University of California Berkeley
Happiness rating is 71 out of 100
4.2 out of 5 stars.
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University of California Berkeley Employee Reviews

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4.1Work-Life Balance

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Good place to work but difficult to live on

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I really enjoyed working at UC Berkeley. The staff are generally very supportive. People are happy there and often work there for 20+ years. There is a good amount of flexibility for projects (although less so for working remotely). However, to advance and gain pay raises you typically need to leave your immediate department and seek a position at another company or department. Many positions require an advanced degree of at least a master's. There is no clear path for advancement, and it is highly unlikely you will gain a raise unless you can show you already were accepted for a better-paying job. In my experience, most people who work here are married with their spouses making significantly more, allowing them to live off of their low salary. The benefits and pension are great though.
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Started out fine

So when I started, work was good. By the time I was laid off, I had gotten one raise over eight years. Besides COLAs there was no path unless you changed jobs. My workload, however, continued to expand while a rebranding and centralization caused several layoffs. The ONLY reason I was laid off was because I wasn’t part of a union. They took full advantage as I was a year short of qualifying for 85% of my retirement 4 years from getting 100%. Pure power play.
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University of California Berkeley insights

Based on 103 survey responses
What people like
  • Clear sense of purpose
  • Feeling of personal appreciation
  • Time and location flexibility

flexible job

Easy hire, flexible hours due to being students. Not much training or perks. Not enough support was readily given to us. Not a bad place to work, but not the best.
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Ok place to work.

Job culture in certain departments is very toxic. Pay/salary and benefits are decent. There is no room for advancement in certain positions. Some employees have more privileges over others.
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Completely depends on the department

Berkeley is very siloed, I have heard of some people loving their department and others hating their department. I, unfortunately, landed in one of the departments with poor leadership. In my three years I saw many HR complaints filed against one leader and nothing done. Leaders are free to manage their department however they want. Pay and benefits are great but do your research on employee satisfaction by department.
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Great place for science

Many great research opportunities available in multiple different departments. Day to day work depends widely on which research group and department but overall is probably similar to any other large research institution.
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Great place to work

Loved my work would recommend flexible hours great colleagues paid time off was a great added benefit. Work and space for advancement if you so choose.
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Opportunities Exist....

Good Benefits and some opportunitiesBad: In some ways like most places in that it is who you know.Great healthcare and opportunities for learning and training on new skills.
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Great benefits

Terrific benefits and a supportive work environment. My particular type of position (student advisor) didn't have much of a career path, but other types of positions do.
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Great place

Great place for work-study. Everyone is very friendly and understanding, and the work is clear and straightforward. Works with student schedule and is only a short distance from Campus
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Dead end Job

Pay is bad for the Bay Area . No chances of advancing. The management is horrible . They really manage nothing . Any time you ask to advance they sell you a dream to keep you quiet for a while . Staffs priority should be the students we serve but it is far from that .
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Productive workplace

Working at a research laboratory at UC Berkeley as an undergraduate research assistant was an enjoyable learning experience. Overall, it challenged me to understand the literature and perform experiments effectively.
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If you're not in academia, think twice

I had one of the most negative work experiences of my career. Despite a lot of resources available to employees for assistance, there is rarely any action. The "employee relations" department does more harm than good and departmental HR is completely understaffed. If you're in middle management you get very little support and spend most of the time fending off attacks from both sides: employees and management. The poorest performance from employees I have ever seen- sleeping on the job, just leaving for a few hours, and some would not report to work for MONTHS- yet your tax dollars continue to pay them. The benefits are good but not great and wages are not comparable to private companies. Really changed my perspective on the University as an institution.
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Incredible experience

I was blessed with the opportunity to work with a talented and conscientious group with the purpose of improving financial aid access and student success. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about the financial aid field and helping students.


Loyal, well educated cohort with excellent communication skills


nothing that I can think of
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a little bit unorganized at first, but they know it and try to make it right.

the hardest part of the job was time management and keeping pace, but this was only because I was also working a full time job and going to grad school at the same time. If not for that, it would be a walk in the park. I gained a lot of insight about the holistic college application review process, which I think is great. Other institutions should use the same approach.
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Great Place for Postdocs

Great place for postdoctoral training with lots of resources and many brilliant people to work and network with. The only cons are the low and expensive rent rates in the bay area.
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Not a great place to work. incredibly disorganized.

So many unhelpful and unprofessional staff. Disorganized and doesn't care for the staff as they should, treat employees as replaceable. Constant lay offs, and people leaving due to unfair or unmanageable work loads. Definitely do not recommend working here.


benefits, union.


disorganized management. disproportionate pay among staff. HR/management is incompetent.
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great benefit, nice people, low pay for supportive staff

great benefit, nice people, a lot of paid leave, most of the time well support. low pay for supportive staff. You can get 2/3 tuition reduction if you want to enroll
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unpleasant atmosphere/lack of leadership of supervisor

Low pressure day at work. I do not recommend working there. I had a bad experience. Immature manager and rampant nepotism. The leadership believes its own advertising but fails to live up to it.


low pressure


appalling manager
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Great place to work

Not much more to say. Great people and great culture. I learned a lot working there. It can be quite political but most organizations are in my opinion.
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I worked for UC Berkeley 10 yrs. I loved it. But the pay was low.

I began working in the Public Relations/Information Office. I loved it. I worked with the students, staff and the press. Keeping abreast of all news items relating to the University was part of my job and I loved it. I also wrote and kept the monthly calendar of events for the campus. When we had a management change(my supervisor retired) I decided to transfer. I didn;t like working with his replacement. I wound up working at the International House on Campus with for foreign scholars (Ph.D's) who came from all over the world to do their research. I liked it because I lived abroad for 4 years and like working with people from other countries.


Lots of opportunities to learn new things and jobs.


Pay was low and monthly.
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Overall rating

Based on 582 reviews

Ratings by category

4.1 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.7 out of 5 stars for Compensation/Benefits
3.6 out of 5 stars for Job Security/Advancement
3.8 out of 5 stars for Management
4.0 out of 5 stars for Culture

Ratings from women

InHerSight Score
3.0Personal Development
3.0Career Opportunities
2.5Family Support
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