Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated 15 Jul 2020

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4.7
96%
Recommend to a Friend
98%
Approve of CEO
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein
Bill Goldstein
366 Ratings
Pros
  • "work/life balance; friendly work environment; good pay(in 193 reviews)

  • "Cutting edge work with some of the best scientists in the field(in 58 reviews)

Cons
  • "red tape so it takes longer to get things done(in 49 reviews)

  • "The housing costs in the bay area are pretty outrageous(in 32 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Top-notch Academic Research Job without the hoops of Academia"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Physicist in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    excellent compensation and benefits, great location for cyclists, great location to live, work-life balance, clear mission, world class computational and experimental capabilities, you're encouraged to think big scientifically. food choices at local restaurants are decent, strong safety and security culture and focus on work-from-home for those who can during pandemic,

    Cons

    lots of training courses required, clearance can take a while. traffic can blow depending on where you commute from, it's hot during the summer but it's a dry heat, sometimes too windy for time trial bikes around the area/hills,

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  2. "Fantastic place to work!!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I love working at the lab and can see why people stay for decades! There is opportunity for growth, training, education, and generally a lot of flexibility around work hours. During COVID-19, the lab has made sure staff have the ergonomic equipment needed and is providing some reimbursement for internet/phone/misc. When we are on site, it's great to have the gym, cafeteria, and other amenities available. The employee resource groups at the lab help bring incredible speakers on site (and virtually) and have a lot of fun events. Great pay and 401K.

    Cons

    There are some of the typical bureaucratic issues to deal with/resistance to change. Also moving from corporate to government, there are less options for using certain kinds of software that are commonplace elsewhere.

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  3. "no place I'd rather be!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Strategic Site Planner in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    work/life balance; friendly work environment; good pay

    Cons

    no more pensions but great 401k matching plan

  4. "A diverse environment with many brilliant minds"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    1. There are many projects and competing ideas around the lab. 2. Great flexibility and excellent compensation and benefits.

    Cons

    1. Not many cons. There is of course the bureaucracy of government, but it doesn't a lot of impact.

  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Meaningful and challenging work with the opportunity to change to a new project or team if you ever feel the need for change in your career path, all while remaining employed at the lab. Many opportunities for career growth, advancement and leadership. Work-life balance and flexibility. Hard work and effort is recognized and rewarded. A stable, long-term company to stay and build your career at even as your interests may evolve and change. Many great and intelligent people to work alongside with who respect and treat you as an equal, no matter your experience level or background.

    Cons

    Not as many 'perks' or bonuses as some other tech companies offer. More frugal in certain aspects. Understandably, there are more inconveniences and strictness than average in order to conform to security policies and protocols.

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  6. "Great Working Environment"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I have been at the Lab for a year now and I have been routinely surprised by how willing my co-workers and mentors have been to support me and my colleagues in both our immediate work and in our future career development. I have not yet been turned away from a request for a conversation, or been told that someone was too busy to meet. As an example of this collaborative, team-oriented environment, I was working on a non-essential clean room tool that wasn't working and asked for some help from the person working near me. After he couldn't fix it, he asked another colleague and within 15 minutes there was a team of 5 scientists, most of whom I had never met, who dropped everything to help try and fix the problem. I am positive each of their work was much more critical than fixing the tool, yet the ethos of the Lab permeates even these small aspects of the culture.

    Cons

    There are a lot of administrative hoops to jump through, particularly in the name of safety, security, and budgeting. On at least one occasion I've though that a particular set of rules to promote safety were so cumbersome that they incentivized less safe workarounds. Specifically, the training to deal with chemical waste (essentially a rubber stamp on how to fill out forms) took place only every other month and, due to repeated schedule conflicts, I could only take it 8 months after arriving. The stopgap was to either 1. ask a colleague to help dispose of the chemical waste for me, or 2. store the waste as an "active" chemical until I was approved to properly dispose of it, even though I had been working with comparable benign chemicals for over 5 years prior to joining the Lab.

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  7. "Great place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great people, cutting edge science, very collaborative and substantially less ego compared to what you'd find in academia.

    Cons

    Buildings aren't optimized for aesthetic. Not a deal breaker but if you absolutely need that hyper modern office space, you won't find that here.

  8. "Great place to work in computer science"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    (1) Excellent technical staff - researchers, systems software engineers, and development environment software engineers have great skills and are committed to writing correct, maintainable software. There's room to "try things out", but the focus is on getting it right. (2) Excellent teamwork. Other developers are highly available to discuss approaches, review code, and suggest ideas for troubleshooting or analysis. (3) Freedom to focus on long-term technical work. Management works very hard to let engineers focus on technical work, and avoid endless meetings or make-work. (4) Excellent support for working on open source software. Pushing fixes and improvements upsteam is viewed as good for the Lab's reputation as well as being good for the maintenance workload. (5) Excellent support for work life balance. I and others have had elderly relatives to take care of, and management supports making adjustments so you can take care of your family as well as taking care of your job. (6) Great 401(k) - not only matching, but direct contributions to your 401(k) even if you contribute nothing

    Cons

    (1) Because it's a federal contractor, there are much stricter rules about some things, such as marijuana use, than there would be elsewhere. (2) Some other more rigid rules surrounding things like vacation time (3) No stock options

  9. "Best Career Ever!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    This places cares about their employees and doing what's right. The work is challenging and the people are wonderful!

    Cons

    Lots of red tape and rules. Takes some time to learn the processes and procedures. Facilities are a bit dated and in need of upgrades.

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  10. "Veteran at LLNL"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - HazMat Packaging and Transportation Technologist in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    LLNL strives, and does a fantastic job, to be one of the top elite national laboratories in the country. I served in the military and transitioned into this position. Let me be the first to say LLNL really looked out for me. From mentoring, to being welcomed, to the benefits, to the seamless transfer of my clearance from the DoD to the DoE. I endorse LLNL completely.

    Cons

    The geographic location we work in is quite expensive. I understand that that is at no fault to the lab but it's forcing me to put a con and LLNL has none.

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