Blue Origin Reviews | Glassdoor

Blue Origin Reviews

Updated February 27, 2019
70 reviews

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3.7
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Jeff Bezos
52 Ratings

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Pros
  • "I couldn't be happier with the 2 years I have spent at Blue Origin" (in 7 reviews)

  • "bring your dog to work, free lunch on Tuesdays, and on site gym" (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "Company is growing, bringing with it the pains of growth" (in 3 reviews)

  • "Just as slow-moving and incompetent as every other big aerospace company, but with a more arrogant attitude" (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good company"

    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

    I have been working at Blue Origin full-time

    Pros

    It has Nice working environment

    Cons

    No cons in blue origin


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Great Company, Great Owner, Great Engineers"

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

    I have been working at Blue Origin full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Owner is committed to the mission. He's investing $1B/year, has a long term vision, and has been consistent in his philosophy for how to build the company. The engineering team, especially the Guidance and Control (G&C) team, is world class - best I've worked with in my career. The G&C team consists of a mixture of PhD's, MS,, and Bachelors. Most from top 10 schools - e.g, MIT, Stanford, Texas A&M. Engineers are given substantial responsibility to design and deliver code that flies. Many of the original members are still here - turnover is very low.

    Cons

    Company is scaling up and it can be difficult to integrate new engineers into the processes of the team. With growth comes more bureaucracy but the company continues to try and create small teams that work independently on projects.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to work to keep small company attitude and approaches to solving problems. Look for bureaucracy and stamp it out. Compensation can be a problem ... Boeing salaries are competitive

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Don't start your career here"

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

    I have been working at Blue Origin full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Bold vision
    -Employees are friendly, but no different from other workplaces I've experienced
    -You get to work on rockets

    Cons

    -Scaling way too quickly
    -Increasingly “Kool-Aid” Culture
    -Employees treated like pawns

    Blue Origin is my first engineering job out of school. If I were to assess the composition of the company, I’d say most senior employees and upper-level managers are ex-aerospace from other companies (Rockedyne, Boeing, ULA, etc.). Blue Origin offers an opportunity for these people to “do it right” by developing products at a new company without process pitfalls and overhead that characterize old aerospace. Arrogance abounds, as most of these individuals have very strong opinions of how the company should be run (perhaps justified). Consequently, it seems like most decisions have a battle for control or hidden agenda implicitly attached. I’ve struggled to find individuals at the company I consider to be honorable leaders, and a lot of them seem to be leaving.

    As a new employee, you get assigned to a project, and usually there’s a person on the team that Blue wants you to “emulate.” That person assigns you work. This is typical of how industry functions, and if you pair well with the team then there’s nothing wrong with the system. The problem is Blue is scaling so quickly that they pay little to no respect to career history and ambitions of employees. Unless you see and know exactly who you want to be at the company, you can end up in a corner where your job is to take the work off the plate of more senior employees without clear definition of how this helps you get where you want to go (because what you want doesn’t matter). Since the company is scaling so quickly, it’s really tough to find people without an agenda to seek out for career development advice. I’ve had 2 (perhaps going on 3) functional managers in the last year just from company restructuring, not job-performance related.

    For first time students out of school, I think you are be better off starting at a company like Aerojet, Boeing, ULA, or Lockheed. These companies may be “old aerospace” but they will give you a clear impression of what a functioning aerospace company looks like. Moreover, they have well-established and vetted career development and training programs to help you figure out what you actually want to do and how to get there. The one exception to this I can think of is if you're dead set on working on liquid rocket engines; if that is the case then Blue or SpaceX may be the right place.

    Blue will likely be here down the road and will still need people if you decide to jump ship from another company someday. Perhaps I’m naive, but friends who work at other aerospace companies in the Seattle area seem more satisfied with their careers right now, even though my job at Blue may “sound cooler”.

    Advice to Management

    People tend to emulate their leaders. When company leaders demonstrate controlling and demoralizing behavior (I've seen a lot of this in the last 6 months), it really hurts the company as a whole. I'm deeply disheartened by it (hence this review) but I don't think the situation at Blue will improve until senior management is replaced.

