Solar Turbines Reviews | Glassdoor

Solar Turbines Reviews

Updated February 12, 2017
20 reviews

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Solar Turbines Chairman & CEO Caterpillar Inc. Douglas R. Oberhelman
Douglas R. Oberhelman
8 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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

  • Solid Performing Company / Diversity Rich / Many Career Paths / Still has Decent Pay & Bonus Plan / Home Based in San Diego with great location (in 18 reviews)

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

  • Bad parking, little to zero chance of career advancement for some positions (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Lost Touch with What's Important"

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good people, fairly stable place to work. Used to have a lot more pros

    Cons

    Very dependent on oil prices, so now with low oil prices, they are cutting cost. This has come at the expense of healthcare (much more expensive now with poorer care), bonuses, raises, and every minor perk that we have previously been given. They seem to be trying to lean out so much that they haven't noticed that a majority of employees are actively trying to leave. Politics are overwhelming, you need to kiss the right butts to make it anywhere.

    Advice to Management

    Value who you currently have...cost cutting doesn't do any good if you don't have any employees


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Engineers need to get their hands dirty."

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits. Most employees are happy to work with.

    Cons

    Engineers come directly from collage with degrees but no experience. A machinist with 20 years of knowledge can't talk to them at all. Continuous improvement is a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of the air conditioned office and walk the floor more.


  3. "Boring"

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

    Pros

    Once you get in the door it is hard to be put out. Great hours. Paid weekly.

    Cons

    They will make you a temp for what seems like forever. They have a policy that they cannot have temps for more than 15 months. They will fire you when your time comes up, then they will rehire you shortly after that. Advancement opportunities aren't too great there.

    Advice to Management

    Stop jerking guys around and let them grown. Give their careers a chance to grow.


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  5. "Lead Technician"

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Affiliated with Caterpillar; excellent health insurance; good bonuses

    Cons

    Safety is a matter of convenience; upper level management incompetent; LOTS of overtime

    Advice to Management

    Fix the problems whatever it takes and don't be afraid to look in the mirror.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Once great, now meh."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great location whether it is Little Italy or Kearny Mesa, health benefits, paid time off. Extremely bright employees. Rewards for top performers.

    Cons

    Culture is changing to become more like the parent company, Caterpillar. Executive leaders are consistently replaced with Caterpillar executives that use Solar as a springboard for their own professional gain. You also have to cheer for the price of oil to go up in order to hit your bonus and keep your job safe. This is an oil and gas company, not a Solar power Company.

    Advice to Management

    Hold on and get ready to be Caterpillar-ized. If you're not on board, you won't be on the bus when it leaves the station.


  7. "Limited Career Growth"

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

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Company culture. The people at Solar genuinely care for each other.
    Successful company. Many years of great results.
    Stability. The company values employees.

    Cons

    Lack of accountability. Although there is much talk at Solar and especially from their parent company, Caterpillar, about accountability, that just isn't the case here.
    Lack of leadership. Due to the lack of accountability, leaders don't actually have to lead. They aren't given metrics or any benchmarks they and their teams must meet.
    Lack of engagement. Because of the items listed above, many employees are unengaged. They show up to work, due the minimum necessary to get through the day, and leave.
    Lack of career growth. Because there is very little movement at the upper management level, once you get to middle management, your career at Solar is finished. You may sit and wait at this level for 5 or even 10 + years for someone to retire above you.


  8. "Great people to work with, but no job growth."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people you work with are friendly and are willing to assist you. Solar Turbines provides engineers with the opportunity to Design, Analyze, and Test their designs. If you are out of college, this is a great starting job.

    Cons

    No career opportunities. The company is extremely complacent and are resistant to change. They have lots of opportunity for improvement, but they are resistant to change. If you have work experience at another company, definitely don't work at Solar Turbines


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to start, but very limited growth potential"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Strong business model brings good merit increases and annual bonus. Company values development, cross-functional development. Has tuition reimbursement program for basic or advanced degrees. Generally intelligent leaders, but very limited in focus.

    Cons

    Easy to work up through first couple of promotions, but then it's all about who you know. Culture is dominated by "good ol boy" network. Styles that succeed are very conservative, and don't speak out. Name of game is to make boss look good, and consistently agree with upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Stop telling employees that accountability matters if annual tasks such as the "employee opinion survey" continue to be disingenuous and patronizing. Would be nice to see a manager with consistently poor EOS scores actually REMOVED from management. It is clear that the standards of accountability for employees and for managers are very different on many different issues. Corporate politicking alive and well at Solar.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great at First!! but after 5 years you will run away!"

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    1.Right out of college was the best thing ever! they will treat you well, you will learn a lot.
    2. Good benefits comparing to other companies in SD- minus the pay.
    3. best location ever though expensive.

    Cons

    1. Solar does not appreciate hard workers who are smart and highly educated.
    2. Most managers are not qualified to do the job. they simply act like kids out of a high school. tons of employees are not qualified either!
    3. Once you get hired it's almost impossible to get promoted you have to move to different jobs to get promoted.
    4. Hard work and education does not mean anything to Management. all they care about is personality and if you're friends with them you will get promoted.
    5.Full of inadequate employees -super low performers- some don't even work, they just get paid what a shame! a lot of the Six SIgma Black belts are just waste! Solar will never fire lazy employees they will be kept and placed in some Black Belt position making good money and wasting everybody's time with projects that don't help the company or the bottom line.
    6.Big High School Drama!
    7. nepotism is big!! your relative has to be working in the company to get a good salary grade!!! it's so pathetic!
    8.The pay is pathetic if you've been at the company for a while new hires with no experience usually make 15%-30% more than you. it's so unfair! you have to train new hires who make much more than you!
    9. Solar loves to hire unqualified managers with no degrees or with degrees from crappy fake online schools.
    10.No one cares about new ideas or innovative solutions!! they're stuck in the past!!
    11. Politics!!! all they care about is politics! hard work does not equate to promotion! bullshitting is the essence at Solar.
    12. insensitive managers.

    Advice to Management

    treat your real degreed engineers with some respect! pay them! Solar is losing great talents because of it!

    get rid of waste! including lazy employees and low performers!! enough is enough!! that's why we will never make it to the 100 best companies to work for!! not even the top 10000 companies to work for!

    get rid of unnecessary positions!! no need for unqualified Black Belts! they're waste of time and money!


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Low principles and integrity with a lot of slandering and deception."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Field Service Representative in Odessa, TX
    Current Employee - Field Service Representative in Odessa, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Solar Turbines full-time

    Pros

    Job can be interesting and but very demanding. Skill level for this position is 80% manual labor mechanics, 10% electrical and 10% computer.

    Cons

    As a new employee, be ready to do the job duties that no one wants to do and be able to take abusive criticism for your imperfections and faults for not knowing. Senior personal lacks integrity and respect for authority, they also know that management won't do anything for fear of retaliation.

    Advice to Management

    Stop turning a blind eye to the actual problem, get a backbone and know that no one person is indispensable. - A few bad apples ruins the whole bunch.



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