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Working at Cerner Corp. — Reviews by Employees

Learn what employees have to say about Cerner Corp. pay, work/life balance, care potential, job security, and much more by reading our anonymous employee reviews.

Reviews of Jobs at Cerner Corp.

3.4Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth4
Location2
Co-Workers3
Work Environment3

From Kansas City, MO — 06/08/2010

You can read all of the comments already out there, but I will verify a few and make a few of my own as it pertains to my experience.

Cerner hires 80% internal and 20% external. What that basically means is they hire a lot of College kids and put them in to the Velocity program. Velocity is a 2 years'ish program that moves them around quickly so they can get up to speed and then places them in the field for up to 2 years. Basically warm bodies for professional services dollars. Long hours and lots of travel. Typically out on Monday and back on Thursday every week. The glamor of travel wears off quick I'd imagine which explains the burnout rate. If you can make it past that then you will likely move thru the ranks internally and you may find it a rewarding place. I believe it is partly to weed the herd and partly to have those "warm bodies" to sell.

That being said, my experience is slightly different as I didn't come out of college to them. I was already well into my career and hired for a specific skill set. So the long hours and hard work were more of a "you get out of it what you put in to it" scenario. As others have mentioned if your lazy and un-motivated, you probably wont make it at Cerner. They also tend to thin the herd by letting the bottom 5-10% go each year. It is usually a quiet thing, but a few years back they actually called it a layoff and the stock price took a dive. So needless to say, that was the only year they actually called it a layoff.

So now to my experience and discontent with them. I was in a sales capacity with them. And my only real discontent besides the normal hoopla (management inexperience (this is a real issue for them), very very political atmosphere - what can you do for me, Good Ole Boys club, etc... and benefits that look good on the surface until you really pick them apart) is that they have no respect for sales talent or what seems like any desire to retain said talent. Biggest complaint amongst sales related roles is very slow commission payouts and what might be said to be a desire to do everything in their power to "not pay" their sales people. Back in February, commissions were actually delayed payout due to Neal Patterson going through every sales persons payouts line by line. That is unheard of and got a good laugh from my colleagues at other organizations.

Needless to say, I decided to move on after 5 years with them and have not looked back. I enjoyed my time with them and I respected my colleagues immensely. At the end of the day though, I needed to move to do what was best for me and my family.

The best advice I can give to all who may read this is if you are considering going to work for Cerner, be ready for a couple years of hell and be very social and make a lot of friends quickly and you will do well. If you are at Cerner and burned out, the grass is greener and get your resume out there. You won't regret it.
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3.2Rating Details
Category
Pay3
Respect4
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance1
Career Growth1
Location4
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From Bangalore — 01/07/2010

I have recently shifted to another job from Cerner India and want to share my experience working in this company. Note that I feel that Cerner is very different from "Cerner India". I love "Cerner" but hate "Cerner India".
Pros:
1) If you are a fresher, you would be trained well and you get to gain a good exposure to industry practices.
2) Pay for freshers is good
3) Job security - You need to slap your manager to get fired.. that is for a month or so periodically.
3) If you can survive in Cerner for 2 years without burning out, you can survive in most of the world deserts, north, south poles and enjoy working in any of the other IT companies.
Cons:
1) You can forget about the term "life" for a while. No one knows what work-life balance is in this company.
2) You get to meet defective human beings (museum specimens) called "Software Architects" which I feel you would have no chance of coming across any where in the world. These specimens/entities are direct descendants of the "pointy haired boss from Dilbert comics". They are extremely incompetent (technically, socially) and only exist to make the associates work for 15 hours a day.
3) Regardless of how much training you receive here, your technical, coding skills will evaporate because the work is mostly clerical (some of it is like data entry) regardless of what your title is.
4) As soon as the specimens/entities(see point 2) above you feel you are becoming too important for the team, they would bring in a few dummies and ask you to train them (in case you try to leave).
5) There would be constant pressure to increase the output of the associate (regardless of whether the output is already high or not).
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3.1Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect3
Benefits3
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth3
Location3
Co-Workers3
Work Environment3

From Kansas City — 07/25/2009

I will be a high school intern with cerner this summer. The pay is excellent: over $16 an hour.. I was wondering how orientation is, and will I have to be working long hours?
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4.2Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits3
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From Kansas City, MO — 07/05/2009

Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones but I've had nothing but good things to say about Cerner since I started. I've been working for three years and received promotions every year. They are very in tuned with pay for performance. The review process is keen around who you know and how much you write in your self evaluation.

