I spend half my day in the lab running experiments, and the other half developing models, analyzing data, writing papers and improving device designs.
If you can get in (3.5 GPA requirement is arbitrary and excludes a lot of smart gifted engineers) this is a great place to work. They work hard to protect Sandians, and keep interesting problems and work heading their way. At the MST level and above I have not met anyone who didn't deserve to work there.
The hardest part would be the fact that the most stable jobs/resources are in the weapons area. US citizenship and a DOE clearance open most doors, and for most areas it is hard to get any work done without both.
The most enjoyable part is being able to work with subject matter experts in a wide range of fields all in one place.
R&D Laboratory Support Technologist (Current Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – April 8, 2016
There is actually a ping pong table in the lunch room (given as an example for the review). Sandia National Laboratories has many positives. The work/life balance is great with healthy vacation and the 9/80 schedule where you can get every other Friday off. There is also some incredible science that occurs. They struggle to stay with trends, but that is related to the business and the need for stringent security. Albuquerque is a very reasonable place to live, so your dollar will go far. The job culture depends on the group and does vary considerably. The hardest part may be the trend towards compliance structure (not directly tied with safety) which may or may not be conducive to research. Historically the benefits have made up for other short comings, but the newer trend to tie benefits with a market based model has diminished some of the better attributes of working there.
Company has great benefits and offers all the training you will need. Strict deadlines, many levels of management, and average communication. Not a bad company to work for if you don't have much of an outside life. Co-workers are good.
A great place to grow, perform a job, and have fun all at the same time!
Electronic Technologist and Radar Technician III (Former Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – December 9, 2015
Drive out to the remote site and make coffee, then start prepping for the job at hand. I learned tons here...Antennas, RCS, Testing techniques and "why". Management was driven by customer's needs and funding...they did a great job. Co-workers couldn't be beat. They were like family...and not just the few at the range, but the whole department. Scientists with Bachelors, Masters and PhD's were the best Mentors I ever had. The hardest part of the job was in moving all the radar absorber every week or two to set up for the next configuration...but the most enjoyable part was knowing we had all worked as a team, had fun, and got the job done, with good data going out to the customer. This was a place where they assigned you a task, and then let you accomplish it on your own without "Micro-Management".
Working in a remote site, where we could experience the "wildlife" of the area.
Hardest yet most rewarding job! Challenged everyday with new projects and new ideas. SNL pushes you to your limit. You discover things in yourself you didn't know you are capable of. Overwhelming at times and empowering at other times. Must be dedicated, but will be well worth it. Perfect place to professionally grow and strengthen yourself.
Great work life balance. Interesting mission. Opportunities to move around.
Project Controller/Program Business Lead (Current Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – November 10, 2015
The mission of SNL is unique and rewarding. There are many opportunities to learn. Many opportunities to advance. Great people. The company only hires "the best and brightest" which makes for a unique working environment.
Engineering Technologist (Former Employee) – Livermore California – September 21, 2015
Sandia National Laboratories is a the forefront of engineering and cutting edge technologies. Working at Sandia will allow exposure to projects that are specialized and technologies that are exciting and intriguing.