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ALS LABORATORY GROUP
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16 reviews

ALS LABORATORY GROUP Employee Reviews

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Good experience
Laboratory Technician (Former Employee), North Vancouver, BCJuly 23, 2014
I liked this job very much. It was great experience working there. Management was great.
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Worked with some amazing people.
Analyst (Former Employee), Waterloo, ONFebruary 12, 2014
Pros: bbq each month
Cons: no water bottles aloud in lab (to be expected)
The best part about the job was the positive enviroment. Great boss and very nice co-workers. I loved the freedom i had, i could work at my own pace. As long as i got my tests finished at the end of the day. I was able to think and learn.
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Productive and Fun workplace with helping co-workers
Login Assistant (Former Employee), Waterloo, Ontario, CanadaDecember 17, 2013
learning lot of new things from co-workers. learned time management, job related duties, and communication in professional environment. helping nature co-workers. enjoyed every part of the work. i did not feel anything hard because of help from the co-workers and supervisors.
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Low pay little reward and a place where they take advantage of great workers
Laboratory assistant 2 (Former Employee), WinnipegNovember 9, 2013
Pros: ability to add testing methods to your resume
Cons: a place that only cares about making money and not about keeping great employees around
I was paid less than minimum wage due to a union that was the worst I have ever been part of. It would have taken 5 years to make an extra $1.75. I was doing work that required skills and attention to detail but found that after 1 month of being there that no one cared and the work wasn't worth doing. There was very high turn over. There was a massive – more... disconnect between management and the laboratory staff. The people I worked with as well as myself were worth so much more than what we were compensated for .... A good place to start if you need a part timer while completing a bachelor of sci but def not worth staying and making a life because you will never excel to what you are worth!! – less
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Low Moral and Lack of Management Support
Analyst (Former Employee), AlbertaAugust 18, 2013
Pros: good hours
Cons: lack of qualified staff and management support. very poor work environment.
Lab was poorly managed. Staff that were not qualified ( high school grads or less) allowed to analyze samples and approve data with no supervision or peer review. Very low morale among staff. Lab was very dirty. No training for staff and major safety issues not addressed. This is a terrible place to work.
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It's wonderful working in ALS Laboratory
Laboratory Technician (Former Employee), Richmond, BCJune 5, 2013
My shift is 3 to 10 pm. I enjoy the job that i am doing. My supervisor is very helpful in teaching me all the things i must do. also my co workers. The management is also very supportive. The hardest part of my job is i am always dealing with chemicals though we are provided with proper PPE. I enjoy learning new kind of work, knowing how to rate or – more... grade coal samples from the result of what i am doing. I am willing to stay in the company if only the mining companies did not stop sending coal samples for testing. I am one of the last recruit so i am one of the first to be lay off. For what i know there are more than 15 of us who were laid off. – less
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Productive
Inorganic Team Leader (Current Employee), Calgary, ABSeptember 18, 2012
Co-workers are fun and enthusiastic

Long hours during peak season
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Fun workplace with talkative co-workers.
Login Assistant (Co-Op Intern) (Former Employee), Waterloo, OntarioSeptember 10, 2012
Pros: every month once.
Busy day. I learned job related to login assistant and laboratory technician. Also learned about work atmosphere. Good management. Co-operative co- workers.I didnt feel anything hard. I always enjoyed work.
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Good job with great people.
ICP-MS Analyst (Former Employee), north vancouver, bcAugust 30, 2012
The typical day at work involved analyzing several hundred samples with the ICP-MS instruments, along with optimizing the instruments to optimal performance levels. I learned how to troubleshoot the instruments as well as the standard operating procedures for the instruments. My supervisors were very helpful, taught me well, and great people to work – more... under. My coworkers were likewise great people to work with, and very helpful as well. The hardest part about working there was readjusting every week to the graveyard schedule. The most enjoyable parts of working here were my coworkers, the busy schedule, and the constant opportunities to learn. – less
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A discount lab, profit margin is the only priority.
Senior Tech (Current Employee), Edmonton, ABJuly 11, 2012
Pros: the sun occasionally shines through the windows.
Cons: extremely low morale.
ALS and its parent company bought out a once thriving private lab network in Canada. The formerly private lab was once known for quality above all. ALS has always had a reputation for low prices and even lower quality. ALS philosophy now prevails. Managers and senior employees of the old company were let go one by one after the takeover for not agreeing – more... with the new company's upper management. Don't work here unless you really want to work for the Wal-Mart of testing labs, and you really enjoy working in an uncertain atmosphere, always wondering about the hidden agenda. – less
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Laid Back
Data Entry Clerk (Former Employee), Valley View, OHAugust 17, 2014
I enjoyed my job sometimes there was a bit to much drama between employees but overall it was a nice place to work.
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Is a fun place to work except that compensation is inadequate
HPLC/GC/ECD Analyst (Current Employee), Houston, TXJune 26, 2014
I am great full for the opportunity to do something that is fun and challenging
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Undeniably the least rewarding position I have ever held.
Radiochemistry Laboratory Technician (Former Employee), Fort Collins, COSeptember 11, 2012
Pros: please see below
Cons: please see below
Aside from the inherent dangers of the job, which include working with concentrated acids and bases as well as exposure to high levels of alpha, beta and gamma radiation (both on a daily basis), the financial compensation was entirely disproportionate to the amount of work expected of entry level technicians. I received less than $20,000 annually with – more... no benefits, and although my job responsibilities and the number of analyses I was able to perform increased at the very least on a quarterly basis, I did not receive a raise of any amount over the course of the first two years (despite my requests). ALS Laboratory Group is the third laboratory environment in which I have worked over my career, and is by a large margin the least adequate in regards to the areas of current technology (much of their instrumentation was outdated), routine laboratory maintenance/cleaning (potential sources of contamination were abundant in many laboratories) and employee training (technicians often learned to conduct new analyses on a "trial by fire" approach due to the perfunctory approach of the management).

