Charles River Laboratories

Working at Charles River Laboratories: Company Overview and Reviews

Charles River Laboratories
Charles River Laboratories
662 reviews
Charles River Laboratories Ratings
Average rating of 662 reviews on Indeed
3.1Work-Life Balance
3.5Pay & Benefits
3.1Job Security & Advancement
251 Ballardvale St. Wilmington, MA 01887
$1M to $5M (USD)

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Charles River Laboratories Reviews

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Overall Reviews at Charles River Laboratories

Security Officer | Massachusetts | Aug 16, 2013
Overall a great entry level position but looking for more advancement opportunities
A typical day at work for me is I arrive at work at 2pm, I go to one of our posts which are a mobile patrol officer, guard shack officer or officer at the security command center. The officer at the security command center is the main position, this is where we answer phone calls and direct them to the appropriate person, monitor alarming systems, security systems, environmental systems and investigate and report any incidents. Create badges with the appropriate access and control, montior trucks coming onsite and directing them to the recieving area, write and respond to e-mails. Report all unauthorized persons to proper authorities and initiate action to protect employees, animals, products, and physical site. Ensure the physical safety and security of the facility by enforcing company policies and procedures; provide a deterrent and detection factor for wrongful activity; and monitors the essential building systems. Document all security department activity and generates incident reports when essential. Directing and assisting in emergency response efforts when necessary and/or contact emergency personnel when required. Greet, screen, record and allow visitors, employees and contractors admittance to the site in agreement with company protocol. Throughout the day I rotate between these three posts then at 7pm each officer begins a patrol which entails physically walking the entire site grounds to complete visual inspection and ensure site is safe for all. Monitor facilit
ProsGreat benefits and close to my place of residence
ConsNot much opportunity for advancement, working lunches
Technician | Ashland, OH | Aug 7, 2021
Great for Experience, Good Benefits, High Overtime
CRL is a good place to get experience straight out of college in professional laboratory work. Management goes to great lengths to remind everyone that their work is important and has meaning. The Necropsy department has a high turnover rate, for more than just the nature of the job. This is a professional laboratory environment, and studies are taken very seriously. It is a "stay until everything is finished" type of job. Data integrity is quite solid with zero tolerance otherwise and rightfully so. Co-workers here will generally care about the quality of their work even if morale is low for busy periods. During a period of about seven months straight, constant overtime and 70+ hour weeks were not uncommon. Mandatory weekends happening on a scheduled basis and extra "volunteering" was normal and expected. Luckily the department was fairly compensated for everyone's time, although it was likely done as a retainment measure. Nevertheless, it was greatly appreciated and helped make the job more manageable. Unfortunately, a chronic shortage of employees meant that standards for hiring new ones were constantly lowered. On average, most people seemed to put in about two years and leave, just as they got to be trained in more comprehensive and important functions. People with no background or perspective in science were being hired and paid nearly as much as someone with years of experience. There was no work life balance but that is just the nature of research. This was a job that
ProsProfessional and Recognized Laboratory, Excellent Experience Booster
ConsToo much overtime, no work life balance, stressful work environment
Quality Assurance Auditor | Wilmington, MA | Nov 4, 2014
• Review protocols for compliance with all pertinent government and international GLP regulations for studies conducted at the Test Facility that are routine and complex in study design. • Perform raw data audits for studies to ensure accuracy and compliance with the GLP/cGMPs, study protocol and Standard Operating Procedures. • Audit in-life critical phases of ongoing studies for compliance with the GLPs, study protocol and Standard Operating Procedures. • Review final reports to ensure accuracy and compliance with GLP/cGMPs regulations and the study protocol/amendments; ensure that the final report accurately describes the raw data and study methods. • Determine and assure that study deviations are appropriately reported and documented. • Prepare and sign the quality assurance statement to be included with audited final report. • Prepare and review Quality Assurance files prior to Sponsor site visits; ensure that QA audit files are archived. • Perform audits of site Quality Systems (process inspections; facility inspections; equipment and record review; computer validation ACTIVITIES; training records) including audits of corresponding regulatory documentation to ensure compliance. • Provide recommendations to Quality Management for improvements in auditing of Quality Systems based on extensive knowledge and understanding of current FDA regulatory inspection guidance. • Provide recommendations to Quality Management for improvements in compliance for Testing Facilit
Quality Assurance Auditor | Charleston, SC | Feb 7, 2022
A Decent Career Start
The QA department at CRL is only good for those who want to use it as a stepping stone to move within the company. Overall, the environment is toxic and overwhelming. Some QA personnel are more focused on advancing their careers than assisting colleagues. To this end sabotage is employed and back door deals are made. Another trick used is staying long hours in the office- not working but staying. Then they brag how they worked fifty hour weeks. These same QA personnel will go out of their to respond to unimportant emails on their day off. So impressed by their 'dedication' the higher ups in the department fail to realize the constant mistakes and forgotten assignments. Another weakness is the lacking of QA training. Not until a year after I started did I learn about the 5 why's. Sporadically throughout the year QA training is given but it is never practiced. Instead, risk factor is the only consideration when making a decision or doing whatever pleases production. The benefits are decent but don't expect to take a sick day or vacation day without being guilted by colleagues who mutter under their breath how they wish they had a luxury of taking a day off. The last bit that drove me to quit was the inability to have an independent thought. During the interview process I was informed that I would have to think independently but within weeks I was told that whenever I had a question to ask at least three different colleagues. Initially, I thought it was because I was in training
Quality Assurance Auditor | Reno, NV | Jan 17, 2018
Great place to develop and fine tune skills, not much else
CRL is a good company to work for in that the benefits and perks are great, and there’s an initiative to be the “best place to work”. However, it’s notoriously a place to work your butt off and become an expert in the field for little pay and no appreciation for you or the work that you do. There is a LOT of potential for networking with clients and individuals all throughout the industry as a whole (with Big Pharma, other CRO’s, the FDA, etc.) and the biotech industry really loves Charles River, so finding a better-paying job with a better work-life balance after putting in the time at CRL is pretty easy. This is a very successful and very fast-paced company, that always puts the clients first and there is a monumental lack of communication between management and employees. The “client is always #1 priority” and lack of communication very often results in a decreased work-life balance and unnecessary burdens on employees, as well as decreased quality. The site over-books work from the clients knowing that the demands can’t be met, in order to satisfy the clients, causing employees to work 60+ hour workweeks and a constant burnout and high turnover rate in several departments. Combined with the low pay (the pay is alright compared to other career options, but it isn’t very low within the industry - salary at CRL can be half what you can make in Big Pharma), there is just generally low appreciation for employees because putting in the 60 hour work weeks is never really appreci
