Jet Propulsion Laboratory Employee Reviews

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Surreal work environment
Contractor (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAJanuary 13, 2017
As a Scientific Data Analyst my job was to report on detailed information downloaded from the Topex sattlite after each rotation.

Due to security reason I can not go into any further detail concerning my detail work other than to say it was working with a sattlite and reporting on information from that sattlite in a Real Time environment.

I performed backups and recoveries for the multi sattlite workstations environment. I also performed shutdowns and startups.

I helped troubleshoot printer and copiers hardware problems.
Pros
Space exporation environment
Cons
Male dominated work environment
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Great Place to work especially if you have a family
Subcontracts Manager III (Current Employee) –  Pasadena, CADecember 5, 2016
Work life balance is great, more like a college campus than a corporate business feel. You can make more money at other companies but you cannot beat the overall culture at JPL.
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Enjoyed the design and detailing of mechanical and electrical products
CAD/MECHANICAL DRAFTER/ DESIGNER - CONTRACT (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAAugust 5, 2016
Collaborated directly with various suppliers in making sure the smooth delivery of the manufactured/ purchased products. Some of the products range from machined, sheet metal formed parts and foam packaging assemblies.
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The people at JPL are absolutely the best every.
Senior Recruiter Talent Acquisitions (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAMay 2, 2016
The best company ever to work at and if you can work there, you are a very lucky person.
You will work with some of the best and brightest ever.
The training is on-going and your co-workers are very supportive.
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A great institute conducting cutting-edge research
NASA Postdoctoral Fellow (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAMarch 30, 2016
A wonderful workplace to build collaboration with brilliant researchers. A lot of seminars in different fields and resources for training. Nice mentors and colleagues.
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Reviews
Security Police Officer, Corporal (Current Employee) –  Pasadena, CA 91109April 28, 2016
love working here. Training is always new and improved. Personal opinions are taken into account for future training. Everyone is treated with respect
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Great place to work
System Integration and Test Engineer (SITE) II (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAMarch 16, 2016
JPL is a great place to work. The people who work there are great. However, there is little opportunity to move up in the company.
Pros
The work enviroment is outstanding
Cons
No bonuses
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Best place to work. Campus type facility.
Electromechanical Technician/Contractor (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAOctober 29, 2015
Interesting and informative work place. research & development was the best part of employment. unique projects made work fun and challenging.
Pros
Working with Professors & Scientists.
Cons
Reduction of work force / lay-off
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JPL, Probably the best aerospace company to work for.
Senior Programmer (Current Employee) –  Pasadena, CANovember 3, 2015
JPL has been around for over 50 years and is well known for being the stewards of our solar system and beyond. They are the people who sent rovers to Mars.

Compensation is competitive to aerospace, raises are small. No equity at all. The cost of benefits go up every year. The retirement benefit is GREAT and makes up a little for both of those shortfalls!

The job security is high. Layoffs rarely happen. It can be difficult to advance as the hierarchy is very manager heavy.

The work/life balance is difficult. They encourage lots of overtime with little compensation. If you don't work the extra time your balance can be flexible, but your advancement will likely suffer.

The culture sits between academic, aerospace and entrepreneurial. It can probably be anything you want it to be. Otherwise, JPL is risk adverse.
Pros
Work very fulfilling, Collegues are some of the smartest people you will ever meet.
Cons
Risk adverse, Too many managers, Lots of documentation
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A perfect place to work for
Senior CMM Programmer (Former Employee) –  Pasadena CAAugust 31, 2015
JPL is a NASA facility in Pasadena, CA. It's like a small city in the mountains with a Bank, ATMs, Restaurants, Stores and transportation to/from parking lot to workstation. Management is not the best but it's ok. The work experience is the best.
Pros
Good salary, exciting job.
Cons
Too much envy from colleagues.
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Excellent company
Postdoctoral Fellow/Scholar (Former Employee) –  Pasadena CAJune 20, 2015
Very flexible schedule, hard do collaborate or learn from the others. You learn from your progress or mistakes. From human point of view is a very sad place to work! You can not make real friends.
Pros
You can enjoy your work by using state of the art equipments
Cons
If you enjoy working on micro you'll be destroyed by macro demand.
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Great place to work
Intern (Former Employee) –  La Cañada Flintridge, CAMay 27, 2015
Great Place to work. There are a lot of interesting projects being conducted all around you. It is a large laboratory with a lot of possible walking between buildings. The employees are very helpful and wanting to accomplish their goals but there is some red tape and funding issues sometimes that changes peoples plans for projects as well.
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Very secure place to work
Electronics Engineer (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAAugust 18, 2014
The job I held definitely had its ups and downs like any job. I loved the challenges that got thrown my way and the resources JPL had (library and CAD software). I learned a lot about the Aerospace environment, Scripting languages, LabVIEW Programming, Test definitions, and working with flight hardware.
Pros
Wonderful Campus feel
Cons
Political hoops and hurdles, No real career progression for Professional Engineers.
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A very exciting, stimulating, and rewarding place to work. Never boring.
Team Member / Academic Part-Time. (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAFebruary 24, 2014
I have worked with the technical crew of electrical engineers and programmers on projects which had to do with our space program. The management is easy to work with. At times it seems very demanding when a project is due for completion,... at other times it's a bit more lax.

