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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Reviews

Updated May 16, 2022

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Found 696 of over 888 reviews

4.2
81%
Recommend to a Friend
85%
Approve of CEO
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Director Dr. Ralph Semmel
Dr. Ralph Semmel
400 Ratings

Top Review Highlights by Sentiment

Pros
  • "The benefits are great and there seems to be a true emphasis on life/work balance.(in 103 reviews)
  • "The people were great to work with and the projects you work on are all very interesting(in 85 reviews)
  • "Work life balance is great!(in 37 reviews)
  • "Good pay and helpful mentors to guide with the internship.(in 26 reviews)
  • "Interesting work, friendly coworkers, plenty of other interns, lots of intern events.(in 22 reviews)
Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Ratings by Demographics

This rating reflects the overall rating of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and is not affected by filters.

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  1. 5.0
    Current Employee
    Featured Review

    The best place I've ever worked

    Feb 11, 2022 - Section Supervisor in Laurel, MD
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    APL is hands down the most employee-centered place I've ever worked. There is careful thought and consideration that goes into every decision they make and how it will or could impact employees. The environment is supportive, highly innovative and extremely collaborative. The benefits are incredible and the acknowledgement of appreciation for employee work is second to none. I've never worked anywhere that views its people as integral to the operation as APL does. On top of that, the work is incredibly meaningful.

    Cons

    I don't have any cons

    3 people found this review helpful
  2. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Dream job

    May 15, 2022 - Accounts Payable Processor in Baltimore, MD
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Flexibe work schedule, no micromanagement, great training

    Cons

    No one leaves because everyone loves working here so it harder to get promoted

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  3. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Way behind the curve

    May 6, 2022 - Software Engineer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Coming to APL right out of college, the pay is decent and there are many opportunities to gain experience across a wide variety of technologies, which can help narrow down interests within the field. For the most part, coworkers are very friendly and easy to get along with, although this may vary depending on the group. Also, employees can get a free Master's degree with no strings attached.

    Cons

    After working for some years at APL, your salary will no longer be competitive with other organizations (can easily get a 40-50% pay increase by switching jobs). Also, many projects feel pointless and lack any impact, especially IRADs. Lastly and most importantly, upper management is absolutely clueless when it comes to remote work. Many groups are being forced to show up 3+ days a week to the Lab, and any feedback that was gathered during the pandemic about preference to work remotely seems to be completely disregarded. Remote work was going great during the peak of the pandemic, and employees were incredibly productive. Now employees have to be in the office just to have Zoom meetings while trying not to be interrupted by other employees having Zoom meetings... The most infuriating part is that on-site presence is being tracked via badge swipes. Are we not professional adults that can be trusted? It's frankly insulting and immediately triggered my job search.

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    10 people found this review helpful
  4. 3.0
    Current Employee, more than 10 years

    Hidebound

    May 12, 2022 -  in Laurel, MD
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The place has a great connection to DoD funders and the projects can be rewarding to work on. The place speaks directly with DoD tech developers and the relationships are long-term. Contracting with a UARC like APL is very straightforward for DoD organizations, so the place gets funding for a lot of interesting work.

    Cons

    Run by lifers. Inward-looking. There is a very narrow idea funnel toward external opportunities. They encourage ideas but kill off nearly all of them because the limited number of people who can take in external work all have their own careers to think about. The place is extremely top-down. Its an 80 year old institution with most of the power in people who have been there 30 years, so the casual and internal networks have all the power and the org chart is irrevant. Most of the new staff comes from former interns who are mentored as a way to build personal fiefdoms. This creates a tribal and factional atmosphere.

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    5 people found this review helpful
  5. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    Listen to Employees

    May 4, 2022 - Software Engineer in Laurel, MD
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Good place to start out your career right out of college. Take advantage of the tuition benefit, it’s pretty good. Right out of college it’s a good place to get breadth of experiences on different projects.

    Cons

    Upper levels of management are not transparent and they don’t listen to the people below them. There is almost a culture of fear instilled in people who wish to bring up issues they’re seeing. There has been high attrition in the past few years and the key issues causing people to leave have not been addressed. The company has poorly handled COVID and return to work - requiring people to be in the office 3 days a week regardless of their ability to work from home. There was an illusion of “togetherness” during the peak of the pandemic, but that has sense disappeared. Overall the company is very hesitant to take risks, whether that be on individuals seeking leadership opportunities or trying out new organizational ideas (remote work, etc.) This will keep APL from staying level with its peers. APL needs to do better regarding D&I. While this is getting better with new hires, upper management and decision makers are not diverse.

