Solar Turbines Reviews | Glassdoor

Solar Turbines Reviews

Updated November 6, 2016
49 reviews

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3.0
Star Star Star Star Star
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Approve of CEO
Solar Turbines Chairman & CEO Caterpillar Inc. Douglas R. Oberhelman
Douglas R. Oberhelman
14 Ratings

49 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Flexible with schedule, good work life balance (in 15 reviews)

  • Solid Performing Company / Diversity Rich / Many Career Paths / Still has Decent Pay & Bonus Plan / Home Based in San Diego with great location (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • Oil and Gas engineering is back about 30-40 years compared to other technology based industries (in 6 reviews)

  • Hold Agency employees for multiple years without conversion, thus leaving them with low pay and no benefits (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Desktop Support Analyst"

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    The Harbor Drive location is great right next to Harbor. CTS is a good team to work for with a great lead who supports his team. Overall is a great place to work, would be greater as a Solar employee.

    Cons

    About 1/2 the work force is contracted through Volt, many people have worked as a Volt temp for a decade or more in hopes of getting on permanent. Volt undercuts the people they employ by giving them low pay, no benefits, no pto, only 3 days sick because it's now California law. It's a nice place to work but Volt makes it difficult to survive because the pay is so low you can't afford to live in San Diego on such low pay, on top of that it's like an act of congress to get a pay raise through Volt.

    Advice to Management

    Bring you're contract employees on as permanent employees.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good but needs work on Fairness"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Channelview, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Channelview, TX

    Pros

    There are a lot of good people to work with who are good at their job and willing to be helpful to others. The plant has new equipment in some areas and improvements to the work areas. The shops are clean and mostly organized.

    Cons

    Some employees are not treated fairly. Job opportunities are sometimes not opened up to all the employees. People are selected and put in positions. Management shows favorites. This effects trust in the management there.

    Advice to Management

    Be fair and communicate to employees what is going on.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Oil and Gas but innovation coming"

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

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

    Pros

    Small enough to see results and be recognized, big enough to do something about it.

    Cons

    The particular industry in which Solar operates (oil and gas) makes it very cyclical.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Troubling Trends"

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

    Pros

    San Diego is a great place...even though it's insanely expensive to live.

    Cons

    Caterpillar culture is slowly destroying what was a great place to work. Upwardly mobile means you need to be someone's favorite pet. Management demands change be embraced, but change takes place at a glacial pace. Wages are not the best, but they used to make up for it with benefits and bonus...Caterpillar is dismantling the bonus and has cut benefits drastically in the last few years...so the outlook is this will not be a favorable company to work for in the near future. I used to brag to others about working here...now not so much...and recommend when asked to look elsewhere and treat Solar as a last resort.

    Advice to Management

    Caterpillar is not Solar...as Solar is not Caterpillar. The trend of rotating Cat people into the leadership has damaged the environment and will ultimately lead to a sharp decline in retention of the best people. Stop "fixing" what wasn't broke.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Not so good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    People, Product, Stability , Work environment , Training

    Cons

    Favoritism
    Too permissive (allow employees to be lazy)
    Reluctant to changes

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting your friends
    HR needs to get more involved in employee's growth


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Not what it used to be"

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Over time, Solar's personality has changed from warm, spirited, team oriented Salaried & Hourly workforce to a much colder, individual performance based, forced ranking that has deteriorated the "Teaming" atmosphere that once existed. Values in Action and living by the code has turned into a mockery and resulted in a significant decline in overall "Leadership". Way too many managers managing areas where they lack the experience, knowledge and expertise previously required, which has been a major source of frustration to those who actually have earned and worked to achieve the "prerequisites" that were previously required to become a "Manager".

    Advice to Management

    For VP level.......Drive 'real' transparency throughout the organization. Too many Directors and Senior Managers controlling the narrative and spin on what's really going on in their organizations. We've seen epic failures spun is such a way that VP's are led to believe everything was a success. This is resulting in a severe loss of "trust" within the rank and file. Take a deep dive into "Values in Action" and prove to yourself that your Leadership is truly "Living by the Code".


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Design engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Location, co-workers provide inclusive environment, interesting projects, good vacation, used to have good benefits when I got hired

    Cons

    Upper management doesn't care about employees, not competitive salary, poor communication from company and management. I'm on here to determine what positions salary ranges are.......

    Advice to Management

    Communicate to people, be more transparent. Put a premium on design.


  9. "Caterpillar"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in San Diego, CA

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

    Pros

    The work to life balance is good

    Cons

    Caterpillar owns them, which makes it a less exciting place to work. The cat ways are outdated, yet still forced upon Solar.


  10. "Room for improvement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Mabank, TX
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Mabank, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Solar Turbines as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible company that promotes and offers growth. Great work environment and tons of safety tips to learn and apply to all area of life.

    Cons

    Hold Agency employees for multiple years without conversion, thus leaving them with low pay and no benefits. Very discouraging to those who put forth the time and effort and have invested in a solid education.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Project Manager"

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Solar offers above average stability and benefits packages. Average pay seems to be on par with other companies of this size.

    Cons

    Archaic and disjointed systems for such a large company require extensive manual and redundant intervention. This multiplies opportunities for errors and dissatisfied customers. The common saying within the workforce is, "Solar is successful in spite of itself." Limited opportunity for advancement since management allows people to "camp out" in the limited leadership positions indefinitely.

    Advice to Management

    Be genuine when you tell the workforce that you care about them. Talk is cheap. Provide opportunities for cross training, lateral and upward movement, and let them know when they've done a good job versus waiting for that one "slip up" to pounce on them. Consider the number of times they get it right versus wrong and the volume of opportunities they encountered to get it right.



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