US Agricultural Research Service

  www.ars.usda.gov
  www.ars.usda.gov

US Agricultural Research Service Reviews

Updated December 10, 2014
Updated December 10, 2014
158 Reviews
3.5
158 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
US Agricultural Research Service Secretary Tom Vilsack
Tom Vilsack
46 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Stable employment, good work/life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • Good benefits, lots of job opportunities if in Dc (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • High placement of specific fields in term appointments with no equivalent full time permanent positions within the organization (in 4 reviews)

  • As it is government, there was a bit of 'red tape (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    VERY GOOD PLACE TO WORK

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Specialist in Memphis, TN
    Former Employee - IT Specialist in Memphis, TN

    I worked at US Agricultural Research Service full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    GREAT BOSS, senior management not too good. Lots of opportunities and of course lots of time off with a government job

    Cons

    Only negative about DC headquarters. If this business could be run locally it would be great. Rigid work schedule, having to be a prime example for seasonal employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get the local USDA offices involved with running each as a business because washington is broken.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Greenhouse

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Biologic Science Aide in Albany, CA
    Current Employee - Biologic Science Aide in Albany, CA

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I get to work on cutting edge biotechnology projects

    Cons

    The government being shut down is always a threat.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Food Inspector

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Food Inspector in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Food Inspector in Phoenix, AZ

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Benefits, job security, over time, holiday pay, matching retirement

    Cons

    Slow upper movement, no cross training, book smart supervisors with no leadership skills

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out of the "this is the way it has always been done" mentality.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Lab Tech: liked it, but couldn't get a permanent job

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

    I worked at US Agricultural Research Service full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Worked with great people from all over the world--Korea, Egypt, Brazil, South Africa, Peru, Canada. Learned a lot. Pay decent. Good benefits. Had one really good supervisor and one not so good.

    Cons

    Was only able to get temporary appointments, largely because of the impersonal federal government HR bureaucracy. One of my supervisors posted the job I was doing as a permanent position, but HR people didn't include me on the list they sent him of the most qualified applicants.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bend the rules as much as possible.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    USDA-ARS Student employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Biological Science Aid in New Orleans, LA
    Former Employee - Biological Science Aid in New Orleans, LA

    I worked at US Agricultural Research Service as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    My co-workers were great, I found the job interesting with exciting research, good hours, low-stress environment, had a supervisor supervisor eager to ensure I learned and was successful. I really enjoyed the monthly international education events.

    Cons

    As a student worker there are no benefits, although that is common in student jobs. As it is government, there was a bit of 'red tape.' Once I graduated I could not continue working here and found no positions opening that I could fill.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be great if there was more funding to expand and open more positions here.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Worked as a contractor

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

    I worked at US Agricultural Research Service full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    fast-paced environment, good salary, highly effective co-workers

    Cons

    no chance of promotion, very political in nature, poor leadership from project manager

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8.  

    Good people, low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Biological Science Technician in Ames, IA
    Current Employee - Biological Science Technician in Ames, IA

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good people, and good culture, especially for those who don't like working for industry. The work-life balance is pretty good, and your schedule is flexible.

    Cons

    The pay is low, and it takes a long time to move up the pay scale. The constant threats of funding cuts aren't good for employee morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize hard workers by giving them timely raises and/or bonuses. People will not stay if you don't show that you appreciate them.

  9.  

    Awesome thus far

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Biological Science Technician in Stoneville, MS
    Current Employee - Biological Science Technician in Stoneville, MS

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Hours are great, pay is great especially for those in high school. I started with over 9.00/hour out of high school and 16.00/ hour out of college. Great experience for those in high school how are interested in biological sciences, lab settings, cotton, plant, and insect research.

    Cons

    Must stay up to date with trainings, lab protocols etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Since I'm located in a rural area, promotions are not as frequent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    What do you expect from a government run organization?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Biological Science Aid in Bushland, TX
    Current Employee - Biological Science Aid in Bushland, TX

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to learn new things
    Very smart people to learn from (if they are willing to teach)

    Cons

    Tons of unnecessary work and trainings
    Terrible pay
    No room for advancement which leads to little reason to go above and beyond
    Higher-ups belittle the people below them (not all, but the majority)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up with employee promotions and award them when necessary
    Cut as many people as possible, there is way to many people and not enough work (my taxes pay for their unnecessary salaries)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Biological Science Lab Technician in New Orleans, LA
    Former Employee - Biological Science Lab Technician in New Orleans, LA

    I worked at US Agricultural Research Service as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible, lots of things to do.

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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