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Sandia National Laboratories Reviews

Updated January 16, 2018
389 reviews

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4.1
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Sandia National Laboratories Laboratories’ Director Steve Younger
Steve Younger
19 Ratings

389 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Poor performance review process based on time served rather than productivity or project contributions (in 19 reviews)

  • Lots of bureaucracy and paperwork (in 8 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. Helpful (2)

    "Phenomenal place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Member of Technical Staff
    Current Employee - Principal Member of Technical Staff
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sandia National Laboratories full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Impactful work in the National interest (the work we do matters to the nation and the world), collegial culture (i.e. autonomy to get work done), endless possibilities (tons of fascinating work, one can enjoy multiple careers within Sandia), intelligent workforce (some of the best and brightest, many are humbled and willing to help each other), great benefits (401K matching contributions, flexible schedule (9/80, telecommute), vacation and paid time off, incredible medical, dental, and vision plans with affordable premiums), career growth opportunities, and so much more. Sandia is truly a great place to work.

    Cons

    Since Sandia is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) and is not driven by profits, there are some inefficiencies with little to no accountability that can sometimes make the Labs seem lackadaisical and nonchalant. In addition, diversity needs to be improved especially in the STEM roles and at all levels of management.

    The new management team (NTESS) has started to address some of the aforementioned opportunities for improvement, but there are still ways to go.

    Advice to Management

    Continue being transparent to the workforce. Don't just talk about diversity and inclusion, but enforce it to hiring managers. We need more diversity (specifically more people of color) in the STEM roles and in management (including upper management).

  3. "Excellent Employer"

    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
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sandia National Laboratories full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    An extremely intelligent and committed workforce; strong benefits (at least for now); a culture that prioritizes diversity and inclusion, and emphasizes fairness of opportunities (the numbers of females in management is impressive); interesting and challenging work; opportunities to expand one's career into a range of different fields; New Mexico is awesome for outdoor and cultural adventures; and people are generally very friendly here.

    Cons

    A new contractor executive management team led by a subsidiary of Honeywell that is still learning Sandia's culture (they made a couple of missteps early that offended the workforce); a somewhat inflexible travel system (policies and provider limitations); poor management-customer relationships in a couple of spots (this is not believed to be widespread); threats to certain lines of R&D funding based on the Trump administration's disbelief in both science and climate change; Albuquerque, NM is not for everyone: some will love New Mexico and some will even grow fond of Albuquerque despite the crime and poor schools (for those who can't deal with NM, please check out SNL's Livermore, CA site).

    Advice to Management

    First, someone needs to deliver the message to NNSA and Congress that insufficient compensation and benefits present risk to the nation's nuclear security workforce. If the U.S. government expects world-class, even world-leading R&D then it needs to be prepared to increase the compensation to recruit and retain its talent. Second, Lab leadership needs to call out the administration and Congressional leadership for their failure to understand and embrace science-based R&D and analysis and their failure to drive policy accordingly. The administration is making policy decisions based on near-term economic benefits, decisions that threaten the long-term viability of our nation's resources, and the health and well-being of its citizens. Please step up!


  4. "Excellent Atmosphere"

    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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This is an organization that pays employees well and has an positive employer, management, and employee atmosphere.

    Cons

    None, everyone works in a professional, but fun atmosphere. Love going to work!


  5. "Great work life balancd"

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

    I worked at Sandia National Laboratories full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Work/ life balance. Flexible work schedule (4/10, 9/80). Friendly work environment . Great values

    Cons

    I worked at the california site and earned my degrees while working there. It was hard to move up to where I wanted to be and it wasn’t because of a lack of effort.


  6. "Benefits"

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

    I have been working at Sandia National Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits with vacation buy plan

    Cons

    Educational assistance should be reviewed


  7. "Great workplace"

    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 Sandia National Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    nice colleagues, at a good location

    Cons

    everything is running quite well

  8. "Lots of changes, not many for the better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PMTS in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - PMTS in Livermore, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sandia National Laboratories full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Lots of smart co-workers, interesting work, visible impact. Management is extremely well-compensated. A great place to end your career.

    Cons

    Some days it feels like I'm stuck in Mean Girls. Internal politicking is rampant and petty. Cyclic feast or famine. Dunning-Kruger is alive and well.

    Advice to Management

    Diversity and inclusion. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


  9. "Amazing pros and dismal cons highlight Sandia"

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

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

    Pros

    I was in two groups while there. This is pros of non-nuclear weapons group:
    -Very intelligent and well-read co-workers
    -Very interesting work
    -The projects are run by staff who pick their support staff. This leads to all co-workers having to demonstrate their value and contribute. No slackers :)
    -The benefits are amazing, simply amazing. Well beyond anything from any public or private place I've worked. They contribute a flat amount to your 401k on top of their matching! You can work a 9/80 schedule and have every other Friday off. Subsidized lunches at the cafe. A lot of leave. Unlimited sick leave! There's even a free doctor onsite!
    -The pay is quite good for the cost of living. When you compare it to other places, you can't beat Sandia's pay.....yes, even for compsci in SF.
    -The work/life balance is unbeatable.

    Cons

    The main downside is the location. Albuquerque is a dismay town with low employment, broad poverty, rampant crime, and terrible, terrible education culture. If you're single or never going to have kids, I'd recommend Sandia. Otherwise, it's tough to recommend. I took off about 2 stars just because ABQ is in my opinion a huge reason to not work here.

    Further, the pay in the Livermore location is not a large enough locality offset to compensate for the cost of living increase.

    From a work standpoint, nuclear weapons is very different from the rest of the labs. Generally, the people working in NW are not from as prestigious of colleges, there's a lot more politics in NW, and the projects and money flow from the top down, so it's got a ton more political feel to it.

    Advice to Management

    Could require managers and staff to work a rotation for the 1st year. Something like halftime or 1/3 time in different divisions. This way people start out not so silo'd.


  10. "SNL Tech Staff Review"

    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 (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Challenging problems, opportunities for job transfer to completely new problem areas - like having multiple careers without changing companies.

    Cons

    Normal downside of working for a big company - corporate training, etc.


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