KEY NOT FOUND: coverImgAlt
Logo
See All Photos
Best Places to Work 2022

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Engaged Employer

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Add a Review

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Employee Reviews about "work life balance"

Updated Dec 3, 2021

To filter reviews, or .

Found 91 of over 809 reviews

4.3
83%
Recommend to a Friend
89%
Approve of CEO
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Director Dr. Ralph Semmel
Dr. Ralph Semmel
422 Ratings
Pros
  • "Research; Applied solutions; Benefits; Opportunities for growth; work/life balance; University affiliation(in 83 reviews)

  • "Flexible hours and great benefits(in 58 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Red Tape, less than government though(in 14 reviews)

  • "Requires a security clearance, Laurel is a bit away from Baltimore and DC(in 12 reviews)

  • More Pros and 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.

    Want more demographic options?

    Reviews about "work life balance"

    Return to all Reviews
    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Great place for a diverse STEM workforce

      Sep 1, 2021 - Senior Project Manager in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The benefits and work-life balance cannot be beat anywhere else. The work is really interesting, meaningful, and fulfilling. Co-workers care about your career trajectory, look out for you, encourage growth, and look for opportunities to lift you up. Fantastic work carried out by ERGs and HR to make the workplace inclusive to everyone.

      Cons

      Continuing to diversify our workforce is an on-going challenge. Although this seems to be a priority among our leaders, and not an uncommon challenge in STEM workforces due to external forces working against marginalized social identities in STEM. ERGs continue to push our leadership to be accountable for this growth area.

      2 people found this review helpful
    2. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Great for what it is

      Dec 3, 2021 - Software Engineer in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great benefits, flexible hours, encourages work-life balance

      Cons

      No large raises, inconsistent work, DoD work.

      1 person found this review helpful
    3. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Overall, great place to work and would recommend

      Oct 16, 2021 - Associate Professional Staff I in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Work life balance, interesting work, flexibility on projects, good salary, and good benefits (retirement matching is unreal - 10.5% on 4%)! Overall, APL is a great place to work. Most of the time I had interesting work, and coworkers are generally great. The academic but meaningful nature of work is somewhat unique and something I really enjoyed. I would definitely recommend the lab. It's got helpful and smart people, interesting work, and treats employees with respect. They recently instituted a COVID vaccine mandate.

      Cons

      I wrote out a bunch, but do not let this deter you. Just listing out things I have noticed over the years. All jobs have pros and cons, and at APL, the pros far outweigh the cons. -Communication and transparency could use work, particularly with return to work policies. Sectors are setting policies independently, and policies are changed without informing lower level employees. Understand they are in uncharted territory but lack of communication is frustrating. Further, lab leadership was using bizarre reasons (stats about productivity and sponsor visits without providing actual numbers) to justify returning to work in-person full time. -Culture and policies can vary greatly by group (I had a good group so not complaining but worth being aware of). Can be annoying when you know people in other groups who have more flexibility than you despite doing similar work. -APL is a gov contractor so you have to find work to cover you. Generally, this isn't a problem, but some projects will have sudden stops in work and some supervisors are more helpful in assisting staff in finding projects than others. --Matrix organization can be frustrating. Your supervisor determines your raise but may never have worked with you. -Lab places a lot of importance on technical skills, which is understandable, but soft skills (organization, management, budgeting) are undervalued. Sometimes someone who is phenomenal technically gets put in charge of a project, and the project is poorly run because they do not have good management skills. -There are other, smaller complaints - parking availability, kitchen/refrigerators for lunch storage and prep, area cost of living ($$$$), location (not a lot nearby), cafeteria could be better.

      Continue reading
      1 person found this review helpful
    4. 4.0
      Former Intern, less than 1 year

      Technical internship

      Oct 12, 2021 - Software Development Intern in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Critical work areas, technical projects, treated like an employee, work-life balance.

      Cons

      Pay for own food, defense industry.