    Remember how to respect your employees; this used to be a defining feature of Blue's culture.

    (CEO performance review is for Bob Smith, not Jeff)


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Exciting if you are in the right position"

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

    I have been working at Blue Origin full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Exciting place to be right now with engineers from all over the aerospace world coming in.

    Cons

    Work environment is truly awful. Noisiest and most invasive space I’ve worked in my entire career.


  5. "Pretty Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Aerospace Engineer in Kent, WA
    Current Employee - Aerospace Engineer in Kent, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Origin full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Co-Workers, Overall Mission, Work-Life Balance, Location

    Cons

    Growing pains of going from a very small company to a large company rapidly.
    Company is progressively taking away benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Glassdoor got the CEO wrong. Jeff Bezos the founder and primary visionary, Bob Smith is the CEO.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Sliding into chaos"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer
    Current Employee - Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Origin full-time

    Pros

    - Working on rockets.
    - Relatively flexible schedule.
    - Very engaged coworkers (also a con).

    Cons

    - Because arrogance and over-estimation of capability abounds, having engaged coworkers is not just a pro, it's a very big con. Many individuals seem incapable of self-reflection or realistic assessment of current skills.
    - Very inexperienced workforce due to hiring spree with an abundance of self-righteous behavior.
    - Confrontational behavior toward any negativity, which leads to unreasonable optimism and ultimately bad design.
    - It's become just another aerospace company with all the dysfunction and useless corporate-speak, but the lack of history and process stability makes it the worst of big aero.

    Advice to Management

    - Realistic assessment is not a problem, it's a necessity. Acknowledging reality is not a fault, it's a strength. Start respecting your employees with real spacecraft experience (not the homegrown self-styled 'experts' whose only success so far was not blowing themselves up in college and/or unrelated engineering field).


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Security Guard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Blue Origin full-time

    Pros

    Eh it was a cool place to work

    Cons

    The people sucked - but whatever im from Kent and thats how it goes down

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Inventing the Future & Having Fun at the Same Time"

    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

    I have been working at Blue Origin full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Agile, startup-tyle feel and culture (very different from large aerospace companies)
    -Great perks, there's a large playroom for kids in the HQ building and a conference room parents can book that looks into the kids room.
    -Great feeling of community that is working together to do something that's never been done before.
    -Leadership cares about doing the right thing.

    Cons

    Growing really fast comes with struggles, but that's true at any company. Better to grow than shrink!

    Advice to Management

    Keep making good decisions and facilitating growth


  9. Helpful (20)

    "Exciting mission but chaos reigns supreme."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kent, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kent, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Origin full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Exciting company mission, nirvana for space geeks. Good location, near highways, but away from the bustle of the city. Extremely open culture, no compartmentalized information hoarding.

    Cons

    While Blue Origin has a very exciting mission it is definitely not without its drawbacks. I've been an employee for seven years, and have seen the company grow from 150 when I started to almost 2,000. This growth has been very poorly managed and the company has suffered because of it. The original culture simply does not scale; when I started, the company only hired seasoned, experienced professionals, and management really only facilitated interaction between groups. The organization was *extremely* flat, with only two layers of management between employees and the company's president. Employees were all peers, with very little pecking order. This worked out *really* well during the company's early years, but began to fall apart as the organization grew and more junior people were hired. The complete lack of oversight has led to many, many bad technical decisions which were jumped into blindly. In most organizations these decisions would have been subject to review, risk assessment, and approval, but this approach runs counter to Blue's culture. This haphazard approach has led to the development of many unstable, unreliable, and virtually unmaintainable systems.

    Advice to Management

    Most organizations have a seniority ladder out of necessity; this provides room for advancement and can help to prevent the organization from taking unnecessary risk. The company cannot successfully grow without clearer role definition.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Drive"

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

    I have been working at Blue Origin full-time

    Pros

    To work at Blue, you have to have an internal motivation, or drive that very little possesses in order to succeed here. You have got to be damn good to do well here. Its not for the faint of heart. If you are not exceeding expectations and trail blazing, then you should be looking elsewhere.

    Cons

    Complicated work. What do you expect with Rocket Science?