Sandia National Laboratories Employee Reviews

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Sandia National Laboratories Review
Project Controls Engineer (Former Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMOctober 14, 2013
∙ A typical day at work
A typical day at work consisted of meeting with co-workers, discussing projects, financial budgets for each project, projecting out to FY18 for project budgets, scheduling for the particular project and how this could affect other projects that could potentially conflict with the schedule, etc.
∙ What you learned
I learned about Lean Six Sigma (underwent Overview, and was taking courses for Green Belt), started the Project Management Professional Certification process, learned about Excel PivotTables, Excel PowerPivotTables, budget planning, budget forecasting, etc.
∙ Management
Managed 2 engineering schedules involving the Semiconductor Fabrication Plant at Sandia National Laboratories. These two particular schedules worked in conjunction with one another to create semiconductor products used for the defense of the nation's nuclear stockpile.
∙ Your co-workers
My co-workers were great, and were very helpful at each point in the management/engineering/scheduling process.
∙ The hardest part of the job
The hardest part of the job involved the direct, vis a vis communication with co-workers due mainly in part to the fact that I had not received my security clearance from the Department of Energy. This would have enabled me to approach someone immediately instead of having to wait for an email or an Instant Message to set up a meeting.
∙ The most enjoyable part of the job
The most enjoyable part of the job was definitely interacting with other employees to get the task/project/job done.
Pros
people, culture, resources.
Cons
inability to access certain areas.
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Small pond with too many Big fish
Graduate Professional Student Intern (Former Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMMarch 31, 2015
During my time with Sandia, I functioned as a HR Program Coordinator and Budget Analyst. I was promoted progressively each year in the amount of responsibilities I was given and the complexity of assignments. I learned HR program administration, compensation, employment law, data analytics, and budget management. My co-workers were all very friendly and always available to assist if necessary. I didn't experience any tough situations in my job, other than stressful deadlines, until a change in executive leadership in my last 2 years at Sandia. In this situation, I found myself chasing my tail running report after report on program metrics, none of which lead to some kind of resolution that I am aware of. However, I did thoroughly enjoy my job, I was given a great degree of autonomy even as an intern to complete my assigned tasks as requested. I also had the opportunity to work with senior level managers and members of the engineering staff. Overall, Sandia is a great place to work with the best compensation and benefits in Albuquerque, NM; however, advancement opportunities and annual pay raises are dismal.
Pros
On-site gourmet cafeteria, benefits, compensation, wide variety of job areas
Cons
Job Advancement
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Where the actual smart people work
Temp Tech Staff (Former Employee) –  AlbuquerqueApril 15, 2014
Forget Google, Microsoft, Apple.
The worlds smartest people work at Sandia. And they dont act like it. I found people relatively egoless but amazingly competent. The vast array of technologies is mind boggling. The expertise at writing code for physical simulation is the best anywhere.
Also the worlds best massively parallel computing center by far.

Now the place is a highly senstive DOD/nuclear weapons lab, so one has to expect a certain amount of weirdness and paranoia in the culture. This is just how such places are. That can work on morale a bit, but was not a huge problem.

Albuquerque? Love it, hate it. A crazy place with a lot to offer as well as a lot to make you flee.

This place is the real thing.

Budget and hiring could be an issue since our government decided to fight a bunch of wars instead of investing in science and technology.
Pros
technology, expertise, work life balance, fun problems to work on.
Cons
cold war/dod stuffiness.
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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, NMDecember 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".
Pros
Working in a remote site, where we could experience the "wildlife" of the area.
Cons
Moving Absorber Palates on a regular basis.
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Hard Problems with excellent work-life balance in the desert
Graduate Student Intern (Current Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMNovember 13, 2013
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.
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Productive workplace without micromanagement
Software Development Applications Engineer (Current Employee) –  ALbuquerque, NMJuly 9, 2013
A typical day includes writing c# and vb.NET, SQL Server, html, JavaScript and CSS code, communicating with team members and testing code. We have weekly programmers meetings, monthly team meetings and occasional department meetings.

