Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Physicist Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Physicist Reviews

Updated October 4, 2018
21 reviews

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Physicist

4.2
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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein
Bill Goldstein
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work life balance is the biggest advantage" (in 111 reviews)

  • "I see the lab working hard to be a great place to work, which it is" (in 35 reviews)

Cons
  • "Being a government contractor does mean there is a lot of red tape" (in 40 reviews)

  • "Of course, the cost of living in the Bay Area makes the 'good' salaries not reach as far" (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "World-Class Lab Doing World-Class Work"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    LLNL hires some of the world's smartest people and lets them work on the world's hardest problems. It has cutting edge-research facilities that provide access to conditions analogous to the most extreme in the universe. Computation is also a key capability at LLNL, and it possesses some of the world's fastest supercomputers.

    The location is a great one, and the people are great to work with.

    Cons

    Red tape: LLNL is a government contractor, and the delays and bureaucracy associated with such work are certainly present. It is generally isolated from the more partisan politics, but budgets can be influenced by what is currently in favor.


  2. "Long term full time (29yrs), now part time for a contractor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Senior Physicist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Physicist in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Large projects involve workers of many disciplines and varied experience. The process encourages/requires review of each other's work. This helps to minimize errors and maximize the likelihood of success.

    Cons

    This approach can slow the process down, and one must be open to critique of his or her ideas. But the result is a better product.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to promote teamwork and a multidisciplinary approach to projects.

  3. "Great Expectations"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Resources you can't find anywhere else.

    Cons

    No hurry to use them.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "good benefits and stable, but in a very high cost of living area"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    excellent work life balance
    good benefits

    Cons

    high cost of living area
    top-heavy management


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Research Laboratory"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    World class research facility with experts in almost every field of the physical sciences and engineering. Leading scientists guest speakers and numerous seminars in various fields. Beautiful campus setting in Livermore Valley.

    Cons

    Bay area traffic is difficult to navigate. Cost of living in CA is relatively high entrance cost for housing.

    Advice to Management

    Incentives for young staff could include some kind of financial guidance and planning. Specifically discussing retirement, housing, taxes, etc...

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Apr 30, 2018 – Employee Relations Program Leader

    Thank you for your review. The Benefits Office has scheduled a series of workshops throughout the year to provide information intended to increase employee awareness of programs available to enhance... More


  6. "STEM flourishes here"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Bleeding edge science and technology with access to the greatest minds on the planet in your STEM field of choice. Salaries are competitive, benefits are excellent, and bonuses are common. Strong sense of job security and job satisfaction.

    Cons

    The clearance process is very slow and most jobs require them. There is a government-wide backlog. Post-docs should initiate the clearance process as soon as possible if they're interested in a long-term career at LLNL.

    Also, Job descriptions are often vague and don't always reflect the composition of the interview panel or their expectations for a particular role.

    Cafeterias are inferior to the Argonne cafeteria (but is much better than LANL's).

    The gym facility is small. There are over 6000 employees here and we need a modern gym comparable to facilities at a private college. This would definitely uncomplicate the work-life balance for many employees.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more temporary options to attract and retain employees waiting for clearances (and spell this process out in job postings). Most postings just state that a clearance is required and don't offer a temporary employment path while clearances are processed. We are turning off top talent if we word job descriptions to imply there is no path forward for uncleared applicants.

    Also, STEM job descriptions should summarize more specifically what an interviewing panel's expectations are for (understandably) vague roles.

    Keep being proactive to counter brain-drain to Bay Area start ups. Benefits are a good way to attract talent. One option might be a student loan repayment plan.

    We need a large, modern, fully staffed and stocked gym facility. We have over 6000 employees here. We need a gym comparable to a small private college's facilities. This could be a good recruiting tool especially if there are options for subsidizing gym use.


  7. "Lawrence Livermore: view from a long-time scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Physicist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Physicist in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great projects, especially if you enjoy learning new things and don't mind fairly applied subjects which pertain primarily to national security. Wonderful to work with a diverse group of colleagues from a broad swath of educational backgrounds (physicists, chemists, mechanical engineers, nuclear engineers, chemical engineers, statisticians, applied mathematicians, computer scientists). Management, at least currently and for the past few years, is doing a great job integrating newer employees into the mix.

    Cons

    The need for safety and security leads to a LARGE number of rules and regulations, which while totally sensible, do tend to lead to greatly reduced productivity relative to what might be achievable in a less constrained environment.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!

  8. "Amazing place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Theoretical Physicist in Livermore, CA
    Current Intern - Theoretical Physicist in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people and atmosphere, excellent pay, beautiful campus with tons of amenities and benefits.

    Cons

    There are no cons, LLNL is great.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Physicist, Nuclear Criticality Safety Analysis Group"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Physicist, Nuclear Criticality Safety Analysis Group in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Physicist, Nuclear Criticality Safety Analysis Group in Livermore, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Multi-disciplinary teams on great projects.

    Cons

    Personnel Management Problems In Conflict with UC Regents Policies.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Unique place"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Unique line of work, capabilities, resources and environment

    Cons

    The inertia of government sponsored work