This being said, there were a number of upsides to this position as well. My immediate co-workers were phenomenal, hard-working individuals. The hours at ALS were very flexible, allowing for a fantastic balance between work and extracurricular life. I also was very excited to learn a great deal about radiochemistry which I found quite mentally stimulating. I learned how to effectively isolate various actinide metals (Uranium, Plutonium, Americium, Neptunium, Thorium, etc) from different matrices including waters, soils, filters and biological tissues. Due to the nature of the preparatory procedure for waters and soils, which took anywhere from three to five days to isolate the desired element, each workday was different. I was quite happy to avoid the monotony of daily repetition!

A typical preparatory procedure for Plutonium samples over the course of one week would look something like this:

1. Refer to the LIMS computer database to determine which samples have been received and are ready for a particular analysis.
2. Retrieve the samples, determine the correct amount of sample to aliquot by reviewing the pre-screen radiation data. Begin by boiling water samples to remove carbonates, or by digesting soil/tissues in a cocktail of concentrated nitric, hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids to obtain the desired element in the liquid phase.
3. Dry down the sample/acid cocktail mixture on a steam-bath overnight. Begin a new batch of samples while these are drying down.
4. The next morning, retrieve the samples that were dried the previous day and bring the dried residue up in nitric acid, boric acid and deionized water. Add concentrated ammonium hydroxide to form a precipitate containing the desired element.
5. Transfer samples to labelled centrifuge bottles and centrifuge them for 15 minutes. Decant the supernatant liquid and dissolve the remaining solid materials in diluted hydrochloric acid.
6. At this stage the samples are run through a column of specially formulated resin which retains the plutonium by means of anionic exchange. The target element is then stripped from the resin by the careful addition of a prepared solution of ammonium iodide and 9M hydrochloric acid.
7. Collected samples are dried down once again on a steam-bath overnight. The remaining dried residue is brought up the next day in 1 mL of hydrochloric acid.
8. Samples are micro-precipitated with the addition of titanium chloride, lanthanum carrier and hydrofluoric acid and collected on a filter and dried. Sample COC forms and any other remaining paperwork is completed and reviewed at this stage.
9. Samples collected on the filter then go to the instrument lab to be counted for Plutonium activity by means of alpha spectroscopy on the final day. – less
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Very interesting days
Data Entry & Scanner (Former Employee), Tucker, GAJune 19, 2012
Pros: free lunches, gifts etc
Cons: not enough breaks, recognitions.
Sometimes it could be easy in the mornings or hard. I learned that working for this company you could achieve a whole lot. I enjoyed working with most of the managers they taught me so much about my position the I really enjoyed it. I honestly enjoyed working with my co-workers we really helped one another. We had days that was very heavy day with alot – more... of packages over 1000 oils, but we did it. I enjoyed the gatherings, dinners & wonderful lunches together. – less
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Long Hours, Stressful Enviornment
Salaried (Former Employee), Houston, TXJanuary 17, 2012
Pros: bonus
Cons: long hours
The hours were extremely high, the expectations were unreachable, and the management was unreasonable.