Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated November 14, 2018
455 reviews

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455 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work life balance is the biggest advantage" (in 113 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. "Love this workplace!"

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

    Great work environment with lots of support, collegial and friendly atmosphere. I'm surrounded by some of the smartest people on earth, and everybody here wants to make a difference in their workplace and also in the world as a whole. Great mission, great teams, great vibe.

    Cons

    Things can move a lot more slowly here because of bureaucracy. Everything is driven by funding, which can be a little political, and it can feel pretty retro compared to shiny, new exciting startups in the city. But ultimately you get the work-life balance and career longevity that, in my opinion, balance that out.

    Advice to Management

    Listen and pay attention more to what's happening outside the Lab, and try to match those work environments and team dynamics (especially schedule flexibility) that other Bay Area workplaces enjoy. Try to stay up-to-date not just with what's going on in Washington, but with what's going on in comparable workplaces around the Bay Area.


  2. "Great 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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Our tag line of "having the smartest square mile on earth" is what originally intrigued me to look into the Lab further. It is important to me to work for an organization that is not only doing something interesting that I can learn from but is giving back to the nation in a key critical way making me a proud employee. We do have the opportunity to work with brilliant and collaborative colleagues on a very important mission. There are always opportunities to learn and continue to grow while being professionally challenged along the way.

    Work-life balance is something that is highly supported by the organization.

    The organization offers strong 401k contributions and supports employee education reimbursement.

     There are also diverse, culturally enriching activities that allow you to take time away from your desk in meaningful ways. The onsite gym and fitness classes are awesome as well!

    Cons

    Things can move a bit more slowly in comparison to outside industry. This can be a side effect of working for a government organization as it increases our regulatory compliance commitments. If you have the skills and flexibility to learn to properly navigate as needed this becomes less of a burden.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for taking such good care of us! It is refreshing to work for an organization that truly appreciates and supports their employees as people first.

  3. "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.


  4. "LLLNL is a great 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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Many missions to choose from. Excellent colleagues. Challenging work. Great work life balance.

    Cons

    Losing many older.peope creates a stressful environment of having to pick up the pieces but also creates.many opportunities for change.

    Advice to Management

    Keep looking for ways to challenge the status quo. For example, why not increase vacation after five years?


  5. "Interesting 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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Interesting projects going on all around. Different types of opportunities. Dedicated employee population.

    Cons

    Playing catch-up to salaries in the Bay Area


  6. "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.


  7. "Technician"

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

    I've been working here for more than 25 years. It is a great place to work. The people who work here are top notch and the opportunity to expand your skills and move between positions is pretty much limitless.

    Cons

    Funded by the federal government which means documentation of all activities.

  8. "So much better than the corporate world!"

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

    The best thing about my work here is the pace. Out in the corporate world it is "GO GO GO!" However, here at the lab it's a MUCH slower pace. A lot of importance is put on taking your time and doing the job safely and well.

    Safety is another key plus. It is taken extremely seriously here. You will never be asked to do something unsafe to get a job done on time.

    Cons

    One of the very few cons is that things happen slowly at the lab. Sometimes that's by design, but sometimes it's because of the red tape. When you learn to sit back a bit and enjoy the slower pace, it does become a bit less frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

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

    Surrounded by smart, capable and hardworking people. Amazing world class science and world changing missions. Really good benefits with various forms of insurance and 401K match. Changing career directions is very easy, I started as an IT support person, worked through a lab-sponsored bachelor’s degree (that part was not easy, work and school) and then changed jobs to become a software developer. There are multiple directorates that are effectively their own company, so moving between groups within the lab is easy and benefits do not change but it feels like you just got a fresh new job with a new group. Amazing amount of lunchtime groups you can join, I alternate between Yoga and Martial arts, but there are dozens of others (archery, photography, meditation, disk golf, organic gardening, the list is long).

    Cons

    Clearance process is onerous and time to completion is totally unpredictable. Took about a year for my clearance to come through. It only takes some people a couple months, and others it can take years. My job had lots of unclassified work I could do while waiting but some jobs don’t; I know a couple people who left the lab because they felt completely useless while waiting.

    Dependence on government funding means that congress' mood and presidential policy can deeply affects your raises and job security.

    Advice to Management

    Overall keep up the good work, this is an amazing place, but if there is a way the clearance process can be speed up, it would be appreciated.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Making the World a Better Place"

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

    Some of the brightest minds in the world work here, doing their part to make the world a better, safer place. They are also some of the nicest people I've ever met, and I get to be a part. Sometimes work can get boring or overwhelming - like anywhere else - but even in those moments, it is good knowing I am doing something worthwhile for others, not just company profits.

    Cons

    Sometimes things move slower than we like, and high security means we can't just do whatever we like, but the restrictions are reasonable and the Lab works hard to make them not onerous.


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