Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated June 6, 2017
8 reviews

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein
Bill Goldstein
2 Ratings

8 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The laboratory has a lot of work-life balance opportunities (in 83 reviews)

  • There is a lot of cutting edge technology being discovered and utilized (in 31 reviews)

Cons
  • Being a government job, there's a lot of red tape (in 26 reviews)

  • High cost of living in the area (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Security Escort in Security Organization"

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

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

    Pros

    Lab employees and coworkers are very supportive and helpful to one another. Great benefits, if you are a Lab employee (non contracted).

    Cons

    The Security Organization requires escorts to drive their personal vehicles while on duty. Escorts at the Livermore site are not compensated for mileage or damage to personal vehicles. Many escorts have sustained damage to their vehicles , in which the Lab refuses to reimburse these costs. Most escorts are senior citizens and are unaware they are being taken advantage of. Labor Code Section 2802 requires an employer to "indemnify" its employees for "all necessary expenditures incurred" in the course of their employment.

    Advice to Management

    Take care of your employees. Purchase more government vehicles so the employees aren't forced to use their personal vehicles for daily government work.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in UC Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in UC Berkeley, CA

    Pros

    highly talented stuff, cutting edge research

    Cons

    need to climb to the hill

    Advice to Management

    more parking

  3. Helpful (7)

    "There are no career opportunities here for computer software developers."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of unique computer resources available. Livermore and the surrounding area is a nice place to live meaning minimal or no commute. The work here covers a wide range of topics so it is relatively easy to move between projects.

    Cons

    The working conditions are horrific. Buildings and offices are unmaintained and uninhabitable. If you are a software developer you will spend all of your time cleaning up ill conceived code written by PhD Physicists. Software professionals are not given control of the development of major codes. Hence, the opportunities for advancement or even for visibility of a computer software developer are extremely limited. For the past 5-10 years the Lab has been rudderless. There is no clearly articulated vision or direction. As a result the Lab has been on an accelerating downward trajectory. The layers of management and stifling bureaucracy make getting even the most mundane things done a major effort. I have personally needed to walk 1/2 mile to find a functioning color printer. The performance review process is more or a beauty pagent than a real performance review. There is little connection between one's ranking and ones productivity.

    Advice to Management

    Value the people who are doing the real work here. It's high time that software and the professionals who develop it are valued, recognized, and given control of software development. The Lab's posters tout that the Lab promises "a first class work environment to our employees". In fact the work environment here is third world. The office conditions are shameful. How do you expect to attract or even keep talent when your employees are forced to work in buildings with completely non-functional facilities? The Lab desperately needs a vision and direction. I'm not talking about a cute slogan but a real vision for growth and how to achieve that growth. In particular how does the Lab become competitive in the real world. Our cost structure is so out of line with the real world that we can not compete. This fact has been recognized for some time but nothing is ever done to address it. Finally, the Lab is fundamentally broken. Lots of fundamentally broken organizations have turned themselves around but that requires recognition that things are broken and a will to fix it. Currently the Lab has neither. In fact the opaque, multi-layered management structure here has institutionalized everything that is broken.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Management vs. Worker Bees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Livermore, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. Office rich work environment
    2. If you’re a physicist, this is one of the few places you might actually be able to get a job
    3. I did some of the best work in my career there.
    4. There town west of Livermore is very nice, although expensive
    5. The current director seems to be a reasonably decent person.

    Cons

    1. Definitely two classes of people there. Management and worker bees.
    2. Ethics is completely about protecting management at all costs.
    2.1. if you challenged the company on ethical grounds, you will be crushed.
    3. The core mission of the company is basically impossible
    4. If you are a christian republican, you will be very uncomfortable
    5. the work there is all about empire building and empire maintenance. It has very little to do with anything that makes logical sense.

    Advice to Management

    None - they do not listen


  5. Helpful (3)

    "No future, lots of politics and big talk, little action or reward."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Long time employees do very little by protecting turf and playing politics.

    Cons

    New employees do much of the work with little advancement or reward. They leave or become a long time employee. The company as a whole is not supportive, just a burden for anything to get down. Trend will be to continue to downsize.

    Advice to Management

    Move the work to cheaper and hungrier sites.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "You don't want to work at this place unless you had no other choice."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Livermore, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The only reason to work at LLNL is if you want a decent salary (not great, just decent) and relatively good benefits. Beyond that....there is no reason.

    Cons

    Many, many layers of managers that are worse than incompetent. By worse, I mean they actively work towards making the place unsuccessful. And then they will sit around and talk about how great they are. I have seen bad management before, but nothing like this, and there are layers, and layers, and layers of them. Most of us could not identify what it is they do, because we see no evidence of their activity, except when they mess things up.

    Advice to Management

    I would replace the management in its entirety. From the top down. A desperate need for a change of culture is called for here. You could put the best leader in the world at the top, but what good does that do when the many many layers below do not implement the good policies? And then they are not fired for doing it. We had huge layoffs here recently, all workers! No managers! We thought we had a top heavy management before, now it is huge. This place has no innovation to speak of, and if it did, it would get squashed by the managers that did not want you the worker to look better than them by accomplishing something.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "There are no future career paths at LLNL, only jobs."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Designer in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Designer in Livermore, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Working on national defense projects

    Cons

    Being laid off after loyal service and above average work

    Advice to Management

    Go back to UC oversite

  8. Helpful (2)

    "It is job."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some interesting projects.

    Cons

    Management overheads takes most of research grant money.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management is parasitic because roughly 2/3 of any outside grant is taken by overhead. Sponsors don't get the results they were promised.


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