SOLAR TURBINES Employee Reviews

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Salary/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
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Horrible work environment
Electrical Assembly (Current Employee), Kearny Mesa, CAFebruary 13, 2015
Pros: If you are entry level, and manage to get past the temp contract into full time positions, you will be paid very well and have decent benefits.

Cons: If you are not one of the three families that unofficially owns and operates the plant, you will have to be very good at making friends with your superiors to get any kind of career advancement. Your work doesn't matter. It's all who you know.

Between all the ridiculous meetings and Cat metrics, you'll be jumping through hoops to try to get anything done, and it won't matter anyway, because other employees will attempt to make themselves look better by complaining about you. Anyone you're not sucking up to for promotions is your enemy in a tiresome game.

Rather than use the tools provided by Cat to figure out why their metrics are sucking, your superiors will hold meetings to complain about how it must be the fault of the workers. Enjoy everything being your fault whether it has anything to do with you or not.

Your superiors will say "Safety First" but don't bother suggesting anything about important safety concerns. Anything that's actually dangerous will be left for months to years depending on how your superiors feel at the moment (ie, are they bored enough to do something or annoyed at your word-making).

At the risk of sounding juvenile, the entire place, no matter where you are, at least once a day, smells terrible. I've never worked anywhere that was as consistently bad-smelling. Bathroom vents don't work, construction consistently breaks open sewage lines, people with bad diets can't control their bowels... whatever – more... the reason, you will gag at least once a day.

