Naval Surface Warfare Center

www.navsea.navy.mil
Unclaimed Profile
Add Review

Naval Surface Warfare Center Reviews

Updated June 4, 2015
49 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
Employment Status

Reset
3.3
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
CEO
0 Ratings

Pros
  • A big plus is that work-life balance is excellent, flex-time and teleworking is encouraged (in 4 reviews)

  • This place has very good benefits (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Big Navy, big government equals red tape (in 2 reviews)

  • This is a federal government organization (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

49 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (1)

    A roller coaster ride

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Indian Head, MD
    Former Employee - Engineer in Indian Head, MD

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time

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

    Pros

    Pay, benefits, flex schedule were OK

    Cons

    Professional Development:
    This is the wrong place to start if you're a young aspiring engineer looking to pursue a technical path. This place is behind in terms of skills and facilities and you will find it difficult to move forward in your career or find a job elsewhere. There is a big hype for "professional development" but that really means program management, sales training and "how to talk to people". There's no balance between technical and management skills. This place might just end up a base with all managers, all selling empty cans to ONR.

    Work Environment, Culture and Values:
    Competition for research funding is rough everywhere but there's a good way and a bad way to compete. I've only seen the bad side here...

    Most proposals for the programs I've worked on had been written by "technical" leads without consideration for the time, training, and resources available to the poor souls tasked to implement them. Instead, proposals were written with the promise of delivering faster than the competition. Moreover, review panels on existing programs were not all from independent parties. Some programs were so desperate that they even tried to exploit my friendships and professional network.

    There was also this overwhelming and distressing culture of helping and intervention. If you're dissatisfied with your work one day, all of a sudden everybody will be all over your entire life, not just your work life. There was no respect for personal space. There was this big brotherish sense of "helping". My career is forever marred by the people who "spoke (and still do) on my behalf." I have tried to start over but it seems like any place I go I will always have to deal with an awkward work environment.

    Advice to Management

    and to senior engineers-

    You won't boost morale, build good rapport, or gain any respect by just calculating what to say to people based on their interactions with their friends, what hobbies they like, and other nonsense. You can try the power of suggestion and your business psychology tactics all you want, but getting people to listen or follow your lead is as simple as showing that you are working hard and doing your own job with integrity.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Beware

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

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    I can't think of any

    Cons

    Inefficient HR, rampant nepotism, promotions are based on getting chummy with the right people, not merit

    Advice to Management

    Poor management is what's wrong with this command and I highly doubt any of them will be leaving or bettering themselves for the benefit of the command.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Ambitious people need not apply

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Panama City, FL
    Current Employee - Engineer in Panama City, FL

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - Government benefits are well-known to be [currently] pretty solid.
    - Working more than 40 hours a week is always compensated with time off or overtime pay
    - Flexible work schedule.
    - People are generally nice and sociable, almost to a fault.
    - Can't lose your job no matter how lazy or incompetent you are.

    Cons

    - Unfair compensation where it will take a recent graduate with a BS 5 years to reach the starting salary of someone starting with 1 year experience.
    - No opportunity to step-up and lead until you've spent ample time in each grade, no matter how qualified
    - Ridiculous lag between ideas, funding, and execution results in missed opportunities
    - Spend more time handling beurocracy, process, and paperwork than doing any beneficial work
    - Poor communication throughout the organization as to what is happening and what needs to be done.
    - Takes months to get access to tools (such as MATLAB, AutoCad, multimeters, etc) that should be readily available to all, always

    Advice to Management

    Provide quick and easy access to tools mandatory for any engineer. Quit following and creating process for the sake of process, and question any requirement that creates more paperwork than results. Provide recognition or incentive for standout employees to work hard and achieve, rather than making them immediately turn to the private sector. Sorry, but pointing out the civic importance of your work is going to convince few highly qualified people to stick this out.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (2)

    A very bad experience working at NSWC-IH.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Indian Head, MD
    Current Employee - Engineer in Indian Head, MD

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Government benefits are pretty good

    Job security

    Cons

    Extreme bureaucracy

    Poorly maintained facilities

    Very few good scientists, engineers, technicians, & admin personnel

    Certain Departments/Branches:
    1. Bad Engineering/Management/Business Practices
    2. No/low funding for research
    3. Run some of the most absurd Defense programs
    4. Many idle and meddlesome workers
    5. Earwigging is commonplace


  6. Helpful (4)

    Terrible

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time

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

    Pros

    You can waste taxpayer money by sleeping at your desk all day and not get fired

    Cons

    Your soul will rot from being surrounded by losers

    Advice to Management

    get a life


  7. Helpful (1)

    Computer Scientist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Dahlgren, VA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Dahlgren, VA

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Amazing pay and great benefits (health care - including vision and dental). Coworkers are all generally pleasant people with their technical capability and quality ranging from amazing to bad. Work atmosphere is laid back and only as stressful as you make it.

