Found 178 of over 1K reviews
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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "Full of open minded and great people willing to help" (in 142 reviews)
- "A good work/life balance with a 9/80 schedule where you work 9 hours each work day and get every other Friday off." (in 58 reviews)
- "Good benefits when properly employed (is what I heard)" (in 38 reviews)
- "The JPL campus is beautiful as well." (in 34 reviews)
- "Everyone was friendly and knowledgable." (in 30 reviews)
- "Low pay and quite stressful at times" (in 71 reviews)
- "No or limited parking for interns" (in 40 reviews)
- "Low salary paid to entry level engineers compared to industry." (in 33 reviews)
- "Management and bureaucracy do their best to keep you from doing your job" (in 31 reviews)
- "Some managers have no business being managers because they can't delegate (this is true across NASA)." (in 20 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is not affected by filters.
Reviews about "pay"Return to all Reviews
- 5.0Oct 30, 2018Anonymous InternFormer Intern
- Beautiful Campus - Some of the most brilliant people and mentors I've ever met - Tons of lectures and events for interns - Caltech is also an amazing and unique place and JPL interns often find themselves on Caltech's campus throughout the summer - The internship program is very social
- Pay is not that competitive but it did cover my expenses for the summer just fine - Parking and transportation can be a bit stressful if you don't arrange things properly
- 4.0Jan 17, 2017Anonymous EmployeeCurrent EmployeePasadena, CA
Good retirement plan over 9% base pay under 55 years old and over 14% after 55 years old. And relatively stable employment compared to industry. Layoffs not that often.
Space is very crowded. Most employees are in cubicles and shared offices like graduate school except very few exceptions in single office. Buildings are old. Not enough parking space. Located in remote area and difficult to get outside for lunch. Similar to government job, no real flexible working schedule except 9/80 work schedule. Working environment is a pitfall.2
- 1.0Oct 5, 2022Anonymous EmployeeCurrent Employee, more than 5 yearsPasadena, CA
Cool work and projects are exciting.
The pay is so low in comparison to what is required to live in the immediate area. There should NOT be multiple mid-level employees having to get roommates just to live nearby the Laboratory. Micromanagement here and the need to be in the office often just to “look” like you are working is awful. There’s also no room for advancement as all the positions are filled by older folks (50+years old) and the only way to move up is if someone quits or someone dies. The culture here is filled with nepotism, sweeping harassment (racism, micro aggressions,etc.) towards minority and women. They have “listening sessions” but they don’t do ANYTHING about it. People play it off as “that’s just how ____ is” instead of holding people accountable. There are literally entire families that work at JPL and the only reason why their children work at JPL is because the parents work there. There is also no paid maternity leave.6
- 3.0Jun 17, 2008IT Project ManagerCurrent EmployeePasadena, CA
It's exciting to have the opportunity to contribute to something that matters: space exploration. It's a great feeling to know that your work contributes to the overall good of society rather than just chasing profits. In addition, I look forward to the time that my grandchildren read about JPL's successful projects in their history books and ask me what it was really like. JPL has a very friendly workforce. There are many kind and considerate people working here. The work environment is open enough that there are many opportunities to advance technical skills, as long as you're self-motivated to do so.
Compensation is not tied to performance, but is based on the idea of 'salary management'. Management is very concerned with keeping compensation somewhat competitive with what similar institutions are paying. However, there is not much consideration of financial reward for performance. Some IT technical decisions are based on organizational culture or politics rather than technical merit. While one technology may be a perfect fit for a project, another choice is often selected to avoid making some organizations or people unhappy. Promotions are based on who you know rather than what you've done. It takes forever to get things done. There is quite a bit of process control and bureaucracy in place here. Wading through the red tape makes even simple tasks very complex3
- 4.0Aug 19, 2014InternCurrent Intern, more than 3 yearsLa Canada, CA
There are few other places on earth where you can do the sort of work they do at JPL. If space is your thing, you will find something new to be excited about every day.
The pay is not quite as nice as it would be for a similar position in the private sector. There is also quite a bit of institutional inertia.
- 3.0Sep 2, 2022Software Engineering InternCurrent Intern, less than 1 yearPasadena, CA
Everyone seems very interested in their work and wants to do their part in contributing to NASA, but it was also a very relaxed work environment. The campus is very large and has lots of cool things to explore.
Felt that I didn't do as much software development as I was hoping to do. Pay is very low especially for the location and there was a lot of downtime but this can be a good thing as well.
- 2.0Jan 13, 2018Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 3 yearsPasadena, CA
Lots of freedom to do both applied and research work. The people that you work with and the projects you have are awesome. It’s a great place to have on your resume when your looking for follow on jobs.
Parental leave is paid through your sick and vacation hours and via the state. If you run out of hours your pay will get cut to the state minimum which is hardly affordable nearby. HR will make you spend 40+ hours on the phone with the state government just to get paid each week, and give you conflicting answers when you ask for help in the first weeks of being a parent. If you really want to move up quickly you have to wait for the people above you to retire. Given that there are people working there until their 80s that can be a while. They have massive turnover in employees age 35-40. When you look at everything going on in the tech and robotics world today JPL is not as unique a place as their HR department claims.2