals are needed to support the challenging programs. Staff retention can be difficult due to the Las Vegas location.

    Advice to Management

    Upgrade user interfaces with new technologies. Expand current support systems and create more user friendly information exchange systems.

    Continue supporting the team and many programs.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Entire Propulsion Department fired"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Never got past the gate to find out if there was any

    Cons

    The CEO hired a whole team of us (Propulsion). We moved from all over the country and the day we go to start, he 'fires' us all. There is no exaggeration to this, it happened. What does that tell you?

    Advice to Management

    Propulsion is needed, good luck trying to get anyone in there now with how your bad rep is spreading across the aerospace industry like a wild fire.


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Up for the challenge...of not getting fired?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chief Operating Officer
    Former Employee - Chief Operating Officer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    None other than the fun of living in Vegas

    Cons

    Over a few months, I witnessed no less than 5 people being escorted out by security because they were being fired for no reason other than the owner naively believing he's the best at everything and can do everything himself. Over this same amount of time, at least 10 people quit because of the terrible work environment, zero time off, and expensive benefits. All employees are treated as day laborers and it's wrong to do that no matter who your employees are. There's no loyalty to the employees so there's no loyalty to the place. Look at their open reqs and ask how can anything ever succeed when vital positions are not filled and most current employees are so defeated they have a foot out the door.

    Advice to Management

    Other than stop writing fake reviews, none. They don't deserve squat, especially from me.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Turnover is out of control"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Bigelow Aerospace full-time

    Pros

    Zero. None whatsoever. If there is a pro, it doesn't leave the lions den behind the glass upstairs.

    Cons

    The turnover here is more than I've ever seen anywhere and I've worked everywhere from fast food to real engineering firms. When the bosses don't respect their employees, the employees won't respect their bosses so they leave. Here though you're more likely to get canned for doubting the "expertise" of a realtor who one day decided to be an aerospace engineer.

    Advice to Management

    Zero. None whatsoever. Stop scamming people to take jobs there, who move their families there only to fire them before they even start.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Bigelow is no Howard Hughes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The NASA-legacy technology and principles are legitimate. There is true pride in having a module on the ISS. You will have the chance to rub elbows with dedicated engineers and scientists at various points in their careers before they quit or are fired.

    Cons

    If you survive long enough, this will be the most depressing leg of your aerospace career. Believe the negative reviews - they come from employees of all walks and stretch back many years. There is a core, sycophantic group of support staff that surround “Mr. B,” as Robert Bigelow is referred to, who are loyal to a fault. Then there are the rest of the “expendables” located “down below.” (Literally. The owner has an extremely well-furnished upper-floor mezzanine where only he and a select few are permitted - not only to work but even to visit - while the rest work in shoddy portables or OSHA-noncompliant warehouses on the ground floor.)
    Beyond that, Critical Problem #1: Robert Bigelow, the owner, micromanages systems, contracts, and requirements as though he were Howard Hughes of Hughes Aircraft... but Hughes he his not. He confuses his hotel-based business acumen for engineering competence and physics knowledge, which not only cripples good designs (as he does not understand them and is prone to rejecting ideas that are not his own), but when combined with the fact that Bigelow Aerospace is critically-understaffed, leads to company-wide deadlock on projects. This is why the B330 was supposed to launch in 2016. And then 2018. And then 2020. And then 2022....
    Critical Problem #2: Bigelow Aerospace is now damaged goods in the aerospace industry. So many good employees and contractors have been burned by Mr. B, including many ex-NASA personnel, that the word is out. Having Bigelow on your resume is now more a liability than an asset. Take this from someone that has moved on and continued to network. Now, having Bigelow on your resume might give you “sympathy points,” but I’m not sure you’d want to bank on that. Large, competent, well-staffed contractors are now moving in on “inflatables” via NASA’s Deep Space Gateway, and so when this reality is combined with the bad blood he’s spread around the industry, Bigelow’s days “at the table” are seriously numbered.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being your own worst enemy. Trying to reinvent the aerospace wheel in your own image has cost you dearly in terms of time, manpower, reputation, and viability. The venture is doomed to fail without clearing the way for a real Hughes to take the helm: An aircraft that is too heavy cannot fly; if you cannot offload enough weight to achieve lift, it is time to redesign, not press on stubbornly.
    TransHab could fly, if only you’d let sound engineering and science prevail.

  8. Helpful (17)

    "Give the Fake Reviews a Rest, OK?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in North Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in North Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not very many. Possibly the best is they are an example of how NOT to run a company.

    Cons

    Too many to list. Please see all reviews rated one star or less. They've pretty much covered it.

    I also suggest that you read the FAKE reviews as well; they're easy to spot. Notice how none of them deny that 14 people were laid off one day in January 2016 one hour after showing up for work. None of them deny the confiscation of accrued vacation. None of them deny the safety issues.

