3.1 out of 5 stars.
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Working at nLIGHT: 39 Reviews

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United States39 reviews

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3.3Work-Life Balance

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Great job, middling environment, awful management.

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They'll fire you for the smallest thing that everyone else gets away with if they don't like you. The people are great, but management is hired from within and is pretty subpar across the board. Diversity promotions in management, not skill-based, are pretty much the standard. Safety reviews of stations and equipment often lead to nothing, as management doesn't want to spend the money/risk downtime for ergonomics. They also say there is no mandatory OT, but that's a blatant lie. They make Saturdays mandatory if even one group is falling behind. If they think you're slacking off at all, they'll target you for safety violations and will start breathing down your neck. The engineers look down on ops as inferior and stupid, they will baby you even if you've been working with the station longer than they have. Tooling recommendations are ignored if you're ops and if you know and voice what will work for you and your station, they'll still ignore it. On the bright side, you can get lunch delivered on weekdays. The cost of the food is taken out of your check, but they pay for delivery fees, etc. That's about the only benefit, to be honest. The people are generally amicable. If you can't be at work at 06:00 every weekday and most Saturdays, don't even think about it.


Decent hours for work-life balance, delivered lunch, Vancouver location close to fast food


Short breaks, overbearing and inept management, superiority complex engineers.
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A mediocre workplace

There is a great culture among the lower level employees, however this is about the only positive view I have on this company. Management tends to show a disregard for how decisions they make affect the moral of their subordinates. There's no real sense of advancement and most paths lead to a dead end. Pay is barely enough to get by on, especially at a time when the cost of living has risen wildly above the average salary.
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nLIGHT insights

Based on 25 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Sense of belonging
  • Support from manager
  • General feeling of work happiness

Would not recommend

The pay is very low for how many new jobs they require you to do and have little care for the way employees feel. Benefits are okay and so is the schedule, but there are so many other things that nLight could change to make the work experience better, they just won't do it.
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Not paid what you’re worth

Management fixes all issues with bandaid type solutions. Prepare to be critically understaffed (on purpose) and having mandatory OT every time you turn around. Some departments are better than others but you are just a number and advancement opportunities are a joke. /Maybe/ a dollar raise for 50% more work after jumping through an incredible number of hoops.


Occasional pizza parties


Management falls short
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Do Not Recommend

The only pro from them is that their spacious break room in their Camas location is top tier. It was the old Sharp back in the 90s. The semi-annual bonus program is okay. I had a coworker constantly micromanaging me which was the reason why I left. Very low pay. No promises about getting promoted or going up the career path. The 12-hour shifts and getting up at 4 am 3-4 days a week are pretty rough. Also, the process is very disorganized.
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Not a great place to work

No real room for advancement. Rampant favoritism with some people getting opportunities for training etc before myself because they cozied up to management. Benefits aren’t great PTO got changed during COVID-19. Low pay starting with high turnover rate. Management didn’t seem to care how much work a person would miss during the regular work week. No real tangible rewards for doing a good job, therefore no real reason that might motivate an individual to go above and beyond.


Long breaks, not a physically demanding job


PTO and benefits are lacking and low pay starting
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Interesting job, but competitive environment

decent job to have if u keep ur head down. but there will be competition if u want more out of ur job. there will be overtime, but that tends to happen nearing the end of each quarter so u can expect it. in some cases u might have to lift some things, but since this company focuses on job safety and ergonomics, u will either have something or someone to help u do these lifts. in general, this company actively seeks to limit the physical strain of this job.good way to get ur foot in the door for other manufacturing jobs, but expect to work here a loong time before u move up the ladder.
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It was okay.

In the beginning it was great to work there, but as years later i realized the management clearly shows they don't care about the employees. They always talk about how each team member is "important" to the company but does nothing to help with job advancements whatsoever. The only good thing about this company are the coworkers that I had.




everything else
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No sense of Equipment Maintennce

Got my family through 2008 economy slow down. No direction, no ability for management to use skills. Will not send to training anyone over 50. Promoted unskilled employees. Laid off older workers.
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Ping Pong Table

one of the Lead in the warehouse played favoritism, Liked my job but didn't liked the lead. Enjoyed the rest of the group. Pay was OK. Once a year raise. HR takes the complains but don't take any action


No Free Lunch
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Long hours but friendly environment. Good supervisor, no cafeteria only a vending machine, high stress, for the most part Ok. Overtime. Left to go back to school.


Good environment
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Typical Day at work

time in. look for priorities. read emails and cleaning and wiping of stations at the start of the shift. Position all materials used on the job. Open manufacturing process instructions, special work instructions. Look for missing tools. prepare needed peripherals. generate 1 idea pertaining to safety, quality, productivity and process improvement. communicate supervisor on work orders and priorities. open training materials and do reading and take the quizzes Overall is.... nice to work with, all are friendly, teamwork works
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I worked the front end for 2 years, I enjoyed my employment very much. Some co workers are hard to embrace. HR, your managers, and leads are always available for anything, which is very comforting. I also took maternity leave while employed, and they took good care if me.
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I loved working there, but relocated with family members to albany

Great co-workers, great supervisor, no drama. I loved the schedule, 3 days one week and 4 days the next week. The diversity was amazing, all different nationalities working together. Everyone got along.
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Trash Job

Low pay ($13.5) a whole lot of overtime, I was working 10+ hours a day 6 days a week. The company is top heavy with managers that don't do anything. The advancement is nonexistent.
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Okay first job

Good place to start for people with no work experience. High turnover, low pay, no room to advancement but good technical experience and decent management.
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Love this company

I recommend a career at nlight. Lots of room to grow and advance for the right person. They look for the right person to do a great job. They are going to make a difference!


So many
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Great place to work

I enjoyed my time while supporting the HR department @ nLIGHT. Positive culture, clean and organized work environment, work/life balance, growth opportunities.
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Poor Leadership

Poor communication from management. Very aggressive and unprofessional atmosphere. There was little to no accountability as to how upper management treated the employees.


Great and hard working hourly staff.


Very poor upper management
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Working in the fab was akin to working in a sweatshop. While they did have AC, they never cared to make sure that it worked in all areas of the building. Even if you are in one of the 'good' areas, it's still hot. Management makes it very clear that they do not care about you as long as you meet quota. School yard insults are common. I was even told that i smelt bad! Those comments didn't stop until i mentioned it being harassment, then all of the complaints magically went away. They immediately wrote me up, without a verbal warning, because they were 'in a hurry'. They made me work in the same spot for so long that i developed tennis elbow. They prohibited talking from the workplace, even if the subject was about work, because it was 'too distracting'. Friendships are not allowed. They treat us like absolute children, micromanaging us and forcing us to take break at the same time. One person who applied quit in only one day. What a lucky fellow. Bottom line: do not work here if you value being treated like a human being.


Paid holidays


Too many to list.
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It was great until it wasn't.

The job initially was awesome. I was quickly promoted and our new product was seeing a lot of success. Then one of the founders who had been sidelined was given our project as a means to prove himself. He crashed and burned and took us all down with him.


Great start


Horrible finish
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Overall rating

Based on 39 reviews

Ratings by category

3.3 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.0 out of 5 stars for Compensation/Benefits
2.6 out of 5 stars for Job Security/Advancement
2.6 out of 5 stars for Management
2.9 out of 5 stars for Culture

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