    Cons

    NSWC Dahlgren is a great place to work at as long as you do not care about 2 things. 1) Maintaining or improving your technical sharpness/capability. 2) Actually producing a good quality, working product. You should not expect any satisfaction from what you are working on. Bureaucracy, red tape, and "government process" remove most (if not all) innovation, efficiency, and quality. You should expect to use 10-20 year old software development practices and 7+ year old tools and technologies. Project management is unbelievably poor and there is very little responsibility and accountability. High grade promotions are equally part seniority, part who you know, and part qualifications/resume based.

    Advice to Management

    The current work situation is very inviting to employees who just want to show up to work for 8 hours a day and not actually do/produce anything. As a result both the quality of the workforce and moral is degrading at a very rapid rate. Set expectations and deadlines and hold employees accountable. Get project managers with better technical leadership that can make good decisions to promote quality products.


  8. Good but it could be better

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, work/life balance. The commute is easy.

    Cons

    Underpaid for amount of work/responsibilities. Too much bureaucracy. Limited promotional potential. Big old boy culture/mentality.

    Advice to Management

    Start promoting energetic employees with the experience/desire to fulfill high value positions.


  9. Dirt review

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere. There really is no pressure to do well. If you want to just come to work and do nothing; bingo.

    Cons

    The company is structured to assist the US NAVY. However, to do anything, it takes two years minimum before you can actually physically install a software/hardware or mechanical device that may help improve the sailor's operational experience or to save fuel.

    Advice to Management

    Try to actually improve your employees and help advance their careers push for everyone at the company to have a FE and masters degree.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Not a place for career development nor direction from management!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Indian Head, MD
    Former Employee - Engineer in Indian Head, MD

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    -The pay and benefits are OK.
    -Long nigths and weekend work was not mandated for support/indirect employees.
    -If you can dismiss the busy work you will have free time to do some self-learning.
    -General training offered through Defense Acquisition University and opportunities for further academic development (Corporate Development Education Program and certain Masters Degrees)

    Cons

    -There is very little job specific training to become more proficient in the work you are employed in.
    -Co-workers will discredit your work accomplishments or cast doubt on your character to prevent you from receiving praises.
    -Management pays most of their attention to trouble-maker employees.
    -Technology (computers, information systems, databases) is avoided and not used in a way to facilitate the workforce.
    -Management will not give you feedback as to how you can improve in your current assignment.
    -Management is content with employees doing what they did last year; very little progress and communication on what needs to be done to be better for the future.
    -The work load is decreasing and is sporadic.
    -The work and office facilities are so dilapidated they communicate in a non-verbal way that employees and the work they do is only worthy of an unsightly building.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to realize that the work environment at NSWC Indian Head is stifling the existing, potential and new talent. Employees from multiple levels of experience and demographic backgrounds are frustrated which leads to two things; resignation or complacency.

    The chain-of-command is so focused on getting work done (sometimes busy work) that development and utilization of employees is overlooked, opportunities for improvement are dismissed, and a sub-culture now exists where employees create empires to raise themselves by casting doubt on another employee.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Very mixed bag

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Bethesda, MD

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Some extremely talented and knowledgeable long-timers, interesting technical problems, and feeling of helping the active-duty military. A big plus is that work-life balance is excellent, flex-time and teleworking is encouraged.

    Cons

    Surreal amounts of bureaucracy, complete lack of leadership vision, opaque and overly political promotions and advancement, under-valuing of technical staff as compared to "programmatic" paper-pushers. DoD restrictions on travel, conferences, IT, etc have hit this place hard.

    Advice to Management

    Not much, since authority is so widely delegated that nobody as enough power to actually fix the problems that exist. Most importantly, value the customers (ie Navy programs) more than the haphazard drop-down nature of control from NAVSEA.



Showing 49 of 54 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.