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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
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41 reviews

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Employee Reviews

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Science at Its Best!
HR Assistant III (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAApril 28, 2015
Pros: Fun place to work, great people and benefits, amazing science and spectacular views!
Cons: There are none.
"In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 200-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 4,200 scientists, engineers, support staff and students."
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Overall EH$S is a poor place to work with present management.
Certification/Compliance Specialist (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAApril 26, 2015
The Manager in Waste Management is an undesirable person to work for, not knowledge of the regulations, and lacks people skills.
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Potential
Graduate Research Assistant (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAApril 21, 2015
I enjoy my work at LBNL. As a graduate research assistant it allows me to work on projects I enjoy with flexibility and the salary is reasonable for a graduate student to live on in the bay area.
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Well balanced work environment
Consultant (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAFebruary 24, 2015
Provides a great place to work and strive in professional field. A great combination of personal growth and opportunity to contribute to the world class science performed at the lab.
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One of the best research laboratory in the world
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAJanuary 17, 2015
The scientists and engineers at LBNL are top-notch. Exciting science everyday. You never get bored here. I went to bed every night excited about the next day.
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Number one Research Lab in the USA
PhD candidate (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAOctober 20, 2014
Fully founded by the US Department of Energy.
Many top scientist worked there.
Co-worker are friendly and talented.
The hardest part is publishing research papers.
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very motivated and productive company
Lab Technical Assistant (Current Employee), EmeryvilleOctober 16, 2014
This is a very famous company in the nation, most of the noble prize owners came out form LBNL. I like working here because it is a very dynamic and productive place. Everyone here is bright and helpful. I find interested and funny here in LBNL.
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Could be a really great place to work except for the management
Computer Software Engineer III (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAOctober 8, 2014
Pros: the physical site - beautiful, quiet, etc., sort of university culture.
Cons: management didn't follow through with just about anything they did.
The site is great - the hills above U.C. Berkeley. The offices were a cube farm with coffin sized 6'x8' cubes in the building with shipping / receiving. There is an onsite cafeteria, but the same company runs it that runs food service for the University... Management didn't seem to know which way to go - sent us all to a couple of months of Agile development training and then bought a project management package tied to waterfall development and required us all to work waterfall projects. Published coding standards then said things like "you should have been doing what everyone else was doing." Seemed to give the development staff all of the responsibility for a successful project, with none of the authority or cooperation of the owning department to get anything done. There were a lot of "adhoc" projects with no clear requirements before coding started, leading to lots of "feature creep" and unending projects. I learned a lot about radiological experimentation and the Dept. of Energy regulations. Being a research site, they had one of just about every environment you can think of, so I also learned quite a bit about different environments - Solaris, Java, Oracle Forms, Telerik tools, .Net, MVC, Silverlight, Azure, etc.
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good environment with lots of hands on experience
RESEARCH ASSISTANT (Current Employee), Berkeley, CASeptember 14, 2014
Days were busy and well-filled. I really enjoyed the people I worked with. I learned much about the Climate and Carbon Sciences by working in the Earth Science Division.
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Excellent enviorment to work in; professional atmosphere.
Administrative Assistant III (Former Employee), Berkeley, CASeptember 9, 2014
I truly enjoyed my experience working for "Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Everyone I encountered was extremely professional and level headed. I would love to have the privilege
of working permanently for this employer.
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limitations in job advancement
Research Scientist (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAAugust 21, 2014
Well-organized Federal institute, but very much depending on the grant from individual PIs
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Great place to work
Senior Research Associate (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAJuly 15, 2014
Pros: good people, science at it's best
Cons: salary, schedule can be a pain.
I like the atmosphere here, after working in the semiconductor industry for more then 10 years this place feels very laid back, there's still a schedule and people do work hard but the overall feeling is less pressure.
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Administrative
Procurement/Administrative (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAJune 15, 2014
Pros: great benefits
Overall a great establishment to work for, you get to learn about the different areas of science.
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Good learning experience at entry level research position
Research Associate (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAApril 29, 2014
Pros: flexible work schedule, learned a lot, nice coworkers
Cons: weekend work, unexpected change of schedule
Learned how to do many tasks, such as create buffers, clone bacteria, create mutants using electroporation as well as create primers and purify protein.

Tasks changed based on current projects and availability of coworkers. I worked in a small lab, but learned a lot.