Don't work at Solar if you value your sanity. – less
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Formerly great company crumbling under middle management
Machinist (Current Employee), San Diego, CANovember 1, 2014
Pros: strong benefits package
Cons: unfair management practices; differential treatment
As far as benefits and perks go, this is a great place to work. Unfortunately, dealing with the unfair treatment from middle management is difficult. Not all employees are treated the same across the board. If your supervisor decides that s/he doesn't like you on a personal level, it's common for that supervisor to block your advancement opportunities, send you to work in more burdensome production areas, use disciplinary action for small work errors that other employees don't get disciplined for, etc. Management frequently defies the rules and procedures laid out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it suits them; and Human Resources states that they are there to support Management, not hourly employees
This company has a strong history of building community among employees at all levels of the organization; but they have unfortunately stepped away from that in a big way over the past few years. Hourly employees are frequently reminded that they are easily replaced.
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Not a place to retire at !!
production welder (Current Employee), channelviewMay 26, 2014
Pros: tons of overtime
Cons: i make more in 40hrs in other companies, than in 80hrs at solarturbines.
I don't know what the rest of you guys are talking about this place stinks. horrible benefits, underpaid, overworked employee forced to work 7 days a week 12 hr days for months on end sometimes. most of the production workers are temps and It can take years to be hired as a "company" worker. job uncertainty. 98% of workers and bosses are Hispanic and I think some discrimination to non Hispanic workers definitely present(Im Hispanic by the way but I gotta call it how I see it). Ridiculous safety rules in effect like wearing safety goggles at all times, even though you cant see because its 102 degrees and the keep fogging up while you weld. the bosses usually don't lead by example. Overall its who you know not what you know. Having worked at other big companies with unions and all, I can't imagine how this place came to be on one of the best places to work in Houston lists. It must be because 90% of the workers her do not speak English to be able to work a computer and write a review about solar turbines
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Encouraging Environment
Mfg. Engr (Former Employee), San Diego, CASeptember 27, 2012
Pros: travel to customer sights
Cons: laid off
A typical day at work at Solar Turbines was a positive experience. I supported Mechanical and Electrical engineers by designing component parts, putting together Bill of Materials and communicating with the Project Managers on behalf of the Engineers. I started out as a Configuration Analyst and quickly learned how to do Manufacturing engineering. The organization provided endless courses and training classes to support employees to constantly grow and learn with the business. The hardest part of the job was designing but it also was also the most enjoyable because it was a challenge. My greatest accomplishment at Solar was designing and implementing a change management process within our integrated systems for an efficient process for different departments to communicate and get the status of projects. I loved working in a team environment, my co-workers were supportive and fun to work with.
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Solar Turbines
Disassemble technician (Former Employee), Desoto,TxApril 20, 2012
Pros: huge yearly bonuses for full-time employees
Cons: solar has a horrible hiring process, retaining temps way too long before hiring.
In my position with this company I disassembled turbine engines and all components of said engines to retrieve parts that could be reused in the fabrication on new engines. I learned extensive and complex techniques and procedures required to retrieve all parts from all product lines. The management at the desoto facility do not extend the same courtesies to temporary employees as they do to permanent ones, but most are very friendly and carry themselves professionally at all times. The hardest part of this job is its physical nature as well as them amount of information and processes one has to retain to be successful. The most enjoyable part of this job is the camaraderie amongst peers.
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Productive and fun place to work at
Electrical Assembler (Former Employee), San Diego, CADecember 13, 2013
Pros: free lunches if we met are goal for the month
Cons: short breaks, unsafe repetitive ergonomic working positions
On a typical day at work, I can be doing one of many things. I can either be building a control panel or wiring it. Other times I might be doing a visual, checking for discrepancies on a panel, or inside of a console. After working here, I learned that teamwork is the key to getting a project done efficiently, with little mistakes. My co-workers were very inspiring and fun to work with, which made it easier to get projects done. I was very fortunate to have been able to work with such an exciting team. Of course there were times when we were pressured to getting projects out on time, but we knew when projects were hot and 98% of our control consoles were out on time.
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Productive workplace with strong team values, and a big eye for safety!!
CNC Machinist (Current Employee), Gardena, CAMay 16, 2012
Pros: good work ethics, strong team, close to home
Cons: company has a hireing freeze, wich limits me from better pay and benefits.
Typical day starts with me checking my first order and check machine for proper set up and messurements if order running already ect. At solar turbine i learned various machine set ups and operations, along with various messuring tools used o check and inspect parts.Management takes care of all issues from employees to machines, the emploees at solar are always looking out for one another in safety, and share their expirience to novice employees. The hardest par of my job is not having work, but the best part is watching the pars take form as their being machined by myself.
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Great company to work for. High expectations and high ethics.
Supply Chain Leader (Former Employee), San Deigo, CAFebruary 17, 2013
Pros: strong core competencies. consistent culture that slowly and consistently does evolve.
Cons: conservative with decision-making, as a normal part of a large company. salaries are a bit lower than comperable companies.
Solar Turbines is a unique division of Caterpillar. High expectations. They get a lot done, and they can have some fun doing it. Very customer oriented. Strong skills with Lean 6 Sigma deployment in the Supply Chain. Constant product development. The constant awareness of the competition keep them moving to be the number one in their target market.
I wish I was still with them. The grass is not greener...
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You got it made if you promote to Regular!
Structure Package Mechanic (Former Employee), San Diego, CAOctober 10, 2013
Pros: lots of overtime forever it seems! 365 days a year as much as you can take.
Cons: you most likely hire on as a temp employed by a shady temp agency:(
You will most likely hire on through Volt (a temp staffing agency).
If you are well liked by the "Regulars" , keep out of trouble and show up EVERYDAY literally, you might get lucky enough to get hired on with Solar Turbines permanently! Even as a "Temp" I worked there 7 days a week every week sometimes 10 hour days which are available Mon-Fri most of the time for "Temps". Time and a half on Saturday, double time on Sunday! I think my starting salary was around $45,000 a year(after overtime) or $15 per hour.
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Great People & Great Place to Work - A long drive from the city though
Design Engineer (Former Employee), Mabank, TXFebruary 8, 2013
Pros: great company, great bonus, great management, great co-workers, and meaningful work w/ a lot of responsibility
Cons: far from city and smallish facility
I have nothing but good things to say about Solar Turbines. I worked in Mabank, TX (refurb for the turbine packages not the turbine engines themselves). The only problem I had was that it was very far from an urban area. I lived 20 minutes outside of Dallas and still had to drive 40 minutes one way, which got old. Especially since the roads in TX collect water that freezes into ice often in the winter.
Great management, great engineering dept. (but small, ~20 engineers)
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A good Place to work at unless your a woman or part of the LGBT community
Turbine Mechanic (Former Employee), TMP Harbor Drive FacilityAugust 13, 2013
Pros: good pay and benefits, plenty of o/t available
Cons: though they claim diversity and inclusion, not the case.
Work for Solar for nearly 30 years until I was forced out do to changes I made in my life that some coworkers disagreed with. Though its against company policy nepotism and the good ole boys club is business as usual. Always overlooked for job promotions when I was more than qualified than those that got the promotion because I was too valuable as an employee in my work area and because I wasn't one of the boys. The sorry excuse of a union is of no help either they side with the company.
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Great Product
Quality Test Technician (Former Employee), San Diego, CASeptember 5, 2015
Pros: Advancement is totally up to you and your ability seek opportunity.
Cons: Unfortunately the oil and gas business is down so no temps and temps are who they hire.
If you can get a full time job here do your best to keep it. Great company who often advances hourly employees to salary positions.
They listen and address all safety concerns. When oil and gas industries are in good health overtime is easy to get. During bad economic times they pull their own teeth to keep you working. Military friendly. It's a good paying company and recognizes hard work. But it's a high paced manufacturing outfit, you have to be willing to work. It's a job!
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This company is the best company I've ever worked for as a machinist. Great benefits,good management, organized, and detailed.
Machinist (Former Employee), San Diego, CAApril 22, 2015
Pros: Great payand benefits
Cons: Sometimes you had to wait awhile for parking(2nd shift).
I operated and set-up a vertical broaching machine for the production of different turbine disks. I learned a great deal in just a short time thanks to helpful lead men, team leaders as well as fellow employees. The hardest part of the day was cutting test slots because there was a lot of climbing up and down the machine, changing cutters. The best part of the day was completing a setup and going into production, a feeling of accomplishment.
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Solar Turbine Dynmic workplace
Prject manager (Former Employee), San DiegoApril 15, 2015
The day started very early since most of the clients were overseas, each day we had progress and business review on top opportunities. Project managers were on daily communication with design engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers to ensure that each project is delivered on time.

