Solar Turbines Reviews in San Diego, CA | Glassdoor

Solar Turbines San Diego Reviews

Updated September 19, 2017
120 reviews

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San Diego, CA Area

3.6
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Solar Turbines Chairman & CEO Caterpillar Inc. Douglas R. Oberhelman
Douglas R. Oberhelman
49 Ratings

120 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. "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.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "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.


  4. "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.


  5. "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.


  6. "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.


  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 (5)

    "Great company if you want to work at 1 place forever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Process Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Process Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The product is very cool, great benefits, decent pay, annual shut-down between Christmas and New Years, (mostly) smart people, gym / cafeteria,

    Cons

    Slow to promote, engineers get the best opportunities around the entire organization, not fast-moving on innovation, culture of people who spend 30+ years working for the company.

    Advice to Management

    To retain fresh talent, it'd be better if you promoted people faster. There's too much focus on where people will be at the company in 15 years. If you want to innovate, put people with fresh perspectives in positions of power.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "success breeds mediocrity"

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

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

    Pros

    Solar is a good company with a lot of good engineers. The product line is very well established in industry, deservedly. Pay is great if you are in the field. Otherwise, it is not at the 75% level like they claim, especially if oil and gas is used as a comparison

    Cons

    'The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, its the illusion of knowledge.' This quote very much applies to Solar sometimes. The company is becoming a little top heavy, with too many managers who don't really know the products and how they are used. They are trending towards treating the employees more like commodities. But its not too bad.

    Advice to Management

    More aggressively work towards product improvement, field feedback, etc. You should be actively pursuing this, not waiting for it to appear in front of your face. When applications engineers, sales engineers, and many managers don't know the products as well as the customers, you have a problem.


  10. "Solar Turbines - San Diego, CA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - PLM EBP Windchill/Creo Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Current Contractor - PLM EBP Windchill/Creo Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I've been contracting since 2011 and I have found that Solar Turbines is one of the premier places to work. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented people in the area of Windchill and Creo Parametric. If your looking to work on the leading edge of technology then this is the place you want to be.

    Cons

    No Snow year round... 70 degree days in the winter... My worst con for this company..

    Advice to Management

    Be a little more open to the older generation of technologist. Currently they appear to want people fresh from school to mold... The older technologist have education and experience that is already bought and paid for.


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