Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Employee Reviews in United States

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Great place to work
Senior Administrative Support (Former Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNSeptember 29, 2014
Made coffee
Took notes at meetings and typed them up for distribution
Checked email messages and responded
Interviewed others for secretarial position
Reviewed policy procedures
Answered phones
Prepared and faxed fax
Kept appointments for my supervisor
Liked working with co-workers
Had a good and fair boss
Pros
liked working there
Cons
distance from home
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Bring your own objectives
Post-doctoral Research Associate (Current Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNSeptember 10, 2015
This is a highly undirected research environment. There are no deadlines, very flexible hours, and no clear goals. Your only mission as a post-doc is to produce papers to make the lab a success and aid in the approval of future grants. You need to be someone who is very driven and motivated about your research. Otherwise 75% of post-docs end up leaving the lab after their two-year tenure.

If you are good at reaching out to others in an environment where almost everyone is flying solo, if you are good at writing papers, if you are good at driving yourself, if you can avoid getting stuck in a slow line of research, if explaining what you do at conferences excites you, if you need to be working at the highest-levels of understanding .. then this is the place for you.

On the other hand, if you want clearly defined goals, if you aren't interested in being stuck in a single line of research for years, if you want fast-pace, if you want to feel an immediate, broader impact to society, if you want job security .. then this place is not for you.

Also, it's a government lab. So the services can't be too bad and they also can't be too good. No one wants to see government employees getting free lunch or having google-style perks. It's definitely better resources and pay than a university post-doc though.
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Great, but not permanent.
Environmental Sciences Post-Bachelor (Current Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNJanuary 7, 2015
Job security here is not the best. Many positions are only guaranteed for 1 year with the possibility of renewal after that. However, it is a great place to work.

Coworkers are all great. Management style is relaxed.
Pros
work environment
Cons
job insecurity
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Amazing atmosphere
Staff (Current Employee) –  SNSMarch 13, 2014
I realize every company has problems. The atmosphere here is truly mind numbing. If you like micromanagement, and you like to see your coworkers in mental pain because of the pressure, and you like to pass people in the hallway that do not look up, but appear as if the end of the world is coming, and you like to do an absurd amount of paperwork to complete anything, then you will like it at ORNL.