The hardest part of the job was internal obstacles and approval processes to get the units out.
The most enjoyable part of the unit is visiting the destination site and seeing how Solar Turbine and our vast experience and R&D came together to deliver state of the art unit.
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bad place for women, good old boys club
TMP (Current Employee), San DiegoJanuary 1, 2013
Pros: holiday shutdown
Cons: phones are tapped, computer usage recorded
Men are promoted more than women. HR is a nightmare. Managers have been caught lying on performance appraisals 'cuz they didn't like someone. Vindictive behavior from upper management if you complain. One guy caught on tape fondling a female employee, she got trashed, he got promoted several times and is now part of the upper eschelon at the parent company, Caterpillar. This company needs to jettison the he-man stone age mentality and join the 21st century. My loans are paid off so I'm looking for another job.
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A place with great people
Structural Package Mechanic, Lay (Former Employee), San Diego CA.September 23, 2014
On a typical day, you come in, do you job, and go home, but you also learn better people skills because you have to communicate with a lot of different people. The management is ok they don't micromanage you at all which is plus. My co-workers were great, of course you have the ones that hated everything in life, but every job has them. The hardest part was the hours, but it was voluntary overtime so I can't complain to much. The most enjoyable part of the job is going home.
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Awesome environment and people
Structures Packaging Mechanic (Current Employee), San Diego, CA Kearny MesaAugust 24, 2015
Pros: Friendly work environment, good work hours, parking
Cons: food from cafeteria is overpriced with bad service.
Industrial work setting. Very big on safety, best safety culture in my opinion. Great people to work with, a lot of things to learn as well as tribal knowledge. If you are a good worker you will be recognized. Unfortunately job security isn't that great. Very good place to work if you can get in.
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Excellent Company to work with.
Regional Sales Manager (South East Asia) (Current Employee), MumbaiApril 11, 2015
I worked for Proposal, Application and detailed engineering for 14 years.

The present role of Regional Customer service Manager gave me opportunity to work in Asia pacific and understanding different culture.

Sales is a challenging job and ever customer is unique with his own business challenges.

The best part is to work with all my collegues in different part of world,
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Very good culture and fun work
Overhaul Disassembly Technician (Current Employee), DeSoto, TXSeptember 2, 2014
Disassembling of turbine engines. I have learned how to make sure that safety is the top priority. Management is in transistion and needs to continue to transition before they loose good workers. Co-workers are approachable and helpful. The hardest part of the job is if there is no work, finding something to do. The most enjoyable part of the job is getting off early in the day.
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High turn over rate
spm (Former Employee), San DiegoOctober 18, 2013
Pros: a lot of overtime
Cons: need to know someone to keep your job. high turn over rate
And they brag about it they say 1 in 4 people in San Diego has worked there
I started with 5 temps and with in 4 weeks we were all gone
but you need to know someone to keep your job or have a friend in power.

Good luck if you get on but don t count on it if you have no friends working there its hard to be a outsiders as a temp
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Headquarters
2200 Pacific Hwy.
San Diego CA, United States 92186
Revenue
$500m to $1bn (CAD)
Employees
1,001 to 5,000
Industry
Links
SOLAR TURBINES website