Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated April 10, 2018
399 reviews

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4.4
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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein
Bill Goldstein
162 Ratings

399 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance is the biggest advantage (in 96 reviews)

  • As a grad student: lots of resources, cutting edge research opportunities (in 34 reviews)

Cons
  • Being a government contractor does mean there is a lot of red tape (in 34 reviews)

  • Like the rest of the Bay Area, cost of living in Livermore is out of control (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "Veterans in Energy Technology & Science"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    I was an employee at LLNL from 2008-2013. I was laid off with several other co-workers. The outreach Officer from the Veterans group at LLNL reached out to me and assisted me in finding a new career at LLNL. Even though I am not a Veteran, I still feel that there is very much a family atmosphere at LLNL and I am very grateful to be apart of that family. Thanks VETS!

    Cons

    No cons at this time.

    Advice to Management

    Love my career!


  2. "Great Work-life balance"

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

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

    Pros

    Coming from the tech industry, LLNL's work-life balance is refreshing. Many people work AWS schedules and get every other friday off. There are a lot of fun events and programs on-site to take advantage of during your lunchtime to step away from your desk and relax. Bands, Authors, Fitness/Gym, shopping events.

    Cons

    There seem to be some antiquated systems and techonlogy that can slow processes down and seem a bit archaic. It seems to be changing and improving over the past two years I've been here so its comforting to see positive change.

    Advice to Management

    Build a culture/engagment survey that ties to the beliefs and vision of the laboratory as a workplace. Get buy in from leadership, measure it regularly and continually seek to improve the culture of the labs. It's moving in that direction, but it is something that will continue to build the positive momentum that's been building over the past few years.

  3. "Good place to start career"

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

    Good work life balance, benefits

    Cons

    Can get boring and not buy into mission

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up


  4. "Great place to work despite it's challenges"

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

    Great people all committed to protecting our country and advancing our programs/achievements/inventions. Programs and opportunities are around every corner if you're willing to seek them out.

    Cons

    Facilities and infrastructure are old and aging; Support systems aren't resources appropriately to support the needs of a growing laboratory; technology in non-STEM areas is outdated and ineffective. The lab suffers from the age old issue of STEM getting all the gold and infrastructure.

    Advice to Management

    Ensure you're growing the support systems as quickly as you're growing the revenue generating side of the business. Otherwise you'll end up with no infrastructure to support the great innovations.


  5. "Awesome company to work for!"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -A wealth of information and resources are given to employees to improve their future.
    -On-site cafeteria.
    -Educational opportunities.
    -Competitive salaries.

    Cons

    None that I can honestly think of.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage new employees to further their education through the lab.


  6. "High Performance Computing"

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

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

    Pros

    Get to work in HPC on some of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

    Cons

    Sometimes very slow adopting new technologies.


  7. "Good Work Life Balance,"

    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 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I came from a private consulting company and the hours/work-life balance and the benefits at LLNL are way ahead of my old workplaces. We have flexible schedules, inexpensive health insurance (through Kaiser), and a god 401LK. Managers respect time off.

     The older employees here grumble a lot, but I think many of them have no idea what the outside is like and how good we have it here. If many of these employees had to work a job at a normal, for-profit company and would be expected to do productive work (not just watching Fox News and movies all day) and work more than 2 hours a day they would realize how good they have it here.

    Cons

    Inefficient. Like others have mentioned, there is a lot of red tape. There is also a frustrating amount of bloat, including a lot of admin staff that seems unnecessary. There are also too many managers supervising a small handful of employees, and mangers of those managers and more managers.
    Decrepit facilities. There are too many people and not enough places for staff. We have had water leaking through our roof that has to be caught in 55 gallon trash cans every time it rains. This has been going on for well over 2 years. Old, disintegrating trailers are stuffed to the gills with people with no budget for repairs or improvements, and no new office space in sight.

    Advice to Management

    Cut payroll bloat and re-invest in facilities. It seems like managers are petrified of lawsuits and cant fire unproductive people if they have gotten beyond their probation period

  8. "A place to make a real impact in the world"

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

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

    Pros

    Decent pay, great benefits, flexible hours, very talented people and the opportunity to make a real impact.

    Cons

    Government red tape and bureaucracies hinder progress, taking a lot of work to get little done. This is, however, inevitable in this line of work and industry (Federal Government). Good restaurants are a little ways from the lab so you have to either bring your own lunch or eat at 1 of the 2 subpar cafeterias on campus.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to monitor the pay and benefits of the private sector to ensure competitive compensation to retain employees.


  9. "A unique and wonderful place to work"

    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 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    There are very few places where true work life balance can be a reality like at LLNL. There is also a strong feeling of community among employees. Having worked in industry and at LLNL, I can say the culture at LLNL is more likely to make you feel good about your work and those you work with. People tend to work here for life, but never get bored. That is because there is an emphasis on learning new skills and on education. It is also because employees are not pigeon holed into using just a small part of their skill set like in industry. There are also lots of networking clubs and talks on anything from technical topics to very personal topics that are open to all employees. You even get an office!

    Cons

    Security is a huge deal, so you would have to tolerate some rules that make you scratch your head.


  10. "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.


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