Tesla Reviews | Glassdoor

Tesla Reviews

Updated August 14, 2018
1,539 reviews

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3.4
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Tesla Chairman, CEO, and Product Architect Elon Musk
Elon Musk
1,111 Ratings

1,539 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "You really do get a sense that the people in the company do want to push hard to change the world" (in 62 reviews)

  • "Fast-paced moving environment if you're the type who likes change" (in 115 reviews)

Cons
  • "Minimal work life balance within corporate culture" (in 201 reviews)

  • "Long hours, comparable lower pay" (in 166 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "Most innovative company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Lathrop, CA
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Lathrop, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Having the opportunity to work for a company that is changing the world is exhilarating and rewarding. The projects I get to work on are right up my alley, challenging, and stretch my ability to allow me to learn on the job. The compensation is adequate for the work put in, and I feel valued every day at work. Team around me is encouraging and kind which creates a pleasant place to go into work each day.

    Cons

    The only con I can perceive is that Tesla is a high stress, high pace environment. People here work really hard and get things done. I wouldn’t say it is for everyone, but for a lot of people they would fit right in and feel at home.

    Advice to Management

    From my perspective, management is doing a stellar job at running the company and maintaining a great work environment. Feedback is recieved and given adequately, there is a minimum level of micromanaging, and everyone is respectful and willing to work together to solve issues regardless of hierarchy. It is really encouraging to work under management I can look at as leadership.


  2. "Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Tesla full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work

    Cons

    Long hours with no feedback

  3. Helpful (409)

    "A unique company, but it’s hard to last more than a couple of years here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - White Collar Worker In Service (Headquarters) in Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - White Collar Worker In Service (Headquarters) in Fremont, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Completely casual dress code

    Flexibility to work from home when needed

    Always interesting to work at the factory

    If you look at the SEC filings, you can see that the top people are basically compensated the same as the other employees, which is a pleasant surprise.

    Many “beautiful people” here (male and female). Lots of eye candy.

    A lot of people complain about the pay, but they paid me more than my last company, where I had the same title

    LGBT friendly

    The product is cool, and really fun to drive

    If you’re in the right department, you might be able to drive a Tesla somewhat regularly. If not, there is an ongoing contest where you can be randomly selected to take one home for a couple of nights

    The company is still growing

    There is room to move geographically within Service, since Tesla owns the Service Centers

    Lots of “car guy” coworkers to keep conversations interesting

    Benefits actually got better and cheaper every year from 2012-2015, and stayed similar after that. I guess this was due to the company growing and getting better group rates. Regardless, not many people can say that.

    You’ll frequently come to work that day expecting to work on a certain project and end up on something totally different. This can be good and bad.

    Starting hours are typically flexible, which is a really nice perk. Nobody is making sure you’re in your seat at a certain time.

    Most employees are surprisingly responsive and friendly.

    Very heavy email-based communication, and it mostly works quite well.

    You get good at doing the best you can with the resources you have, rather than doing the best possible job. This isn’t necessarily a complaint, since it’s a valuable skill to have, but you should consider if you’re going to be okay in that kind of environment before applying.

    Cons

    Rare to be recognized, let alone thanked, for going above and beyond to accomplish something out of the ordinary. Once you've "done the impossible", it's just assumed that you can and will do it again and again from now on.

    Literally hundreds of people in one room, desks on top of each other, as many as possible in every little space. Companies claim that they’re being “modern” and “progressive” by not having offices and cubicles, but they’re just being cheap. Look at pictures of offices from the 1950’s. You’ll see the same hundreds of desks in a room.

    Yearly raises are typically less than the cost of living

    Work/life balance is mediocre at best

    Smallish yearly bonuses in the form of golden handcuffs. RSUs that vest over 4 years, so you’ll wait a long time to benefit from them

    Those who were hired before mid-2013 made a lot of money off stock options, but many of those people are leaving now that all of their options are used up.

    Revolving door. It’s hard to last more than a couple of years here.

    It’s always seemingly a few steps away from massive failure

    Very few processes in place, so work is done extremely inefficiently

    Very common to compose an email and see “This is no longer a valid Tesla address”

    The entire Service organization shares one budget. I am scrimping to save $50 on software while a barely-related manager wastes literally tens of thousands of dollars a week on cool toys, and it all comes from the same place.

    Everything’s urgent, and people try to name-drop that Elon’s watching this very project so I need to stop everything for them. Luckily those of us who have been around for a while see right through that charade.

    Technically, no 401(k) match, though if you’re careful with the health benefits you choose, you can end up with some leftover that can be diverted into the 401(k).

    Middle managers are very hit-and-miss. Many were promoted because a manager was needed and they were the only one who knew anything about the department. Much room for improvement here.

    Minimal leadership training. No real employee development opportunities. The results are just as bad as you’d expect.

