Solar Turbines Reviews | Glassdoor

Solar Turbines Reviews

Updated August 12, 2017
195 reviews

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3.4
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Approve of CEO
Solar Turbines Chairman & CEO Caterpillar Inc. Douglas R. Oberhelman
Douglas R. Oberhelman
66 Ratings

195 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Flexible with schedule, good work life balance (in 16 reviews)

  • great benefits when you are full time and you get a big end of the year bonus check (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • Oil and Gas Industry that is facing headwinds (in 10 reviews)

  • The cost of living in San Diego is spiraling upward (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great company to work for in a great location"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Design Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Design Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Growth, stability, experience all aspects of engineering.
    Lots of opportunities to move up with the retirements of many long term employees.

    Cons

    Limited salary increases compared to previous years. Lack of innovation, but that's starting to change. Lack of urgency and pressure to get projects complete by management and supporting departments, mainly supply chain.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize the wage gap between your relatively new hires and experienced engineers. Remove old policies that prevent promotions based on time served. Reward your top performers.


  2. "Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - A Person in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - A Person in San Diego, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Work is exciting and if allowed to, you can use your creativity to improve how work is accomplished. One of the last manufacturing plants of heavy turbines left the west coast. Location. Great Apprenticeship, Internship and Executive training programs.

    Cons

    Compensation is rigged. Bonus at the end of the year goals are set half way through the year. Not compensated for actual skill set. They hire the most talented employees and never utilize them to their potential. Very Big Company attitude. Benefits are very small company like, high deductibles and high monthly cost. Need to belong to the good boy club to grow rapidly. Management manages via rumor control and decides employee fate based on flexible guidelines. Union is not a real union. The Union works for the company because it is open shop.

    Advice to Management

    Compensate based on what the industry pays. Compare pay to who you consider your competition to be not some hot dog shop down the street Either remove the bonus program or be more forthcoming about your milestones before the year ends. Create better technologies for manufacturing, marketing and Management. Train Management to hold better meetings with agendas and task assignment at the end. Don't just meet to meet. Must be goal oriented. Develop better products, easier to manufacture and less cost. Keep up the good work in your new hire training programs. Community involvement is great. Stay in San Diego area if possible and challenge employees, giving them real goal and real compensation for achieving those goals. Mostly Solar does a good job.

  3. "Working hard doesn't always help you"

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Decent pay and good benefits.

    Cons

    Flexibility depends on your manager. Some offer 5 personal days and others don't. There are no set rules with these. Advancement depends on whether or not you are a pet or get with the in crowd. They base some rules on what other people's perceptions are.

    Advice to Management

    Have a set policy that all managers have to follow. Don't just advance your favorites, other people work just as hard.


  4. "Downhill"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Semi decent pay and vacation.

    Cons

    Self serving management, promoting back stabbing behavior.


  5. "SPM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - SPM in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - SPM in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Solar Turbines (More than a year)

    Pros

    Paychecks don't bounce, lot's of girls there that are "loose"

    Cons

    Destroying planet with products, Union present which makes for lazy workers

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing, not much is going to change anyways.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Overhaul Techs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Overhaul Technician in DeSoto, TX
    Former Employee - Overhaul Technician in DeSoto, TX
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Benefits and holidays are pretty good

    Cons

    Management and Supervisors have favorites that advance,need better leadership, benefits are going away,company trying to cut costs

    Advice to Management

    Take care of the employees who actually work


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Principal Test Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Test Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Test Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time

    Pros

    - Stability
    - Immediate business outlook for Solar Turbines business is favorable due to recent U.S. presidential policies changes oil and gas industries.

    Cons

    - Long term business outlook is uncertain.
    - Work policies have transformed from an enjoyable place to work to a very corporate Caterpillar environment. You must be very self aware to ensure you're not violating some policy. On the other hand, Caterpillar/Solar does do a good job in distributing policy information, but still too easy to find yourself in hot water.

    Advice to Management

    To Sr. Management, my suggestion is you pay a little closer attention to your selection candidate selections for middle management. I've noticed more and more people in middle management positions that don't take any accountability, are seemingly running scared, blame others for their own shortcomings and really , in my opinion at least, should be in management... just my 2 cents.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Purchasing"

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time

    Pros

    20 years ago it USE TO BE a great company to work for.

    Cons

    They overwork employees. Pay is no longer comprable to similar companies.


  9. "Accounting Supervisor II"

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time

    Pros

    Close to Downtown, gym, nice view from office

    Cons

    Hire a lot of contractors in Accounting and IT. They would not have as much turnover if they hired individuals directly vice through consulting firms like VACO and Modis


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Lacking innovation and communication between departments."

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

    Pros

    Great people work here. Family-like atmosphere. Friendly environment. Location is highly desirable. Pleasant working with all types of employees in one location, from the president down to the shop floor workers.

    Cons

    Innovative ideas are not well received or incorporated. Low salaries compared to other engineering companies. Advancement not based on performance or ability, rather duration of employment. Unpleasant facilities to effectively work together. Interaction between engineering groups is limited. Many problems could be solved by better communication between disciplines

    Advice to Management

    Promote innovation through middle management. Have them take suggestions from their direct reports and pass them along to innovation enablers.

    Set up teams from different departments to work on issues under the purview of one to encourage teaming and generate new ideas and solutions


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