US Agricultural Research Service
3.5 of 5 150 reviews
www.ars.usda.gov Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

US Agricultural Research Service Reviews

Updated Jun 6, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 150 reviews

                             

79% Approve of the CEO

US Agricultural Research Service Secretary Tom Vilsack

Tom Vilsack

(43 ratings)

75% of employees recommend this company to a friend
150 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Stable employment, good work/life balance"
    in 6 reviews
  • "Good benefits, lots of job opportunities if in Dc"
    in 10 reviews
Cons:
  • "High placement of specific fields in term appointments with no equivalent full time permanent positions within the organization"
    in 3 reviews
  • "Limited locations, & irregularity in funding, so job security is waning"
    in 3 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

    • Culture & Values
           
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    Great learning experience

    Biological Science Lab Technician (Former Employee)
    New Orleans, LA

    ProsFlexible, lots of things to do.

    ConsWork can be a bit routine, feel sometimes isolated in the lab

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    IT Help Desk

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsExperience, training in one week.

    ConsLearn how to work with other teams

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Great company, great group of people

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsSupervisor was easy to talk to and work with; Peers were helpful, especially for new people; Didn't treat you like a newbie, and made it easier to delve into work; Benefits are decent once eligible; Dress code was not strict

    ConsGovernment job, I entered during the government shutdown; Pay not necessarily amazing, could be doing better at a private company; Politics are always involved with changes

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Underfunded, unappreciated and low moral amongst employees

    Research Scientist (Current Employee)

    ProsThe people working at the facility are fantastic
    The pay is OK
    Flexible work schedule
    Nice work/life balance

    ConsHaven't had a descent raise in years since the govt. is in the deep red
    Salary is low for someone with my level of education and experience
    Management is overworked and stressed and it trickles down directly to employees.
    Money is consistently wasted, bad record keeping, not efficient working system since people are leaving in a hiring freeze.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAppreciate your employees
    Use money more effectively and keep better record of equipment

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    A great place to gain experience.

    Biological Science Technician (Current Employee)
    Saint Paul, MN

    ProsWorking for the federal government gives you great benefits with a decent salary. The other employees are a lot of fun and great to work with. If you need help with something or have questions the other employees will help without making you feel like an idiot.

    ConsThere is no parking for non-permanent employees, which is pretty much all entry level employees. Since it is on a college campus there is really no parking for a good distance. Walking from the building to the nearest free parking is terrible in the winter months. The job can be a little stressful if you don't manage your time well.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe Scientists can seem a little stand-offish at times. A regular meeting among the lab is definitely a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    Good Company

    IT Specialist (Former Employee)
    Annapolis, MD

    Pros-Travel
    -Good Pay
    -Job Security
    -Everything else is okay

    Cons-Managers like to micromanage
    -Favoritsm
    -Nothing else to compain about

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Very fair place to work

    Student Lab Technician (Former Employee)
    Wyndmoor, PA

    ProsSet expectations that are easy to understand and follow. Friendly people with a lot of knowledge about the government and agriculture in general. There are also a lot of resources available to employees and interns.

    ConsPromotions are set in a system so it is slow moving up unless you improve your education to move up a pay-grade. Some of the people have been there for a long time and have gotten lethargic about what they do and don't care to move forward.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    Unproductive

    Program Assistant (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsGreat benefits, great work location

    ConsOld boy network, needs more minorities in positions of authority

    Advice to Senior ManagementRemember that you are not the only ones with an education and understanding.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Changing very fast

    Research Molecular Biologist (Current Employee)
    Beltsville, MD

    ProsFederal employment has well known perks. Problem solving at the cutting edge to make improvements for agriculture is important and makes work rewarding.

    ConsConstantly being under the microscope. One size fits all pay and training requirements. Lack of flexibility in approach and purchasing. Purchasing has become the beast that dictates everyone's performance. Low level employees with most power and they are afraid of being held accountable to outdated purchasing requirements. This really needs to change.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire, Fire, and reward. Move faster.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    Food and Nutrition Service

    Accountant (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsJob stability and pay. Opportunities to travel to the various states and territories in the Western United States.

    ConsTraining could be better. Also, career advancement opportunities are usually restricted at the regional office level.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay attention to the federal employees who are retirement eligible but still on the job. Many of these individuals do not perform at an acceptable level.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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