    Massive inter-departmental struggles. Most of my problems can be traced to one power-hungry manager of a sister department. It only takes one person to ruin the work lives of many people.

    There are more meetings than I expected from this kind of company. Elon sent a great email about how wasteful meetings are, but people have fallen into old bad habits.

    Completely ineffective HR department

    Every department is grossly understaffed, just barely above the point of collapse. Nearly everyone has to work harder than they would if they were doing the same job at another company.

    Anything that they can do in house, they’ll do, rather than outsourcing to a supplier. There are people who spend their whole careers deciding “make vs. buy”… no need for them here, it seems. This is corporate arrogance, and it reduces quality, wastes human resources, and slows time to market in many cases. A positive side effect is that more products are made here in California than would be if they were outsourced.

    Inadequate parking

    Note to hiring managers at other companies: Watch out if someone from Tesla has “Project Manager” on their title. Many of these people are just general office workers with no skills beyond harassing people via email.

    Advice to Management

    I was debating whether I approve of the CEO or not.

    On the one hand, he occasionally sends these excellent emails about business philosophy and avoiding siloing, wasteful meetings, and that managers are there to support their employees, not the other way around. 10/10 on that! When he leads an all-hands meeting, he usually has interesting things to say, especially if you can get him free-form thinking out loud during a Q&A session.

    On the other hand, he is a relentless micro-manager and singlehandedly derails production, reduces product quality, makes hundreds of people have to work much harder, and causes massive waste because he wants to see every little detail and change those details at literally the last minute. It’s grossly inefficient and is ruining the company bit by bit.

    My advice to management: The company would work much better if Elon was only an idea man, locked up safely in a room somewhere, with his hands completely off of operations.


  4. "First One"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla full-time

    Pros

    Fast Pace, Opportunities to Grow, People who want to make a difference

    Cons

    Unorganized management, some workers may not be friendly


  5. "Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Automation Controls Engineer in Sparks, NV
    Current Employee - Automation Controls Engineer in Sparks, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Full of challenges. Always a lot to learn.

    Cons

    Overtime. Stressful. Too much public attention.


  6. "Asset Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing product and fun to sell.

    Cons

    Long hours, low pay. Inexperienced managers.

    Advice to Management

    Work life balance and pay for performance metrics.


  7. "Great company that takes care of their employees."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Specialist in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Specialist in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits. Never a dull day.

    Cons

    Some stability would be nice.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to overqualified people that been working there for more than two years and have not been promoted yet.

  8. "Great company to work for if you are passionate about their mission"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla full-time

    Pros

    -Great pay
    -Great benefits health, dental, vision.
    -Competitive environment.
    -Pleasant and good people to work with (good attitudes)
    -They cover 90% of insurance premiums in Utah.
    -Very generous equity grant when you start employment.
    -Awesome ESPP
    -Growing opportunities in a growing company (grow with the company)

    Cons

    -No discounts on cars (there are discounts on leasing)
    -No 401k match (they do put 5% of your salary on a 401k account). I'm this will change once the company is profitable.

    Advice to Management

    None. They are tasked to carry out Elon's vision, which I would do as well.


  9. "innovative company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    great culture, nice people, good benefit

    Cons

    It is sometimes hard do have a work/life balance


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Challenging, Great Mission, Smart People - But Too Much, Too Fast"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Firmware Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Firmware Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla full-time

    Pros

    Tesla has a fun, challenging and fast-paced environment. I've found everyone I've interacted with to be competent and respectful. Teams are highly collaborative. My immediate manager is very reasonable and communicates expectations well. The technology itself is inspiring - EVs are the future of transportation. Free cereal and coffee.

    Cons

    Tesla has been experiencing a lot of growing pains with trying to accomplish too much, too fast. Poor processes and infrastructure result in wasted time and quality control issues at pretty much every area of the company, whether software, manufacturing, or customer service.

    It's a large company, so roles are somewhat fairly narrowly defined. I learned a lot in the first six months, but then found myself wishing I could branch out more after a year. It's not easy to move around between engineering teams/roles.

    Compensation can be poor (particularly for new hires with limited experience or straight from school). More senior roles within engineering do appear to be better-compensated, at least.

    Infrastructure is poor for certain aspects of development and validation. Without dedicated teams for maintaining test infrastructure for individual firmware teams, things have fallen apart over the years and are not scalable/sustainable.

    Advice to Management

    Elon's combative Twitter rants hurt the image of the company, push away potential employees, and embarrass the company as a whole. Tone it down.

    Overly aggressive (if not downright disingenuous) timelines are never met and make the company look like it's perpetually behind schedule, even though the pace of progress has actually been reasonable. Be more realistic.

    Ensure that teams have the time and resources necessary to maintain infrastructure so that they can remain efficient as scope increases in scale with new vehicles and variations. This particularly applies to firmware validation, which I fear is a ticking time bomb.


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