The enjoyable part of the job was designing and implementing computer programs to handle tasks which had to do with the hardware construction, wiring, and conversion programs to read IBM formatted data on a VAX system. (Tapes).
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Really *neat* place to work
Business Administrator (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CANovember 1, 2012
A great place if you're starting out as they encourage growth. Not so great for a non-business oriented career as the Lab is based on science, research and engineering. Sometimes business logic takes a back seat to scientist or engineer need.

Much of the management has been around for decades and are set in their ways. On the other hand, most of those ways are laid-back, so there's a balance.
Pros
9/80, great benefits, beautiful campus
Cons
poor management, growth ceiling
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The best is being involved in one-of-a-kind type of work, sending spacecraft to space! The minus is budgetary concerns, and conservativism.
Systems Software Engineer II (Current Employee) –  Pasadena, CAApril 6, 2012
JPL offers you the unique opportunity to work on mission of deep space exploration. The tradition at JPL is impressive. You will feel proud of working there every day. And for that pride you will have to put up with a few things: conservativism, budgetary issues, aging personnel
Pros
compensation, benefits, type of work
Cons
budget, conservativism
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Campus and learning environment with opportunity to enhance your technical skills. Campus environment.
Enterprise Support Senior for the Array Project (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAApril 25, 2012
Proactive and articulate employees with the motivation to achieve exceptional business performance and productivity. Team members possess diverse backgrounds of excellent organizational, technical and administrative skills.
Pros
forefront of space exploration, technological break throughs.
Cons
dependent on government contracts.
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Some service organizations are poorly managed and moral is very low.
PROJECT MANAGER (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CAOctober 12, 2012
They preach diversity, but do nothing about it. Facilities is poorly run and promote and hire unqualified people, which HR seems to allow.
Pros
laid back atmosphere and evnironment, interesting work in the professional organizations.
Cons
some departments (facilities) do not promote or hire qualified people, there is no diversity in executive or upper management, atmosphere is sometimes too laid back.
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Interesting place if you're interested in space/technology
Light duty truck driver (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CANovember 26, 2012
I was assigned to different duties over the years I worked there, so it was rarely boring. The spacecraft technology was awesome. I got to see the mars rovers being tested before they were sent to mars. How cool is that?
Being funded by government meant it was always subject to budget cuts, so job security was tenuous at best.
In the early years they left you alone to do your job, As money got tight they started micro-managing making it difficult to perform my duties.
Pros
fascinating space technology
Cons
poor culture, pay & benefits.
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Great experience
MECHANICAL TECHNICIAN III (Former Employee) –  Pasadena, CASeptember 26, 2013
A day at JPL was anything but typical. The hours in a given day could be long but the outcome was rewarding.
I fine tuned both my painting and mechanical skills, while working at JPL.
Management had a working knowledge of the spacecraft industry. This made it very easy to ask questions and receive an answer in a timely manner.
Like the management, my co-workers were very knowledgeable in the field. They made it a pleasure to work at JPL.
I enjoyed working on all the space projects at JPL. It is a great feeling to be on a team that successfully landed a rover on Mars.
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Overall rating

4.3
Based on 56 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
4.0
Compensation/Benefits
4.1
Job Security/Advancement
3.7
Management
3.6
Culture
4.0

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