We are encouraged to learn new technology and there are plenty of training classes to choose from.

Management is always available to help or answer questions. We are never micromanaged, but they have an open door policy.

All of my coworkers are very knowledgeable and helpful in their areas. Everyone is very willing to help everyone.

The hardest part of my job is finding testers to find bugs and stress test the web apps.

The most enjoyable part of the job is doing the actual coding and have everything come together as one big application. We also have snacks at most of our meetings.
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If you love your work, you'll love your job
Engineer (Former Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMSeptember 1, 2014
SNL does some of the coolest, most exotic engineering you can think of. If you like the work you are doing, you'll love your job. Pay isn't great--1-2% raises have been typical. Management is trained to 'pass the buck' and not address personnel issues, but instead hand them on to the next unfortunate manager. It is nearly impossible for anyone to get fired, regardless of how incompetent or problematic they are. Corporate structure is very flat--there is not a lot of room for upward movement within the company. If you're a technically minded person who loves engineering, you'll do fine. If you're looking at building a career moving up in a company, SNL is not the place for you.
Pros
everlasting employment for you
Cons
everlasting employment for the worst imaginable co-worker, poor pay increases
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It has been a good and stable employer throughout the years
Distinguished Admin Support Assoc (D-ASA) (Current Employee) –  Livermore, CAJanuary 10, 2014
Over the past 26 years at Sandia, I have worked in numerous departments and have worked my way up the ladder; however, I am now looking at retiring from my employer within the next five years and am looking for a new passion to take me into my retirement.

I've enjoyed my employment here overall and work with many wonderful people. The hardest thing about my job is that I feel that I have exhausted my opportunities for growth here.

I am now looking for a part-time job that I feel passionate about and will turn into my long-term employment after retiring from Sandia.
Pros
stability, job security, good quality of life
Cons
not many opportunities for advancement in my job category
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good work/life balance but lack of prospect
Post-doctoral Fellow (Current Employee) –  Livermore, CAFebruary 10, 2015
I worked as a post-doc in the Livermore site of Sandia. The 9/80 schedule provides good work/life balance, you can have a lot of flexibility for your family. However, I found it disappointing for its lack of prospect in Sandia. It's almost impossible to get a permanent staff position, in the meanwhile, once being here, it is very difficult to continue academic career. In addition, apart from my advisors, there is virtually no one to communicate with for near ideas in research. The research here is quite closed in the sense that there is little exchange with people from outside even though the project I worked was not sensitive.
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educational, fun, exciting place to work.
Traffic Analyst (Former Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMOctober 16, 2013
I have had several jobs at Sandia, Security- checking all badges of incoming employees, Securing bldgs at the end of the day. Custiodial- cleaning several buildings, trash removal, floor mopping, shipping and receiving- receiving incoming shipments and arrangement them to move to respective parties, In shipping coordinating all outbound shipments. I was a classified administrative staff responsible for all material, Management was very helpful to work with. Always helped you try to improve yourself. Co-workers brought different knowledge to the table. I never had a job that I didn't like. I go in with a positive attitude.
Pros
awards for good work, pot luck lunches
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Great work, unethical people
FLEET COORDINATOR (Former Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMJune 8, 2015
Management does not take responsibility for their actions, and they place blame on their subordinates. The ethics department, OMBUDS, does not help, they simply lend a listening ear. The interns and entry-level employees work the hardest, with little to no appreciation, but the work we got to do was exciting and fun. I would love to further experience some other areas of the Labs, but simply to expand my current knowledge and learn everything that this National Laboratory has to offer and to experience the cutting edge of modern technology.
Pros
Content of work
Cons
Poor management, lack of ethics
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I had some great team mates.
Help Desk Specialist/Desktop Support Technician (Former Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMFebruary 22, 2014
The best part was meeting people. I would go into an office and as I was loading a program or scanning the desktop computer, I would look around for something personal like pictures of their family or hobby. I would then start up a conversation. It turned out that some of the users, who came across as abrupt or aloof could be friendly. I had many opportunities to use my enjoyment of public speaking and give workshops.
Pros
very interesting work.
Cons
very restricted work environment.
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A good place to work
Material Handler - Driver (Former Employee) –  Livermore Ca.September 9, 2014
•a typical day at work, very busy place with packages coming in all day.
•what you learned, how to process and deliver packages to various destinations.
•management, cared about there employees, and worked with us sometimes.
•your co-workers, were very pleasant and helpful.
•the hardest part of the job, was trying to keep packages from getting wet in the rain when I was delivering them.
•the most enjoyable part of the job, was working in Livermore California as a truck driver delivery person, and relocating offices to another building.
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Very relavant and people dynamic atmosphere, allows for the mission to get done.
Health Physics (Current Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMMarch 22, 2015
Security at the national labs was about giving and allowing access to environments. We were the gate keepers and ensured that vaults and secure areas remained so. It involved our communications system that would dispatch to location that were compromised and we would resolve and restore conditions to normal and submit our reports before the end of the day.
Pros
we allowed the safety and movement of items of high importance
Cons
tweleve hour days could be long.
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Great place to be...
Office Management Assistant (Current Employee) –  Livermore, CaFebruary 25, 2013
If the only thing you are concerned about is pay, this is not the place to be. But, if you want to work with some brilliant minds, care about being able to work and see your family, want room to grow and are looking for an organization that cares about the community within which it serves and priming their employees for success, then this is definitely the place for you.
Pros
on site cafe, on site medical center, summer-time farmer's markets, professional development courses
Cons
below industry pay
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Environmental and Hazardous Waste Management
Principal Technologist (Former Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMApril 9, 2014
Lots of interaction with technical professionals. Involved with very interesting engineering projects. Friendly work environment.

