At Illumina, 87 percent of employees say their workplace is great.



This review is based on 1084 employee surveys, with a 90% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 2.12. It was published on Sep 13, 2017. 14196 Visitors

What Employees Say

I'm proud to tell others I work here.
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
Management is honest and ethical in its business practices.
People here are willing to give extra to get the job done.

What They Do

We asked Illumina to explain what they do. Here is what they had to say.

Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. We are the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical and applied markets. 

About this Company

Website: Industry: Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
US Headquarters: San Diego, California, 92122 US Sites: 8
Major Locations: Madison, Wisconsin, 53719; Hayward, California, 94545; Santa Clara, California, 95050; Redwood City, California, 94063; San Francisco, California, 94158 US Employees: 3,894
US Revenues: $1,294.2 million Worldwide Revenues: $2,398.4 million
Employees Worldwide: 6,032 Corporate Structure: Public
Stock Symbol: ILMN Founded: 1998

Illumina has been awarded:

Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma 2018 (ranked 5)

Dodgeball Crowd

Perks and Programs

We asked Illumina to share a few programs they feel really capture what's unique about their workplace. Here is what they had to say.

  • Using Our DNA Sequencing Technology to Help Employees: Our Employee Sequencing program was designed to give all of our employees access to the technologies they work on. This unique program has three categories: Wellness Predisposition, Undiagnosed Disease and Cancer. In Wellness, employees learn about their risk for onset conditions, carrier screening status, and response to drugs. It costs $999 for an employee, spouse or child. Our undiagnosed disease test is offered to employees or their immediate family members, at no cost, if the disease is thought to have genetic origins. If an employee is diagnosed with cancer, we offer employees, their spouse or child no-cost access to five different tests that help to understand a tumor at the molecular level. These tests can provide valuable guidance to the patient’s treatment plan.
  • Giving Great Hope to Families: Part of our philanthropy efforts at Illumina are focused on how we can use our technology to bring hope to families on diagnostic odysseys. The Illumina iHope Program donates whole genome sequencing to families with children suffering from undiagnosed diseases and cannot afford adequate genetic testing. This program has led to multiple families getting answers to what is affecting their child—giving them hope for the future.
  • Inspiring Employees: Our mission is to improve human health by unlocking the power of the genome. This is one of the primary reasons why people want to work here. To keep employees connected to our “why,” we host quarterly events and activities that bring our mission to life. For World Rare Disease Day in February, physicians and advocates shared their personal stories around rare disease. Employees around the world posted photos wearing denim to show their support, and for every photo shared, the Illumina Foundation donated to a rare disease charity.
  • Recognizing Innovation: Innovation is in our DNA. That’s one of our core values. Our employees are pioneers in their fields and constantly developing new ideas and reimagining our technology. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve been recognized by the MIT Technology Review as one of the Smartest Companies in the World four years in a row. We also celebrate the innovative spirit and employee contributions of our employees through our annual Innovation Awards. Teams submit the innovations they have worked on and an executive committee evaluates and determines the 2 most innovative ideas each year. The winners are awarded $10,000 each for their contributions.
  • Celebrating Employees Who Live Our Values: Illumina’s values guide how we operate. To inspire employees to live our values, we celebrate them in a couple of different ways. Each quarter employees and teams are nominated by their peers for exemplifying our values. The winners are selected by a committee of employees and are showcased during an all employee meeting. The winners are also gifted one week of paid time off. We also encourage employees to recognize each other more informally through a Facebook Workplace group called Round of Applause. In that group, any employee can give a shout out to a peer or team for the great work they’ve done and for living our values.
  • Time Off to Re-energize: We believe it’s critical to reward our employees for their remarkable contributions. Even though every employee in the U.S. receives 20 days of paid time off and a generous holiday schedule, our leadership team recognizes that it’s difficult to disconnect when your team members are still moving full steam ahead. That’s why each year Illumina has two company shutdowns. Employees receive a week of paid time off each year on the week of July 4th to disconnect and re-energize. Illumina’s second company shutdown occurs during the week between Christmas and New Year’s so that employees can focus on family and spend time with loved ones. Finally, employees are also granted 2 days of optional volunteer paid time off per year.
  • Ownership in the Company: The majority of Illumina employees have a high percentage of ownership in the business through the combination of an employee stock purchase program with a generous 15% discount and our broad based equity program for a large range of job levels, including individual contributors. The program is perceived as one of our biggest selling points to prospective new recruits as most employees can receive ownership in the company through our stock plan. In the U.S., approximately 90% of our employees utilize either the broad based program, or employee stock purchase program.
  • Creating Space for Our Employees and Communities: Our San Diego headquarters is a fun and inviting environment. In addition to beach volleyball courts, a soccer field, basketball courts, and a tranquil koi pond, we sport a 1,750-seat outdoor amphitheater. This sun-filled space is used for movie nights, happy hours, outdoor summer concerts and more. Illumina also donates the use of the amphitheater to community partners like Rady Children’s Hospital to host fundraising events. The amphitheater also hosts Illumina’s annual dodgeball tournament. This tradition started 5 years ago, and always draws a crowd. Today the league has grown to 25 teams and the tournament spans over three months. The season culminates with a showdown between the playoff winners and our C-level executives (who also dress up in crazy costumes like 80’s rock stars or superheroes!).
  • Building Community on Campus: We know our team members are busy, so we aim to provide a campus community with amenities that simplify their day-to-day lives. We offer three cafes including a heavily subsidized farm-to-table restaurant, a dry-cleaning service, daily food trucks in San Diego, car detailing services, a hair salon, farmers market, commuter support and shuttles to nearby shopping and restaurants. There are five on-site coffee bars across headquarters, including two from locally popular shops. There are 80 electric vehicle charging stations at our U.S. offices. There’s high participation in community pursuits that bring employees together. These include a campus-like open environment, outdoor meeting spaces, sport facilities, sports leagues, and 30+ employee-led clubs. Two onsite gyms promote easy access to top-of-the-line fitness equipment, classes, personal trainers, mindfulness and self-improvement courses.
  • Supporting Growing Families: Illumina offers eligible employees in Canada and the U.S. up to 6 weeks paid parental leave. The program will supplement an employee’s pay so that, following the birth or the adoption of a child, they will receive six weeks of time off while still receiving their salary. Our goal is to better enable parents of newborn or adopted children to take time off from work to bond with their newest family member. In addition, our Back-Up Care Advantage benefit provides up to 10 days of care per year for your children or adult/elder relatives when regular arrangements fall through and you need to be at work.


