Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated May 11, 2021

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4.6
94%
Recommend to a Friend
96%
Approve of CEO
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Kimberly S. Budil
Kimberly S. Budil
29 Ratings
Pros
  • "My management is very supportive of work-life balance and the company benefits are great(in 218 reviews)

  • "Cutting edge work with some of the best scientists in the field(in 60 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "red tape so it takes longer to get things done(in 53 reviews)

  • "Expense of living in the Bay area(in 44 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 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is not affected by filters.

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Best decision of my career

      May 11, 2021 - Research Scientist in Livermore, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      World-class science, great work environment, great salaries, great work/life balance. Mission driven institution with clear objectives. Accepting to join the LLNL team has been the best decision of my career! The lab is managed in a smart way, PIs and leaders (all the way to the top) regularly communicate with employees. It feels like the perfect mix between a university and a big corporation (without the cons). For young researchers, postdocs are considered as actual employees, with full benefits (retirement plan, real salary to live comfortably in the Bay Area, etc.) which creates less discrimination among the researchers contrary to what is seen at most other research institutions.

      Cons

      The lab has less visibility than other world-famous research institutions despite doing world-class science. This is because some projects are classified which prevent publications and publicity. For some researchers not being able to publish could be a deal-breaker.

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    2. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Would be great if it wasn't in the Bay Area Bubble.

      Apr 25, 2021 - Engineer in Livermore, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Benefits are great. - Work/life balance is stellar. - Mission. People care, and it shows. - No office politics at lower levels. - Best job security you could possibly ask for. - WFH and flexible schedules due to COVID - Easy to advance if you job hop every 2-3 years. - Weather is nice.

      Cons

      - Rising "wokeness," now bolstered by the director's office. It will probably be the reason I leave, and I consider myself a moderate. - I make less than new hires into my role because I worked my way up from hourly tech. Raises are primarily based upon your starting salary - not seniority, not performance, not value. - Despite management ballyhoos about strapping on running shoes, everything is getting slower and more bureaucratic. - Incredibly expensive cost of living. I cannot emphasize this enough. - CA taxes. I gross barely $100k and my burden is over 40%. Don't discount things like sales tax (9.25%), gas taxes, fees, etc. - The crowding is real, and people are unfriendly because of it.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    3. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Fantastic Employer

      Apr 2, 2021 - Senior Recruiter in Livermore, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Initially I was attracted to our strong total package including excellent benefits, strong 401(k) LLNL contributions, and a variety of other employee perks such as fitness classes, summer concert and speaker series. Now that I have worked here a handful of years, it goes way beyond these "perks". I feel personally fulfilled to have a contribution to the safety and security of our nation. I am able to work with some of the brightest and most collaborative science and engineering staff who I am honored to learn very unique and interesting things from everyday. In addition, LLNL offers a strong mix of team work and personal autonomy to be able to complete your assigned responsibilities. Leadership is very supportive but allows the right balance of space needed for growth and development while having a strong respect for work/life balance.

      Cons

      Being federally regulated, we do have a lot of policies and procedures to follow which, at first, can feel daunting. As I continue to understand the "whys" behind some of these things I have developed a respect and understanding for these elements of the job.

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    4. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Work Life Balance, Project Diversity, and Culture Makes LLNL a Great Workplace

      Apr 20, 2021 - Mechanical Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Work Life Balance - Diversity Projects across the labs. Projects come and go as they start and finish. So much diversity that things aren't cyclical. - Culture is a strong suit. - Base Salary is strong. - Huge supporter of assisting employees with trainings and further education employees. - Also, supportive of supplying employees with ergonomics and improving their employees. - Really has the mindset of "Nothing is more important than our employees". - A lot of diverse engineers: It's great to see so many female engineers and leaders at the lab.

      Cons

      - Total Compensation in industry doesn't match total compensation in the area. - Lab is bringing on young people based on talent, moving away from employees who would fit in the lab's culture and heart.

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    5. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Great Culture. Great Work. Frustrating Bureaucracy.

      Feb 1, 2021 - Project Engineer in Livermore, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The culture at the lab is amazing. During just my few years at the lab, I have noticed a large shift in culture that is for the better. It has a positive and open attitude towards new hires, development, innovation, diversity, and work/life balance. The work being done is fascinating and everyone works to make sure you feel part of a team. No matter what group/division you are in, there is always technical challenges to overcome (in a good way).

      Cons

      The lab is adverse to change, especially at the site-wide level. Some processes imposed at the lab are outdated and need to be revised, but management can be challenging to work with in this regard. There has been a shift to update to this decade, but it is a slow and challenging process. Nothing happens fast. Additionally, degrees are a very limiting factor in career opportunities in the technical fields. This has just started to change this year (2020), but it has a long way to go.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Nice place to work

      May 5, 2021 - Research Scientist in Livermore, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Work/life balance, working with nice and smart people around, many of them are passionate for their work, flexible work schedule and work from home policy, inclusion and diversity culture are valued.

      Cons

      - Bureaucracy and red tapes for high level security sometimes inconvenient. - High and increasing living cost in the area. - Losing smart IT personals to Silicon Valley

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    7. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Science with good work/life balance

      May 3, 2021 - Postdoctoral Fellow in Livermore, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The lab provides competitive salaries with solid work/life balance and reasonable expectations for a 40 hour work week. I never feel stressed about my job during off hours while I'm home or out enjoying myself.

      Cons

      Pre-job training is extensive and exhausting; the administrators seem to spend more time writing unnecessarily long/confusing safety rules and not enough time writing effective ones.

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    8. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Great experience at LLNL

      May 3, 2021 - Scientist 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - excellent coworkers and incredible scientific community - strong continuing education programs - fantastic campus and facilities - access to incredible networks

      Cons

      - large organization provides a lot of support but has some sluggishness at times - Livermore is well outside major cities of SF and Oakland

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    9. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great Place for Recent College Graduates

      Feb 1, 2021 - Mechanical Engineer in Livermore, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -As a recent college graduate, I've had great exposure to a lot of really interesting projects at the lab so far. -My peers are all young and driven which promotes a motivating environment. -There is a lot of senior personnel who have been here for a long time which is beneficial for a new engineer in two ways. First, it shows that the work is interesting enough to keep good talent around for a long time. Second, it facilitates an environment with a wealth of knowledge to tap. I know if I have a question, someone has an answer for it, I just have to find them. -Related to the line above, everyone is always willing to help with whatever you're seeking information about. -As a government contractor, there is no feeling of pressure from profit driven decisions, the priority is meeting the design requirements -Gorgeous campus (with a lake) -A couple of cafeterias -Gym -Great base pay -Great health and retirement benefits -Flexible work schedule. 9/80

      Cons

      -Facilities are old, i.e. many old buildings

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    10. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      Best Place to Learn and Grow with Worklife balance

      Apr 2, 2021 - Operations in Livermore, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      LLNL provides incredible job opportunities and with the ability to grow in your career and/or change careers while staying at the same employer. Many employees have navigated major changes and achieved even greater success. I have been so happy to have moved around LLNL during my career and have learned and grown along the way. This is also a very family friendly company and allows for tremendous Worklife balance.

      Cons

      Some organizations are funded better than others for important areas like professional development.

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