Work hours were flexible, but coming on weekends was semi regular.
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Experienceed many different sectors within the realm of Nuclear and Particle Physics
Principle Accelerator Operator (Former Employee), Berkeley, CaApril 12, 2014
Pros: endless training and mental stimulation
Cons: management was not sympothetic to workers and their families needs under scheduling requirements.
It was an amazing job that one could never go a day without learning something new and/or being challenged. I have an in depth knowledge of vacuum, facility infrastructure with respect to electrical and water for plant operations, fundamentals in particle accelerator technology, radiological protocols, NFPA70e, Lock-out-Tag-out procedures and much more.

I enjoyed most the endless problem solving on a day to day bases with my peers as we maintained operational support to provide the best product to our customers.

Only down fall was that we were short staffed and had to work more than 10 plus days in a row with no more than a day or so off.
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Productive and Challanging
Radiation Control Technician (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAFebruary 27, 2014
A typical day at work involved a morning overview of what was planned for that day. Which scientists(customers) I would be working with, and what projects they were planning on starting or planned to finish working on. I would plan and schedule these radiological work activities to fit around both the customer's and my own availability. I would conduct assessments and surveys of radiological activities and conditions, and document my findings. I also had to assure all radioactive work activies in my zone were safe and compliant in accordance with DOE regulations and our own radiation protection program. I worked very close with the Health Physicist assigned to my zone. On occasion, I would respond to a radiation/contamination spill, and support my team with decontamination. I learned so much while working at the labs such as, sealed and non-sealed sources. I recieved DOT training, and supported the packaging and shipping of radioactive materials. I think that the hardest part about my job was that I was so far away from my family. Other than that, I really enjoyed every other aspect about working at the labs.
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Thermal hydrology coupling analysis
Assist in R&D (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAFebruary 13, 2014
Excellent place for students to gain in depth world class research that stimulates the thought process and rewards generously for hard work. Typical day consisted of providing simulation runs of previously hypothetical computer models and optimizing design options to set forth variable constraints (i.e. temperature limits). Management was often helpful and were ready to provide help to your questions. They did not give you the answer but expected you to independently research your inquiries and present to them your findings. The hardest part of working in a research lab is to meet deadlines. The research group expected that students will get the work done and often times I would be at the lab until late night. In spite of that, the enjoyable part of this job is that I know that my work has been a contributing factor to the Department of Energy and the Office of Science whom providing funding for this research experience.
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Great place to start out, but difficult to make a career (without graduate schooling)
Research Associate (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAFebruary 5, 2014
LBNL is a great place to work for many reasons, but it also has its drawbacks. It is a great place to gain experience and exposure to a wide variety of disciplines and projects, and its also a great place to network. As a research associate, it can be tough to advance in your career. Without graduate schooling your movement becomes limited. Most of the people on campus are nice. The befifits are truly great (health care, dental, vision, retirement, etc). I have better health care now than when I lived with my parents.
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A place where you can grow
Computational Scientist Postdoctoral Fellow (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAJanuary 21, 2014
The LBNL is a great place where you can meet a lot of very skilled guys that can teach you a lot.
The interaction between co-workers is not that high.
The hardest part of the job is continuously writing proposals for new founding opportunities, this does not let you focus completely on your real job.
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Excellent place to build your skillset, earn publications, and great job security.
Senior Research Associate (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAOctober 19, 2013
Pros: relaxed, interesting work, amazing mentors, great job security, adequate benefits, fun coworkers, interesting talks
Cons: terrible union, horrible hr, allusions of a corporate ladder system, lazy admin, lower than average salary, no bonuses
Very relaxed atmosphere and great people to work with. Extremely low stress except for the research which can be daunting but that's research. Every tool in molecular biology is at your finger tips and you're working along side some of the most brilliant scientists in the field.

Though, it is extremely difficult to work your way up the ladder here. Raises are very rare and you're better off going somewhere else for more money if that's what you need. No bonuses ever. Expect a lower than average salary since it's academia. The RA union is terrible and only take their portion from your paychecks ($50/month), never really coming to your aid when you want a promotion. HR will not help you at all in advancements. The trick is to get an outside offer which forces them to do their job. They hate working more than they have to. Most of the admin on the campus is like this so you'll have to be aggressive to make it to Sr. RA. Good luck.

About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

LBNL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research – Read more

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Salaries

Research Associate
$55,000 per year