Air Force Research Laboratory

  www.afrl.af.mil
  www.afrl.af.mil
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Air Force Research Laboratory Reviews

Updated September 24, 2014
Updated September 24, 2014
28 Reviews
3.9
28 Reviews
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  1.  

    Exciting place to work and learn in a low stress environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer Intern  in  Wpafb, OH
    Former Employee - Software Developer Intern in Wpafb, OH

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    As an intern I received ample guidance from my mentor. I was able to contribute to actual projects and work with many software developers in the government.

    Cons

    The pace of work is very slow, and often becomes boring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set hard dates for completion of projects and work employees harder.

    Recommends
  2.  

    A slower pace, but excellent research is done here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant  in  Fairborn, OH
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Fairborn, OH

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Hourly demands are very reasonable here and there is a generally casual and friendly atmosphere. The research equipment is excellent and receives regular attention from staff for maintenance and calibration. Experienced researchers are open to taking time to help younger researchers. The compensation for interns is considerably more than a normal graduate stipend and similar to other internship opportunities.

    Cons

    For short-term interns, a considerable portion of the time there is spent on orientation and obtaining access to a computer. The entire first month is a rather slow start. Even after the first month, the time required to obtain chemicals and supplies makes it difficult to accomplish much on a new project. In light of these difficulties, my advice is to plan to read technical literature during the first month and request to work alongside a permanent employee to learn as much as you can about his/her research instead of beginning your own research project.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Taking time for one-one-one interactions with interns is very much appreciated.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    Pleasant, laid-back place to work as a researcher

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

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The environment at AFRL is conducive to performing basic and applied research that suits your interests, given that you can tie it to the mission of the lab. There is much room for creativity and interaction with other labs and academia in the context of state-of-the-art technology and research.

    Cons

    As with any bureaucracy, having to deal with miscellaneous training and "taskers" that are spearheaded by management can be a time sink. Additionally, the IT security is so tight that something as seemingly standard as the use of wi-fi networks for internet access is not allowable, at least in our building. This is quite pathetic, in my opinion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of some of the silly bureaucratic tasks and mandatory training that occupies employees' precious time!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Associate composite engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Composite Engineer  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Associate Composite Engineer in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory as an intern for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I entered this position while finishing my bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. I found that the Air Force Research Laboratory provided excellent training opportunities. I am leaving the position with a good understanding of composite fabrication techniques.

    Cons

    The Air Force has tons of rules that can take up lots of time. Other then that I love this job.

    Recommends
  6.  

    A wonderful place to work where my advisers were very intern friendly.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - ORISE Summer Intern  in  Dayton, OH
    Former Employee - ORISE Summer Intern in Dayton, OH

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Decent pay and my advisers were much interested in my overall experience in learning than just results. Interesting work and very hands on. The co-worker were very friendly and were willing to help.

    Cons

    Didn't really notice any cons as I was a summer intern and not a full time employee with benefits.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Student Researcher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Student Researcher  in  Albuquerque, NM
    Former Employee - Student Researcher in Albuquerque, NM

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Great student program, learned plenty about the research process.

    Cons

    Working on base far from anything.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Rome, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in Rome, NY

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    I had an internship at AFRL in Rome, NY a few years ago. It was a fun and beneficial experience. It offered a good research environment.

    Cons

    It seemed sort of disorganized, but I am finding that many work places are like this.
    The pay varied for interns doing the same job, which seemed very odd to me.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Things are getting worse

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

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Once you understand the system, you can navigate through it easily, in terms of politics. If you plan to stay in the government you can build up your network easily as most people stay in government their entire careers. Building a good reputation for yourself, then, pays off for many years down the road. I like many people I do/have worked with and remain in contact with them when I move to new places within the Lab.

    Cons

    I have lost faith in much of the highest leaders in the organization. I believe they are out of touch with employees and are blind to the attrition issue that is bound to come soon if they continue to ignore funding cuts, publically announce they are holding down promotions, and do not foster the early/mid career groups.

    Bureaucracy is always an issue in the government and little is done to minimize it here. There is so much red tape to get access to data we own to do research that we eventually just stop trying.

    Accountability doesn't exist, but favoritism does. Employees are aware of this and it has reduced morale significantly.

    It's who you know, not how good you are at your job that gets you promoted or onto special assignments. A definite good old boys club, and the leaders are proud of this.

    Funding is going downhill for many programs. This has implications for research as well as personnel reductions in the future.

    Not as stable as it used to be (furlough funding cuts, RIFs, workforce shaping, etc)

    Pay is not stable across the enterprise; many people who do the same quality of work get paid vastly different salaries, and employees are mostly aware of this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop making decisions from the ivory tower. Get in touch with your workforce and implement a real mechanism for anonymous feedback. Hold people accountable for their inability to contribute rather than have young/mid folks told they are performing at levels higher than their grade but can't be promoted because we are too top heavy. Use demo appropriately across the enterprise and across paypools.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be a great place, but has really gone downhill in recent years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Psychologist  in  Dayton, OH
    Current Employee - Research Psychologist in Dayton, OH

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Able to quickly move up the salary ladder, only because you get hired in at a really low level.

    Cons

    You plateau quickly on salary and position movements. Used to be a secure place to work, now not so much. There are cuts being taken everywhere. Physical environment is awful (roaches, mice, building crumbling, roof leaks). Senior leadership is completely clueless as to how the journeyman and younger levels are feeling. Young stars are leaving.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Walk around, show your face, get to know your people. You are so clueless as to what is actually going on at the worker-bee level. Personnel doesn't admit that people are leaving because of the current fiscal environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Can be good for opportunities to do extremely high risk research.

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

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory

    Pros

    Able to work on long term projects without having to deal with business realities like immediate return on investment.

    Cons

    Nobody else has to worry about returns on investment, either. Some people abuse that privilege. There's no reality check with management about the relevance of your work because, frankly, they don't have to deliver anything. WAY too much control of what you can do in the work environment with virtually no requirements that anybody do anything. Compute resources too restricted because of controls from high level. Politically motivated travel restrictions severely impact careers of scientists. Uncertain future due to Washington budget infighting. DoD plug-n-play philosophy of management puts people completely unfamiliar with the details of technical work in positions of responsibilities. They typically turn to a few trusted friends to advise on all matters and lack the confidence to contradict either their friends or superiors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you could predict that something would succeed, it wouldn't be research. Reward the unexpected.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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