General Atomics Reviews | Glassdoor

General Atomics Reviews

Updated August 22, 2017
510 reviews

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510 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • 9/80 work schedule, 7% pension, 401K match and very reasonable health benefits (in 67 reviews)

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

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "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


  2. "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.

  3. Helpful (9)

    "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.


  4. "Relax work, high base no bonus!"

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

    Pros

    Job security is a pro. Their base is high at the cost of no bonus. Governmental project means 10 years and no deliverable.

    Cons

    No bonus! They say there is but no bonus. The 9-80 calendar is not valid anymore. We work 5-40. Working on same project for a decade! Engineering levels are 1-9. They say you are a senior and when you start you realize their chart is not normal and you are demoted!

    Advice to Management

    Have respect for your employee. You make billions because of them.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Redundant and repetitive at times. Good stepping stone."

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

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

    Pros

    Job Security, Pension, Benefits, aerospace manufacturing environment.

    Cons

    No accountability, for the bottom to the top.

    Advice to Management

    Too much micro managing without focus on the more important things that make a business successful. Compensate quality employees accordingly and the company will continue to grow.

    General Atomics Response

    Jul 3, 2017 – Systems Administrator

    Thank you for your thoughtful feedback regarding your experience at General Atomics and affiliated companies. We will share this information with leadership.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "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.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "IT struggles to keep up and more shadow IT"

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

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

    Pros

    - Pension
    - Work life balance
    - Company Growth
    - Job security - they don't fire or lay off! (also bad)
    - Medical Leave - Seems that everyone takes off for 3 months eventually

    Cons

    - They don't get lay off or fire the bad folks
    - Lack of enterprise skills and innovation
    - Architect by committee
    - Behind the curve
    - Hardware EOL
    - Management inexperience
    - Ineffective HR

    Advice to Management

    Stop the bleeding get rid of the one problem employee before all the good people leave. Leverage your skilled and enterprise folks. Promote the good people that have a proven track record of delivering and making changes not demote them and put them under folks that have known personality conflicts and create a combative work environment?! Hold engineers accountable for their lack of execution and their failing environments unable to meet business demand. Do not enable those same people to create the same mess with no enterprise experience and not willing to listen or work and leave at 2pm. Embrace enterprise and automation and Engineer robust environments to meet the hungry demand of the exponentially growing business before more shadow IT develops...or maybe it's too late....

    General Atomics Response

    Jul 3, 2017 – Systems Administrator

    Thank you for your thoughtful feedback regarding your experience at General Atomics and affiliated companies. We will share this information with leadership.

  8. "Great Place To Work"

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of Interesting projects.
    Management is much better than many other defense contractors.

    Cons

    Extremely flat structure, not a lot of room for advancement.

    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.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Outstanding place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    The combination of private ownership, government contracting, market space dominance, critical mission focus, long-term growth & stability, and top-tier people make this an outstanding career company.

    Cons

    Not a gold-plated salary company. If you're looking for the big bucks or dramatic pay increases, this ain't the place.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in training and retention.

    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.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to learn"

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

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There is a lot of very interesting work going on and lots of opportunity to work on many different projects.

    Cons

    Not really much opportunity for salary growth once you are hired. The company seems to be okay with people leaving and coming back after a couple years.

    Pretty boring place to work for younger people.

    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.


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