Naval Surface Warfare Center

www.navsea.navy.mil
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Naval Surface Warfare Center Reviews

Updated April 12, 2015
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Employee Reviews

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  1. A Mixed Bag

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Used to be a center of innovation
    Good vacation benefits
    Flexible work schedules
    Job security
    Health insurance

    Cons

    Innovation is being stifled
    Too many hurtles created against doing real technical work
    "We want to do that, but there isn't a process for it."
    Technical innovation takes a far back seat to electron pushing
    Bureaucracy has become horrific, especially over the last 5 years
    Local management is impotent
    Corporate management completely detached from needs of workers
    Technical people aren't considered as important as programmatic types
    No real technical career ladder
    Research has been almost been eliminated - farmed out to universities and contractors
    Horrible IT policies and capabilities - practically impossible to install newer software or develop it

    Advice to Management

    Corporate: let local managers manage. Give them authority and let them be responsible.
    Drop all the processes and focus on good people - they will create the necessary processes if needed
    Remind yourself every day that the mission is about the sailors and the marines and giving them superior technology to prevail in their mission - not about having a process and boxes checked in a spread sheet or on a web site

  2. Engineer

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting work, strong values, good benefits, stable work

    Cons

    This is a federal government organization

  3. Provides unique opportunities to explore some exciting technologies.

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Ability to serve the fleet and the sailor
    Job stability
    Flexible work hours
    Leave and benefits
    Education Opportunities

    Cons

    Pay
    Advancement based on time not performance
    High performers rarely rewarded and rewards are minimal
    Managers lack training and knowledge
    Lots of dead weight and low performers due to antiquated policies

    Advice to Management

    Hire managers instead of promoting engineers, change policies to get rid of dead weight and reward high performers.

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  5. 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

    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.

  6. Electronics Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Electronics Engineer in Norco, CA
    Former Employee - Electronics Engineer in Norco, CA

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting work. Job stability. Pay & Compensation. Supportive of continuous learning to obtain industry standard certifications.

    Cons

    It's easy for employees to become complacent and it appears that little is/can be done. Policies are not fairly applied throughout the Command.

    Advice to Management

    Provide effective supervisor training.

  7. I learned what technicians do to help electrical engineers hands on!

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

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Flex time, relaxed environment sometimes, and nice coworkers

    Cons

    Expected to work alone most of the time, on projects you may not have experience in.

    Advice to Management

    Train employees more.

  8. Administration Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Research Analyst in Norfolk, VA
    Current Employee - Operations Research Analyst in Norfolk, VA

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Required Working hours are too long for the amount of work

    Cons

    Pay is great and pensions are great

    Advice to Management

    Recommend 4 day work week

  9. Helpful (1)

    Decent for starting a career but doesn't offer much afterwards

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    This place has very good benefits. You have lots of vacation and sick leave available. Also you do get a pension which is becoming a lot less common in industry. Lots of good experience and projects that are available to work on. Job is highly stable and secure. Salary starting to mid-level is pretty decent. Environment tends to be fairly relaxed. Benefit of training under many experience senior engineers. Moving up at this organization is a really good deal if you have the opportunity.

    Cons

    Once you reach a certain level it is very difficult to get promoted into higher level jobs. Most of the time promotions are based on how chummy you are with management and acceleration often has little to do with performance. Even then acceleration is still fairly slow. It is expected that young employees with drive and skill will work here a few years and then look somewhere else. Here there are a higher percentage of people who take advantage of the system and get away with things they are not supposed to do.

    Advice to Management

    Address all items mentioned in the cons. They bring the organization down. Reward employees more for performance by offering more acceleration. Take better care of your employees because we work hard for you.

  10. 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)

    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. Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Intern - Intern in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    People were very smart in the group I intern with. Everyone knew a lot about naval ships. A lot of the senior people there were very willing to teach and help me. Very cool lab testing area.

    Cons

    Computers and software were really old. Doesn't have the latest computers and software.

    Advice to Management

    Less politics

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