Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated 18 April 2015
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3.8
135 Reviews
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Los Alamos National Laboratory Director & President Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
57 Ratings

Pros
  • Fantastic work life balance, secure and stable funding in most areas (in 11 reviews)

  • Good pay and benefits, however culture has shifted over the years (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Located in a remote, small town (may be a plus, depending on your preferences) (in 9 reviews)

  • too much red tape, bloated management, oversight and mistrust (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Hundreds of opportunities, little guidance

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    LANL is full of projects in dozens of different fields - if you hustle and focus on personal professional development, you really do have the chance to work on almost anything you want (within reason). The rank-and-file here tend to be open and egalitarian.

    Cons

    Management hasn't been able to decide once and for all if they are a research lab or a company, and we have too many layers of management and bureaucracy.

    Advice to Management

    Drop two layers of management, and identify areas where we can be more risk-acceptant.

  2. Staff Scientist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Scientist in Los Alamos, NM (US)
    Current Employee - Staff Scientist in Los Alamos, NM (US)

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits package, great climate, good scientific reputation, flexible work schedule.

    Cons

    Geographically isolated in a state that is (relatively) sparsely populated. Raising a family in Los Alamos quite often involves much commuting to cities like Santa Fe and Albuquerque to participate, e.g. sports.
    The town of Los Alamos lacks many modern day conveniences that you could typically find in another US town of comparable size. Before the 2014 opening of the "mega-Smiths", a very typical Saturday was spent (wasting) the entire day driving to Santa Fe to find Target/TJ's/Ross/Walmart/Lowes/restaurants - stores that other US cities of comparable size have.

    Advice to Management

    Scientifically: Great, keep up the good work.
    Socially/Economically: Move all LANL function out of the townsite, and onto LANL property south of the bridge, allowing for a downtown that will eventually normalize to competitive rent prices more in line with the rest of the US, eventually enabling more family friendly business to eventually develop (after the market equilibrates).

  3. Helpful (1)

    research associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Alamos, NM (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Alamos, NM (US)

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    People are friendly in the lab. Natural environment is nice. Pay is good for postdoc research associate. You can get various training.

    Cons

    Working pace is actually a little bit slower due to various regulations. It takes me one and half months to get all the training courses finished.

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  5. Great experience!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The materials team collaborates well, pursues relevant science and technology, and has extensive laboratory resources. The work-life balance is exceptional, and the work is rewarding.

    Cons

    My experience was very positive. I have heard from others on the team that the overhead burden makes it challenging to be successful on cost competitive projects.

    Advice to Management

    It would be very helpful to continue to identify ways to reduce the overhead burden to make technical teams more cost competitive.

  6. Amazing place to work; awesome benefits and the best scientists in their respective fields.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Colleagues are the best in the field and the infrastructure is here to facilitate whatever experiments you can dream up.

    Cons

    National lab pace can be frustratingly slow. Government affiliation introduces a lot of paperwork and regulations. Every time Congress decides to act like a group of kindergarteners, shut-downs loom; even the threat of an impending shut-down can cost you months of time and effort.

  7. Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PSA I in Los Alamos, NM (US)
    Current Employee - PSA I in Los Alamos, NM (US)

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The laboratory is a great place to work. Balance between personal life and work life is pretty good. There are plenty of opportunities to work on different areas if you have the appropriate skill set, but you need to be at the right time in the right place. Benefits are good.

    Cons

    Little to no upward mobility in this area.

    Advice to Management

    Lots of paperwork sometimes unnecessary. Need to listen and engage staff to streamline work.

  8. Helpful (1)

    Great Place to Work... If You Can Deal With Bureaucracy

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

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Pay his high, especially for postdocs. Benefits are great, good 401k matching. You get to work with some of the best minds in the world.

    Cons

    You're stuck in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. The scenery is great, its a wonderful place to hike and a wonderful place to be outdoors, but the restaurants close early and you have to drive an hour to get to target. Sometimes the bureaucracy can be a little too much to handle. It took me several months to get a new desk chair.

    Advice to Management

    Management is great at LANL - the problem, in my humble opinion, is that the oversight from higher up is too stringent. Relaxed rules might lead to more productivity.

  9. Wonderful internship experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Intern
    Current Intern - Intern

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory as an intern

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It was great to have the opportunity to work on real, meaningful problems and have some freedom in my studies, all while in a beautiful mountain setting.

    Cons

    Some of the infrastructure is aging and there are management issues. Science progress at times moves slowly due to bureaucratic roadblocks.

  10. Very disorganized place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Scientist in Los Alamos, NM (US)
    Former Employee - Scientist in Los Alamos, NM (US)

    I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent salary. Great benefits

    Cons

    Terrible people. I was always watched by pretty much everyone. They did not trust co-workers. My bosses did not like me from day 1. Too many strange and complicated policies. If I complain, they always say "if you don't like here, just leave!".

    Advice to Management

    Respect employees who are doing the hardest work.

  11. great benefit, excellent working environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Los Alamos, NM (US)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Los Alamos, NM (US)

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    great place to do and learn science. excellent collaborative environment

    Cons

    too many official formalities to do a simple task like travel or attending a conference etc.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Photos

NSSB - Main Admin Building for the Lab
NSSB, Tech Area 3

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