Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory "cost of living" Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Employee Reviews about "cost of living"

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16 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Excellent place for a CAREER"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As a scientist at the Lab, I have had a range of 'jobs,' all interesting and relevant to the needs of the country. I have done some great research and also worked in a more applied/operational area. My work life balance is pretty great and teamwork has been a total plus within the groups I have been a part of. The benefits are excellent as well.

    Cons

    While pay is good, the process to increase your pay is in small steps, so you have to take the long view regarding your salary trajectory. Of course, the cost of living in the Bay Area makes the 'good' salaries not reach as far. There is the bureaucracy associated with working at a national lab, of course, but I have adjusted to that as a necessary evil. Also, the priorities of sponsors can sometimes change faster than we are able to which means you can end up being tasked with a lot of short turnaround offshoot projects that are aimed to impress sponsors and bring in more money. These are not always effective.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the work toward making the Lab a flexible, diverse, and welcoming work environment. The changes are being felt around the lab and they are welcomed.


  2. "Technical Associate"

    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

    Great work environment, friendly staff, work-life balance.

    Cons

    Cost of living in Livermore is absurd while commute times, since no one can afford to live near the lab, are getting worse by the day.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "good benefits and stable, but in a very high cost of living area"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Physicist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Physicist in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    excellent work life balance
    good benefits

    Cons

    high cost of living area
    top-heavy management


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Research Laboratory"

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

    World class research facility with experts in almost every field of the physical sciences and engineering. Leading scientists guest speakers and numerous seminars in various fields. Beautiful campus setting in Livermore Valley.

    Cons

    Bay area traffic is difficult to navigate. Cost of living in CA is relatively high entrance cost for housing.

    Advice to Management

    Incentives for young staff could include some kind of financial guidance and planning. Specifically discussing retirement, housing, taxes, etc...

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Apr 30, 2018 – Employee Relations Program Leader

    Thank you for your review. The Benefits Office has scheduled a series of workshops throughout the year to provide information intended to increase employee awareness of programs available to enhance... More


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Work/life balance and the biggest computers"

    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

    If you want to work on multi-disciplinary scientific problems of national importance, there's no place better. The world's most powerful computers are sited here and we are constantly challenged to apply that raw power in meaningful ways. There is always something new to research or simulate. You can work a 9-5 schedule, or put in lots of overtime and get rewarded proportionally. People tend to have long careers, so there is a willingness to invest in training. You can move around to many various areas or stay in one place, both are acceptable. There is no salary negotiation, since the annual review process tries to be fair to everyone. Promotion is almost always from within. For many of these above reasons there are more women, even in management, in technical roles than comparable private-sector employers. (Not that there are huge numbers of women, but, for instance, I once had a female direct supervisor and the three levels above her.) Health insurance is excellent and affordable. Since it's located further out than the most expensive parts of the Bay Area, it's possible to buy a home in town. Lots of people bike to work.

    Cons

    The wait for clearances is routinely 18 months or more (The Washington Post says an average of over 15 months, don't know where the management is getting this 12-13 number). However, LLNL has no control over (or visibility into) that process. Many areas of basic science, such as lasers, seismology, computer science, etc. have some connection to nuclear weapons work, if you find that objectionable. Salaries are lower on an absolute basis than the private sector, though the per-hour rate, especially if you factor in commuting and benefits, is competitive. No stock options, obviously. Because of the weird management structure, we get most of the restrictions of being federal employees with few of the benefits of being, technically, private sector contractors. So no federal GS steps or cost of living adjustments, but also no pension or TSP (thrift savings plan). Getting hired in the first place is difficult unless you have very high-level technical skills or know someone involved in the hiring process, you must be a U.S. citizen for most jobs. There is a fair amount of training, not nearly as much red tape as I expected at the level of individual employees. Once you get into management, it is pretty bad. There are 250 separate Department of Energy policies, orders, and mandates that LLNL must adhere to, and all of it is subject to auditing for compliance. It took me hours and hours of work, and probably a solid week from my administrative staff, just to get one off-site collaborator approved for computer access. And then it has to be renewed (somewhat less work) every year. If you just want to write code or do science, the burden is minimal. There is lots of LLNL-specific jargon.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great Work-Life Balance, Great Work"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The mission - rewarding work. Excellent co-workers. Great benefits and work-life balance. Location is amazing.

    Cons

    Cost of living in the area.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "A Great Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    The ability to move from group to group is amazing.

    Cons

    High cost of living in bay area and difficulty commuting can be an issue

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Best"

    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 5 years)

    Pros

    Cutting age research in many fields
    World class research
    Teams of pros where working together in multi discipline approaches encouraged at all levels

    Cons

    Cost of living in area is high but close to San Francisco and other culture and outdoor activity

    Finding your places or where to begin is daunting at first but finding others gets this right

    Advice to Management

    Keep employees first

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Sep 18, 2017 – Employee Relations Program Leader

    Thank you for your review. LLNL is definitely working on cutting edge science and research in various disciplines. It takes a little time to learn the Lab culture and resources available as it does... More


  9. "Amazing Place to Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Summer Student
    Former Intern - Summer Student
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern

    Pros

    I had an amaxing experience interning at LLNL.
    *Super interesting problems working on scifi level advancements
    *Really great totally brilliant people to work with
    *Lots of available resources

    Cons

    *Intense security is intimidating.
    *Makes working remotely or off hours impossible. Expect high scrutiny and to be very uncomfortable if you loose a key. Don't loose a key.
    *Hard to find housing.
    *High cost of living in the area.

    Advice to Management

    None


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Fascinating research in an incredible environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern

    Pros

    - The culture is relaxed, friendly, fun, and open
    - People at the lab genuinely care about your personal education/career growth and goals; and the lab as a whole puts considerable effort into creating opportunities for you (both at the lab, and in the broader science/academia community)
    - The facilities are some of the most unique and technologically advanced in the world!! (NIF, HEAF, HPC, etc.)
    - The work you do is incredibly interesting, and you can see clearly how it contributes to solving grand scientific challenges
    - The people are incredibly kind
    - The work/life balance is perfect - you don't have to work in the evenings unless you want to.

    It's truly a one-of-a-kind place.

    Cons

    - The salaries don't hold well against the (very) high cost of living in the Bay Area, unfortunately.
    - No convenient public transit to get to the lab from west of the lab (South Bay, the Peninsula, etc.) - since there are no BART connections, and ACE train only runs in the opposite direction.

    Advice to Management

    If possible, increase compensation please? (Bay Area housing prices are too high!)


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