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    5. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 8 years

      Difficult place for mid-career staff

      Sep 1, 2021 - Associate Professional Staff II in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great benefits. The health insurance is good, as is the retirement matching, and they'll pay your tuition for a masters. I enjoyed the university-like feel with many clubs and employee groups, plus the maker space is amazing if you're into 3D printing, etc. This is a great place to start a career. There's lots of opportunities to learn, lots of technical brown bags and training funds. I feel that APL does make an effort towards diversity and inclusion. At least there are active organizations you can join, like Allies in the Workplace, African American Culture Club, Women in Technology, etc. Work-life balance is pretty good and hours are flexible-ish. There's not huge pressure to work past your 80 hours per two weeks in my experience.

      Cons

      It's extremely difficult to get promoted from associate to senior unless you have a very proactive manager who's working to get you promoted. Unless you are fresh out of school, I would not recommend APL unless you get hired as senior staff. Get ready to feel like you have to job search just to keep your job. Because of the nature of contract work, things are feast or famine. Scramble to find enough work to cover your timecard, or have more projects than any one person can reasonably handle. I have had colleagues have to take unpaid time off because there was simply no work for them. At least at consulting firms your time on the bench is paid! Pay is so-so, probably typical for government contract type work. You can definitely get paid more in private industry especially for certain engineering fields. As far as D&I, there is a lot of work to be done still, as women and people of color are still underrepresented especially the higher up you go. Finally, the fact that AOS insisted on bringing associate staff back to campus, despite the Delta surge, regardless of performance while WFH or family situation, was the final nail in the coffin to show where this organization's priorities are. Why on earth would I want to drive to another building so I can sit in front of a computer for 8 hours while wearing a mask when I can work from home instead?

      Continue reading
      11 people found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Current Intern, less than 1 year

      JHU APL Intern

      Aug 31, 2021 - Software Engineer Intern in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Work life balance is great! Very easy to move around to departments you want to work in, and they allow you to work on multiple teams at once if you are full time. As an intern the pay is great, and you have a nice campus to meet other interns on as well as amenities to use.

      Cons

      None to add here ..

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    7. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Interesting work, but questionable policies

      Sep 5, 2021 - Associate Professional Staff II 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Interesting work Depending on project, work life balance can be good (but can also be bad) Good education and retirement benefits Staff passionate about the work Good early pandemic response but (see cons)

      Cons

      Nail in the coffin for me was the late pandemic response, specifically arbitrarily cracking down on work from home despite not showing any evidence of a loss in productivity, yet also not being willing to have people remote and fly them in every now and them on the companies dime Politics and bureaucracy can be frustrating at times Slow growth “Promotions” without pay bumps

      4 people found this review helpful
    8. 2.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      If you are a fresh PhD hired for no specific project, you will have a bad time

      Sep 5, 2021 - Senior Professional Staff I in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      APL seems like a great place to work and start a career if you are fresh out of college and are interested in research, or if you are a fresh PhD in a relevant field (engineering) to pursue your own research through internal and external grants.

      Cons

      You are going to have a bad time if you are hired as a PhD or in mid career, with no particular project in mind. This is especially true in AOS. As a mid level, you are expected to lead on projects that can have no relevance to your background. Hiring strategy is awful and management has no idea what they are doing except fill headcount. This all has an impact on work/life balance, which APL has a reputation for but is slowly damaging.

      Continue reading
      5 people found this review helpful
    9. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Wonderful place to work

      Jul 6, 2021 - Associate Analyst in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Flex time Work-life balance Reasonable expectations Support available Great compensation and benefits

      Cons

      Can be slow depending on the projects you are working on (might not be a great first time role if you're looking for fast paced innovation)

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    10. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Pretty Good, All Things Considered

      Jul 6, 2021 - Analyst in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Dynamic, lots of different projects going on, autonomy to build your own portfolio of work around your own topics; good salary and work life balance, good continuing education benefits.

      Cons

      Structural issues related to being a matrixed organization. Feels like the intersection of tech start up, academia, and defense contractors in all the good and bad ways. Overall, if you're self driven and proactive, you can build a rewarding career.

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    Viewing 1 - 10 of 91 Reviews

    Popular Careers with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Job Seekers

    JobsSalariesInterviews

    Work at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory? Share Your Experiences

    Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory logo
    or