50% Match of employee’s 401(k)/403b contribution up to 6% of salary80% Company-paid health coverage for employees
80% Company-paid health coverage for dependents 80% Company-paid health coverage for part-timers
20 hours Weekly hours required for part-timers to receive health insurance $7,500 Maximum Tuition Reimbursement


  • 401(k) or 403b Program
  • Employee stock purchase plan (ESPP)
  • Restricted stock units


34 days Paid time off after one year of full-time employment 24 days Paid time off after one year of part-time employment
Set days Paid sick days after one year of full-time employment 14 Days Paid time off as of first day of full-time employment
14 days Paid time off as of first day of part-time employment


  • Telecommute option
  • Subsidized On- or Off-site Fitness (84% have access)
  • Onsite Amenities (fitness centers, fitness classes, yoga classes, mindfulness classes, personal trainers, hair salon, car wash and detailing service, dry cleaning service, onsite banking, subsidized public transport, day care support, electric vehicle charging stations, farmer's market, daily food trucks, Starbucks coffee bar, Peet's coffee bar, Bird Rock Roasters coffee bar, Iron Horse coffee bar, onsite juice and smoothie bar, summer concert series)


60 days Job-protected maternity leave (including FMLA/STD) 30 days Fully-paid maternity leave (does not include personal vacation or paid time off)*
82 days Average length of maternity leave new mothers take60 days Job-protected paternity leave (including FMLA)
30 days Fully-paid paternity leave (does not include personal vacation or paid time off)*35 days Average length of paternity leave new fathers take
$5,000 Adoption benefit60 days Job-protected parental leave for adoptive parents (including FMLA)*
30 days Fully-paid parental leave for adoptive parents (does not include personal vacation or paid time off)
*Employees are not required to use all their personal paid time off before taking parental leave. All employees are eligible for parental leave benefits.


