Listen if you have the option to work for Sandia National Labs or someplace else, opt for someplace else. The company as a whole does very interesting and important work in service to the nation however, because of the high incidence of nepotism those who are qualified are usually passed over for promotions so that available positions can be awarded to family members and favored friends.
The high incidence of nepotism has resulted in very high attrition rates among younger employees and older workers. There is blatant disregard legislation designed to protect employee rights; there is systemic incompetence especially as it relates to Management and the administration of employee benefits and protections under the law.
It was hoped that the recent change in the company's ownership would usher in the replacement or reassignment of existing business managers which would have broken up the crony mentality, but they were all kept on in their current roles; so its business as usual!
Health Care and insurance benefits
Blantant disregard for EEOC and other labor law requirements
Business Team Lead (DOE "Top Secret" clearance) (Former Employee) – Livermore, CA – July 10, 2017
Working for Sandia was a wonderful experience. The work is highly meaningful, and the scientists that you support are some of the most brilliant people I've ever come to know. The atmosphere is one which demands a "pedigree" in terms of number of degrees achieved and the schools where they were obtained. If you have anything less than a Master's degree on the business side, you're likely to be treated as a secretary or general admin, which can be extremely frustrating. I know the same can be true of engineers; you need a PhD or a Master's degree, or you are extremely limited in your options for advancement. Incredible work/life balance with 9/80 schedules offered, and lots of flexibility in choosing the work you support.
Terrific opportunities to learn about various aspects of business everywhere you look. If you want to get involved it's a great, inclusive space to try new things and learn from the nation's best in research and development.
Senior Member of Technical Staff (Former Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – June 3, 2017
Work environment is very political because there are no market metrics. The most important thing is how you are viewed, so nobody wants to take any risks. You are coached to keep your head down and collect a paycheck. Over-regulated environment is very stifling. Not a place for people with initiative.
The labs are a well above average place to work. There is so much going on at such a large complex that there is a lot of variation in work satisfaction. However, the things that stand out is their focus on work life balance, the great pay, and the good benefits.
Different departments vary in management. I learned a lot in the 14 years but some departments were showing signs of stress due to management coming and going. In two years I was assigned to 6 managers and staff but was initially hired for two managers. This was due to restructuring of departments with staff and manager since Homeland Security was cutting budgets more and more with each year. The workload fell on new staff and doubled for the assistants. Some managers were given a negative incentive to retire before they were ready to ease the upcoming budgets.
Security and busy work environment
Budget cuts and negative incentives created problems with staff leaving.
Relaxed but vigilant professional corporate atmosphere
Technologist (Current Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – May 8, 2017
Relaxed work atmosphere. Stress largely self-imposed. Over-achievers will be better compensated in private industry. Management primarily concerned with managing business issues to the detriment of managing people/teams/groups. Very strict corporate policies in place with federal oversight to be constantly wary of, otherwise a lack of many standards for optimal workplace efficiency. Promotion opportunities limited to turnover within existing hierarchies.
low-stress, highly educated workforce, national impact, job security
I have enjoyed working at Sandia. The compensation and benefits are some of the best in the region, and a high value is placed on education. Since Sandia is a government owned facility, there can be a good deal of bureaucracy, which can make progress hard. The culture at Sandia is very unique because of the diversity of disciplines required for day to day operation of a national lab. Promotion within Sandia usually requires an advanced educational degree, unless you are working in facilities, or logistics departments.
Business & Communications Intern (Current Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – April 5, 2017
I interned at Sandia National Laboratories for three years. The work was challenging ( in a good way), and I was always treated with the utmost respect and kindness. My coworkers are some of the smartest and kindest people I know. The pay is excellent and the 9/80 schedule offers great balance and flexibility.
Competitive pay; Fridays off; Great people; Exciting work
Location; Communications issues between departments
As a student intern, I was responsible for running problems for the code writers using Sandia's Finite Element Code. I was able to help customers fix their problems by running simple problems using the same constraints.
Excellent company, great benefits, wonderful management
ASA, Tier IV, Administrative Asst. (Former Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – March 18, 2017
Working at Sandia gave me a sense of pride, as this company strives for excellence. I was able to move around within the organization and learned a variety of job skills. The culture is very laid back and concerned with employee health, safety, and welfare. The hardest part of the job was getting in the gate. The two-weeks during Christmas and New Year every year that the organization closed down was the most enjoyable aspect. This is an excellent company to work for.
Productive, flexible and rewarding work environment
Post Doctoral Fellow (Current Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – March 16, 2017
I have worked at Sandia as both an intern and post-doc with two different advisors and several mentors. To date it is the most rewarding place that I have worked. From the start, my ideas were listened to and taken seriously. Everyone around me is helpful in the most extreme way. There doesn't seem to be any work place competition even thought the people I work with are extremely successful and motivated. The work schedule is extremely flexible. The only down side is its location in Albuquerque NM.
Sandia is perhaps the premiere place to work in Albuquerque
Business Systems Analyst (Current Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – December 28, 2016
My typical day can sometimes be hectic but I think this is often the nature of software development. For years, Sandia has been a place where mobility has been encouraged, but over the last several years this has been less so. I have benefited greatly from the ability to move around and work outside my degree, but current leadership has made this more difficult with many on the higher echelons focused too firmly on degree status.
While there is a great deal to like about Sandia; management and culture is oftentimes dysfunctional. Many of the staff are great to work with but there are elements of favoritism and personalities that make getting the job done more difficult. In addition, their focus on degrees and GPAs creates an elite environment where people constantly feel the need to prove themselves and will go to great lengths to do so. I find these facets the hardest part of working there.
The most enjoyable part of the job is there are a lot of great and innovative people who want to achieve great things.