Review work plans for environmental and waste management, regulatory and recycling opportunities orally and in writting. Communicate environmental requirements to customers. Give guidance in use of waste management computer system.

Enjoy working with engineers. Hardest part of job is researching complex Federal environmental regulations.
Pros
friendly co-workers and customers. get to help customers with waste management needs
Cons
being audited by the new mexico environmental department
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Working at Sandia
STEM Teacher and Researcher (Former Employee) –  LivermoreSeptember 8, 2014
My internship at Sandia required me to do heavy computer based analysis taken from radiographic images. I mainly used the program IGOR to create my graphs, although excel and MS were used as well. My mentor was fantastic and provided me with great help whenever I had any questions about how to work the programs or the fine details of the experiment.
Pros
great exposure to the materials science field
Cons
n/a
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Supporting our nation and community great sense of pride to be part of
Community Involvement Administrative Support (Current Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMOctober 7, 2014
This is a national laboratory supporting our country in many different areas, and I am blessed to be working in the community relations department so I get to see what we give back to our community and be up close and personally involved. Very rewarding job. I am currently looking only for a part time position in order to make a little more money.
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Good Place to work
Postdoctoral Researcher (Current Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMMarch 7, 2015
It's a good place to work.

I was able to collaborate with scientists from a large range of disciplines, and solve problems from many different angles.

A downside is that postdocs aren't always valued high enough. Some people view them as a means to an end, and don't care about their careers enough.
Pros
interesting work, flexible schedule
Cons
bureaucracy, the city of albuquerque
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Overall rewarding and flexible, good people
semi conductor technologist (Current Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMAugust 30, 2014
Overall, it is a great place to work. Benefits are great, the people are awesome. My dept is managed horribly. Leadership is poor, Priorities change but are not communicated effectively. I am a technologist and given the amount of PhDs and other engineers there is a definite class system here.
Pros
work life balance, benifits
Cons
half hour lunch, no breaks
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Overall rating

4.4
Based on 77 reviews
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