Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory Employee Reviews

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A great employer with many opportunities for personal growth
Systems Software Analyst - Security (Current Employee) –  Lemont, ILMay 27, 2016
Working at the lab is unique. The culture is so relaxed, because the focus here is about the science and results. It's not a strict environment at all. So, self-motivation and initiative will get you far here.

The coworkers are down to earth and friendly. They are proud of the work they do. That's what it's like working here: doing great work and taking pride in it.

Argonne is located in Lemont, which is a far southwest suburb of Chicago. This is probably my largest gripe with this employment: the commute is difficult.
Pros
Excellent retirement matching and fringe benefits
Cons
below market salary
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Difficult/unresponsive management
Health Physics Technician, Sr (Current Employee) –  Lemont, ILJune 17, 2016
At ANL, I enjoy my co-workers and most of the researchers I help support as an HP tech. There are good benefits, job secuirty at least for me is great (Unionized), and my direct supervisor is wonderful. My largest issues stem from my group management. There is an overall feeling from many of the techs that our opinions are not heard and our feelings dismissed. While this might not be entirely the case this seems to be a common feeling among both the good workers and the bad workers. This could stem from lack of communication from our upper management about how our issues are actually addressed instead of just being told no. There is also a lack of training and continuing education at the tech level. While many don't care about having this there are a few of us that do and would like to be given that opportunity. Others issues stem from the way techs are treated by researchers we support on a day to day basis. Many of us end up being buffers between the researcher and our supervisors. This is emotionally exhausting. Many attempt to do things behind their area HP's back and are upset when a tech goes to their boss to ensure that whatever the researcher is wanting to do is safe, covered by appropriate work control docs and RWPs. Many have no care or no understanding of contamination control and argue with techs if they are told they are doing something unsafely. While we don't have Ph.Ds we are experts in our right in our field. Over the last 2 years many researchers have gotten better, but I still find there is a general lack of respect for safety personnel in general. As an hourly  more... worker, work life balance is hard especially since alternative schedules were taken away from us by upper management. Argonne as a whole (not just looking at my little world) seems to be an excellent place to work. Every group has their issues. I have no opinion of upper upper laboratory management.  less
Pros
good benefits, generally stable work
Cons
researchers pay for your services and that creates an "I owe you" mentality by some
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Great place to learn
Summer intern as Research Aide (Former Employee) –  Lemont, ILSeptember 1, 2016
I did my summer intern at Argonne. Its a great place to work. Huge number of cool projects are happening on daily basis. Lots of learn.
Higher management is very helpful.
Pros
Lots to learn
Cons
10 weeks is very less time to learn so many cool things happening at Argonne
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Not much room for growth
Guest Graduate Researcher (Current Employee) –  Lemont, ILApril 23, 2016
The potential for personal and professional growth is highly dependent on who you work for. Most PIs are only interested in advanced their personal career and are likely to treat you as a technician, not a young scientific mind. However, there are a few gems that are wonderful people and scientists. I would highly recommend looking at what happened with the careers of the previous postdocs before working for someone at ANL.
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Very professional work environment
consultant, provided health physics support (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILAugust 20, 2016
Weekly meeting to discuss progress on various projects. Learned what other professional were working on and the progress and problems they en-counted. .Group participation in addressing problems en-counted by the other groups. Worked mostly alone with little supervision. however, assistance was always available. The hardest part of the job was leaving at the end of a day. The most enjoyable was returning to the job the next day
Pros
Quality of professionals
Cons
The position was one of a contractor and budget was always a concern.
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Incredible people doing incredible things
Senior Health Physics Technician (Current Employee) –  Lemont, IL 60439March 31, 2016
As a radiation safety trainer and an HP technician, I interacted with hundreds of people from around the country and around the world. Management is caring and focused on Argonne's objectives while also aware that those employed here have lives outside of work.
Pros
Employees are positive and caring.
Cons
Not located in Manitowoc County (there really are no negatives worthy of complaining about).
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Great place to work
Postdoctoral Associate (Former Employee) –  Lemont, ILMay 17, 2016
This place has great people. Good salary, nice location, great compensation, in Chicago area, lots of food and entertainment not far away
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Engaging company
Facilities Management and Services Intern (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILAugust 1, 2016
Fortunate to learn a lot at a young age during an internship. Made you feel very welcome and always allowed you to seek new opportunities. Also a great location for those who like the city of Chicago.
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Very supportive of postdocs
Postdoctoral Researcher (Current Employee) –  Lemont, ILMarch 22, 2016
I've found Argonne to be extremely helpful in furthering my professional development. The pay and benefits are much better than academic postdoc positions and you're surrounded by world-class researchers and equipment. The downside is that getting hired to a permanent position here is extremely difficult.
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Great place to lear new and diffent talents and culters
Lead Senior Technician (Current Employee) –  IllinoisNovember 17, 2016
Argonne hires a lot of foreign employees, so the best part about this job would be learning about all the different cutlers that are present here.
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Overall rating - Medium or a 3 out of 5 stars
TSP - Temporary Service Personnel (Former Employee) –  Argonne, ILJune 22, 2012
Must be scientific minded, not an easy place to adapt to. Once you are use to working there and its environment, it becomes difficult to work any other place. In all levels of administration that I worked in was stressful. The typical day is filled with a lot of work demands and meeting deadlines. The average person would need to know that staying longer to complete these deadlines are typical. There is no such thing as excuses for not fulfilling your work load.

