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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
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34 reviews

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Employer Reviews

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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 – more... 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. – less
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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 – more... 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. – less
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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 – more... 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. – less
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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 – more... 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. – less
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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 – more... 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. – less
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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. – more... 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. – less
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Not a good place for women
engineering associate (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAOctober 16, 2013
Pros: nice view
Cons: high stress
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, – more... 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. – less
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One of the best lab
R&D Engineer (Former Employee), Berkeley, CASeptember 16, 2013
Great lab with amazing scientists doing cutting-edge research. My time at Berkeley is truly wonderful, everyone makes me feel very welcomed.
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Good science, stale management
Research Scientist (Current Employee), Walnut Creek, CASeptember 11, 2013
Scientists are great, managers are slow and nepotistic.
Great opportunities for learning and collaborations, but not many opportunities for career advancement. Plus with the 2013 sequestration job cuts have been quite horrendous.
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good
Postdoctoral Fellow (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAAugust 5, 2013
the lab is great, everyone is nice here. The working load is not too high.
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It is the crown of the country
Senior Scientific/Eng. Associate (Current Employee), Berkeley, CAAugust 3, 2013
Pros: many
This is one of the best places to work on the earth for science and technology and to devotion, if you love science. I hope I will work here until my retirement. But the political decision to support financially and program elimination made a hard hit not only on the scientists and the personnel, but it is damaging the countries reputation and glory – more... and progress of industry. Berkeley Lab is the science crown of the country. – less
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Good Place to Work
Finance/Budget Analyst (Current Employee), Berkeley, CaliforniaJuly 24, 2013
Pros: off on weekends and most holidays; shuts down for christmas
Cons: union members have a tough time with management
I have worked for the Lab for over 10 years. My experience here has been nothing but positive. The work environment is very diverse-- with workers from all over the country and world. The Lab produces great work and have some of the best scientist in the nation. Their finance systems are very different and probably more complex than outside entities. – more... But overall, very friendly environment. – less
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Good but a little bit tired
Intern- Student Assistant (Former Employee), Berkeley, CAApril 25, 2013
good environment for research, close to the nature, when you tired you can enjoy the good view. But also a lot of persons come by give presentation, talk current energy iuuse, you won't feel isolated.

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