ProsAnnual bonuses of $700-$1400 pre-tax, full benefits package, 3-5 week starts of PTO depending on # of years worked, unlimited sick time of salaried/40 hours of hourly, gym located in the building, discounted early premiere movie tickets every quarter, a lot to learn, prefer to advance from within the company
ConsPretty much just what was described above
Research Assistant | Reno, NV | Apr 19, 2022
Not the best place to grow
Before continuing, Charles River Labs is an extraordinary location to have worked in in your resume. It is one of the largest Biotech and toxicology employers in the US. You will get the opportunity to learn about clinical regulations, drug development from sponsors, and much more. Charles River does have competitive benefits and many locations if one ever considers relocating. However, the number one issue for me is the compensation. Considering the increasing inflation and cost of living in Reno, Charles River is probably the lowest paying employer that requires a degree and demands detail-intensive skills. There are bonuses, but for the insane growth in the value of stocks as well as the continued flaunting of profit increase, they are a disrespect for the labor in each department. The reprimands heavily outweigh your hard work and the amount of stress you have to deal with. Many analysts have to juggle multiple studies, work with scientists that have very limited time and are equally stressed, and small lines of communication to develop studies or assays. Any mistake is looked at and the way management approaches you is not to immediately fix the mistake (and to avoid any future mistakes), but to point fingers at you. There are "employee recognition" awards, but those are rarely awarded to anyone who is to busy to post or nominate someone. Work culture seems to be very toxic and cutthroat. There's a lot of high school like drama and gossip. Most groups seem to have div
Technologist | Newark, DE | Sep 2, 2022
A stepping stone
CRL absorbs a lot of companies, so many that you may never see the owner. So each site is different. But for the most part you will work hard if you are in the lab for very little pay. Crl like to plan events for their staff to attend but are meaningless to lab staff since they must to be process samples. So it’s disheartening to hear people in the office talk about how great the event was, but you are stuck running samples so nothing is late. If lab staff do attend it’s at the end of the event when all the good stuff is gone or old. I do commend them for trying, but they need to plan better so the lab is able to enjoy. The other factor that needs to improve is compensation. The lab makes the money but the lab staff are paid the least by a large margin. People would be willing to stay but if they only make slightly more than the restaurant down the street it’s hard to justify why they got the bachelor’s degree required for the job. Promotions also only happen to those that are not good at their jobs. Instead of helping the employee improve themselves, they are just moved to a different department and given a random 50 letter title. Which again discourages employees from wanting to stay. This also causes people to be resentful, which causes a very toxic work environment. The old HR didn’t want to step in unless it can damage the company. I did hear the new HR cares and is trying to change things. But money will always be the driving force to retaining talent. The lab i
IT Administrator | Wilmington, MA | Oct 14, 2013
Great work environment, great managers, projects and day to day activities are fun and challenging.
Days are very packed at Charles River. There are always a lot of projects or activities going on which is good because there is never a dull moment and there is always something to do. If I get to a point in a project where I'm waiting on someone else, or an order to go through, I can put it on hold and pick up on another. One of my responsibilities is to take quotes that managers get, place orders, get a purchase order numbers from purchasing department, confirm order with vendor, track shipment, receive the shipment, both physically and in the company system, enter new items into inventory, confirm pricing on vendor invoice and ensure accounting department pays vendor invoices. This is a daily activity and on any given day, there are a few open at various stages. While at Charles River, I have learned a great deal about project management, computer networking, collaborating with all departments to ensure seamless operations and improving systems to maximize effectiveness. Additionally, I have improved my skills in evaluating business decisions, financial analysis and vendor relationships. My managers are great and I really enjoy working with them. I was brought on to help them with their responsibilities working as Directors of Network Operations and Infrastructure. They took the time to introduce me to new processes, concepts and tasks. It didn't take long for them to trust me on my own and put me on projects where I was the primary point of contact. I have a great
ProsGreat work environment, great managers, I can stay late to catch up and/or get ahead
ConsThis is a contract position that will not become full time
Senior Technician | Malvern, PA | Apr 13, 2015
Mismanaged site within a decent company
If working in an Orwellian 1984 like dystopia is your vision of an ideal workplace then Charles River - Malvern is for you. In order to advance it is a war of attrition. You just have to stick it out long enough for those above you to leave. That is how most of the management was chosen. Needless to say this doesn't lead to the most qualified people calling the shots. My typical work day consists of lab work or data. The job itself is fine. I enjoy lab work. It is everything else that is a problem. It is not being able to make necessary changes. Not being able to use new equipment for years because no one can validate it. Recording everything on paper in the computer age (no LIMS for us). Not being able to squeeze any investment into the site even after our best year ever. Not getting a key card to get in the building until after 3 weeks of working (this is standard practice. It happens to all new hires). Not having a login for the network until after 2 weeks even though you have to read training SOPs on the computer (really makes new hires feel welcome). This is just the tip of the iceberg. The other things you would have to work there to understand. And don't even get me started on the training. I will sum this up by paraphrasing what I recently heard a manager at my site say to someone. "We have a great group of people here that work hard and are under appreciated and under compensated for what they do." He is right. Now consider this is coming
ProsIce Cream every other week during the summer. Option of doing 4 10 hour days during the summer.
ConsLow pay. Soviet like bureaucracy. Apathetic management.
Animal Caretaker II | Baltimore, MD | Jan 24, 2014
High Tension Work Place
Typically most days at work were pretty straight forward, you come in do your scheduled work for that day and leave. The work load is very high, and at least at the location I worked at anytime you do more than what's expected you get no praise so there is less incentive to do more work. The management was probably one of the worst parts of the job. They operated with the rule that they don't want to single out any one person for doing something wrong. This might work in some places but generally there were only a few people that didn't follow protocol which led to daily morning meetings where all the staff had to gather and be lectured on what "we" need to improve on. This type of work is based on the individual and their assigned rooms, any interaction between employees during the day was highly frowned upon. This isn't just limited to socializing but even just discussing work and what needs to be done. So often times the management would say what "we" need to do but when "we" came together to come up with a plan of attack all of us are penalized. I can honestly say that all the employees did their work and finished what needs to be done, at varying speeds depending on the individual so there shouldn't have ever been issues. However, management was always looking for something to "correct". All the negatives aside this environment actually led to better interactions between employees. The main reason for the better interactions was we all felt horrible so it brought us all

