US Agricultural Research Service

  www.ars.usda.gov
  www.ars.usda.gov

US Agricultural Research Service Reviews

Updated October 8, 2014
Updated October 8, 2014
154 Reviews
3.5
154 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
US Agricultural Research Service Secretary Tom Vilsack
Tom Vilsack
44 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

    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
  2.  

    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
  3.  

    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.

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  5.  

    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
  6.  

    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
  7.  

    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
  8.  

    IT Help Desk

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

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service as an intern

    Pros

    Experience, training in one week.

    Cons

    Learn how to work with other teams

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Underfunded, unappreciated and low moral amongst employees

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Haven'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 ManagementAdvice

    Appreciate your employees
    Use money more effectively and keep better record of equipment

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great company, great group of people

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

    I worked at US Agricultural Research Service

    Pros

    Supervisor 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

    Cons

    Government 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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    A great place to gain experience.

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

    I have been working at US Agricultural Research Service full-time

    Pros

    Working 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.

    Cons

    There 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 ManagementAdvice

    The 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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