    Just a bunch of praise for their Great Leader.

    Advice to Management

    How can you expect to succeed in getting a man-rated spacecraft on orbit by 2021, with less than 150 employees? How can you do this without a propulsion department, without a systems engineering group, without a test engineering group, without a quality group, without a safety group? Do you really think you're fooling anyone with your obviously FAKE reviews?


  9. Helpful (15)

    "Short-term stay aerospace company akin to the Budget Suites"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in North Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in North Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The amazing optimistic people there that believe that with enough hard work, dedication, and combined skill set that we can get this next vehicle to fly.

    Cons

    That moment when you realized your hopes, dreams, and years of engineering experience get crushed by management's unrealistic, impossible command of design variables.

    That moment when you're sitting at your desk, and realizing that you've been crying because you're so stressed out from figuring out if today is your last day through no fault of your own...over the course of a month.

    That moment that you've made it through the stages of grief, and you've made it to Acceptance, because every day may very well be your last.

    That moment when you laud your favorite employee after they figure out a fantastic new design ...but then someone important doesn't like it and subsequently fires him.

    That moment when you watch your torch of hope in this already overtly negative place gets extinguished through the politics of management. Don't step on the brightly colored snake(s) in the grass.

    That moment when management gets fired for possibly supporting your favorite employees and departments get split up red-rover style to the remaining managers.

    That moment when an employee's weaknesses is exposed, instead of using improvement strategies, they use it for ammunition to fire employees.

    That moment when the remaining managers treat you like damaged goods and don't want to claim any responsibility over your existing designs and your coworkers talking out loud about when your possible last day is.

    That moment when you realize no manager wants to sign off on any of your documentation to further your project, but you're pressured heavily to further your project along.

    That moment that you realize 'right to work' state means pretty much the opposite: right to fire.

    That moment when the safety policy is to look out for each others safety, because if anyone gets hurt, and the boss gets sued, then all our jobs are on the line....as opposed to looking out for your fellow humans and ensuring a safe work environment, because no one deserves to get injured on the job.

    That moment that you realize that people in supportive roles have interestingly more authority over your designs that are defined by logic and engineering principals. Their feelings and gut reactions over-ride your excell sheets, your months / years worth of data, your maths, your hard work because they feel that it arbitrarily needs to be 'thicker', 'smaller', 'stronger', 'softer', 'tighter', 'looser', in any random combination of the day.

    That moment when you're held to arbitrary drafting standards that contradict the last arbitrary drafting standards because they were already arbitrary and have to re-do all your work for no reason.

    That moment that you realize that your drawing has been pending in checking for half a year with no end in sight.

    That moment that you realize it takes well over half a month on average to clear a drawing through the checkers because your pride in your engineering competence gets in the way.

    That moment that you watch managers politically protect their incompetent employees because they realize they wouldn't be able to find anyone else willing to take that job for that low of pay.

    That moment when you watch managers scramble to come up with a way to keep a bossman happy by agreeing to literally anything he says, and puts the burden on you to solve an impossible problem, and figuratively throws you under the bus.

    That moment when you watch those same people agree to cutting critical structural members supporting a massive structure based on the whim of the powers that be without doing previous calculations to ensure the safety of the employees and the integrity of the structure.

    That moment that you realize that you're trying to defend for weeks that its OK that your structure flexes a relatively small amount under load, as there's no such thing as an infinitely stiff material and stress-strain are very real principals.

    The moment that you wont get fired for defending the nature of physics....this time.

    That moment you realize that you have a flat tire on your way to work, and you're more worried about clocking in on time rather than being able to deal with the fact that your motorcycle almost ended your life at that very moment.

    That moment that you realize that you need to see a doctor / dentist / medical professional / errand / anything that is open between only 8-5 and you can't because there is no sick time and there is no flex time.

    That moment that you're excited to see top management finally visit your area for the first time since you began working there and you want to finally meet this genius of a man, just to watch him come in and escort a few people out, and subsequently fire a ton of members of your team.

    That moment when you're on your last day of 4-month probation and you jokingly start off the day thinking "oh boy, i just hope i don't get fired today", and then watch as 1/3 of the company gets laid off that evening.

    That moment when you're talking to someone who's just hit their 6 month mark with the company and their going through their typical existential crisis of working there, wondering how its possible to meet any objectives, realizing that systematically nothing makes sense, and how they have to deal with the boss.

    That moment when you realize you've had that talk with way too many people.

    That moment when you realize that you've become the senior-most person in your department after everyone got fired or quit...and you feel like you just started...

    That moment that you've realized that you had twice as many of your managers come and go every year than the years you've served at the company.

    That moment that you realize that there's no one left to learn from to further your career.

    That moment that you realize the average tenure of any engineer in the company is less than a year and a half...and that you're vastly exceeding that limit.

    That moment you realize your department doesn't even technically exist anymore.

