Naval Surface Warfare Center

  www.navsea.navy.mil
  www.navsea.navy.mil

Naval Surface Warfare Center Reviews

Updated October 21, 2014
Updated October 21, 2014
44 Reviews
3.4
44 Reviews
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  1.  

    A roller coaster ride

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

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Beware

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Ambitious people need not apply

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A very bad experience working at NSWC-IH.

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    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

    Doesn't Recommend
  6.  

    Good but it could be better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Dirt review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 ManagementAdvice

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

  8.  

    Not a place for career development nor direction from management!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very mixed bag

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    Mediocre

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

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Pros

    Travel opportunities if on the right project

    Cons

    Lack of real engineering work

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't try to exceed standards!

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Pros

    Steady place of long term employment

    Cons

    Lots of emplyees are in ruts

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate!

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