National Agricultural Statistics Service

www.nass.usda.gov
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National Agricultural Statistics Service Reviews

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3.3
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Cynthia Clark
4 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. Diversity is good here

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

    I have been working at National Agricultural Statistics Service full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    flexible hours, commuting benefits, location

    Cons

    parking is limited, the building is old.

    Advice to Management

    encourage open mindedness throughout the agency.


  2. Great opportunity to being your career, lot's of help growing professionally in the right offices

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

    I have been working at National Agricultural Statistics Service full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    It's a great job to start off your career in the agriculture industry. Everyday I learned something new about agriculture or statistics applied to agriculture. If you get in the right regional office you will find that your management are more than willing to help guide you. There is rarely any yelling or stress other than setting estimates for your commodities which is up to you to meet those deadlines. The work schedule is very flexible with 40 hour work weeks. A lot of colleagues are now telecommuting at least one or two days a week.

    Cons

    The learning curve is fairly steep and takes a few years to catch on which can be frustrating at times. You'll have to be able to ask lot's of questions and do a lot of research through documentation to learn how to accurately set estimates as a statistician.

    Advice to Management

    The balance of workload and complexity of the work per statistician in the office is a little off. Upper management should evaluate each statistician and make sure they are given the appropriate work for their grade relative to their colleagues.


  3. Survey Statistician Position

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

    I have been working at National Agricultural Statistics Service full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Good place to work, good people, good benefits, fair salary.

    Cons

    It's the federal government - there is only so much innovation that will be allowed.

    Advice to Management

    Try to look at the actual work an employee does - not just the amount of talk they talk.


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  5. People make NASS great.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Statistician in Harrisburg, PA
    Current Employee - Statistician in Harrisburg, PA

    I have been working at National Agricultural Statistics Service full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    *Smart, diverse coworkers; everyone knows what's going on and is happy to help.
    *Easygoing local management; if you want something practical, the answer is usually yes. Even if it's not, decisions always have a good reason, nothing ever seems arbitrary.
    *Always learning something new, especially if you are not from an agricultural background.
    *All of the benefits of working for the Federal Government, without having to work in DC

    Cons

    *Part of the reason you're always learning is because they systems are always changing and different from project to project. Efforts to standardize the systems only seems to have exacerbated the problem since some projects standardize better than others.
    *Hiring process is slow and clunky, and once I got hired, getting benefits worked out took longer than probably necessary.
    *Don't seem to know what to do with interns and Pathways hires; nobody seemed to be in charge.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Some good people, none of them in positions of authority though

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

    I worked at National Agricultural Statistics Service full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    There are plenty of helpful, knowledgeable employees willing to share their knowledge from varied backgrounds. Contrary to what you would assume, an agricultural background is not necessary to perform the duties. Basic computer skills and a little critical thinking can take you a long way.

    Cons

    If you come from a non-ag background, some employees almost seem offended that you're doing the same job as they are and will treat you as though you're under-qualified.

    Some managers are promoted beyond their capabilities. Employees reach management without having any management or communication skills, and are given too much autonomy. If you're in an office with poor managers, they will make the day excruciating, limit your potential for promotion, and make your continued employment less certain. If you luck out, you'll find some managers willing to go to bat for you, but at the end of the day senior management will stand behind office management, regardless of the circumstances, so there's a lot of headroom for abuse at the office management level.

    Advice to Management

    Be more involved in, or at the very least aware of, the decisions of office managers before they surprise you with major headaches. Don't treat interns or Pathways hires like cheap, expendable labor sources. It's unreasonable to have qualified people hired at as low as GS-05 with no job security doing the same work as career employees making twice as much money with no fear of losing their jobs. How you treat people says a lot about the agency, and as far as I've seen, things are not well with this agency.


  7. My experience was good, a job I have done over the past few summers, decent pay, not really hard, and some flexibility.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Enumerator in Tulare, CA
    Former Employee - Field Enumerator in Tulare, CA

    I worked at National Agricultural Statistics Service part-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Working for this company or service that is part of the California Department of Agriculture working as a field enumerator pays better than most jobs college students can get over the summer and has good flexible working hours and days as long as the work gets done and completed by the time it is due and all the information and numbers collected is to be sent to the main office. It is not hard and just about anyone can do it as long as they are old enough to work. Another positive is that this job is done in teams and not individual to help get the work done quicker and with fewer mistakes if done alone.

    Cons

    Some downsides to working for as a field worker is having to get up really early during the summer depending on what kind of work doing and where doing it. Have to deal with the heat if live where it is hot and make sure to stay hydrated and not over heat and feel or get sick as that can happen. Another downside is that this job is not that exciting, mundane, and requires driving to and from everywhere.


  8. Worked part-time as an enumerator, work environment was outstanding.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Enumerator in Louisville, KY
    Former Employee - Enumerator in Louisville, KY

    I worked at National Agricultural Statistics Service part-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I enjoyed communicating with the farmers and learned the value of their work.

    Cons

    Sometimes the farmers were aggravated because we called them often.

    Advice to Management

    Management where I worked were fair and pleasant.


  9. not for a recent grad trying to get away from home

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Agricultural Statistician in Athens, GA
    Current Employee - Agricultural Statistician in Athens, GA

    I have been working at National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Pros

    great place, nice lax environment. everyone is nice. its stress free

    Cons

    nass placed me in an office that was close to my home town to avoid paying relocation assistance without even bothering with a geographical preferences inquiry like they promised

    Advice to Management

    overall great but i'd like to see more consideration on the goals of the employee


  10. Helpful (2)

    Great agency if you are lucky to start off in a great state with good, effective management.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Statistician
    Current Employee - Statistician

    I have been working at National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits are a primary reason to work for NASS. However, the great people that you will meet in the agency are a plus as well. If you like to travel and relocate, then NASS is a good option for you.

    Cons

    Management in some places is not as great as in others. If you start off in a state where management is not as skilled at "managing", then you will not be satisfied working for NASS. If you get great management that really works to advance your career, then the sky is the limit at this agency. Another downside is that you cannot start off in your home state. For those that have deep roots, perhaps this agency is not the best for you.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management needs to understand that in some offices, management competency is a problem. I am referring to competency not just in performing the duties required of the job but also leadership competency. With new statisticians and/or employees, it is difficult to convince them of the great potential of a career with NASS if they are exposed to inexperienced management right off the bat.


  11. Big changes are affecting morale.

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

    I have been working at National Agricultural Statistics Service full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Some people will really enjoy the culture of this agency. You can go far if you're willing to sacrifice and play politics. General education with math and statistics is sufficient to get a job. Specific knowledge or experience is not required for most positions. Pay and benefits are very good. If the times are good, NASS will pay moving expenses and give you a relocation bonus. A lot of effort is spent on being progressive and NASS has some good tools as a result.

    Cons

    Working hard and doing a good job is not important to your career. You must move, multiple times across the country and to DC, and make friends with higher-ups. Most of the work is stressful, mundane, and increasingly confusing. Recent and proposed organizational changes have a lot of people, including 'lifers', trying to get out. Many offices are now under-staffed but the overall workload is increasing. Then, there is the 'dead weight'; people who would not last long at a private company. Those who have talent, a strong work ethic, and a backbone will be frustrated when they go the extra mile and someone else gets promoted and rewarded.

    Advice to Management

    There is serious concern regarding the quality of products. Retention of experience and knowledge will be very difficult as offices are closed. Interns and temporary workers will not compensate for people who understand what is going on. NASS has made efficiency a top priority but has done so at the cost of being effective.



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