With this company I have more opportunity then I would with likes of giants like GE. I've been to major cities and lived their on the client's expense. As a consultant implementing their software, most travel is paid and you collect on the rewards, it works out quite nicely when you're ready for a vacation.

I think where some of the fall out lies is that a lot of Associates are new grads from college and think they can continue to party without being proactive with their work. Just doing the bare minimum all the time won't get you a promotion. It's also linked to their failure in time management. The work is challenging but requires you to balance out the efforts by seeking more effective ways to accomplish them. A little team work never hurt anyone either.

It upsets me to read many people who have worked at Cerner for 2+ years and trash it like there wasn't even an ounce of goodness they experienced. They economy was not shaken up for the entire 4 years you worked at Cerner so why did they stay so long? Because Cerner is a very social company. It's a great place to meet young professionals and build networks all across the nation and internationally. The communities in consulting are very strong and you can find communications for nearly all the company happenings in weekly e-mails on the intranet.

Yes, I'm still talking about Cerner here. Now I can't speak too much for the management/sales side of the coin myself. But in what company would they keep a sales associate who never sells anything. It's a cut throat business and that should be understood in your acceptance of the position. From the managers I've interacted with, there does seem to be a level of stress at certain times of the year. However, if you perform well, you're at a tier where Cerner can help releive that stress. Every year many managers/sales associates are sent on fantastic vacations to the bahammas, given bonuses, and all sorts of compensation. Even at my level if I'm doing a great job working in the field a manager can submit for me to have a night on the town on Cerner's expense.

So for anyone who may be discouraged by some of the negativity posted here I'd say keep investigating. Of course someone is going to be bitter after having lost their job. But their are success stories to be had and I stand as one example. I've saved enough money to buy my first home in 3 years and I still find time to golf on fridays.
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3.1Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect2
Benefits4
Job Security1
Work/Life Balance1
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment3

From Kansas City, MO — 04/11/2009

Pay: I thought was at a really great level. I had just gotten a raise and after putting in a 75 hour week winning a client back - I was fired. Almost a year later they still have not told me why legally and no documentation received.
Respect: I thought it was great and believed in my leadership. Instead they took things that others complained about, but never found to be true. I worked two years to qualify and was hired. I was ready to give Cerner my all and did. I became sick and still put into 75 hours in a week. Instead of working with me when the diagnoses came in, they used it against me. Yet others they said, we can work with you. I think there were some age issues also. I found out that Cerner gets kick backs from Dinner's club so be careful if you get sick or have family issues and don't get your reports in. They didn't care the work I had done for them, saving an account. I was behind on my paper work and ill, Dinner's said they fire those that effect their kick backs. I can't begin to discribe what this has done to me mentally, emotionally and physically. I still am in shock as to what they did to me and then to scrape hearsay up to get rid of me. How can someone ethically do that to someone and still go home, be with their family and sleep at night? How can they justify that in their mind? It saddens me, I would have given my all to them and worked myself to death. I don't see any respect in that, especially to management. Even in our training, one of the instructors said that we need to be careful. The way he said that lead me to believe he must have experienced the same. I was told by HR too bad I didn't want to move to KCMO, I said I was never given the option. Oh...is what she said and wouldn't talk about it again. I received rewards, a large group of references from clients, so makes you wonder where the respect is.
Benefits: Pretty great. They could have offered some more, especially for the virtual.
Job Security: I thought was incredible till I was backsided loosing my job.
work/Life Balance: They spoke balance, but expected only Cerner. I saw those who had connections do almost nothing, even screw up, used the job to find new girls to bring back to hotel room nightly, fly to visit friends on Cerner tab. I din't see balance and while others over worked, it wasn't good enough. Their behavior was good. What was good for the goose was not good for the gander.
Career Potential/Growth: Now I'd have to say if you know someone is your best for career potential, growth, pay increase and respect. Pay back is a bitch, especially if you didn't do anything for it.
Location: Works great virtually and those in KCMO when you are respected and valued.
Co-worker competence: Awesome, but some of the younger IT don't have any social skills and misunderstandings are high. I am highly skilled in conflict management skills and nothing prepared me for the wall that came at me and verbally tried to destroy me.
Work Environment: Is ok when your skill set match what they tell you and send you into. Huge lack of communication. There is also an expectation for you to pretend your skills are more than what you can do for the client. They don't care and just send you out.
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4.1Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits4
Job Security4
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment4

