Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Employee Reviews

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An academic institution
Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAApril 3, 2016
The Berkeley Lab is managed more like a university than other national laboratories, likely because of its proximity to UC Berkeley. This has some of the benefits of a university-like feel, but sometimes makes it difficult to execute large/ambitious projects that (a) require coordination between different departments/divisions, and (b) require some legwork before being able to publish results.

If you're interested in building new capabilities instead of making slides about all that cool stuff you're going to do with your grant money, you might want to look elsewhere.
Pros
Neat science problems, smart people
Cons
Disorganization, micromanagement, lack of stable funding
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Productive world leader in science and research
Administrative Assistant III (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAMarch 9, 2016
Great place to learn
Great place to work
Great place to cry
Great place to laugh
Great place to support leaders in science
Pros
Salary, vacation, atmosphere, people
Cons
Management not supportive
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Great place to start a career, but little room for advancement
Postdoctoral Researcher Majorana Experiment Group (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAJuly 15, 2016
I moved to the Bay Area for a postdoc position at LBNL. I love working there and have good colleagues, but the culture of LBNL is different from most other national labs in that there isn't a well-defined track for advancement. You either get one of the rare staff scientist positions, or your out looking for jobs in 2-5 years. Overall, it was a positive experience, but I would have liked more stability.
Pros
Great colleagues, excellent research experience
Cons
Limited healthcare for postdocs, little room for advancement
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Very productive place
Chemist Postdoctoral Fellow - Energy Technologies (Current Employee) –  berkeleyOctober 17, 2015
Excellent and productive research environment, dynamic and truly international atmosphere. It is a good place to do science with exceptional research facilities. LBNL is a world-class institution, I would strongly recommend this place to anyone who like to carry out top notch science.
Pros
flexible timings, gorgeous location and excellent benefits
Cons
No
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Research oriented, dynamic, challenging environment for the advancement of science.
Student Assistant (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAMarch 25, 2016
I have been working with the scientists who work real hard to advance the current knowledge state of science to the next level. I am really inspired and motivated by seeing their motivation for the good cause of humanity. Typical job day includes a lot of computational work including scientific programming, simulation, data analysis, visualization, and above all sharing these information with the fellow scientists and colleagues. Also, there are a lots of enlightening seminars almost every day where we can learn the new knowledge of a research area. The work culture here is excellent and the people are very helpful and supportive. The most enjoyable part is how knowledgeable the people working here yet so humble. Hardest part is to keep publishing of cutting edge research papers which sometime takes years.
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Non-Scientists Beware
Fleet/Site Services Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAApril 24, 2016
I worked on the Administration side of LBNL and unless you're a scientist, they don't really value you as an employee. After being employed for a administrator position, I was relegated to a storeroom issued parts for 90% of my time. My manager did a poor job of training me for the duties listed in the job description, pawning me off on other employees from time to time. While this may sound normal, during the interview process I was told that I would be working closely with my supervisor, attending meetings and shadowing him to learn both his position and mine.
Pros
Benefits, views
Cons
Culture, lack of training
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A government job with great benefits
Administrative Assistant III (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAAugust 5, 2015
The best part about working at LBNL is the beautiful location. The lab is located in the Berkeley hills surrounded by nature with a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay. The most enjoyable part of the job was serving new employees, taking their photos for their badges and interacting with them. The hardest part of the job was dealing with bureaucracy.
Overall working at the lab was enjoyable.
Pros
Beautiful location and great benefits.
Cons
Could be very stressful.
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Productive and fun work place with amazing location
Postdoctoral Fellow (Current Employee) –  berkeleyAugust 6, 2015
The work environment is great. Lots of opportunities to collaborate with people from different backgrounds. I like the management. Everyone encourages out of the box ideas.
Pros
flexible timings, beautiful location and great benefits
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Good place for science
Physicist Research Fellow (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAJuly 28, 2015
It is a good place to do science. Sometimes can be very bucrocratic. As a postdoc you can't apply to have independent funding which makes the transition to staff quite harsh. Very relaxed environment but the salary is to low for the area.
Pros
great resources, nice work atmosphere
Cons
few vacation days, very bureaucratic
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Great Place to Work!
HR Administrative Assistant III (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAApril 13, 2016
Although there as a contract employee, this company is a great place to work. The company is diversified and everyone you work with is pleasant. Each of the persons in different departments supported HR and worked together as a team to ensure each Department at the lab were supported and each employee and student received the information needed to be a success.
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friendly environment
RESEARCH ASSISTANT (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAMarch 2, 2016
love working as a Research Assistant at the Center for Research and Education on Aging Lab (CREA) in the Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory division of Physical Biosciences. I'm part of a very interesting research were we are Investigating the causes and processes of aging through caloric restriction
with the objective of improving and extending the human health span. Helped create an interactive map of the aging
process based on thousands of published primary academic research.
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Cutting Edge Science
EH&S Manager - Materials Sciences Division (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CASeptember 9, 2016
Good place to work. Good benefits, and a great view. Opportunities depend on the Division you work for. Culture is improving daily.
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Not a good place for women
engineering associate (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAOctober 16, 2013
This is a highly competitive research environment. Most the senior management are white middle aged men. Some women manage to break through but they are token. Typical day at work is fighting for funding, dealing with difficult personalities, and having uncertainty about future employment. Compensation is decent but flat -- do not expect good raises, especially if you are in research. Support and overhead personnel make better salaries than primary researchers. Human resources is not helpful. Benefits and retirement have been good in the past but are dimming quickly.
Pros
nice view
Cons
high stress
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Top-notch reseach facilities
Postdoctoral Fellow (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAMarch 7, 2016
Multi cultural environment with top-notch research in various fields of science. Large opportunity to learn, collaborate and perform every step of the experimental process.
Pros
Great views, free shuttle
Cons
Small office space
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Great Lab to Work at
Intern, Environmental Energy Technologies Division (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAFebruary 15, 2016
LBNL is a fantastic place to work. The people there are the most intelligent and creative in the scientific world. I am only an intern right now but it's obviously a great work environment.
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Science at Its Best!
HR Assistant III (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAApril 28, 2015
"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."
Pros
Fun place to work, great people and benefits, amazing science and spectacular views!
Cons
There are none.
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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
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.
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
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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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Great place to work
Senior Research Associate (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAJuly 15, 2014
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.
Pros
good people, science at it's best
Cons
salary, schedule can be a pain.
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Nice place to work at
Materials Postdoctoral Fellow (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAOctober 20, 2015
Tons of available resources, nice work environment and location. The work/life balance is pretty good. The research setting is very nice, and the environment I worked in is collaborative, and interactions are generally constructive.
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Overall rating

4.2
Based on 60 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
4.0
Compensation/Benefits
4.1
Job Security/Advancement
3.8
Management
3.6
Culture
4.0

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Reviews by Location