Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated February 18, 2019
468 reviews

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Pros
  • "Work life balance is the biggest advantage" (in 116 reviews)

  • "The Lab cares about your career growth Love working for such a great place" (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. "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.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Science to solve big problems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    This is great place for scientists and engineers who want to have a big impact on some of the big problems facing our country and the world. The Bay Area is a great place to be, and working at LLNL isn't going to eat up your weekends, giving you time to enjoy living here.

    Cons

    -Expected bureaucracy in getting some things done
    -Washington DC policy, Congress, and political appointments affecting funding

  3. "Great place to work"

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

    Great people, great environment, and the freedom to move between jobs in a campus of about 7000 people. I've had multiple jobs at LLNL in my 30+ year career here and have enjoyed them all. I can always find one of the world's experts here onsite, in whatever field I need, to help solve difficult problems. I feel that this is a place of inclusion and openness, and always striving to become better all the time.

    Cons

    Too many geese that leave messes on our sidewalks. Sometimes the communication from the top down can take too long, but is still happens.

    Advice to Management

    Be fair, open, and with a mindset of inclusion and diversity. Make sure to communicate issues, positive or negative, quickly, even if you don't have all the information. Just state that fact.


  4. "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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. "Best quality of life"

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

    - Challenging, competitive work environment
    - Innovative work, hackathons, dev days
    - They have proven repeatedly that the care about the health and well being of their employees, work life balance is great
    - Great people!

    Cons

    - It takes a while to get used to the security environment, which is natural for most people.

  8. "LLNL is Wonderful and Getting Better All the Time!"

    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 10 years)

    Pros

    AMAZING work-life programs! Very easy to have a wonderful career AND a life outside of work. Most managers are super flexible and understanding. Really cool on-site programs like Author talks, tons of fitness options, great special events, live music, a farmers market, nice walking paths, wildlife, etc.. Lots of really great science and opportunities to work on very interesting projects. People here are friendly and engaging.

    Cons

    LOTS of old processes and red tape . A bit "historic"- many things need to be updated (but it appears they are working on these -- lots of construction happening).

    Advice to Management

    Make it easier to share our ideas and suggestions.


  9. "A place where you can do awesome work *and* have a life outside of work"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I'm a bit over a decade into my career here at LLNL. During that decade+, I've been able to work on a wide variety of things from computer hardware, to software development, to team leadership. My colleagues are generally excellent: they work hard, their egos are non-existent, they're interested in building great stuff as a team, and they're as willing to learn as they are to teach.

    I get to work on projects that push the frontier of high performance computing. The fact that some of the world's most powerful supercomputers are just downstairs from my office is simply amazing. That I get to help, in my own small way, push that frontier forward is the opportunity of a lifetime.

    And, not only do we push the art of supercomputers forward, but there's tons of amazing, world-altering science and engineering occurring here at LLNL. The Lab's catchphrase is "science in the national interest." And it's true! When I think about all the world-class scientific discoveries which I indirectly support, I'm consistently blown away. I love my iPhone, but the work to help create the next-generation smartphone pales in comparison to all the scientific discoveries and breakthroughs occurring here at LLNL.

    As wonderful as the work atmosphere is, I'm also able to have a great non-work life. I'm able to be home each evening to have dinner with my wife and kids. My weekends are family time, not extra work time. Schedule flexibility is pervasive (for example, the AWS schedule that gives me every-other Friday off is quite nice). And I can afford to live in the same town where I work: there's no soul-crushing commute wherein it takes me 35 minutes to move 10 miles on a jammed freeway.

    Cons

    Cons — doesn't every organization have them? The Lab is a large organization. Sometimes the gears of progress grind more slowly than they should in surprising places. For example, it takes a looooong time to get a new computer for your office.

    Being that this is a quasi-governmental organization, there are various restrictions in place that you might not experience out in private industry. There are no stock options, no exceptional account-busting bonuses, no compensation for volunteer work, no kegs with fresh beer at the end of the hallway, or other types of perks that you might expect at a Google, Apple, or other typical Silicon Valley enterprises. But, the fact that I get to see my family at a reasonable time at the end of every day more than makes up for the lack.

    Another con is that Silicon Valley is close by; the companies there love to poach Lab employees. This can be difficult. It's hard to see a steady stream of my fellow colleagues get enticed by the large salaries, free lunches and dinners, in-building massages, and other Silicon Valley enticements.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to stem the flow of our colleagues heading out to work in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley isn't going anywhere; the problem won't solve itself. It's going to take active and creative measures — including how the Lab sells itself to potential new employees — in order to keep people working on all the important problems we have before us here at LLNL.


  10. "Great place to work"

    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 10 years)

    Pros

    Collaborative environment with many benefits and perks. Work life balance is a plus.

    Cons

    Government bureaucracy can slow things down and there is a lot of oversight on compliance.