From Kansas City, Mo — 03/05/2009

I really liked my job until I made a change in areas and then it was awful- job good/management bad.

Has anyone had problems with Cerner management giving their clients, who may be possible employees of X-Cerner workers bad information about their X-direct report? I have talked to a couple hospitals about work and it slipped at one of them that an x-manager is saying really bad things about me even though I had great reviews and they tried everything to get me to stay. Am considering a lawsuit unless the manager in question decides to come clean with the truth.
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4.8Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Kansas City, MO — 01/22/2009

Pay:
As many people has mentioned, hire rate is great compared to other places. Especially in the current economy crisis that we are in I'm sure a lot of people would love to have a job that pays half of what Cerner does.

Respect: I've been there for 2 years and I've had yet to come across some who does not give you the respect you "deserve". I don't care who you are or where you work. In life you will always get what you give, I think that applies for every employers out there.

Benefits: I don't know what people complain about, if you work near Head Quarters health care is free at the local clinic... are those bad benefits? What else would you want when there are millions of people out there that have to pay half their paychecks in health insurance... BTW, it is free for the associate and family. Now, the 2.5 hour training on the benefits is just for ignorant who needs the 2.5+ hour training so they can understand how it works...I agree a bit confusing at first as anything else you are "not use to" but you get the hang of it. My family and I (spouse and children) when the whole year last year without paying a dime of our pockets for health benefits/prescriptions (including prenatal care for my wife). Life, retirement, and all others are competitive.
Job Security: As any other place, do your job and you are fine... What employer cares to keep around people that complain all the time?
Work/Life Balance: As some people mentioned depends on department, but also on dedication... If you have to finish a project in 20 days and you play around for 14 of course you will be stress trying to finish it... I've had no issues finding time to take my child or wife to the doctor or taking time off... I guess work/life balance depends on the personís time management...
Career Potential/Growth: Cerner is a big company and with that there are many opportunities... aim high and you'll get there. Again, depends on where you want to land and how bad you want to get there... like any other place. No sucking up required just prove that you are the right candidate.
Location: All depends on the life style you are looking for... Not as busy as the east or west cost. Great place to raise a family. Is the Middle East, what do you expect Miami or LA?
Co-worker Competence: I guess I was lucky to land in a competent group. All depends on their own desire to learn, I guess. Like every other employer you learn as you go and so your co-workers.
Work Environment: Great, fun when it needs to be fun and serious when it needs to be serious...
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4.6Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect4
Benefits5
Job Security4
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Indianapolis, IN — 01/08/2009

I'll take a job anywhere in this economy. Cerner is a pretty good place to work. Every company will have its pros and cons. Work environment is okay. Pay is better than a lot of the competitors. Location not bad for me. Career Potential just like everywhere else gotta be one of those people who want it.
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3.8Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect4
Benefits3
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance2
Career Growth4
Location4
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From Kansas City, MO — 10/25/2008

Pay - I started out of college making $5k more than expected. I average 52 hours a week. I don't pad those hard desk hours. I went my first 18 months without a raise. However, I have never received an annual pay increase less than 10%. I have recieved a couple semi annual raises (both at 6% or less). I invent responsibilities while improving my org. I produce results that are measurable and considebly above my peers. I speak my mind to my managers. My pay has increased 70% in under 5 years. My promotions have occurred so frequently that I am often at the bottom of my pay range for my role. New hires will come in making the same salary as folks with three years experience (if they don't have good reviews).

