National Renewable Energy Lab Reviews

Updated June 26, 2015
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3.2
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Approve of CEO
National Renewable Energy Lab Director Dan E. Arvizu
Dan E. Arvizu
40 Ratings

Pros
  • Very good work/life balance not found in mainstream industry (in 11 reviews)

  • Flexible work schedule, very positive corporate culture (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • The HR department does not help the employees either especially if you are having an issue with someone in the senior management team (in 4 reviews)

  • Management has done a good job of finding niche research areas for NREL (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

68 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great place to work as a student!

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Golden, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Golden, CO

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people, great facilities, fantastic opportunities

    Cons

    None, really. The people are fantastic.


  2. Helpful (1)

    good idea, not great execution

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

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent mission, good culture, a lot of smart, talented people. someone who is self-motivated and enthusiastic can carve out a good spot there. Good opportunities to create knowledge and not be in academia.

    Cons

    Very limited opportunities to move up. Org culture, with too many processes, rules, procedures stifles creativity. Dependent on varying federal funding cycle.

    Advice to Management

    You are too disconnected from the rank and file, at best 70% of middle management knows what they are doing as far as managing people or subject matter expertise.


  3. Fine, but should be so much more

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Golden, CO
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Golden, CO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Working on a mission that is the envy of every one of my friends.

    Cons

    Very averse to change and encourages whining, weak employees instead of shipping them out to increase the morale of the talented.

    Advice to Management

    Fire all the old-timers and bring in young, fresh talent on half the salary to spark the place back to life.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Dedicated Researchers

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

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    The mission can't be beat. Leading the nation toward a sustainable energy future by examining renewable energy options and energy efficiency? Living and working in Colorado? What's not to love?

    Cons

    Somebody once said that all government contractors are either incompetent or crooked, and it is the government's responsibility to figure out which one is which..... Unfortunately, this can be true at times.

    Advice to Management

    Shield your folks from the bureaucrats.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Business Support II

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Colorado in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Colorado in Boulder, CO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    health insurance, bus pass, nothing...

    Cons

    micro-manage, non-exempt staff are treating like you should clock-in and out, The researchers can work from home when there kids are sick but when I needed to stay home for the same reason I had to take PTO. And, and when I was sick I had to come in the office because my boss would not let me work from home.

    Advice to Management

    work/life balance should be for everyone, higher mangers just to manage the people, executive management should work at NWTC and not visit.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Postdoctoral Scientist

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

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab

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

    Pros

    The location is very good.

    Cons

    Bad project management, lots of bureaucracy


  8. Helpful (2)

    Senior Analyst

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Golden, CO
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Golden, CO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Very family friendly and flexible. Work with awesome intelligent people. Working on a great mission to improve the energy system and reduce pollution. Generally cutting-edge research.

    Cons

    Some level of government bureaucracy. No small perks (Free food, etc.) because it's a government entity. several masters due to the matrix organization


  9. Good

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Golden, CO
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Golden, CO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good stimulating environment. People are eager to learn and teach you.

    Cons

    As an intern, you dont have much liberty to get involved in projects

    Advice to Management

    Please give some few benefits to interns and liberty to be involved in projects


  10. Helpful (1)

    Spend a few years and leave

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

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time

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

    Pros

    good people, good mission, good location

    Cons

    The one way staff move up is by becoming a manager, so think of an introvert/double phd who has no commutation skills but is a good writer.

    Advice to Management

    Work/life balance would be nice for everyone, not when your line manager sees fit.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Great mission, great people, no security.

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

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (More than a year)

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Beautiful campus. Great people who believe in the mission of the lab.

    Cons

    For certain positions, job is dependent on funding, and if the funding isn't there, you know you are very disposable. Spent a lot of time looking over my shoulder.



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