20 Pros and Cons of Working for Abbott Laboratories

Abbot Laboratories was founded in 1888 as a pharmaceutical company.

Today, they make pharmaceuticals, nutritional products, medical devices, and diagnostic devices.  

The company is headquartered in Illinois, but they have offices and manufacturing plants around the globe.

There are currently more than 35,000 Abbot employees in the U.S. and 41 research and development laboratories. 

Pros of Working for Abbott Laboratories 

1. Retirement Benefits

Abbott offers excellent retirement benefits.

This includes a 401K plan, which offers Roth and other types of retirement plans.

After 2 years, Abbott will make contributions to the account as well. 

They also offer a Freedom 2 Save plan.

If you are currently paying off student loans, Abbott will contribute 5% to your retirement plan, if you are unable to make contributions.

If you are making contributions to your retirement plan, Abbott will match them.  

2. Mentors

Abbott has an extensive mentor program.

This allows employees to be paired with someone more experienced, which can help them grow their career and learn the ropes. 

The company recommends that mentors and mentorees decide on goals, meeting frequency, and metrics to monitor how well the relationship is working. 

3. Promote From Within 

Abbott prefers to promote from within, rather than from outside the organization.

This makes it easier for employees to move into higher-paying positions. 

This allows for a greater opportunity for career growth.

When working at Abbott, you won’t feel like you are at a dead-end, because there’s room for career development and advancement. 

4. Pays for Continuing Education 

Abbott’s FreeU program provides funding for undergraduate education for eligible employees.

This includes the cost of tuition, books, and academic advisors. 

Employees interested in earning their degree can choose from 40 majors, which include accounting, business, and technology.

General education credits are earned online through Abbott, which allows students to enjoy a flexible schedule. 

Once these courses are complete, the credits transfer to an eligible university.

Abbott provides tuition reimbursement for these courses, so students can graduate debt free. 

5. Company Events 

Abbott offers a variety of events, so you can meet other Abbott employees.

This is valuable for networking, and can help you advance within the company. 

Events include corporate picnics, softball games, conferences, and a March of Dimes walk. 

6. Friendly Coworkers

Employees state that their coworkers are friendly.

This can create a positive work environment. It also makes collaboration easier. 

Work friendships have many benefits.

It increases employee satisfaction, reduces turnover, and improves productivity. 

7. Wellness Programs 

Abbot Laboratories offers a variety of wellness programs to help their employees stay healthy both mentally and physically.

They provide seminars on stress and anxiety, relationships, meditation and mindfulness, and healthy habits. 

Programs include healthy eating and physical fitness. 

Some locations also have a fitness center.

These centers offer personal trainers and aerobics classes. 

8. Internships 

Abbott offers internships for those seeking real world experience related to their education.

The program is 12 weeks long.

Interns will work in a supervised capacity, but will be performing real jobs.

They receive pay during this time. 

After the internship, interns are eligible to apply for open positions at the company.

If you are hired, the internship will be counted towards your annuity contribution. 

Abbott recruiters visit colleges to find interns.

However, you can also apply for an internship online. 

9. Diversity and Inclusion 

Abbott states that their goal is to create an organization where “inclusiveness is a natural state, rather than an initiative”.

Their goal is to make diversity an integral part of the company culture. 

One way they do this is by creating networks.

These include Pride Network, disABILITY Network, Asian Leadership Network, Black Business Network, and Women in STEM Network. 

10. Competitive Pay and Benefits

Abbott offers competitive salary and benefits.

Compensation is ranked in the top 25% compared to similar companies, and benefits are ranked in the top 20%. 

They offer a comprehensive healthcare plan, which includes medical and dental coverage.

Domestic partners and family members are also included. 

Other benefits include a health savings account and a flexible spending account. 

Abbott also offers life insurance, travel insurance, and long-term care insurance. 

Employees receive paid sick time.

8 weeks of parental leave is also provided.

This applies to mothers and fathers, and includes childbirth and adoption. 

Cons of Working for Abbott Laboratories

1. Poor Training

Some employees state that they don’t receive proper training when beginning a job at Abbott.

This can lead to performance issues, which count against them.

This isn’t a problem in all departments.

Some seem to offer adequate training, while others do not. 

