Solar Turbines Reviews | Glassdoor

Solar Turbines Reviews

Updated November 14, 2017
64 reviews

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3.0
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Solar Turbines Chairman & CEO Caterpillar Inc. Douglas R. Oberhelman
Douglas R. Oberhelman
18 Ratings

64 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Flexible with schedule, good work life balance (in 17 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)

  • San Diego is an expensive city for the Solar headquarters (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time

    Pros

    People, Environment, and the willingness to keep you employed when business is slow.

    Cons

    Applied for 3 positions internally, although I was more than qualified, I was continuously denied the job because "you don't have a degree." The folks that got the job over me, they had no degree as well. I will be back with my degree.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Reactive management and clueless people"

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

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

    Pros

    job is not hard, people are okay

    Cons

    every day is a new day for the managers... they change priorities without planning ahead. Work more overtime! Wait, no... overtime isn't allowed! Wait, why aren't you done?!

    Advice to Management

    Plan instead of react... get rid of about 90% of the managers who do nothing.

  3. "Good place to start out"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Service Desk Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - IT Service Desk Analyst in San Diego, CA

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

    Pros

    -Great group of people
    -Opportunity for advancement within the company

    Cons

    -All SDA employees are contractors not staff

    Advice to Management

    -Offer ability to pay into unemployment


  4. "Stable place to work"

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

    I worked at Solar Turbines full-time

    Pros

    -Company is large and stable
    -Vacation time/ shutdown

    Cons

    -Management is clueless
    -Very Political
    -not up to date

    Advice to Management

    Start paying attention to your employees!


  5. "No Good for Long Term Contract"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in San Diego, CA
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    1) Relaxed Management/No Micromanagement (At least on my team)
    2) Easy Work
    3) Ok Pay based on experience
    4) Paid Weekly

    Cons

    1) No 401K Match
    2) No PTO due to being Contract
    3) No room to grow (Cannot go to conferences, training workshops, etc.)
    4) Nepotism/Favoritism/Politics

    Advice to Management

    I have been here for a little over 2 years and had learned how to do my position at 100% in a little over 6 months.

    Everyone's role is very specific, and it seems no one has time or wants to teach you how to grow yourself in your career. If you want to learn more you have to really hunt people down to find out more but even then there's not really a chance for you to grow unless you are personally favored for what ever reason.

    Hard work with great results and a good personality isn't enough to show your manager that you are making an impact, and instead, they are willing to put in somebody else with no experience into the higher position of your role and you have to train them just because they are liked, which leads to jealousy from all over.

    Overall things just do not make sense here and doing your best does not get you rewarded.

    Management needs to be real and recognize this is why people leave if their circumstances allow. This could just be because this is an almost century old company with a very old culture that is solidified into it's roots. There is no visibility as to why decisions are made and it is very shady.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Salary Compensation is Lacking"

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

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

    Pros

    Great people and locations (Kearny Mesa & Downtown). The flexible time is nice, and managers are starting to implement working from home options. Three weeks vacation and holiday shutdown at Christmas helps.

    Cons

    The compensation for talented employees and hard workers has deteriorated over the last 4-5 years. Competition is pretty fierce for a 3% raise. They have taken the CAT corporate mentality and made it near impossible to move up without befriending a certain manager or director. Management and department heads definitely have their favorites.

    Advice to Management

    Like many other reviews have stated, management needs to change their corporate view mentality. Work with your employees more, and become an actual manager instead of focusing on your pet projects. Stop moving from one manager position to another. If you want employees to stay in positions for 3-5 years, then require managers to stay in positions 5-7 years and have them actually help train and develop their employees.

    To help keep employees raise the salary across the board for your young talent. Now that San Diego is one of the most expensive places to live and work something will need to change very soon.


  7. "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.

  8. "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.


  9. 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.


  10. "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


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