  • On-site or near-site backup childcare center
  • Lactation room(s)


  • Mental health care
  • Alternative treatments (such as acupuncture, homeopathy, or chiropractic)
  • Fertility treatments

Community and Environmental Impact

16 hours Paid time off to volunteer $2,487,489 Philanthropic donations in last year
$160,000 Total company-matched employee donations in last year Senior Manager, EHS & Sustainability Leads environmental impact team
Self-Conducted Environmental impact audit 5 LEED certified building(s)
Yes Sustainable commuting program Yes Renewable energy program
Yes Recycling program Yes Locally-sourced food program


  • Written policy prohibits discrimination based on (at a minimum) age, disability, race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender and sexual orientation
  • Formal programs (such as resource groups, mentorship, networking, or other affinity groups) support professional development for: Women
  • Non-birth parents in same-sex relationships can take parental leave
  • Medical care covers gender confirmation surgery

Leadership Diversity


Workforce Diversity

San Diego i3 Campus


Rare Bear Volunteering

How to Get Hired

We asked Illumina for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?

At Illumina, there is tremendous pride in who we are and what we do. Our mission and desire to achieve what many consider unachievable fuels incredible innovation. There’s quickness to our pace. Candidates say they feel it inside our buildings and when meeting our teams. It’s purposeful speed, driven by our mission to improve human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Ideal candidates possess this same speed and drive, because they know every second is precious. We need self-starters, builders, collaborators, and problem solvers who want to make a difference. Echoing our values, our future team members relentlessly pursue great products, change direction quickly, and drive towards innovation. They trust, commit, and collaborate across teams, functions, and departments. We know that the way the world views, diagnoses, and treats disease will change – and Illumina will be the ones to change it and improve the future for humanity.

What can prospective employees do to get your attention?

At Illumina, we look for the right blend of skills, professional and personal experiences, and personality.  We look for talent that’s demonstrated success, regardless of where they are in their professional journey.  If you want to work at Illumina, highlight your successes, how you measured them, and the outcomes you observed. Being able to share how you collaborate is also crucial. Our culture is critical to who we are and it’s not just about getting the job done; it’s about how you get the job done. We’re a company of innovators, collaborators and pioneers. We want to work with people who ask questions and always seek to make a positive impact.

Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?

Illumina is growing incredibly fast and we’ve continued to hire top talent aggressively. We hire team members with a mixture of diverse backgrounds, personalities and skillsets.  We look for talent that has a passion for learning and are deeply curious. We need multi-disciplinary talent, generalists who are highly versatile, and technical and scientific gurus who have deep expertise in a focused area.  This year we are particularly focused on hiring Process Engineers, Quality Engineers, Software Engineers, Bioinformatics Scientists, Clinical Laboratory Scientists, Territory Account Managers , Scientists, Research Associates, Manufacturing Associates, Field Service Engineers, Field Application Scientists, and all corporate functions. So, you could say we’re hiring for essentially every position.  

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

There are many places you can learn more about what life is like at Illumina. You can check out our LinkedIn and Facebook pages at the bottom of this review, we encourage you to hear directly from our employees by finding our company page on glassdoor, or navigating to YouTube and searching for the “Life at Illumina” playlist. If you’re interested in learning more about our opportunities, or applying for a role, you can see what’s open on our career page at

hiring Outlook

800 Forecasted positions to fill in coming year 13% Job Growth
61 Average applicants per opening 106,427 Total job applicants
18% New hires by employee referrals 11% Openings filled by current employees
169 Recent graduates hired 9% Voluntary turnover for full-time employees
14% Voluntary turnover for part-time employees
* All figures refer to 12-month period prior to reporting, unless otherwise noted.

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