The best part of working there is the vacation time. They give you a lot of vacation time to accrual, plus they are closed between Christmas and New Years. This is the perfect time to go away somewhere that is hot. Sun, sand and tropical drinks!

Work and life balance isn't easy for a non-exempt position. However, if you are exempt its a piece of cake.
Pros
vacation time, benefits
Cons
culture, advancement, management and work/life balance
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Honored to have worked there.
Intern Student (Former Employee) –  IllinoisMay 12, 2016
While attending Purdue University I worked as an intern and assigned to the Decision and Information Science Division. I designed power supplies for special instruments used in collecting data for energy conservation. This was very exciting because projects were experimental and on the leading edge.
Pros
Intresting People. Mostly PhD's
Cons
none.
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Review Summary
Section Lead - User Services (Current Employee) –  Lemont, ILSeptember 16, 2015
Great place to work. Excellent work/life balance with supportive management. Invest in career development and great coaching/mentoring programs available.
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Best learning experience
Internship (Former Employee) –  Lemont, ILApril 27, 2016
A typical day at work is very busy. There is no room to grow nor any employment opportunities after the internship. You mostly work alone with very little supervision. You do learn about what scientific breakthroughs Argonne has discovered and are currently working on. You also meet different people on a daily basics.
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Argonne Lab, with it fascination array of scientific programs was my favourite place.
Sr. Engineering Staff Member/Software Engineering (Former Employee) –  ILNovember 7, 2012
I joined Argonne laboratory at the wake of "Tiger Team" visit. My coworkers and I launched an interesting Environment, Safety and health/Quality Assurance program. Many glaring issues were solved. However, within five years, the QA program was eliminated and I started with control system development team while the new Advanced Photon Source, a powerful synchronous accelerator was being commissioned. I was fascination by every aspect of these mega-projects.I enjoyed the quality of life provided by the Laboratory although salary raises were not very competitive to the open market. Like Fermilab, job security is not what it used to be in the past. I left my software engineering job on my own to work as a Project Manager at Fermilab when a significant opportunity came up at Fermilab.
Pros
no freebees, but excellent exposure to science
Cons
the lab will continue to be affected by various fund cuts.
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Great place to live, learn, and work
Internship (Former Employee) –  Lemont, ILJanuary 24, 2016
I only worked there as an intern so I don't have much to say. I enjoyed the culture I worked in, and the people I worked with. The engineers I was working with were highly motivated and exceptionally intelligent, making the internship very productive for my development.
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Great place to work with a diverse culture
Lead Senior Technician (Current Employee) –  ILMay 26, 2015
There are many different people from many different countries and backgrounds. Argonne promotes a fantastic work/life balance. This is a great place to work all who are interested in science.
Pros
Lab contributes 9% of your salary to your 401K if you contribute 2.5%.
Cons
Not always room for advancement because people work there forever.
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Nice place to work
Desktop Administrator (Former Employee) –  Lemont, Il.December 7, 2015
I would get tickets for troubles from the Service desk and work with a crew of Desktop support admins. All of the crew were extremely talented and all would help you at any given moment. The company was a National Laboratory so every year there was a possibility that the government would be shut down. Management was good as to not micromanage and allowed you to work unabated, as long as within Service Agreement parameters.
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Great place with casual university environment.
Engineer, Advanced Photon Source (Former Employee) –  Argonne, IlSeptember 4, 2015
Argonne performs cutting edge science. My position was to implement personnel safety interlocks at the Advanced Photon Source on five particle accelerators the largest being 1/2 in circumference which interfaced to 70 beam lines which had their own safety systems.

Other than typical tasks such as, system, documentation, and system validations each day was different, especially when machine trips would occur. I was effectively "On Call" with another co worker for 23 years, from the time the APS first accelerator came on line.

I also was an external reviewer of safety systems at other national laboratories for their designs, readiness, and sometimes off normal events.
Pros
Nice 2000 acre campus, up to date technology.
Cons
Over the years bureaucratic creep and increasing micromanagement.
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Friendly Enviroment.
Sr. Electronics Technician (Current Employee) –  Advance Photon SourceOctober 7, 2014
My career at Argonne National Laboratory has been interesting regarding growing in the knowledge of the field in relation to Argonne with respect to the research. The friendships that are created and grow over time. The hardest part of the job? Receiving that on call at 1:30am to come in to troubleshoot and repair! The most enjoyable part of the job? When coworkers and or management give you compliments on the quality of the project that you have completed!
Pros
Never ending challenges
Cons
Goverment facility subjected to political correctness!!!!
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Overall rating

4.2
Based on 81 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
4.2
Compensation/Benefits
4.0
Job Security/Advancement
3.3
Management
3.6
Culture
3.9

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