If not, please continue your job search.
Pros
rubbing shoulders with geniuses
Cons
too large a list to fit here.
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Enjoyed working with the people there.
Senior Health Physics Technician (Former Employee) –  Oak Ridge TNMarch 18, 2015
Did out door surveys everyday and enjoyed working with my co workers. Working in the rain and cold. Knowing I was helping to protect the public from Radiation Exposure.
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ORNL Review
System Engineer (Current Employee) –  oak ridgeMarch 23, 2014
ORNL has a great work environment when you first start. Benefits are great, pay is decent, and the environment feels as if you are at a college campus. They have an onsite cafeteria that is overpriced but it is good to have when you don't want to make the 10-15 minute trip to get something outside of the lab. The day to day work environment really depends on your manager so you may have a different experience than what I have had.
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A great place to work!
Senior Secretary to Director (Former Employee) –  1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, TNApril 10, 2014
Enjoyed a variety of tasks in positions held. Given opportunities to lead and received positive feedback and encouragement. Worked for a variety of organizations and was able to gain insight into the research and scientific as well as service organization sides of the company. My contacts were with external and internal customers and appreciated the challenge in providing extraordinary service to all. The most difficult part at times was maneuvering throughout the campus because of parking restrictions. But even this had a positive side because it provided needed exercise on days when I was tied to my desk.
Pros
great work environment, great co-workers, up-to-date computers and other office equipment.
Cons
campus located in remote area.
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Cutting edge technology, success oriented, excellent work environment.
Senior Mechanical Engineering Technician (Former Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNSeptember 19, 2012
Work is challenging, there is opportunity for growth, advancement, daily learning. Never bored in my job, co-workers and managers are supportive and the work group is cohesive.
The hardest part of the job was leaving it. I truly loved my work and never minded going in. I felt I was doing important work and would go back today.
Pros
intellectual, professional co-workers and leaders.
Cons
lack of private sector research funding.
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high quality environment for research and development
Postdoctoral Research Associate (Current Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNNovember 26, 2012
We worked and learned as a team. Refining experiment, reading research papers, writing articles, and discussing ideas are the things I spent most of the time on. The challenging part is to go through a detail thought process and develop your own ideas for solving the practical issue. ORNL has the state-of-the-art facilities and the great working environment for conducting the scientific research.
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Loving what you do ... not just a job/position
Business Staff Associate (Former Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNOctober 22, 2013
I supported the Building America Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. A typical day at work included staff meetings, conference calls, and reviewing events for the upcoming weeks/months. My co-workers were exceptional. Team players. The most enjoyable part of my job was interacting with all of our team and seeing the results of our hard work.
Pros
flex time
Cons
micro managing professionals
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Excellent science facility with a great variety of research opportunities.
Siemens STEM Academy Fellow (Former Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNApril 1, 2014
The time at ORNL was a unique experience provided by the Siemens Corporation. Twenty educators from across the United States were selected to work with research scientists at ORNL. I was very fortunate to have been selected from the many applicants. Each educator was placed into groups and assigned a team of researchers. There was a wide variety of research taking place during that time: from solar radiation panels to energy manufactured by biological organisms. I was very impressed with the high quality of researchers who hailed from countries all over the world.
Pros
performing experiments related to current research, collected data, contributed to research
Cons
time spent there was much too brief!
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Leader in Research, Innovation and Development
MICROSYSTEMS ENGINEER, R&D STAFF (Current Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNFebruary 21, 2013
Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers the opportunity of fast growth as a scientist. Due to the variaty of projects that come every year it expose the research staff to a constant multidisciplinary environment. It offers the employess with great compensations and benefits packages not to mention that a never ending learning experience.
Pros
benefits
Cons
job security
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Exciting, cutting edge technology - but kiss your personal life goodbye
Manufacturing R&D Engineer (Current Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNNovember 4, 2013
This is a great place to work if you are passionate about cutting edge technology. It is difficult, however, to have many outside-of-work interests as your job demands will most likely be very large.
Pros
good pay, and benefits. interesting projects to work on.
Cons
large demands on your time. job insecurity due to constantly seeking funding.
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Mind-blowing work with extremely interesting people.
Mechanical Designer (Current Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNJanuary 28, 2013
There is always something new to look forward to and sharing of information is encouraged. I have never dealt with a more open and inviting company. The things that are done at the lab are rarely rivaled in the world and most days it feels like working at the fictional "Eureka" from TV.
Pros
open environment, science everywhere!
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Interesting Work - Good People
Post Master's Researcher (Current Employee) –  Knoxville, TNSeptember 5, 2013
Overall a good place to work. Good opportunities for advancement. Lots of interesting projects. Good people to work with. Good balance of seasoned staff and young people.

It's a government job though. Things move slow and lots of red tape. Efficiency is not exactly a major concern...
Pros
good job security, intersting work, good mix of people
Cons
red tape
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Great place to work
Jr. Radiological Control Technician (Current Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNOctober 8, 2014
• Rad/con surveys in support of cask/carrier shipments
• Rad/con surveys in support of reactor startup/shutdown
• Material clearance surveys
• Instrumentation and Dosimetry
• High Radiation and High Contamination entries
• Radiological work permits
• Hood and Hot Cell work
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Good research inistitution
Research Associate Intern (Current Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNMarch 11, 2015
It is a good place for research. There are a lot of chances to communicate with top research scientists. Work load is a little high. And security level in the lab is high.
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Research oriented
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Intern (Former Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNJune 21, 2013
The first thing I did every morning was take a few minutes to review the work completed the day before. Next, I would brainstorm with fellow interns concerning the workload for the day and proceed to perform my duties. The most enjoyable part of the job was the collaboration with my mentor.
Pros
the mentors
Cons
only for a summer internship
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Challenging environment
Database Administrator (Current Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNDecember 10, 2012
It is nice not to feel like you have to be the smartest person in the room. There is such a cross-section of the population here, there's always someone with a different set of experiences from whom you can learn.
Pros
intellectually stimulating
Cons
some people with higher degrees like to think that you must be a moron if you don't have one.
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Excellent place to work
Finance Manager (Former Employee) –  Oak Ridge, TNDecember 3, 2014
Management and co-workers are concerned with the end product and making life at work more enjoyable. You can be proud that you supported the overall accomplishments of the company even though your task are back office.
Pros
pleasant atmosphere
Cons
pay
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Overall rating

4.4
Based on 77 reviews
5 stars
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
4.2
Compensation/Benefits
4.2
Job Security/Advancement
3.6
Management
3.8
Culture
4.0

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Reviews by Location