NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Reviews

Updated 8 Aug 2020

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4.3
87%
Recommend to a Friend
92%
Approve of CEO
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Michael Watkins
Michael Watkins
68 Ratings
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great work environment, passionate employees"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Beautiful campus - Working with some of the smartest people in the world - Chances to publish your work - Many opportunities for advancement - Often get to mix up what projects you're involved in - $20,000+ tuition reimbursement for courses taken (including random online ones) and degrees received while working - Great benefits

    Cons

    - A lot of orgs aren't very organized - Documentation isn't always the best and you frequently have to track down the creator of certain projects - Some of the older generation still prefer the long, 1+ hour meeting format - No free food like Google (although there are multiple cafeterias) - While pay isn't bad, it's below market average

  2. "Great"

    5.0
    Former Employee - Data Scientist 

    I worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    One of a kind great place to work

    Cons

    Can be too much red tape


  3. "Room for improvement"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Passionate culture, Tons of educational resources, Amazing education

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, Heritage mindset, Male dominated (in many fields), Slow to innovate

  4. "Great and relaxing place to work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Very smart people Good pay/benefits Relaxed pace of work Every other Friday off

    Cons

    Advancement is hard because most people have been there for decades Work is subject to cancellation due to congressional decisions Limited financial upside for very senior employees

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  5. "Co-Op Experience"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultative Sales in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    great hands on experience and real engineering work

    Cons

    not very structured, easy to get lost in the mix

  6. "Challenging, captivating work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer II in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work with smart people, on interesting project, flexible hours and remote work. Touch the stars!

    Cons

    Lab is overcrowded. Pay could be better for living in LA County

  7. Helpful (3)

    "Not the definition of diversity"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director of Talent Acquisition 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The employees who support diversity initiatives are very passionate about their commitment to outreach and engagement. They do so with a very limited budget and lots of resistance from hiring organizations who are reluctant to consider talent.

    Cons

    The leadership team values international diversity more than local diversity. Native American and African American talent are often overlooked in favor or candidates who come from JPL's select schools or direct referrals from people they know. When minority talent is presented the review of their experience is overly critical. The HR leaders support the managers when they make decisions to exclude minority talent.

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  8. "Great experience"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accountant in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Pros: work motivation and supportive culture

    Cons

    Slow pace. Favors tenure vs Output

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  9. Helpful (5)

    "Not what the hype says...."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Work life balance is great....if you get the chance to take advantage of it.... cool projects.

    Cons

    They will work you hard, not give you credit for your critical contributions to projects, not promote you, not pay you what the "market" truly is, and then gaslight you when you ask good questions about it... seems they are trying to do the "spaceX thing" where they take advantage of the "coolness" factor of working here. The tax you pay for getting to work at JPL...

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  10. Helpful (6)

    "JPL has a horrible top heavy management style that is bogged down in 1960's mentality"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Beware of JPL With It's Old Time Management Style in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    9/80 work schedule some minor retirement perqs at 55 interesting project work

    Cons

    Managers consider time at your desk as only productive time no room to grow in your career low pay - coupled with being located in one of the most expensive places to live in the US poor benefits despite what HR says horrible harassment by managers that is tolerated by all including HR Managers will threaten you if you complain

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