Environmental Protection Agency Reviews

Updated April 17, 2015
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  1. Intern

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Environmental Protection Agency

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Like-minded people
    Working in DC
    Unique experiences
    No coffee runs or "gopher" work

    Cons

    Dull work at times
    Commute was difficult
    Non paid

    Advice to Management

    Ensure you have ample work to supply interns before hiring multiple

  2. Helpful (1)

    An escape from the golden shackles.

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

    I worked at Environmental Protection Agency full-time (more than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    People who work there value interpersonal relationships between staff, generally have the right attitude about its goals and priorities, and seek to do more with less including giving their all even when it damages them over time. I learned a lot, became a better person, and genuinely was tested and tempered through my rise through the ranks. Job security was also a huge benefit. Work/life balance is great, even if often abused by senior management and those who can hide their grift. Benefits are very good, although they are based on seniority and being willing to ask for them.

    Cons

    The agency is hamstrung by outdated values and hierarchy that doesn't serve it any longer. Politics on a local and national level determine goals and values instead of its core mission. A shrinking budget that doesn't allow hiring top talent nor allows the removal of dead weight is causing cancerous growth to appear in the workforce as top talent leaves the grifters for better pastures.

    Furthermore, with the recent slow down and regretful turn to subjugated following to Congressional whims and top politician sway, the agency is teetering on becoming less relevant and useful to the American people. Job security was sometimes more important than actually doing the work the agency is capable of doing, thus bringing uncertainty to why people are working there among the staff or, worse, actual undermining of helpful programs and agency actions by its own staff.

    Career advancement is nearly impossible, there are no plans for growth or succession in place, and workload is increasing substantially while knowledgeable staff is literally being paid to leave in droves to avoid furloughs. This is causing consternation and fear among staff as well as causing younger talent to be placed in positions where they will either fail or become burned out for being merely "successful" in unclear roles and undefined positions that have no clear benefit to the agency's core mission.

    Pay is usually acceptable, but it's also clear that pay is not standardized among similar positions so while one person might receive a large amount of money for little demonstrable effort and deliverables another who delivers constantly above and beyond might receive significantly less than what the private sector would provide. It is also clear that it isn't what you do but who you know if you want a pay raise, appearance is more important than actual work, and accountability is nearly non-existent encouraging a culture of doing the bare minimum.

    Management below senior level readily admits to these problems but literally shrugs their shoulders and claims "that's the way it is" and "I know and I agree, but nothing can be done". Staff can literally break the law, and if they are senior enough, they won't even be talked to about it. I have received physical threats and been nearly beaten by people for merely requesting they follow the same rules and procedures as the rest of the staff who are not as senior as them. Senior management is generally non-existent. They are in eight hour long meetings where it is unclear what they are doing, making an effort to appear they are working while leaving early everyday, or actually not showing up to work or being available when they say they are without any actual accountability or oversight due to their "leadership".

    Employee satisfaction has fallen dramatically, trust in senior management has degraded to Congress approval level bad, and continued resource cuts and an aging staff are quickly making the agency irrelevant to current challenges the nation and our world faces.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to become leadership again. Being stuck at status quo, deferring to "top brass" who are more politically motivated rather than environmentally motivated, and saying "that's just the way it is" and "that's not possible in the political environment we're in" when someone brings up salient and well thought out points to improve is a sure fire way to lose your top talent, push away those who truly want to help, and actually cause harm to the people you are meant to serve and protect in the long run. You have passionate people, but they are aging and being undermined by political games that don't serve anyone but politicians and companies. Become a leader, stand up to those who claim to know better than you, become an example even if might mean taking the heat or possibly losing your job.

    There needs to be a revolution at the workplace. Dead weight needs to be dropped. Training for a new generation with new ideas and initiative needs to be valued higher. Hire good people by taking longer than 30 minutes to interview someone and stop letting personal relationship blind you to who would actually be a good fit to a position. Stop settling, start growing again.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Frustrating place to work...mostly because of wasted potential.

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

    I have been working at Environmental Protection Agency full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you want to be a public servant, the mission is pretty outstanding (protecting human health and the environment). Many of the staff are very smart, very committed, very passionate. If flexibility is your thing, then you have flexible schedule, work at home, great leave.

    Cons

    Management is generally unable and unwilling to manage the expectations of political appointees. Employees and management are more adverse to change than private sector. Shrinking resources and expanding workload means you'll get more work (and usually not the projects you want) if you are a high performer. Limited mobility and promotion seems predetermined-it is a misconception that once you are in, you can move around-this is virtually impossible.

    Advice to Management

    There is an OPM employee satisfaction survey and I've heard a lot of shock from leadership about the drop in employee satisfaction. Management - you own a great deal of that drop and the inability to hear it and make changes will only lead to decreases in morale-morale can survive Congress but not tepid attempts to lead.

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  5. Great Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - IT Specialist in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Environmental Protection Agency

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great learning environment, a large amount of mentoring was provided. Days were highly structured and projects managed well. Flexible schedule allows for 4 day work weeks.

    Cons

    Workload can be a bit low at times. Some employees tend to be lethargic and take long breaks/vacations. Managers were sometimes a bit hard to get a hold of but came through.

  6. EPA Environment

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

    I have been working at Environmental Protection Agency as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great opportunity and you can learn a lot from the scientist in GLNPO.

    Cons

    The employees that work for IMB don't know or understand their own systems. They don't know how to shutdown or start up their own systems they have to have contractors do everything. Whenever they are given an assignment from above they say lets hire contractors to do this. They can't get fired for anything because of their union. Sexual harassment happens so often that they created a cube section for people that get accuses and there are several repeat offenders. During the holiday season the building in Chicago is empty because they are out shopping so it makes a great time to be a contractor.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house within the employees because no one knows how to do the jobs they were hired for.

  7. It all depends on your supervisor

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

    I worked at Environmental Protection Agency as a contractor

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There's a lot of research going on and there are some smart people that are interested in what they are doing.

    Cons

    There are many people that don't do their job because they know they can't be fired. Most of the best researchers end up taking industry jobs, so many of the older employees are there because they aren't good enough to be pursued by industry.

    Advice to Management

    PIs need to be fired for having dozens of safety violations in their labs and putting other employees in danger. I left because several layers on management refused to do anything about a situation that had been going on for years.

  8. contractor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Contractor in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Contractor in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Environmental Protection Agency as a contractor (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    flexible date and working hours

    Cons

    no benefit at all for contractors

  9. Helpful (1)

    Working and living to save the environment every single day.

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

    I have been working at Environmental Protection Agency full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    EPA is a great place to work in terms of flexibility in work schedules. While the level of participation varies from office to office, the agency has a favorable stance on supporting a variety of options including compressed work schedules and telework.

    Cons

    While constantly combatting attacks from the Hill and questioning the need for the agency, the major issue of late has been the downsizing of staff. Less staff results in increasing workloads on those left behind. The opportunities for growth and opportunities for mid-level employees in nearly non-existent.

    Advice to Management

    Allow top performing staff to have the ability to experience opportunities for personal growth.

  10. Helpful (1)

    PeeBee

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

    I have been working at Environmental Protection Agency full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere. Good training opportunities.

    Cons

    Everyone is not treated fairly when it comes to opportunity for advancement

    Advice to Management

    NA

  11. Intern Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Environmental Protection Agency as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    -Friendly co-workers
    -Helping environment
    -Was able to meet with the head of my department
    -Quick process to get clearance

    Cons

    -Low resources
    -Very slow process
    -Security measures means it is hard to do real work as an intern

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