Los Alamos National Laboratory

  www.lanl.gov
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Los Alamos National Laboratory Reviews

Updated Jul 21, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 105 reviews

77% Approve of the CEO

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director & President Charles McMillan

Charles McMillan

(43 ratings)

64% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fantastic work life balance, secure and stable funding in most areas(in 10 reviews)

  • Good pay and some of the benefits(in 10 reviews)


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

  • Upper management lost in terms of helping the employee(in 7 reviews)

105 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    Good company for long-term career in R&D

    Technical Staff Member (Current Employee) Los Alamos, NM (US)

    ProsAbility to do cross-disciplinary work on important national security problems. Ability to interacts with a lot of really smart people in a range of scientific disciplines. Pays well. Great outdoor opportunities.

    ConsBureaucracy and paperwork required to 'get things done' have increased significantly in last few years. Cost of doing business is too high.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReally focus on cutting back on burdensome requirements; this would result in less of a need for oversight (and overhead funded) staff and would hence reduce costs.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Rewarding and interesting

    Design Specialist (Former Employee) Los Alamos, NM (US)

    ProsGreat opportunities, a lot of new science

    Consmid and upper level management

    Advice to Senior ManagementLet those who know do, shape up or leave.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    A good place for applied science

    Scientist IV (Current Employee) Los Alamos, NM (US)

    ProsGood colleagues, nice place to live, beautiful setting, good compensation, good job security. Los Alamos is a safe community, and the people are highly educated. The schools are good.

    ConsIn the past, there was considerably uncertainty to working at the lab because of a string of safety and security issues. Over the past eight or ten years, these problems seem to have subsided. If you are of a very theoretical bent, you might be happier at a University.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNo advice. They're doing a good job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Stable employment, but low satisfaction and morale

    Program Management (Current Employee) Los Alamos, NM (US)

    ProsLANL is a long-time employer in the region and jobs tend to turn into careers. There are lots of opportunities for variety and enrichment for the very motivated. Salaries tend to be higher than market for similar work.

    Technical projects are beyond anything available in the commercial sector, which has both positive and negative aspects. When funding is available, work is very satisfying and challenging.

    The region is absolutely gorgeous, and much of the property is essentially wild. Several locations are remote, with the drives passing through or next to national parks areas. Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities. The community is somewhat small, but attempting to grow.

    ConsBusiness decisions are almost always driven by office politics and personality; the 'good old boy' network is still going strong. A few years ago, the company transitioned to a 'for profit' status, but the management environment seems not to understand what that means - the vast majority of middle managers are promoted from internal technical positions without external commercial experience.

    Individual success seems less based on achievement than acquaintance, with many actions taken based on perception rather than fact. Technical merits are given a backseat to marketing.

    Working on the most interesting technical problems tends to lock you in to the enterprise, as most results and even scope of work can not be communicated outside a classified environment. This is severely limiting.

    Finally, morale has hit bottom and begun to dig. Fraught with management and technical problems, the middle and upper management have seen fit to impose further restrictions on the work force in the form of forced work stoppages, increased training that is of little or no use, and compliance issues that make one wonder why we bother working at all.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSeveral enrichment programs have been suggested but ignored; most of these would dramatically increase worker retention and performance for very little cost. These include cross-training, provisions for team building away from property, engineer swaps & invited brainstorming, and more encouragement for external professional development.

    The current environment is fearful and antagonistic, with the work force seeking only to sustain, not excel. Drive excellence by promoting excellence rather than mediocrity.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great place to work in spite of itself

    Graduate Research Assistant (Former Employee) Los Alamos, NM (US)

    ProsThe benefits are great. Very good healthcare, dental, vacation, holidays and retirement. Plus a really good fitness center with great exercise classes. The Lab has some of the smartest people in the world working there and you can learn things that you can't get elsewhere. There are lots of potential for collaboration to do some really cool science.

    ConsThere is too much paperwork and bureaucracy. One of the biggest barriers to doing science is the very high overhead.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe management is too focused on weapons research. While that may be where the money is now, there will come a time when that goes away. The Lab needs to diversify its research to tackle other problems related to national security. While there are some efforts at diversification, there isn't much support for program development outside of the Lab's core mission.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Its fun, but kinda slow

    Intern (Current Employee) Los Alamos, NM (US)

    Pros-Friendly people
    -Interesting projects
    -Good pay
    -Beautiful Location

    Cons-Bad Location
    -Can be slow hearing from people in other departments
    -Can be difficult to locate problems with permissions on computers

    Advice to Senior Management- Streamline a way to find who you are looking for within the company, often it is difficult to find the contact info for whom you are looking for. Also the communication between staff and interns is very poor.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Good place

    Postdoctoral Researcher (Former Employee) Los Alamos, NM (US)

    ProsSalary and benefits. I liked the location and talking to so many talented people around. Opportunity for growth if desired.

    ConsA lot of training, paperwork and etc., which takes a lot of time from doing science. Big overheads. Many buildings are in poor condition.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Los Alamos lab should be avoided.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood pay and benefits. however retirement is age based more then time in service. The pay is better then what is available in the area, so people tend to stay, remain quiet and hope for the best.

    ConsLack of commitment from management for safety. repeated people getting injured or near misses and hollow words to make improvement. firing people that speak out for safety.

    Advice to Senior Managementchange the way you do business, before DOE shuts you down.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Going downhill...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Los Alamos, NM (US)

    ProsUsed to have a campus environment, but now is corporate.

    ConsMost of the qualifications held are self - made for management positions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFollow national standards in all technical and managerial positions. Stop allowing old timers to invent their own position with lax quals.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    Good company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsProvides very good benefits and a stable job.

    ConsThere is a large amount of bureaucracy - hard for good science to get done quickly.

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