Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Employee Reviews

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3.0
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Great for scientists, not so great for engineers
Project Manager (Current Employee) –  BerkeleyOctober 9, 2019
For engineers, management is struggling to manage its engineers.
There is much autonomy and one has to be very focused and driven to prosper here. They have a hard time firing people, so the bad apples stay around and poison the culture.
Pros
Amazing work to advance science
Cons
No clear advancement structure for engineers
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3.0
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Good environment for scientific researches
Scientist (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CASeptember 18, 2019
The laboratory is funded by Department of Energy but managed by University of California, so lots of opportunities to learn from other top scientists...
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5.0
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Fast workflow
Research Assistant (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CASeptember 3, 2019
Working at this research institution was fun and very fast pace. The people there will help you start up and willing to answer your questions. Lunch will be from 11-1 so you are free to go the cafeteria during those times.
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5.0
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Top notch facilities and equipment. Top level talent to work with
Project Management - Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAAugust 15, 2019
Great place to work with the best and brightest collaborators and coworkers. Facilities are state of the art and drive the development of next generation of equipment for energy based research.
Pros
Commute plans to work and lots of PTO
Cons
Lots of hills
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2.0
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Somewhat productive place to work.
CAD E/M & O/S Group Leader (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAAugust 9, 2019
A highly charged, work place political, work environment. I found that it was more important of who you knew and associated with, more so than what you knew and the applicable skill-set that you brought to the table. If you didn't fit in well with the established cliques at the Lab then it was not likely that you would be successful in performing your job responsibilities.
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4.0
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flexible environment
Data Scientist Intern (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAJuly 31, 2019
It is a very flexible work environment.
Even working at home is fine if I think it is more efficient.
The lab shuttle bus is also good.
and people are very friendly
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1.0
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no room to learn for outsiders
Desktop Systems Specialist 2 (Former Employee) –  Walnut Creek, CAJuly 25, 2019
They usually hire interns. They don't train people well or at all before being thrown into the field. When tech fails they blame the tech and not the equipment. They like people who come in an hour late and leave an hour early.
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4.0
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Collaborative Workplace
Postdoctoral Scholar (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAJuly 22, 2019
Great environment for learning about and learning multi-disciplinary work. Always interesting talks and discussions occurring around the lab in fields from nuclear physics to genetics to renewable energy.
Pros
Free lectures
Cons
Poor parking situation
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4.0
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Great place to learn more about different scientific areas
n.a (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAJuly 19, 2019
Great place to learn more about different scientific areas. Benefits includes pension, payed holidays and sick leave. No additional comment at this time.
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4.0
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Great Workplace, Expensive City
Contract Administrator (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAJuly 17, 2019
This is a great place to work. It is fun and interesting work. The only downside is that the local cost of living is so high that normal folks have a hard time living near the lab.
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5.0
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adfs
Construction Safety Specialist (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAMay 21, 2019
i was the is the something insert they made me write this it was great i loved it amazing oh my god holy wow amazing thank you so much my people are amazing
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5.0
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Great place to work
Research Associate (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAApril 2, 2019
Considering that I completed a PhD here and did not per se work for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, it is inappropriate for me to comment on this organization.
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5.0
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A good place for a postdoc
Postdoctoral Fellow (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAMarch 19, 2019
I think LBNL is a good place for a postdoc. It locates at Berkeley, CA where the environment is excellent. Berkeley is one of the past place to live and work.
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4.0
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Great place but hard to get secured job
Project Scientist (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CAMarch 17, 2019
Excellent place to create and implement new ideas. Great and very knowledgeable people. A lot of opportunities to collaborate and learn new things. You will feel as a part of something big. But. No job security. A lot of politics behind hiring decisions. Very difficult to get promoted.
Pros
Exellent scientists, very creative atmosphere, you are expected to grow and provide the ideas and expertise. Exellent benefits
Cons
No job security, no promotion
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1.0
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Shocked At How Bad a Place It Was To Work At
Finance Specialist (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAFebruary 22, 2019
There is no doubt that LBL is a world class place to work if you are in some areas of science. I think this goes w/o saying. The Nobel prizes won by the scientists and the success of the research performed there speaks for itself. To some professionals, this place could be heaven.