2. Unreasonable Workload 

Abbott claims to encourage a healthy work-life balance.

However, employees state that they are often expected to work long hours, including nights and weekends. 

This leads to a poor work-life balance, which can have many negative effects.

It can affect relationships, mental, and even physical health.

If you want a job with standard hours, Abbott may not be the best place for you to work. 

3. Unresponsive Management 

Employees often state that management is unresponsive, or unwilling to listen to other viewpoints.

The company claims to value innovation and good relationships between management, but this isn’t always the case in practice. 

Of course, this varies greatly based on the manager.

Like any company, there will be some excellent managers and some that are less than desirable to work with.  

4. Contract Employees are Treated Poorly 

This is a problem at many companies.

Contract employees are hired by a third party company to work at Abbott, instead of being employed by Abbott directly. 

Many are promised a position with Abbott, but never hired.

They are often treated as disposable, rather than valued employees. 

5. Outdated Technology and Software 

Abbott seems to be behind the times in terms of their technology and software.

Employees state that this can interfere with their productivity. It can also lead to information silos, because information can’t be easily shared. 

One employee stated that the comapny’s technology was 20 years out of date, and IT issues frequently affect employee’s ability to do their job. 

6. Low Potential for Career Growth

Despite Abbott’s tendency to promote from within, some employees feel they don’t have opportunities for advancement.

This seems to vary greatly based on the department, who you work with, and how well you get along with management. 

Unfortunately, favoritism plays a role.

This is true in any company, however. 

7. Poor Job Security

Unfortunately, there’s little job security at Abbott Laboratories.

Abbott and similar companies have had significant layoffs in 2022 and 2023.

Most layoffs involve temporary or contract workers.

However, full-time employees are also concerned about being laid off, which affects the overall company culture and morale.

Some employees feel they are only a number, and there’s no concern about how layoffs will affect their lives. 

8. Lack of Innovation 

Long-established companies often take a “we’ve always done it this way” approach to many aspects of the business.

This is also true for Abbott. 

They seem to want their employees to do what they are told, without being allowed to think outside the box or make suggestions for improvement. 

Employees also mention a lack of accountability for problems, and no desire to correct processes and systems that aren’t functioning correctly. 

Innovation and improvements are of little interest. Instead, the focus is on maintaining the status quo. 

9. Hierarchial Management 

Employees often mention the hierarchal management strategy at Abbott.

The company seems stuck in the past management style, which focuses heavily on authoritarianism, fear, and a top-down management style.  

Management seems to want employees who agree with everything, and never question them.

There’s no real opportunity to discuss issues that arise. 

10. Little Remote Work 

This is another way Abbott seems to be stuck in the past.

They take an “old-fashioned” view of work, which means they expect employees to be in the office nearly every day. 

Employees consistently mention a desire to work remotely when possible, instead of arbitrarily being forced to work in the office. 

20 Pros and Cons of Working for Abbott Laboratories – Summary Table

Pros of Working for Abbott LaboratoriesCons of Working for Abbott Laboratories
1. Retirement Benefits1. Poor Training
2. Mentors2. Unreasonable Workload
3. Promote From Within3. Unresponsive Management
4. Pays for Continuing Education4. Contract Employees are Treated Poorly
5. Company Events5. Outdated Technology and Software
6. Friendly Coworkers6. Low Potential for Career Growth
7. Wellness Programs7. Poor Job Security
8. Internships8. Lack of Innovation
9. Diversity and Inclusion9. Hierarchial Management
10. Competitive Pay and Benefits10. Little Remote Work

Should You Work for Abbott Laboratories? 

Abbott Laboratories can be a great opportunity for many people.

The company offers competitive pay and benefits.

The mentor program can be particularly helpful if you are new to the workforce or field. 

The internship program and FreeU are beneficial if you are currently in college, or you want to attend college.

You can get real-world work experience, or obtain your education without a mountain of debt. 

However, there are downsides to working for the company. 

If you are a free thinker, this probably isn’t the best environment for you.

There are also significant concerns about work/life balance when working for the company. 

If you prefer a job with standard hours that leave you with plenty of free time, you shouldn’t work for Abbott.

You’ll also need to be prepared to take on a heavy workload and the stress that comes with it. 

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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