Sandia National Laboratories Reviews | Glassdoor

Sandia National Laboratories Reviews

Updated April 21, 2018
406 reviews

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3.9
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Sandia National Laboratories Laboratories’ Director Steve Younger
Steve Younger
25 Ratings

406 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • My personal (and private) annual goal has evolved into not becoming depressed and demotivated for several months after the annual performance review (in 20 reviews)

  • Lots of government red tape and hoops to jump through (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Great Benefits"

    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 Sandia National Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Great work-life balance, great benefits package, good salary

    Cons

    Large employer, red tape, politics


  2. "Great employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sandia National Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Lots of interesting work and room for advancement.

    Cons

    Overtime depending on the project you are on.

  3. "Review of computational physics postdoc experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral in Albuquerque, NM
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral in Albuquerque, NM
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sandia National Laboratories full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Great job for meeting people.
    - They will send you anywhere in the world for a conference.
    - Staff is friendly and helpful.
    - Tons of projects to choose from.
    - Super easy to turn the job into a career (most postdocs are offered staff positions).
    - Pay is pretty good as a postdoc, but make sure you get promoted to staff ASAP.
    - 9/80 workweek is pretty standard. They're experimenting with a 4/40 schedule.
    - This is a great place to do a postdoc. You'll get plenty of experience doing the research you want to do, and it opens a lot of doors.

    Cons

    - Albuquerque.
    - Much of the lab is on a military base.
    - Foreign nationals will want to look elsewhere. The lab is designed around people having a clearance of some kind. It is slowly getting better (they are trying), but diversity is a bit limited due to various regulations and security concerns.
    - Female:Male ratio in the research staff was about null in my department. To be fair, I have yet to find a place where that wasn't the case.
    - Funding is tricky. Fairly easy to get 'small' chunks of funding, very difficult to get enough chunks to complete a project. Hiring help for a project is very expensive.
    - Admin, while very friendly, is a massive, complicated maze and you generally waste weeks figuring out how to do mundane things. This is fairly common for companies this large though.

    Advice to Management

    More automation is needed on the admin side. Expenses tied to hiring researchers is largely devoted to admin overhead.


  4. "Mismanaged by leadership"

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

    I worked at Sandia National Laboratories full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    SNL has an amazing mission and diverse work with talented employees.

    Cons

    SNL has leaders, especially in support divisions, who are not qualified nor competent in their roles. They're more concerned about holding on to their jobs at all costs than doing what's best for the group, center, or division.

    Advice to Management

    Hire management into all level of leadership in support divisions that are capable and knowledgeable. No revolving door with leadership changes every 2 - 3 years either - it takes time to make real change and steer the division in the right direction.


  5. "If you like large bureaucracies"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livermore, CA

    I worked at Sandia National Laboratories (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Access to amazing researchers in a wide variety of fields, benefits pretty standard now but used to have a great pension plan that has now been replaced by 401K, some educational opportunities if you work in one of the hard sciences but not very supportive of education outside those areas. Some people spend their entire careers here, so they aren't very aware of other work environment norms when they become managers.

    Cons

    Always amuses me when companies promote "work-life balance," which is emphasized by recruiters, but rarely see it in practice. Also now seeing a push now to move researchers out of their offices into noisy open work spaces that Sandia feels is the trendy thing to do and saves them money on offices at the same time, even though the research staff hates the whole idea of losing their quiet offices where they can think.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "The worst company that I have ever worked for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sandia National Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    The pay is above average for the area.

    Cons

    I was offered and accepted what I believed to be a position on pay with the one that I left, but (contrary to my actual job description) my position is more in line with that of an assistant. Before receiving my security clearance, peers and managers referred to me as unclean. I received poor training. I have received multiple conflicting instructions. I have tried to discuss these issues with my manager, but he either cuts the meeting short or takes an offensive position and talks over me to prevent me from conveying my concerns.


  7. "Full time staffing partner"

    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 Sandia National Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Good Benefits
    work life balance
    Opportunities
    good co-workers

    Cons

    culture may be something of the past...they need new life/leadership to push forward

    Advice to Management

    Think ahead to the future

  8. "R&D S&E Systems Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - R&D S&E Systems Engineer
    Current Employee - R&D S&E Systems Engineer
    Recommends

    I have been working at Sandia National Laboratories full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good work/life balance. Rewarding work in the national interest

    Cons

    Lots of government red tape and hoops to jump through.


  9. "Good for Engineers - Boring Business Side"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Management Professional in Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Business Management Professional in Albuquerque, NM
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sandia National Laboratories full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, decent salaries, good work/life balance, nice co-workers, important mission

    Cons

    Boring tasks on the business side; takes a long time to start real work due to clearance wait times; dependency on federal budget prevents a lot of efficiencies the first half of each fiscal year; bureaucratic safety dept. constantly tries to validate its importance by pushing ridiculous safety culture; is located in southeast Albuquerque.

    Advice to Management

    Quit pushing safety in regards to everyday walking. Continue to seek ways to set up incentives to motivate managers to spend money in efficient ways.


  10. "Overall, great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Albuquerque, NM
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sandia National Laboratories full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great pay
    Secure funding
    Intelligent coworkers
    Edge of town (Can live in Tijeras and easily commute from beautiful mountains without living in the boring city)
    Very much prefer internal promotions over new hires

    Cons

    Albuquerque (Just Abq, outside of the city there are amazing mountains and parks. That is where I live and I greatly enjoy it)
    Bureaucracy (Escorted everywhere, even to bathroom, while waiting for clearance, the paperwork is intense, etc)
    Holds on to legacy solutions longer than I would like. Kinda stifles innovation

    Advice to Management

    Management is great. Sandia is full of well paid, well educated individuals who are typically very happy due to a sufficient standard of living provided by Sandia. This is a side note, but I also notice a VERY high amount of women in management. I would say it is half and half at this point, and I am in software/IT - which is usually not balanced.

    Also, the senior management typically communicate to the entire labs every couple of days, and are incredibly transparent about everything, even budgets. My observation is that most of the labs trust them greater for this reason.


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