Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated February 20, 2017
273 reviews

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4.1
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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein
Bill Goldstein
76 Ratings

273 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The laboratory has a lot of work-life balance opportunities (in 50 reviews)

  • There are incredibly smart people here (in 24 reviews)

Cons
  • lots of red tape and government policies (in 24 reviews)

  • things move slow, lots of bureaucracy (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Great place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    I have worked here for nearly ten years and my only regret is not coming here sooner! I love the science being done; it's exciting and it feels good to be part of something so important to our national security. It's also located in a great area for families and has quickly become a terrific place to go for beer/wine and great restaurants. It's a small community for being a fairly large "corporation". Friendly staff and positive environment. I couldn't be happier!

    Cons

    Purchasing a home in LIVERMORE is rather expensive.
    Being a government contractor, things sometimes take a little longer to get done than on the outside. A lot of rules and policies to abide by.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to seek out the next generation of employee 's to stay on the cutting edge of science and technology!

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Nov 3, 2016

    Great advice! It is critical to look to employees to help push cutting edge science and technology.


  2. "Graduate Scholar"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Interesting work, good work life balance

    Cons

    not sharing any con here


  3. Helpful (1)

    "review of LLNL"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people are great! Friendly, smart, helpful.

    Cons

    Some of the buildings are old and not in very good shape.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in new buildings.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Work-Life Balance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Discovery Bay, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Discovery Bay, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The laboratory has a lot of work-life balance opportunities. It really does feel like they care about you.

    Cons

    The only downside to their work-life balance is the inability to work from home or have a more flexible schedule. The 9/80 option is cool, but you technically work a 10 hour day with your lunch break and if you commute an hour to work it's a 12 hour day. Sometimes having the Friday off isn't worth it.


  6. "Enjoying a career with urpose that close to home"

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

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

    Pros

    Worklife balance is very big part with the ability of working a flexible schedule in many of the areas. There are many opportunities to balance life during lunch breaks with an on site gym, exercise classes or networking groups. As a business professional it's amazing to be able to support R&D in the national interest and work with so many brilliant scientist and engineers. I feel like what I do truly makes a difference.

    Cons

    Continue to consider additional work options for telecommuting in the disciplines that make sense. The landscape of the workforce demands this.

    Advice to Management

    Work on branding to the bay area; I believe the lab is unfamiliar to many commuters that pass us everyday on their way to Silicon Valley.


  7. "Converson to "Career Indefinite" Employee Pulled at Last Minute"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livermore, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of bright people
    Lots of interesting science being done
    Compensation is good
    Benefits are Excellent

    Cons

    I was hired in 2011 as a "Limited Term" employee with a 5 year term. They were in process of upgrading me to "Career Indefinite" when my program got a budget cut. So they pulled my upgrade and told me to find work within the lab within 30 days or I'm gone. However, the original letter informing me that I was upgraded to "Career Indefinite" did not get recalled and I received it in the mail. I didn't make a huge deal of it as I didn't want to burn bridges and I did find a temporary position for ~4 months afterwards I moved on to Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, right across the street.

    Some people have been in same job for 20+ years, lack vision and energy and are resistance to change/improvements.
    Some project require coding in ...ADA and using VMS... this is laughable. I thought National Labs were cutting edge.
    In my temporary job, the project lead was inventing/adding on to C++ Classes. Not sure why except to save lines of actual code??
    Lack of direction from top
    Lack of meaningful schedules and deadlines
    People are in no hurry
    Complacent - co-workers willing worked in lab where temps >90F in summer w/o complaint

    Advice to Management

    Honor your agreements. I felt totally betrayed.

    Clear out the deadwood, don't let anyone stay in same project too long. Some time longevity in a project is bad.

    Set deadlines and schedules. First place that I've worked where there wasn't.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Quality People Work There"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smart, sincere people work there. Lots going on. Love the military presence. Lots of patriots there. Very exciting research and development. Homeland Security, Chemistry, Astronomy, Environmental Science, Polymers, Lasers, you name it!

