NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Reviews

Updated November 8, 2018
449 reviews

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4.2
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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Michael Watkins
Michael Watkins
40 Ratings

449 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great work life balance, the 9/80 work schedule is wonderful" (in 50 reviews)

  • "The 9-80 work schedule is a great way to ensure work-life balance" (in 23 reviews)

Cons
  • "there are no cons to this company" (in 11 reviews)

  • "low pay for interns hired through the education office" (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Radiation Control Manager"

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

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Best place in the world to work in aerospace. Challenging and exciting missions that you feel an integral part of.

    Cons

    You may not want to retire because work is exciting.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work


  2. "Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Exciting place to work. Challenging and rewarding projects.

    Cons

    High cost of living in the LA area.

  3. "Space is cool - interesting place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Space is cool! Smart people.

    Cons

    Overcrowded facility, so cramped shared offices. Entrenched not-invented-here syndrome. Section infighting causes an absence of system architecture, resulting in half of all spacecraft lost. People tend to be lifers. The side effect is there isn't much upward mobility. Beaurocratic semi-governmental org can be a bit painful to deal with for simple matters.

    Advice to Management

    Start with needs and system architecture for missions outside section squabbling over who gets the work. It would be easy to cut the number of spacecraft lost from software errors in half.


  4. "Not supportive if you’re not an engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Amazing overall mission.
    Good wellness programs.

    Cons

    Business side unsupportive of it’s employees.
    Current lab management does not seem to value anyone who’s not an engineer; unless possibly they’re a scientist.

    Advice to Management

    You can’t get to Mars or exoplanets or wherever without support staff; recognize their contributions, and, quit downsizing them.


  5. "Good projects, uneven quality of work and opportunities."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Optical Engineer II in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Optical Engineer II in Glendale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Cool projects, Lovely campus, lots of young and old hands.

    Cons

    Complicated intrapersonal politics, pay is mild

    Advice to Management

    Let the bottom 5% of the workforce go rather than doing a hiring freeze and preventing new skills from coming into he organization. Be careful about pay, it should be less than industry but not 25% less.


  6. "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory part-time

    Pros

    The overall mission is amazing

    Cons

    Poor organization on behalf of higher level management


  7. "Software Computing Systems Engineer"

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

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory part-time

    Pros

    Very flexible hours, more autonomy than you think, nice coworkers

    Cons

    Not the best working environment, which is expected from a non-software-focused company

  8. "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits such as Healthcare and
    Retirement

    Cons

    Slow movement. Many people do not leave so there is slow growth to move up.


  9. "Sip the cool aid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Emi/EMC Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Emi/EMC Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    One-of-a-kind/novel projects that help everyone (eventually), reputation/prestige, adequate pay (compared to competitors), solid coworkers, good benefits for aerospace, Pasadena/La Cañada location

    Cons

    NASA optimism that can bite you later on especially given how much work we have, inconsistent training practices especially for new university hires


  10. "Administration"

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

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Overall exciting place to work - JPL is home to leaders in their field of science and engineering advancement. It is a campus environment!!

    Cons

    - Government like slow pace
    - Roles can be very rigid and career advancement can be a challenge
    * Poor management where I worked.

    Advice to Management

    Use your Leadership Principles every day, whether we're discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach to solving a problem.


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