Orbital Sciences Reviews | Glassdoor

Orbital Sciences Reviews

Updated February 16, 2017
175 reviews

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175 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Middle and upper management is stuffed with people going nowhere (in 8 reviews)

  • This type of work environment fosters open collaboration between team members (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Director of Programs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Dulles, VA
    Former Employee - Director in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Fun Projects, State of the Art Technologies

    Cons

    Company has fundamentally changed from it's beginnings.

    Advice to Management

    Poor long term planning...


  2. "Good people and interesting work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Mission Architect in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Chief Mission Architect in Dulles, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company is comprised of highly motivated, highly capable people. Most people work on more than one effort, providing a breadth of challenging work and the opportunity to work with a wider range of people in the company. The climate encourages finding innovative solutions to difficult technical problems.

    Cons

    There is some uncertainty as the company works to integrate after the merger with ATK. Management is working to achieve this integration, but it seems that much of this work is behind the scenes and less transparent.

    Advice to Management

    As we work through the merger, continue to preserve the strong climate we've had at Orbital and capitalize on the breadth that ATK brings. More transparency would be appreciated, where practical, as the integration proceeds.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Working in IT can be real rewarding"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people in the IT department are what makes this job great.

    Cons

    Company under pays positions even though expectations are higher than most companies.

    Advice to Management

    If you expect a world class employee,
    You have to pay what the market demands or you will continue to lose great talent. It shouldn't always be about management bonuses and cutting costs with salaries. Treat employees well so they have a reason to stay!


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  5. "Great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in Sterling, VA
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in Sterling, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Give responsibility to younger professionals.

    Cons

    No specified career path for certain professions.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Slightly above average"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in Chandler, AZ
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in Chandler, AZ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great environment, great work opportunities, great co-workers, and the management is technically competent. Lots of opportunities to work on tough problems.

    Cons

    Most of the managers at Orbital are not skilled at management. Orbital adheres to the failed practice of promoting only technically competent engineers to management positions. In addition, most of the engineers they promote to management have a tendency to be arrogant and rude. They make decisions without considering long term effects and impacts to employee morale. Employee suggestions and feedback are not just discarded, but I've seen cases where these are mocked by the managers in front of other employees.

    Despite the poor management, the pros of this job exceed the cons. This unfortunately results in very few opportunities for technical advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Establish clear expectations and consequences for managers at all levels. Send all managers to management training / interpersonal communication training. If the managers fail to meet the defined expectations, then apply the associated consequences.


  7. "Mechanical Designer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Dulles, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work was challenge and exciting many obstacles and needs for further research and development and research. More supervision was necessary

    Cons

    More instruction needed and responsibilities no supervision of guidance by appropriate supervisors allot of software issues and no help or guidance available

    Advice to Management

    Review all candidates


  8. Helpful (6)

    "Confirmation of Previous Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A place of very dedicated and intelligent people. Program Managers often (specially for small spacecrafts) mingle with their team of leads and engineers. (Please note: they are the real warriors there!).
    The environment, despite the RIFs terrorizing the Company, is friendly and progressive - even with the incompetent Upper Management.

    Cons

    What was written by the review entitled “Crushing schedules, demoralizing work environment, low raises, and little opportunity for advancement...” is VERY TRUE! No need to re-write what was so well expressed!
    As long as Orbital continues to let Tech Ops get away with its unrealistic and out-of-touch leadership, the Company will continue to loose its brilliancy that once characterized its achievements.

    Advice to Management

    Dissolve Tech Ops. Give its Management the taste of their own recommendations by "kindly" letting them go... Make the rest of the Company happy - Phoenix style!


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Good place for a career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Engineering in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Engineering in Dulles, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I feel valued here, am given a great deal of latitude and trust, the company has a pretty strong benefits package, but perhaps most importantly the work is almost always challenging and cutting edge. I'm amazed at the projects I've been able to be involved in over my 10+ years here, and I expect more after the upcoming merger.

    Cons

    In many areas Orbital is still trying to find a balance between being a small company and competing with the big boys, while at the same time trying to adjust to new competition and cost challenges. This occasionally leads to unclear or conflicting direction from upper management.


  10. Helpful (11)

    "Crushing schedules, demoralizing work environment, low raises, and little opportunity for advancement..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Sterling, VA
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Sterling, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Talented, intelligent, skilled coworkers. Much of the work is interesting and challenging. Shift differential pay for non-prime shifts. Good quality housing for employees on launch campaigns. Most employees outside of Tech Ops have private or semi-private offices. Benefits are competitive.

    Cons

    Quality of work life varies tremendously depending on the department you are in (as can be seen by the disparate reviews here). Engineers in Tech Ops typically work in small, noisy, dilapidated cubicles, sometimes sharing those cubicles with two or even three three other engineers. Tech Ops is run like a blue-collar factory with management more focused on assigning blame and taking punitive actions rather than rewarding people for jobs well done.

    Raises are embarrassingly low and seemingly unrelated to performance appraisals, especially for over-40 employees. Promotions, which are rare, are often based on cronyism rather than skills and performance. Management provides little guidance as to what is necessary to advance within the organization.

    Employees are often worked to the point of exhaustion to meet unrealistic deadlines. When contract incentives are won, top program management collects *very* generous bonuses, while those who worked so hard might get a treated to a buffet-style lunch or a few hundred dollars (after months of work).

    Employees on launch campaigns spend weeks or even months on the road while travel policies become ever worse, such as per-diem being cut to 70% of government rates. That kind of miserly policy speaks volumes about how little they care about the employees.

    Management's obsession with time cards, mindless, seemingly endless, online "training" courses, and producing meaningless metrics is maddening.

    Advice to Management

    Start factoring staff morale into the raises and promotions of supervisors; lower morale should mean lower raises and less chance for promotions for the responsible supervisors (sort of the reverse of how it works now).

    Give people raises that reflect the cost of living and their increased value to the company as they gain knowledge and experience.

    Provide employees with accurate, annual assessments of what they need to do to advance their careers.

    Share contract performance incentives by giving substantial bonuses to the employees doing the actual work.

    Hire a firm to perform anonymous employee satisfaction surveys. Actually pay attention to the results and take corrective actions.

    Upgrade the Satellite Manufacturing Facility. Replace the cubicles with offices. Put in new carpeting. Paint doors, handrails, walls, and everywhere else the paint is damaged or worn off. Upgrade restrooms. Take down the intelligence-insulting signs. Make it a pleasant, professional place to work.

    Recognize that there is often 24/7 staffing in the Satellite Manufacturing Facility. That means you need night-time janitorial and building services. You need an inclement weather policy for second and third shift. You can't have someone work from 11PM until 8AM and then tell them that they have a mandatory meeting at 1PM.

    Get rid of demoralizing policies such as reduced per-diem rates. If you want to save money, don't do it on the backs of the employees; find ways to cut capital equipment costs, equipment lease costs, and costs for services.


  11. "Great Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Orbital Science Corp in Chandler, AZ
    Current Employee - Orbital Science Corp in Chandler, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The management is very understanding and flexible with your hours. You can work from home in case you have an emergency, especially if you have kids. The starting pay is not bad. Great benefits so far. Friendly people

    Cons

    They give you a raise every year but not that much! It's better than nothing!

    Advice to Management

    I suggest to hire enough people.


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