    Cons

    The facilities are kind of rough. This is not a walking campus, but it could be with a little love. Working in trailers is just terrible. It looks like some kind of munitions depot out in the desert.

    Advice to Management

    Don't let long-term employee's run roughshod over new ones. Don't save the one nice building for yourselves. Resurface the parking lots. Put in nice walking pathways with greenery. Add Food Trucks.

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Jan 25, 2017

    We love the military presence as well! We have made progress in the last few years in our facilities and grounds but realize that we have more work to do. Thank you for your review and we have ... More


  9. "Great place to intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Provides a variety of learning opportunities, good pay, focus on mentorship

    Cons

    Somewhat bureaucratic, offices are dated


  10. "More like industry than academia"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow

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

    Pros

    Salary for postdocs is much higher (double) than academic postdoc salaries.

    Work-life balance-- with a few exceptions, most people work regular hours and don't work on weekends and evenings (unless they want to).

    There are several internal recognition programs, and people seem to be given recognition for contributions. Most folks here seem genuinely happy to see others at the lab succeed and win awards.

    There is a large internal funding program, where postdocs have the opportunity to be PIs. This program is supposed to be free of politics so that new ideas and investigators are given a chance, but in my experience this isn't always the case.

    Cons

    Since the lab was privatized, it seems to run more like a company than a university, which was a disappointment to me as I was looking for more freedom in my research. There is a billable hours system, which constrains the amount of time you can spend on different projects.

    Although it's now some kind of weird government- private company hybrid, they do get a lot of federal funding, so there are no freebies (company swag, food, car washes, childcare services, gym, etc.) like you would receive at many other Bay Area employers.

    There is a LOT of bureaucracy. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time figuring out the protocols and rules for how to do something than I spend actually doing science. Safety classes are burdensome and being in compliance with the many safety checks and protocols is a significant time sink. Some administrative folks seem to relish wasting the time of scientists in order to CY(their)A.

    In my experience, human resources was not only not helpful, but actually confused me about the benefits available to me. I had to do my own research on the benefits that I was eligible for and figure things out for myself.

    For new hires, the clearance process has become a significant burden. My security clearance application has been submitted for over a year and I haven't been contacted to begin the process for the investigation. Given that others have waited at least 6-9 months after their process begins before receiving a clearance, it seems unlikely that I would receive mine by my 2 year anniversary with LLNL. Without a clearance, you are fairly limited in what types of projects you will be able to work on.

    Food options are very limited. The cafeteria serves mainly salads and burgers, with few ethnic choices available, and is priced like an airport restaurant. There are few restaurants within driving distance for a 30-45 minute lunch break (options include Taco Bell and Carls Jr.). Downtown Livermore has more options but it takes ~15 minutes each direction to drive there from the lab.

    Advice to Management

    See what can be done to speed up the process of granting security clearances. There are a lot of man/woman hours wasted as folks are waiting to receive their clearances and can't be as effective/useful as if they had one.

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Jan 26, 2017

    We have forwarded your insights to our management and thank you for your comments. We hope that you will take advantage of the perks offered through the Lawrence Livermore Employee Services ... More


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Very limited career path"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good science, friendly and helpful coworkers. The neighborhood in Livermore is nice and safe. You will also have good work life balance

    Cons

    If you are foreign national or non-white people, you may have very limited career growth. There are many layers of management, red tapes, and old school boy networks.

    Some managers do not do any scientific work but still get their names plugged on many papers. You keep working for them while they keep getting all the recognition and promotions through their inner circles of network and keep you away from these growth opportunities through red tapes.

    Advice to Management

    Remove non productive and political management people and save tax payers' money.

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Jan 25, 2017

    Thank you for your review. We recognize there is room for improvement and we are working on that. The Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and our ongoing success depends on every member of ... More



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