FDA
3.6 of 5 91 reviews
www.fda.gov Silver Spring, MD 5000+ Employees

FDA Reviews

Updated Apr 8, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 91 reviews

                             

89% Approve of the CEO

FDA Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret Hamburg, M.D.

Margaret Hamburg, M.D.

(37 ratings)

80% of employees recommend this company to a friend
91 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Work schedule allows for work life balance because of the accrued time system"
    in 6 reviews
  • "Working at FDA provided me an opportunity to affect public health at a national level"
    in 7 reviews
Cons:
  • "Federal funding structure makes it difficult to acquire a full time position with the agency"
    in 4 reviews
  • "Red-tape, salaries not competitive with private sector, politics is still there, some miscommunication between parts of the agency"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • No Opinion of CEO

 

Not the best.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at FDA full-time

ProsI love the mission and feel great about my job, when things work correctly.

ConsVery hard to work within the existing, old-school culture and very difficult to also change the culture.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Interesting, important agency with good work/life balance

Program Analyst (Current Employee)
Silver Spring, MD

I have been working at FDA full-time for more than 3 years

ProsCompelling public health mission; dynamic environment; large, diverse agency with multiple career paths; support for good work/life balance; support for telework.

ConsChallenging budget climate and funding model; difficult to access via public transportation; agency manages multiple and conflicting roles and stakeholders leading to contentious decisions. Space is also a significant challenge on the White Oak campus.

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease consider implementing additional opportunities for compensation and benefits, particularly related to education, professional development, and student loan forgiveness.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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The training was good...

Consumer Safety Officer (Former Employee)

I worked at FDA full-time for more than 3 years

ProsLots of money to send you to new hire training, and you get to meet and network with plenty of other people doing your same job. The training is generally top-notch.

ConsIf you're stuck in a small resident post, or at a border station, you most likely will not be moving up the ladder. If you do work remotely from a District Office, you may never really get an opportunity to shine to any upper management.

Advice to Senior ManagementFrom my experience, supervisors were spread thin and were left handling too many fires. If you manage people remotely, take time to get to know your distance-employees. Additionally, if you manage people remotely, do not allow yourself to fall into the small-office-politics of that office; don't find yourself playing favorites. Try to keep actively involved with all of your people.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Very good place

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at FDA full-time for more than 5 years

ProsGood work/life balance,
Job satisfaction is good

ConsBig organization, promotion is slow, salary is below average and has been frozen for four years.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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great opportunities for growth

Senior Advisor (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at FDA full-time for more than 10 years

Prosgreat place to work with independence, benefits, salaries, Enough Annual leave, and other. Flexibilities are great. Great and smart co workers

Conscannot explore outside opportunities as there are many red tapes. Need to change the culture of the managers and employees as well.

Advice to Senior Managementgood contributions

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Not perfect but pretty good

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at FDA full-time for more than 8 years

ProsSecurity, worthwhile mission, good colleagues, interesting issues

ConsBelow market compensation for lawyers, some bureaucratic inefficiency

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Learned a lot here.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at FDA as an intern

ProsManagers were super friendly and were willing to teach.

ConsNot enough to do at times.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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  • Disapproves of CEO

 

Typical gov't work w/ employees that have nothing to contribute, except to hang on to their pensions & wait to retire.

Consumer Safety Officer (Current Employee)
Bethesda, MD

I have been working at FDA full-time for more than a year

ProsIt is nice right out of school to get some work experience or even to fill in between the career you really want to have. You can pad your resume here and there are lots of opportunities to transfer to other positions, agencies and locations.

ConsLike any other government work, things seem to operate the exact opposite than the way private industry does. For example, employees that are good at their job and are productive are held at their position and not promoted because they produce where they are at. Whereas employees that don't do their jobs very well, are promoted to management positions because they are not productive and aren't getting the numbers. Doesn't make sense, but that's how the government operates. To top it off, the pay has been frozen for the last three years.

Advice to Senior ManagementIt's not really your fault because a culture has been created to do things in the most, irrational, bloated, costly and inefficient way possible. At the end of the day, this is government work and that's just how it is and will always be...demoralizing and uninspiring.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Good work experience, but disorganized and inefficient.

Biomedical Engineer (Former Employee)
Silver Spring, MD

I worked at FDA as a contractor for less than a year

ProsExposure to many different processes and devices. People are very intelligent and hardworking, and care about the work they do.

ConsLow pay, although benefits and time off are quite good. Disorganized operations. Culture and experience highly dependent upon which division you are working in.

Advice to Senior ManagementTry to streamline operations. So many processes are sluggish because everything continues to be done the way it's always been done.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Worked as an Interdisciplinary Scientist/Microbiologist for over three years in the field labs.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at FDA full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGreat pay for bench level analysts. Decent benefits and time off, especially after 3 years and even better if you stay for longer. Essentially perform technician level work for almost twice the pay you would get in industry. No need for an advanced degree - very few people have them in the field labs at least. Looks good on a resume. Learn about regulatory aspects. Job security - very few people get fired when they would have been if they worked in private industry. Low/average workload and generally a good amount of downtime.

ConsPolitics and red tape! Poor management skills, more reactive than proactive, inefficient (it's government!), limited opportunities for promotion after you work at the 12 level unless you want to move to HQ or become a manager/supervisor, most everything is seniority based rather than performance based, some labs are very old/outdated/dirty but others are fairly new and nice. As in most instances, power tends to corrupt and those who enforce laws and regulations sometimes think they are above them. I'm not sure all field labs would pass an inspection/audit if they were to thoroughly inspect/audit themselves - better yet have industry do it. Do as we say not as we do type mentality.

Advice to Senior ManagementSeniority based systems tend to offer little incentive for employees, hold people responsible/accountable for their actions and work, give people challenging work and opportunities to learn (and let them fail and learn from their mistakes), don't let analysts become cook book chemists and microbiologists, be consistent and fair. Don't let people act unprofessionally because you don't want to deal with them.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at FDA reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for FDA CEO Margaret Hamburg, M.D. All 91 reviews posted anonymously by FDA employees.