Questions And Answers about Charles River Laboratories

How often do you get a raise at Charles River Laboratories?
Asked Jul 5, 2022
Answered Nov 17, 2022
1x a year
Answered Nov 3, 2022
What is the promotion process like at Charles River Laboratories?
Asked Oct 25, 2021
Check the boxes. Do the time
Answered Nov 17, 2022
Long and hard
Answered Oct 29, 2022
What is the best part of working at Charles River Laboratories?
Asked Aug 26, 2020
Leaving after my shift is over.
Answered Jun 27, 2022
Great hours and vacation
Answered Jun 13, 2022
How are the working hours at Charles River Laboratories?
Asked Jul 15, 2016
For someone with a family the work hours they expect from people is awful. They say its a 40 hour work week but with thier expectation of getting all of your work done your actually looking at 50+ hours a week. They start off by saying your work day will be 6-2:30 but its more like 6-5 its impossible to leave on time and get your work done because if you manage to get your work done they give you other people's work to help them catch up.
Answered Dec 21, 2020
Generally no work-life balance for exempt employees, and lots of overtime for operations folks. Lots of management 'concern' but no goals to monitor this, so actions speak louder than words. No major competition in the area secures your fate.
Answered Feb 2, 2020
What questions did they ask during your interview at Charles River Laboratories?
Asked Dec 14, 2016
How did you handle an employee who didn't respond well to training? Tell us a little about yourself.
Answered Sep 29, 2022
How do you feel about laboratory work on animals?
Answered Sep 26, 2022