SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Reviews

Updated Feb 20, 2020

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3.6
55%
Recommend to a Friend
67%
Approve of CEO
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Laboratory Director Chi-Chang Kao
Chi-Chang Kao
78 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Scientists seen as beamline support staff(in 8 reviews)

  • "A little bit far away from Stanford University campus(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "A good work place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Staff Scientist 

    I have been working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Academic environment unlike industrial research with profit constraint

    Cons

    Salary is hard to compete against industries unfortunately

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2019-09-20

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Response

    November 12, 2019Workforce Attraction Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review. Our national lab environment allows SLAC employees to focus on our mission: to explore how the universe works and to help solve real-world problems. We are glad you see this as a plus and we understand we are operating in a very competitive environment in Silicon Valley. We encourage you to take advantage of all the great benefits that Stanford has to offer.

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  2. "Overall good experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The rank and file are a great group of supportive, dedicated, and incredibly intelligent people. SLAC was a wonderful opportunity to learn as people are open to sharing their expertise. Also, the work is meaningful and has a positive impact.

    Cons

    Management realizes that the pay doesn't cover the cost of living in the area and doesn't have much power to do anything about it. The hours can be a quite demanding depending on the role. Also, empire building.

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    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2020-02-20
  3. "Not an Engineering role - Very little gained from 3 years working with LCLS group."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Science and Engineering Asc in Menlo Park, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great co-workers and nice facilities on-site.

    Cons

    Poor on boarding experience that lasted over 8 months. Management is lacking direction, planning, and is not flexible at all. Very little engineering, mostly non-technical manual labor. Didn't learn anything new to advance my career.

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    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2020-01-23

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Response

    February 20, 2020Workforce Attraction Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We regret that your experience at SLAC was not more positive. We recognize the settling in period can be longer for some employees at the lab. We are looking at improvements we can make, including establishing consistency in the onboarding process to allow new employees to be effective in their jobs quicker. We have also recently renewed our focus on lab culture by defining our commitment to a respectful workplace and the behaviors that support it.

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  4. Helpful (1)

    "Not a great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Engineer III 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good work/life balance in some groups. Good seminars series talks if you like science.

    Cons

    Management is really bad in defining project scope. No room for growth. Salaries are very low for the Bay Area especially if you have family of 4. It barely cover rent and kids school.. No bonuses or reward for good performance. Smart, passionate and excellent people leave because they are not happy.

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    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2020-01-05
  5. "Nice place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Research Scientist 

    I worked at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Excellent place to work, good benefits

    Cons

    Bay area too expensive to live

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    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2019-09-21
  6. "Great Workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lots of freedom and time to learn.

    Cons

    Can be slow at times.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2019-09-19
  7. Helpful (3)

    "Government nepotism"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technician 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    You will get to see a lot of interesting stuff with all the different labs and experiments going on.

    Cons

    Family nepotism. They do not do things by standards. They try to keep people as contractors as long as possible with dangling the carrot of full time. Most people have no professional experience, they either know someone of are family of someone. The union here is weak.

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    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2019-08-12
  8. Helpful (5)

    "Sadly, not what it once was."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I have a great boss, he's engaged, smart, energetic and has managed to find some great opportunities for me to work on.

    Cons

    I wanted to write a good review. I honestly have loved working here for the last 15 years. But, I feel it's necessary to give some feedback to management and this might be the safest way because the lab is no longer a safe environment for feedback because management doesn't want to listen. SLAC has become a bureaucratic lab. Just the other day I had issues with trying to place an order via purchasing and finally had to settle for a sub-standard vendor because the purchasing employee was completely inflexible and was only worried about passing an audit rather than working to get the best quality product for the lab. This example is EXACTLY what has become wrong with the lab; by trying to do the right thing we are actually wasting government resources by "playing to the audit". In addition, the "support" organizations have grown to the point where my guess is that there is more "support" staff than engineering and science staff (HR, Purchasing, payroll etc). I loved working here, but find myself more and more frustrated every day. All we seem to be worried about is tracking every penny and where it is going. Our director and his management staff seems to be completely isolated and literally live in an ivory tower (4th floor of Bldg 53 , really?) . NO one above my manager does ANY management by walking around. They should, as they have become completely disassociated with the reality of what is going on underneath them. A rating of 71% for the director is terrible. And, only 57% of people would recommend SLAC as a place to work? That’s embarrassing, why isn’t HR doing something about that? How is SLAC supposed to hire and retain good employees with a rating like that on glassdoor?

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    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2019-06-04

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Response

    July 19, 2019Workforce Attraction Manager

    We appreciate your honest feedback. All employees should feel comfortable sharing such concerns with senior management. We are looking into better ways to facilitate this. Currently, there are a number of avenues through which senior management can connect with employees, including skip-level meetings, brown bag lunches, Manager Walk-Arounds and employee events. We’re open to new ideas and are exploring some opportunities for more casual interactions with the director. Other suggestions are always welcome by reaching out to your HR Business Partner or the Office of Communications.

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  9. Helpful (1)

    "Room for growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Science and Engineering Associate I 

    I have been working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Not a lot of micro management

    Cons

    Could use a little bit of upgrade on a few of its buildings

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2019-05-23

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Response

    May 24, 2019Workforce Attraction Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review. The Facilities & Operations team has plans to update and modernize a number of older buildings and utilities on the SLAC campus.

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  10. "Cutting Edge Science Laboratory"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Stanford Benefits including BeWell, Medical, Tuition Reimbursement and 401K.

    Cons

    Red tape that will kill you as an employee

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory2019-05-10
Found 162 reviews