    That moment you realize that you've been in a constant state of emotional stress for a chance to be in aerospace, and whether you've been able to actually learn anything useful enough to make you competitive and valuable at other aerospace companies.

    That moment that makes you wonder if that trade-off was even worth it.

    That moment when you're pulling up to the guard shack in the morning wondering if today they won't let you in because they fired you. On a weekly basis... because there's a history of that.

    That moment that you shrug off all these rumors that are floating around that are too bad to be true...just to realize that they were true and way worse than you even imagine.

    That moment that you find out that taking days off adjacent to holidays do not qualify for vacation days and you say goodbye to extended long weekends.

    That moment that you've realized that you've taken more Leave Without Pay days than vacation days when getting your tax forms at the end of the year because you realized that you really like extended long weekends.

    That moment that you're sitting at the annual thanksgiving raffle for $4k to 25 random employees, and wondering why we don't have performance based reviews or bonuses or an even distribution to all employees for $1k instead.

    That moment when you realize that there are no quantifiable performance reviews and that people will receive random bumps in pay regardless of what their manager thinks.

    That moment that you realize that you've been have had a different manager every time during your annual performance reviews.

    That moment when you get excited to meet the new propulsion team that just spent a week moving their families across the country just to watch them denied entry at the gate on their first day...because they were fired before they started.

    That moment when you received a text from your coworkers and boss that you are required to have a "safe to return to work" note from a doctor after taking vacation during flu season.

    That moment when you're sitting at a doctor's office at 2am on a tuesday night explaining to the confused doctor that all you need is a note stating that you are healthy and able to return to work, because, without that note, you will not be allowed to return to work because it's flu season and you are healthy, but you took a vacation during flu season and this is randomly levied upon you the last night of your vacation.

    That moment that you realized that you miraculously haven't been sick the whole time working there, which is great because there are no sick days available.

    The moment that you realized you actually just went to work anyway sick as a dog because that's what your entire department did and that's why you're currently sick.

    That moment that you realize that you haven't seen that burrowing owl that's nesting near the parking lot in over a week, and that it's been the only thing you've been looking forward to seeing after another wretched day.

    That moment that you realized that you haven't seen the stray cat that greets everyone at the guard shack on their way out in a few weeks, and then during your lunch workout you run past its grave in a discreet location on property (RIP Houdini)

    That moment that you watch your friends cry from stress because they have no idea how to make their design work AND meet the random physically impossible requirements of the owner that was forced upon them for no reason.

    That moment when you watch someone's weight conscious design gets arbitrarily 'beefed-up' and it literally affects all connecting structures since everything has become significantly stiffer, causing a massive cascade of weight penalties and effectively will take years worth of redesign in the wrong direction.

    That moment when your systems engineering team is at a loss as to leavy actual requirements from NASA and those of a real estate developer... who feels that his intuition is more important.

    That moment that you read other glassdoor reviews written by management threatening to terminate your fellow coworkers if they write bad things in a glassdoor review.

    That moment that you realize that there is no courtesy to a two-week notice here, as they simply kick you out immediately and will not pay those two-weeks.

    That moment that after you quit, they penalize the remaining members of the company by doing away with free lunches MWF. (sorry guys...)

    That moment that you realize that your design will never ever fly.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating people as if they were easily replaceable with no regards to humanity.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "The grass is not always greener!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations in North Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Operations in North Las Vegas, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bigelow Aerospace full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    We have proven products that we have launched (Genesis I and II), the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) was launched on April 8, 2016 and has been attached to the International Space Station (ISS) for over two years. Our current focus is the B330 spacecraft which we plan to launch 2021. Who else has done this? Not our competitors!

    Our Management Team at Bigelow Aerospace has a tenure of 10-20+ years, and several 5+ years. They are exceptional leaders who are devoted to Mr. Bigelow, their teams, and projects assigned to them.

    Our benefits (medical, dental, vision) and 401K start on day one! We work 38 hour work week but get paid for 40. We are off between Christmas and New Years, paid. Mr. Bigelow offers lunch Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Our catered holiday luncheon Mr. Bigelow gives away 4K to 25 employees.

    As a grateful employee and reading some of these reviews, it's disheartening. We all are here to follow in Mr. Bigelow's vision, not recreate it. No doubt we have our peaks and valleys but what company doesn't ! We need to not bite the hand that feeds us. Be adaptable, humble, and ready to take on a challenge that is out of this world!

    I've worked in industries where I have been torn apart so coming to Bigelow Aerospace has been a breath of fresh air. Maybe employees who have such a terrible taste in their mouth need to be humbled a little because the grass is not always greener. Just food for thought.

    Cons

    The benefits are not the most cost effective but there are options; PPO, HMO or if you decide to opt out of the benefits the company offers a wage salary benefit of $141.82 bi-weekly.

    You don't accrue any vacation till year one.


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