General Atomics Reviews | Glassdoor

General Atomics Reviews

Updated September 18, 2017
515 reviews

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515 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • 9/80 work schedule, 7% pension, 401K match and very reasonable health benefits (in 68 reviews)

  • 9/80 work schedule for most departments, Flexible working condition (in 30 reviews)

Cons
  • Excessive travel has strained work/life balance (in 11 reviews)

  • While the company is growing, many areas are feeling the associated growing pains in areas such as management and corporate structure (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great company culture and work-life balance."

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

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Easy-going company culture, great place to be. Pay is competitive and they're good about raises if you're below industry standard. They want to retain talent. Accommodating of family emergencies, surprises, and allow you to move around schedule.

    Cons

    HR is slow with process. Very siloed on their technical aspects.

    General Atomics Response

    Jul 3, 2017 – Systems Administrator

    Thank you for taking the time to leave your review about your experience with General Atomics and affiliated companies


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Exciting projects, limited career growth opportunities"

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

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    9/80 schedule, good benefits, flexible work environment. Plant/ facility Locations are desirable. Interesting products and improvements being made to streamline and increase efficiency.

    Cons

    Limited career growth, gender gap and limited growth potential for women and minority's. Company tends to focus on outdated Manament styles which leads to missed opportunities to tap into new ideas and provide career expansion.

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your managers and supervisors, mingle with the worker bees by allowing confidential feedback every 3 to 6 months. Stop playing favorites (Manament and HR) and close the gender pay gap for women and minority's

  3. "Design Engineer"

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

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Upward growth potential in expanding market and expanding company, private company, vertical integration

    Cons

    Expectation to do great things with limited resources, still systematizing processes and training

    General Atomics Response

    Jul 3, 2017 – Systems Administrator

    Thank you for taking the time to leave your review about your experience with General Atomics and affiliated companies


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Stability and Growth - GA Exemplified"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    An incredibly stable employer, with ZERO history of layoffs. Continuous growth as the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone) market continues to expand worldwide. Steady leadership at the upper echelons. Solid business model.

    Cons

    Continuous growth results in continuous growing pains. Not the top salary in the industry. Often outgrows infrastructure.

    Advice to Management

    PLAN growth, don't just experience it! Being proactive beats being reactive every time.

    General Atomics Response

    Jul 3, 2017 – Systems Administrator

    Thank you for taking the time to leave your review about your experience with General Atomics and affiliated companies. We appreciate your feedback.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Engineer III. Pretty good overall."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer III in Poway, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer III in Poway, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits. Facilities are nice. Location in Poway is nice. Management seemed fine for the most part. Work pace is nice. Variety of work was nice.

    Cons

    Communication between departments was utterly missing. People were too reluctant or non responsive to help you on a project if their boss didn't approve of a Job Number first. Even a couple easy questions. So i was basically on my own for several projects where I wasn't a subject matter expert. Very weird isolation.


  6. "Supplier QE"

    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 General Atomics full-time

    Pros

    privately owned company. Great retirement benefits. Great advancement opportunities

    Cons

    Located outside of San diego city


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Logistics Develpment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Logistic Development in Poway, CA
    Current Employee - Logistic Development in Poway, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    relaxed work environment. 9/80 schedule, 100% company paid pension. Depending on the department upward mobility.

    Cons

    Raises and bonus where always low. In some departments its really who you know and talk to, not your performance. I was in the military and this place is full of former military and if your boss was in a similar unit or you know them you will probably have a leg up.

    Advice to Management

    when doing annual reviews, you need to look at the performance of their job, not who spent the most time smoking with you. Leads need to have input in the reviews.

  8. "Engineer"

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

    I have been working at General Atomics (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great location, off fridays (9/80)

    Cons

    Below average pay, minimal vacation time, poor career development strategy


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Great company who takes care of employees, hard to get raises once within"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer II in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer II in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great benefits (healthcare, 401k matching, pension)
    - Hard to get fired (this is also a con)
    - Smaller company so a little more lax than extra huge corps
    - Individually owned, so a little more stable

    Cons

    - Hard to get raises once you're in the company, so try to get a good starting pay. The grading scheme "meets", "high meets", "exceeds" is highly based on how many high achievers are in your group. They can only rarely give out an "exceeds" and limit the number of "high meets" even if everyone is really good.
    - Hard to get fired. This is a good thing I guess, but what ends up happening is you get stuck with some people that really shouldn't be in the position they're in. I think HR doesn't want lawsuits so they do everything they can to not fire people.

    Advice to Management

    Develop a grading scheme that doesn't require managers to limit the number of "high meets" or "exceeds" ratings. This just demotivates the hard workers in the end.
    Get better at trimming the fat.

    General Atomics Response

    Jun 2, 2017 – Systems Administrator

    Thank you for taking the time to leave your review about your experience with General Atomics and affiliated companies. We appreciate your feedback.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "Pick and choose your stress as a software engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    1.0 9/80 schedule, competitive salary, great benefits
    2.0 Flexible work schedule
    3.0 Work is predetermined for you (you do not need to be creative - you follow management directives)
    4.0 If you like a grindy type job where you don't need to think and can just make paper or code or test code or test results this is the place for you.

    Cons

    1.0 Old school management style - no headphones allowed. No fun basically.
    2.0 People auditing work environment that may take away comforts like fans and other devices you use to get by in your office space everyday.
    3.0 Creativity and productivity are constantly attacked by perpetual upper level management encroachment into technical project areas. If it moves in a way that is beneficial to the company it is attacked by many procedural engineering instructions to the point where it is taxed so heavily anyone but the most stalwart engineer will push it through.
    4.0 Upper and middle management sits in luxury while other engineers suffer in a environment that lacks in true product quality and is all about paperwork and process.
    5.0 Defense contracting is all about billable hours. Instead of focusing on efficiency and good products. The focus is on billing more for contracts to the government via more labor, when less labor could get the job done and yield a better product. It seems defense contracting is more about employing the populace than about making a great product at an effective price point, because if you don't spend the money - the next contract will be for less money (no incentive for smart engineers!). It makes us all pay more in taxes gives us a worse product and doesn't help advance STEM.
    6.0 Finally - terrible management - all the good honest team members (or those who can risk leaving for better things) orientated people leave - the corrupt hardheaded people with no better place to go or no internal drive to strive for more in this world stay - and make everyone else miserable at this place. Use their position of power to make others as miserable as them and enforce this on other entrants to this upper class.

    Advice to Management

    Separate and enable your creative people to grow at GA instead of being subject to the soul crushing old boy defense contractor management style environment.

    General Atomics Response

    Jun 2, 2017 – Systems Administrator

    Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. We appreciate the feedback and regret that you had this experience with General Atomics and affiliated companies.


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