US Geological Survey

www.usgs.gov

US Geological Survey Reviews

Updated January 16, 2015
Updated January 16, 2015
79 Reviews
3.6
79 Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is encouraged, but definitely employee driven (in 6 reviews)

  • Benefits are good pay is decent (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Strong political issues and red-tape makes getting work done difficult and confusing at times (in 3 reviews)

  • Change in upper management has hurt the orginization (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

37 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Hydrologic Technician (Student)

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Geological Survey (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, great research and community.

    Cons

    Not a very secure position.

  2.  

    student intern, hydrology

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

    I worked at US Geological Survey as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    I enjoyed the combination of going out in the field and working in the office. The hands-on training from experienced people was great. The physical office environment was the best I have worked in - clean air, open feeling. I liked the interaction of all the different people in the office. The people were great.
    Another great thing about the job was the flexible work hours - 4 ten-hour days or 5 eight-hour days, and the eight-hour days could start as early as 7:00 to get off by 3:30 (half hour for lunch).

    Cons

    While the training from the experienced employees was great, after the first few months, I was paired more with another student intern who was only somewhat more experienced than I. I felt we both would have learned more if we had each been sent out in the field with an experienced employee.
    I was held back in the office/computer portion of the job - seemingly only because of the time on the job - I had more education and computer aptitude than another intern who was being introduced to the computer analysis software, but since I had been there a shorter time, I was not allowed to start learning it, even though I asked.
    Office politics were a little strange, but it was my first time in such a large office with different teams, so this might be expected.

    Recommends
  3.  

    Good student job

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

    I worked at US Geological Survey part-time

    Pros

    Outside projects, freedom, vacation pay, awards

    Cons

    CUBICLES, monotony, benefits, co-workers, longevity

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Great work environment.

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

    I have been working at US Geological Survey

    Pros

    Always something new and different to work on. Relaxed work environment and flexible schedule. Easy going people and projects to work on.

    Cons

    It's government work so you sometimes feel lost in all the bureaucracy that entails. And sometimes your position is at the whim of congress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Any advice to upper management would be lost on deaf ears.

  6.  

    Great experience as an undergraduate.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Geological Survey

    Pros

    Lots of different interesting projects that involve many skill sets.

    Cons

    Sometimes there is a lot of down time in the office that can become mundane and boring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication needs major improvement.

  7.  

    Was good for an entry-level, field work position

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

    I worked at US Geological Survey full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay for entry-level job
    Employer is well-respected
    Got to do interesting field work with special access privileges to SF Bay marshland
    Got to work with an endangered species, a skill other companies are interested in

    Cons

    Did not have any role in data analysis
    Organization's key concern was data integrity, sometimes over species preservation measures
    Projects seemed to drag on and not be wrapped up promptly and effectively

    Recommends
  8.  

    A great place to have a career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Geographer in Reston, VA
    Former Employee - Geographer in Reston, VA

    I worked at US Geological Survey full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, friendly and down to earth employees, nice campus

    Cons

    Budget cuts, reorganizations, low morale

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    5 year intern, wanted full employment, could not permanently hire me due to hiring freeze

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

    I worked at US Geological Survey full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Gave me an internship, was able to renew annually while degree seeking through BS and MS, they paid for final year of MS, but once I graduated they could not convert me to a permanent employee due to the sequester and related budget cuts and hiring freeze. No one would help explore other term appointment options either. Aside from that, there is quality science being performed, access to hi-level instruments and machines, some knowledgeable senior scientists to learn from.

    Cons

    Most employees are very introverted and socially awkward, don't say hello in hallways, hide in offices all day. Pay is not very competitive compared to the private industry, and now job security and benefits aren't reasons to want to work here either. Budget cuts have killed the opportunity and the brain drain to private industry in real. 3 people retiring for every 1 being hired as a permanent employee. Little opportunity for recent graduates, and gov't work is not respected or recognized in the rest of the industry. Little coordination on projects, many times someone across the hall is working on almost the same project, or there is overlap, and no one is aware.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more students and recent graduates, allow a competitive pathway to permanent employment. Work on improving employee relations and appropriate grade increases, and coordinate projects for more group involvement.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    Great Place for Research Science

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Physical Science Technician in Flagstaff, AZ
    Current Employee - Physical Science Technician in Flagstaff, AZ

    I have been working at US Geological Survey full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Very Flexible Schedule, Decent Benefits for some with a BS, positive work environment. Supervisors are very supportive and will always take time to listen to you concerns. Creativity and outside the box thinking are rewarded.

    Cons

    You need a PHD to really manage any type of project. The branch I work in does not have any managers, only supervisory principal investigators.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Needs more management and needs to ensure accountability for individual employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    Inconsistently great place to work.

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

    I have been working at US Geological Survey full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Job security is great, permanent hires need not fear unforeseen layoffs or firings. Travel is possible, and good science is routine. Very dedicated employees WANT to get the job done. Friendly coworkers and highly knowledgeable scientists.

    Cons

    Very difficult to secure a permanent job. Upper management isn't great. Very little actually supervision and team cohesion. Older workforce means stagnant ideas and lack of competency in regards to new and upcoming technology. Strong political issues and red-tape makes getting work done difficult and confusing at times. Pay is barely competitive with the private sector.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees, and really look into your senior ones. Many are not capable of the work expected of them. Find a way to forcible encourage them to keep up, or find a way to get them to move on.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

US Geological Survey Photos

U.S. Geological Survey Benchmark, 1904 (Photo thanks to Flickr user Civillian Scrabble, available under by v2.0)
It is a kinda neat looking building. better than most SV bland offices
STREAM GAGING STATION Operated by US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (Photo thanks to Flickr user Night Owl City, available under by-nc-sa v2.0)

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