NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Reviews

Updated Jan 25, 2021

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4.6
89%
Recommend to a Friend
94%
Approve of CEO
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Michael Watkins
Michael Watkins
88 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great work/life balance (if flight project deadline is not coming up soon)(in 70 reviews)

  • "NASA JPL had a bunch of really interesting projects and had a very laid-back work environment(in 49 reviews)

Cons
  • "Low pay for software engineering intern positions(in 20 reviews)

  • "It can be quite expensive to live in Pasadena when you work here(in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. "Great place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior V&V Systems Engineer 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

    Many extremely interesting and smart people work here, and you get to work on fun interesting projects

    Cons

    Projects tend can take multiple years to complete (3-10 years)

  2. "Excellent projects, good benefits"

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

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Exciting and inspiring projects. No two days are the same. Freedom to submit proposals to explore research interests.

    Cons

    Salary is not as high for similar position in private companies, but the interesting/impactful work makes up for it.


  3. "Awesome place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Brilliant people. Incredible projects. Management takes your wants and needs into consideration.

    Cons

    Long hours for very long stretches. The stress of working on flight hardware and meeting deadlines takes its toll on you.

  4. "Dare mighty things"

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

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Emphasis on doers. Freedom to pursue your own projects. (Almost) inexistent office politics. Cutting-edge earth science observations. Hierarchy is not overbearing. Amazingly inspirational backdrop provided by all of JPL's jaw-dropping successes of the past decades. If you're ever bored, go walk to the high bay and watch fellow JPLers build a future Mars rover.

    Cons

    Lack of 'super exciting' career growth opportunities that is inherent to large organizations with an experienced workforce. Tedious work in legacy projects that is also inherent to multi-decade research programs and long-established flight projects.

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  5. "Passionate Work Place"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Pasadena, CA

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Creative and stimulating environment and passionate colleagues. You can find everything from fundamental science to high end engineering.

    Cons

    Low funding and constant project cuts.

  6. "Great place to work if you enjoy robotics."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Robotics Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Working in the robotics field is amazing!

    Cons

    Dealing with NASA/JPL bureaucracy can be annoying.

  7. "Cool place to work and learn"

    4.0
    Current Employee - FPGA Engineer in Pasadena, CA

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Open-minded people and culture and work-life balance

    Cons

    Big company, federal contractors, many regulations.

  8. "Great people, great workplace"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Intern in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Engaging workplace, lots of interesting talks/lectures. Fun intern community (team dependent)

    Cons

    Low salary. Difficult to move between groups.

  9. "Nice"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Flight Software Engineer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place to work. Smart, passionate people

    Cons

    Lots of bureaucratic dead weight and people more than willing to enforce it

  10. "Great employer and excellent opportunities"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Administrator 

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    It's J-P-L!!! Exciting to be a part of space missions.

    Cons

    Fairly large organization, so you need to carve out your nitch.

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