Respect - folks with hard work ethics and good morals get respect. Those that slack off now and again, complain, or speak their minds too much (but don't produce results), do not get as much respect. Respect is something earned, not a charity.

Benefits - Cerner's health insurance was cheaper than that of employees of some metro hospitals. Nicotene testing...I don't smoke but still think this test is bs. 401k match should be better.

Job Security - you kidding me? Healthcare is complex. Cerner software is complex. As long as Cerner is used by hospitals, entry level associates that provide support or developement have 100% job security. The hospitals reliant on ehr can not turn Cerner off. People can not choose to quit getting sick. Cerner is going to be around for years to come and is somewhat recession proof. I know folks whose attitude, actions, and productivity demand they get fired on the spot. Instead, they are put on a performance plan and given months to fix their problem. At Cerner, one has to work hard to get let go. If they put as much effort into producing results as some do in getting let go (so they can get unemployment pay), they would get better raises and respect. I have heard that older associates with higher salaries can be targeted for layoffs. I have also heard that these associates were once high achievers that demanded the higher salary. After a period of time, their productivity tailed off and they were no longer providing more worth than what they were paid. This can't be true for everyone...I'm just saying...

Work life balance - my brother works at a cellphone corporation and is only in the office about 15 hours per week. He average 35 hours a week (project lead). He is happy with his time off but he makes less after than 7 years than i did after my first year (he has several kids). My sister and him argue about money all the time. She doesn't want him home as often as he is because of their arguments. This company is constantly laying off their employees.

Cerner lets one come in between 7-10 am and leave between 4-7 pm. We can leave for appt. at anytime. In some orgs, the expectation is at least 45 hours and 48 in others. Most folks that I know who work a legit 60 hour week, do so for a short period of time. IP for instance, will have months to work on a project. They will put in 45 hours for the first month and the project will be do in three weeks. If they are behind, they will put 60 hours in for three weeks to finish on time. Each person can balance their workload however they want. It isn't fair to say Cerner is a 60 hour sweatshop when the truth is that this only happens in short intervals. Some consultants and execs may average higher hours but this isn't desk time. This is time eating dinner with clients, airport delays, driving to and from the hospital to the hotel, etc. All this being said, 48 hours isn't for everyone. It wears and tears on me today. My spouse and I argue about Cerner. I more addicted to Cerner than I am hanging out with friends and even family (at times). I am currently trapped between a high level of respect, pay, and work life balance. I don't want to work as much but I don't want to give up my salarly and current lifestyle. I do want to spend more time with family. Time with family will win out. I'll either starting coming into the office earlier or find a different role at Cerner that allows less time at the office. Commute time also adds up.

Career potential: without kissing to higher ups, I was once offered three leadership oppotunities, and five jobs total, across four organizations, in the same year. I didn't apply for the jobs but was approached. This was mostly word of mouth opportunity based off past working relationships. Once you get a foot in the door, you can do anything you want at Cerner (manager, subject expert, or stick with entry level work).

Location: My extended family is within a couple hours drive of KC. Houses and cost of living is cheap.

Co worker competance:

entry level - hit or miss on the individual. Most everyone is young and hard working. There are some that don't have the right background for their current job...but most are willing to learn. We do get some bad apples every now and again but they are weeded out after about a year.