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    10 people found this review helpful
  6. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Remarkable place to work

    Apr 11, 2022 - Section Supervisor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Meaningful work and projects, work life balance, competitive pay, great benefits, not for profit status enables ability to provide unbiased and objective results

    Cons

    Lack of transparency in salaries and promotion opportunities, decentralized information and processes, lack of diversity in leadership, lack of diversity in technical professional staff, need to prioritize recruiting at HBCUs, HSIs, and underrepresented institutions and professional societies/organizations

    Continue reading
    7 people found this review helpful
  7. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Motivated by Knowledge

    Dec 18, 2021 - Engineer II in Laurel, MD
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Since APL a University Affiliated Research Center, it's not for profit. This place is motivated by Science and Learning, NOT profits. They really care about supporting you to be the best you can, via pursuing more education, leadership roles, lisetning to new ideas, exposing you to more work experience ,etc. Compared to other giant organizations in the defense industry, it's way easier to move around and do different work or do different things, because they want you doing work that you are motivated to do so that we all can get the best results. There exists a whole structure for any employee to come up with brand new ideas that APL will fund . And if you begin to show promising results they will continue to fund it even further. This place just fosters improvement all around. Diversity distribution in management positions reflects the diversity distribution throughout the rest of the organization The gyms on site are wayyy cheaper than any gym membership elsewhere. I'd highly recommend any engineer or scientist strongly consider working here.

    Cons

    Although every one here is incredibly friendly, it's very easy to be isolated. It may be related to my work specifically but there isnt a lot of very heavy team work involved in the tasks. You aren't working hand in hand with other people. Location is not ideal for younger crowds who may want to live in bigger metropolitan areas like DC/Bethesda/Silver Spring or Baltimore. Though its totally feasible if you're willing to make the 35 minute drive. Finally, this is an industry wide issue, and not specific to APL, but it is still dominated my predominantly caucasian males.

    8 people found this review helpful
  8. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Cool Work!

    Apr 28, 2022 - Senior Professional Staff I in Laurel, MD
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    JHU/APL has great work life balance. There are also tons of cool things to work on. I constantly have to pick between several cool projects because there just aren't enough hours in the day.

    Cons

    It's a large organization and with the comes some bureaucracy.

    Continue reading
    2 people found this review helpful
  9. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Go elsewhere

    May 5, 2022 - Operations Coordinator in Laurel, MD
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Good benefits, history, and place to start your career (get experience and a security clearance then leave).

    Cons

    No career progression. You will remain an Operations Coordinator with minimal pay raises that do not keep up with inflation. Having to interact with an incompetent and lazy security department is mind numbing. The hiring process takes six months (on average). It would also help if management would stop changing job titles on a monthly basis.

    Continue reading
    7 people found this review helpful
  10. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 10 years

    Terrific culture

    May 11, 2022 - Technical Lead 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The work is meaningful and the people are terrific.

    Cons

    Pay is not as high as some of the big tech companies.

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Viewing 1 - 10 of 696 Reviews

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Reviews FAQs

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5, based on over 888 reviews left anonymously by employees. 81% of employees would recommend working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to a friend and 74% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has decreased by -7% over the last 12 months.

According to anonymously submitted Glassdoor reviews, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory employees rate their compensation and benefits as 4.2 out of 5. Find out more about salaries and benefits at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. This rating has decreased by -6% over the last 12 months.

81% of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory 4.4 out of 5 for work life balance, 4.1 for culture and values and 4.2 for career opportunities.

According to reviews on Glassdoor, employees commonly mention the pros of working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to be coworkers, career development, benefits and the cons to be senior leadership, culture, management.

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APL is committed to fostering a positive, diverse, and inclusive culture. APL is developing technologies that protect our nation and expand...More

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Company Updates

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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

127 days ago

Company News
The DARTMission is underway! 🚀 Lighting up the California coastline early in the morning of Nov. 24, 2021, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried NASA’s Double Asteroid Direction Test (DART) spacecraft off the planet to begin its one-way trip to crash into an asteroid. ☄️ 🪨 🛰 DART - a mission designed, developed and managed by Johns Hopkins APL for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office - is the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending the planet against potential asteroid or comet hazards.
Shared image - NASA's DART Spacecraft Launches in World's First Planetary Defense Test Mission
NASA's DART Spacecraft Launches in World's First Planetary Defense Test Mission
www.jhuapl.edu
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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

127 days ago

Company News
Navy ships are outfitted with a vast network of equipment to ensure the vessel and its crew’s safety and navigation accuracy. However, most of the electro-optical and infrared surveillance systems used for routine visual identification are mounted to guns, which leads to noncombatants and friendly ships inadvertently placed in the weapons’ crosshairs. To address this issue and help define a next-generation EO/IR capability for US Navy ships, a team from Johns Hopkins APL led the development of system requirements for the Shipboard Passive Electro-Optical Infrared (SPEIR) program. https://jhuapl.link/lbq SPEIR acts as a visual surveillance system providing persistent high-resolution image processing to operators from a new set of EO/IR cameras installed above the ship deck.
Shared image - Johns Hopkins APL Helps Define Next-Gen Naval Surveillance System
Johns Hopkins APL Helps Define Next-Gen Naval Surveillance System
www.jhuapl.edu

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