Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated March 17, 2017
56 reviews

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3.0
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Los Alamos National Laboratory Director & President Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
23 Ratings

56 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great pay, work/life balance, job satisfaction (in 23 reviews)

  • Excellent pay and benefits, opportunity to work into placement instead of solely relying on prior education (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Nearest real town is about 40 minutes away (but the small town feel is actually kinda cool) (in 20 reviews)

  • Next largest town is Santa Fe - 35 miles away; Albuquerque (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Not a bad place to work if you work on the programmatic side!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer II in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Engineer II in Los Alamos, NM
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great 401k match - Automatic 3.5% match and another sliding match up to 6%
    Pretty good health care - still has a PPO option
    3 weeks vacation, 2 weeks sick leave, and 12 paid hoildays
    Flexible work schedules - 9/80 workweeks, regular 40

    The only reason LANL gets a 3 stars from me is because of the above benefits.

    Cons

    Work culture is bad and morale is bad. Not much promotion from your current position. To get promoted you have change positions and apply for them like your a new employee. Hard to move around the Lab.

    Management is not engaged. No professional development. Lots of politics so no clear rules on who gets promoted.

    They use a bell curve for performance ratings so every year there are 5% to 10% people that have to be put in the needs improvement or bottom. Which means you either get no raise or very little like 1% whether you are a good employee or not. De moralizing process.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the demoralizing performance reviews. This is a major cause of employee turnover. Its okay to tell your employees that they did a good job!


  2. "Scietist IV"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist IV in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Scientist IV in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Exciting research, challenging missions, great technical teams.

    Cons

    Inbreeding amongst management is a problem. Lack of outside world perspectives.

    Advice to Management

    Betting management training and incorporate external experiences better.


  3. "worked here for 4 years as a research engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - R&D Engineer in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - R&D Engineer in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nice little mountain town full of nice and educated people. Good benefits regarding vacation, sick, holidays, retirement

    Cons

    -Poorly managed.
    -Difficult to get promoted.
    -Housing market is terrible -- run-down old houses that are expensive.
    -Rules and regulations are so tight, it's difficult to get real work accomplished.

    Advice to Management

    Do a better job of figuring out who your good researchers are and take better care of them.


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  5. "Interesting and not"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Professional Staff Assistant in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Professional Staff Assistant in Los Alamos, NM
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Varied responsibilities, many interesting people, the area is beautiful, there are different opportunities once you learn where to look

    Cons

    Relentless bureaucracy, difficult to advance to appropriate levels for newcomers, a major good old boy network, very top-heavy on male management, female admin support

    Advice to Management

    Look at people's abilities and not their tenure, discourage pettiness, encourage good performance, train management to be managers


  6. "Large, For-profit"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - R&D Engineer in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - R&D Engineer in Los Alamos, NM
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Los Alamos outdoors and landscapes

    Cons

    Drought, benefit cuts, budget problems

    Advice to Management

    Private management experiment did not work


  7. "Decent place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Los Alamos, NM
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Los Alamos, NM
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Some of the groups are really well funded
    - Salaries are high (and cost of living is low)
    - Much of the research only takes place at LANL.

    Cons

    - Your work environment really depends on which group you work for
    - Advancement depends just as much on connections as performance
    - Los Alamos is 2 hours from the nearest big city


  8. "Average Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Systems Professional III in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Computer Systems Professional III in Los Alamos, NM
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Pay is higher than normal for the area. A lot of open spaces.

    Cons

    Politics everywhere. Everybody is trying to build their own empire which does not help grow the lab.

    Advice to Management

    Work better with other organizations and employees. Build better work relationships with your employees


  9. "Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect IIII in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect IIII in Los Alamos, NM
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fair pay, good work/life balance

    Cons

    Too much focus on "box checking" and not enough on employees and projects. Management values other levels of management more than employees.

    Advice to Management

    Lead by example. Reward the type of behavior you want to see in your workforce.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Decent Benefits"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Alamos, NM
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Small town, beautiful location. Lab does interesting work in a lot of different areas - physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, nuclear weapons, etc. etc. Decent benefits. The pay is decent if you are a scientist and for folks with only high school education they can do really well here. If employees were here as of June 1, 2006, option of a Defined Benefit Pension Plan.

    Cons

    Small town. The performance management process needs improvement. Very small raises, especially to folks who have proven their worth and become managers - then you are subject to 1-2% raises each year. Folks play a lot of favorites here and sometime a very stressful work environment. Defined Benefit Pension Plan not available to new employees.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your folks what they are worth.


  11. "Average Workplace"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CSP III in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - CSP III in Los Alamos, NM
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Pay is Fair. Team players don't always get treated right.

    Cons

    Politics, Politics. Not cutting edge tech.


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