National Renewable Energy Lab

www.nrel.gov

National Renewable Energy Lab Reviews

Updated January 26, 2015
Updated January 26, 2015
73 Reviews
3.7
73 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
National Renewable Energy Lab Director Dan E. Arvizu
Dan E. Arvizu
45 Ratings

Review Highlights

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
  • In the beginning it was okay, though after progressive changes in senior management, the IS organization turned into a mess (in 4 reviews)

  • No opportunities, no raises, no bonuses, no direction and no leadership (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Decent

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

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab

    Pros

    Flexible time and work schedule

    Cons

    things go slow pace over all

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Potential for progress, sometimes difficult environment to work depending on DOE program manager

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

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab

    Pros

    Good work-life balance, encourages work from home, time off is great. Good place to do great work if focused.

    Cons

    Totally controlled by DOE where program managers are under a lot of stress. This ultimately filters down to the lab.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If necessary stand firm and explain how DOE program managers are not creating a conducive environment for high-risk high-reward research.

  3.  

    Very political

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

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great mission, dedicated researchers, decent PTO and work life balance.

    Cons

    Very political. Promotions are popularity contests. Raises are the same. No stability if you're a contractor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trim the fat from middle management. Listen to the employees. Work on the trust issues there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Mission Flawed Organisation

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

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab

    Pros

    The company is great overall. They want to help gain energy independence for our country.

    Cons

    But as with most governmental organizations there are competing goals and process which can be frustrating and counterproductive.
    t is not a meritocracy, nor are the goals clearly understood. Not on the forefront of technology.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Technician I

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

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab as a contractor

    Pros

    Good experience on one-of-a-kind equipment to perform meaningful and rewarding research and development. There is little resistance in obtaining the proper equipment to get the job done. Very good work/life balance not found in mainstream industry.

    Cons

    The cohesiveness of management is somewhat in need of improvement.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Post-Bacc Research Participant Program Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Post-Bacc Research Participant Program in Golden, CO
    Current Employee - Post-Bacc Research Participant Program in Golden, CO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Very comfortable and lenient atmosphere
    Work-life balance is extremely important here
    Sits on the border between academic research and industry applications
    Good compensation and benefits
    Amazing facilities mean you have any equipment you could ever want for whatever research you want to do, including some government-exclusive and very powerful computer programs or databases

    Cons

    People get lazy when there isn't a huge push for results
    Ridiculously high overhead rate cuts down your research dollars a lot
    Bureaucracy and paperwork requirements can be a major hindrance to getting anything done
    Because of their extreme "safety first" policies, it's more like "safety instead of progress"

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great research environment

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

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Very friendly and encouraging people

    Cons

    remote location and difficult terrain

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    High Quality Research with Fantastical Personnel

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

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The research work conducted at NREL, with all of the available tools, is fabulous. The working conditions are highly flexible, which is great for experimental research. Coworkers are positive and helpful. The healthcare coverage is excellent. Opportunities to learn about other work going on a NREL is also great, allowing for interdisciplinary work to flourish.

    Cons

    The lab is, unfortunately, very sensitive to the political climate. The well-being of the lab and it's funding goes up and down every two years, if now more often.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be conscientious of everyone that makes the lab successful. The director doubling his own salary while the lab was in a general salary and hiring freeze does not help morale.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Disfunctional

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

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good work environment, good benefits, great mission

    Cons

    Poor leadership, no strategy, no coopertation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find people that want to lead, and let them

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Great experience

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

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Well balanced work place with flexible work hours, experienced management and lots of smart people. Opportunities to get exposure to different subject matter and variety of projects.

    Cons

    Being subject to federal budget uncertainty can be stressful.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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