Naval Surface Warfare Center

www.navsea.navy.mil
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Naval Surface Warfare Center Reviews

Updated May 29, 2015
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Pros
  • A big plus is that work-life balance is excellent, flex-time and teleworking is encouraged (in 4 reviews)

  • This place has very good benefits (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Big Navy, big government equals red tape (in 2 reviews)

  • This is a federal government organization (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    Terrible

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    You can waste taxpayer money by sleeping at your desk all day and not get fired

    Cons

    Your soul will rot from being surrounded by losers

    Advice to Management

    get a life


  2. Helpful (1)

    Computer Scientist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Dahlgren, VA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Dahlgren, VA

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Amazing pay and great benefits (health care - including vision and dental). Coworkers are all generally pleasant people with their technical capability and quality ranging from amazing to bad. Work atmosphere is laid back and only as stressful as you make it.

    Cons

    NSWC Dahlgren is a great place to work at as long as you do not care about 2 things. 1) Maintaining or improving your technical sharpness/capability. 2) Actually producing a good quality, working product. You should not expect any satisfaction from what you are working on. Bureaucracy, red tape, and "government process" remove most (if not all) innovation, efficiency, and quality. You should expect to use 10-20 year old software development practices and 7+ year old tools and technologies. Project management is unbelievably poor and there is very little responsibility and accountability. High grade promotions are equally part seniority, part who you know, and part qualifications/resume based.

    Advice to Management

    The current work situation is very inviting to employees who just want to show up to work for 8 hours a day and not actually do/produce anything. As a result both the quality of the workforce and moral is degrading at a very rapid rate. Set expectations and deadlines and hold employees accountable. Get project managers with better technical leadership that can make good decisions to promote quality products.


  3. Stagnant bureaucracy

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Student Trainee in West Bethesda, MD
    Former Intern - Student Trainee in West Bethesda, MD

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center as an intern (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -Solid pay -Generous leave and benefits -Good people (generally) -Flexible hours

    Cons

    -Virtually no accountability -Most of "work" day consists of complaining about how other people aren't doing their job -Outdated office technology and proceidures -Nothing gets done in a timely manner -Little recognition for hard work

    Advice to Management

    Give supervisors the ability to fire employees for under-performance, cut red tape, and push for a culture of excellence rather than one of mediocrity.


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  5. Good but it could be better

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great benefits, work/life balance. The commute is easy.

    Cons

    Underpaid for amount of work/responsibilities. Too much bureaucracy. Limited promotional potential. Big old boy culture/mentality.

    Advice to Management

    Start promoting energetic employees with the experience/desire to fulfill high value positions.


  6. Dirt review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere. There really is no pressure to do well. If you want to just come to work and do nothing; bingo.

    Cons

    The company is structured to assist the US NAVY. However, to do anything, it takes two years minimum before you can actually physically install a software/hardware or mechanical device that may help improve the sailor's operational experience or to save fuel.

    Advice to Management

    Try to actually improve your employees and help advance their careers push for everyone at the company to have a FE and masters degree.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Not a place for career development nor direction from management!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Indian Head, MD
    Former Employee - Engineer in Indian Head, MD

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -The pay and benefits are OK. -Long nigths and weekend work was not mandated for support/indirect employees. -If you can dismiss the busy work you will have free time to do some self-learning. -General training offered through Defense Acquisition University and opportunities for further academic development (Corporate Development Education Program and certain Masters Degrees)

    Cons

    -There is very little job specific training to become more proficient in the work you are employed in. -Co-workers will discredit your work accomplishments or cast doubt on your character to prevent you from receiving praises. -Management pays most of their attention to trouble-maker employees. -Technology (computers, information systems, databases) is avoided and not used in a way to facilitate the workforce. -Management will not give you feedback as to how you can improve in your current assignment. -Management is content with employees doing what they did last year; very little progress and communication on what needs to be done to be better for the future. -The work load is decreasing and is sporadic. -The work and office facilities are so dilapidated they communicate in a non-verbal way that employees and the work they do is only worthy of an unsightly building.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to realize that the work environment at NSWC Indian Head is stifling the existing, potential and new talent. Employees from multiple levels of experience and demographic backgrounds are frustrated which leads to two things; resignation or complacency. The chain-of-command is so focused on getting work done (sometimes busy work) that development and utilization of employees is overlooked, opportunities for improvement are dismissed, and a sub-culture now exists where employees create empires to raise themselves by casting doubt on another employee.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Very mixed bag

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Bethesda, MD

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Some extremely talented and knowledgeable long-timers, interesting technical problems, and feeling of helping the active-duty military. A big plus is that work-life balance is excellent, flex-time and teleworking is encouraged.

    Cons

    Surreal amounts of bureaucracy, complete lack of leadership vision, opaque and overly political promotions and advancement, under-valuing of technical staff as compared to "programmatic" paper-pushers. DoD restrictions on travel, conferences, IT, etc have hit this place hard.

    Advice to Management

    Not much, since authority is so widely delegated that nobody as enough power to actually fix the problems that exist. Most importantly, value the customers (ie Navy programs) more than the haphazard drop-down nature of control from NAVSEA.


  9. Mediocre

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Travel opportunities if on the right project

    Cons

    Lack of real engineering work


  10. Helpful (1)

    Not a place a scientist can develop a career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chemist in Indian Head, MD
    Current Employee - Chemist in Indian Head, MD

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    In Research department: Freedom to propose own research programs. Some managers let you do what you want. Federal government benefits are pretty good. Many people in research are smart and trying their best.

    Cons

    In Research department: Upper management doesn't really understand or support scientific research; it's all engineering and project management to them. Research program funding is in short supply, for short durations (1 year at a time), and for a small amount of money (half a man year), making it difficult to build long-term programs or hire additional staff or post-docs. For PhDs, little advancement opportunity: because so many researchers have PhDs, there are few management spots. For non-PhDs, management doesn’t know what to do with them: still expected to write proposals even though they’re not trained to be independent researchers. Little career development opportunity: few other tracks for scientists to pursue besides management. One or two senior personnel with outsized personalities effectively determine much of the internal-money research funding, so if they don’t like you, your work won’t get funded. General: Many employees are government bureaucrats who don't want to help you even though it's their job to. Bureaucracy (especially purchasing computers and chemicals) is getting worse all the time, decreasing the amount of time you can spend on your actual work. Many old, poorly-maintained buildings; some have frequent water outages.

    Advice to Management

    Either commit to scientific research or get out of the business. Let scientists run the research department, not engineers. Stop hiring relatives of employees if they’re not qualified. Shield employees from pointless paperwork so they can do the jobs you hired them for.


  11. Helpful (1)

    NSWC Crane Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supervisory Engineer in Crane, IN
    Former Employee - Supervisory Engineer in Crane, IN

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Federal health benefits are among the best, which comes with any federal civilian position. The geographic location of this site makes it for low cost of living and great outdoor opportunities.

    Cons

    Extreme nepotism throughout the organization at ALL levels!!! As an outsider, one who did not grow up in the area, it is hard to gain respect and acknowledgement based on one's own expertise and capabilities.

    Advice to Management

    Stop doing business as it has "always" been. Take into consideration the employees perspective. A happy employee makes for a successful organization.



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