NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Reviews

Updated September 16, 2017
383 reviews

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NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Michael Watkins
Michael Watkins
14 Ratings

383 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Management does sincerely make an attempt to keep work/life balance in check (in 43 reviews)

  • Great environment, work/life balance, 9/80 work schedule (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • The work/life balance is difficult (in 7 reviews)

  • I really had no cons working with the company (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work for recent engineering college-grads"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Sierra Madre, CA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Sierra Madre, CA
    Recommends

    I have been working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Getting to work on some of the coolest projects
    -Start time flexibility (as long as you meet your 40/week)
    -Many jobs allow you to work from home
    -Work phone + Laptop + Desktop

    Cons

    -Depending on project you may feel burnt out
    -Not the best at keeping track of assuring each new engineer starts in a support role

    Advice to Management

    Group supervisors do not count as mentors for young engineers. Assure that each one will be paired with a senior engineer to guide them through JPL best design practices.


  2. "Great Employer"

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule
    Good starting salary for recent undergraduate
    Positive atmosphere
    Probably the most interesting projects that an engineer can work on
    Supportive staff

    Cons

    Cafeterias aren't great
    Starting into my work/projects was a bit slow

  3. "Finally, a great employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Editor/Writer in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Technical Editor/Writer in Pasadena, CA
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's the mission. Compared to all the financial companies I have worked for, JPL has a mission other than just sacrificing your life to making the partners rich... and maybe, if you're lucky, you get some crumbs. The feeling here is you're doing something historical, important, and larger than yourself. Yes, even if you're in support staff. If you've always been annoyed at being the smartest person in the room, come here and that will stop - I guarantee it.

    Cons

    Physical plant can be shabby, cafeteria leaves a lot to be desired, and the business group can be just as besotted by management fads as anyone in private industry.

    Advice to Management

    I heard a story about a former Director here, who was all excited about smaller cheaper missions being "higher risk." When someone said, "so it's okay if they fail," he said, "of course not!"


  4. "Great For family life"

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

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

    Pros

    Great family life, colleagues become friends, new toys to play with everyday

    Cons

    I honestly cant think on a con for this company


  5. "electrical engineer 1"

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

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

    Pros

    work life balance, cool facilities, great experience, and low stress

    Cons

    government job with bureaucracy and lots of rules


  6. "JPL Packaging Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Packaging Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Packaging Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Get to make things that go to space

    Cons

    Management and bureaucracy do their best to keep you from doing your job

    Advice to Management

    Get out of the way


  7. "Deputy Program Manager, Small Spacecraft Office"

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

    I worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Fantastic people and engaging work. Good compensation and benefits. There really isn't a down side to working at JPL

    Cons

    There really are not "Cons" to working at JPL

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Its Ok....."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great work is done here and it makes you feel good to contribute.

    Cons

    Inability to move up, minimal to no disciplinary action taken against employees who need it. Favoritism dictates who can advance.

    Advice to Management

    None.....they won't listen anyway.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Diverse environment with freedom to get your work done."

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

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

    Pros

    Great place to work. Diverse environment. Freedom to do your work with minimum interference. Able to talk to anyone at ANY level. Work on unusual projects. Management does sincerely make an attempt to keep work/life balance in check.

    Cons

    Benefits not as strong as current tech companies. No profit sharing (government). No free coffee, soda, juices, meals, yogurt, childcare, etc. Skills learned may be of limited value for other companies. Transition to other projects when current tasks get completed, is not smooth. New hires seem to get more attention than current employees.

    Advice to Management

    Nurture your employees. Train them for new projects and challenges. More classes and inclusion into new projects. Encourage more mentoring and team building.


  10. "Great Work Environment"

    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 NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Amazing work, laid back atmosphere, University campus feel

    Cons

    Everything at JPL is amazing


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