However, if you are in a support function, you may see things differently. When I arrived there, the first things I noticed were 1) The software was perhaps as much as 5 years behind what was being used in industry. 2) Not one person would say hello to me or come by and introduce themselves. I went around and and introduced myself, but no one had time for me. I never worked in a climate like that. In fact it was 1 month before anyone came to my cubicle and said "hello". In regards to being behind the times, there was one particular oddity that was extremely labor intensive to manage but was more than 10 YEARS behind the times. I was flabbergasted that I had to work with this "system" daily.

It also became painfully apparent rather quickly that we were woefully understaffed.

My first manager was rude and crude and seemed to dislike everyone. Somehow, I was able to get on their good side and I did learn a lot. Despite having professionals with advanced degrees in the department, it was curious that some in the more favored positions only had high school diplomas. It doesn't matter how long you've been there or how good at politics you are, if you haven't paid your dues in college, you don't belong in the job. Period.

A good deal of the employees that I had to work with had been there
  more... for many years. In about 75% of the case they were very unfriendly and would not share information no matter how bad it was needed. Organizing a meeting was downright impossible. No manger would show up and there was no accountability for their actions.

Lack of accountability was a major problem. The other major issue was respect for others. Whenever I was able to actually get people to a meeting, my manager would hijack it, brush me aside and speak to others in the room as if I didn't exist. I had excellent repertoire w/ management at other places I worked and won my share of awards (cash, stock options, extra time off, etc) for Excellence. I wasn't a "greenhorn". I knew what I was doing. Of course, coming to work after being gone for a few days and having dozens of links and formulas in your spreadsheets destroyed by your manager and a contractor and then blaming you for it on your next review didn't help matters much, either.

The main software that I had to use for my job was very unsuited for the task, as it was never meant for the amount and complexity of the data that was used. My next manager never quite realized what it took to get a days labor done because of this.

Spent way too many nights working to clean up messes other people made or dealing with government bureaucracy. Some that I worked with came from the corporate world, and this bureaucracy made no sense to them. Issues that arose from this were viewed as "my fault" just too many times to remain as an employee.
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Pros
None. It paid the bills.
Cons
In the middle of nowhere, Difficult to commute to, Stacked parking so that you can't leave for appt. w/o calling multiple workers to move cars, Cafeteria 20 minute walk away, Everyone worked in silos, Unfriendly
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5.0
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Easy commute
Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAFebruary 11, 2019
I enjoyed the lab updates and the strong safety focus. Management as easy to approach and open to discussing improvements. Tasks were explained in detail
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5.0
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National Lab
Biologist Postdoctoral Fellow (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CAJanuary 18, 2019
Nice working environment. Bad commute time if you live in other part of the bay area. Close to UC Berkeley. Research collaboration is very common. Stress level normal.
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5.0
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Place to Learn + Work
Research Intern (Current Employee) –  Berkeley, CANovember 20, 2018
During my short stint at the lab, I was offered countless opportunities to learn more about almost any subject. The people I worked with were among the smartest and hardest working individuals I've ever met, and they all care about their jobs and the work they do.
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5.0
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Prestigious institute
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Former Employee) –  Berkeley, CANovember 11, 2018
Berkeley lab is good place to work. You get a chance to work with the most prestigious researchers in the world. A lot of smart people. There are many collaborations within and outside of the lab.
Pros
prestigious institute
Cons
job is not secure
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3.0
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Very interesting group of people and backgrounds.
Electronic Technician (Former Employee) –  ALS LBNL Berkeley Ca.November 3, 2018
Do not work here if you have independent thought. There is Liberal Berkeley Group Think here, and you will be punished by those who disagree with facts and truth. It matters not how intellectually dishonest their position may be, the Berkeley Collegiate Group think and Feelings matter over documented factual truth.

You are hereby warned.
Pros
Nothing
Cons
Limited parking
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Overall rating

4.2
Based on 154 reviews
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