Managers - have not had a bad manager (3 diff mngrs in 1 year -- keep a list of your accomplishments)

Executives - current executives are great. It helps that i have a respectful working relationship with each based off past work
- first exec caused me to change orgs and almost leave Cerner (broke a promise about giving a raise, threatened to fire a peer, in front of others, for not solving a sporadic client issue as fast as the exec liked)

Work Environment - hmm....beer fridays, xbox on projectors, monthly socials, associate center, health clinic --- all positives. Working in cubicles....too confining. Feels like office space. Might as well be in a closet...even with window seats
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3.1Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits3
Job Security2
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth4
Location2
Co-Workers4
Work Environment3

From Kansas City — 05/13/2008

Disclaimers: I worked primarily as a consultant with Cerner, based from my home and traveling 70-90 percent of the time to clients. I WAS YOUNG AND WAS EXCITED TO TRAVEL.

Pay: Like others on the site, I took this job after graduating college. I was thrilled to find a job during the dot-com slowdown, especially one with a tech-based company, consulting based remotely and TRAVELING, all for what I considered a generous salary. (That is until I moved to a proper city, and I realized the salary was not very good at all.)

Respect: This was a tough one to score. Nearly ALL my managers and direct supervisors were GREAT. They were the best group with which to travel, work and learn. Out of the 5 managers I had with Cerner, 3 of them were of the highest quality and I cannot compliment their respect and knowledge enough.
However, Cerner's CEO Neal Patterson sent the now infamous "pizza email" with its threatening, finger-pointing, and downright angry intentions. Plus, when I first witnessed a live presentation from Mr. Patterson (a first for MANY of those in attendance I might add), he browbeat and humiliated an employee for supposedly losing a sale. This was in front of AT LEAST 500 employees, done during a conference intended in part to recognize employee efforts. It was a tasteless, classless, arrogant act, and one that I WILL NEVER FORGET.

(*A couple side notes here...
I largely enjoyed my experiences with most Cerner executives, apart from those mentioned with Mr. Patterson above. Of the 3 other executives I interacted with at length, I would rate 2 of them very highly.
Cerner's executives make LOADS of money. Even for a top 500 company, their executive compensation is very high. Also, Mr Patterson was Chairman of the Board for a very long time; but I'm not sure if he still is. Executive pay and conflict of interest should be noted in ANY evaluation of a large company and your decision to consider them as a long term investment, work-wise or otherwise.)

Benefits: Industry standard I suppose. Never had to use the health coverage, so can't comment (I kept my options low). The campus in KC is very nice, with some high-end options like a fitness center and clinic, so I'll score them a bit up on 'appearance' only.

Job Security: Just before I left, Cerner had forced a number of positions to relocate to Kansas City. I understand from several people that this initiative was not well handled. Fair enough the business case I suppose, but I must mark them down for it.

Work/Life Balance: Hey, it's a software company, despite what anybody tells you differently. And as such, you're going to have to work hard to build and deliver the product, especially when you consider the complexities and difficulties of healthcare. When you look from a different side or different industry, you realize quickly that Cerner is a place where you must work comparatively hard (often long AND crazy hours) to get the job done. And that's what counts...getting the job done.

Career Potential: Maybe slightly above average. I saw many good people move up and improve their compensation. I also saw A LOT of good people leave. Very very little training or conversation is offered in terms of 'career' growth outside of Cerner-related topics or disciplines. All in all though, I learned a ton in terms of project management and enterprise technology systems during my time there.

Location: Kansas City, MO

Co-worker Competence: I had a good experience. But I did experience some marginal quality on rare occasions, and chief leadership has its issues (see above). Collectively, Cerner is a great group of smart people.

Work Environment: Worked virtually-

In summary, if you're young, willing to work hard and have limited options, Cerner pays quite well and offers access to some great enterprise technology or wide range of roles. If you're more experienced, can step-in and run a business 'by-the-numbers', generally not care about high burn-out rates, ignore certain ailments while 'proving your worth' to grow the bottom line, and want your executives on MONSTROUS PAY PACKAGES, Cerner is a good place to interview. Otherwise, you may want to reconsider.
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