US Department of Commerce

  www.commerce.gov
  www.commerce.gov

US Department of Commerce Reviews

Updated December 10, 2014
Updated December 10, 2014
95 Reviews
3.7
95 Reviews
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US Department of Commerce Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
Penny Pritzker
5 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work/life balance, flexible scheduling (in 4 reviews)

  • Interesting work, supervisors in my division empowered employees to make decisions (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Entrenched and poisonous middle/upper-middle management (in 3 reviews)

  • Salary is too low and political appointees can be difficult to work with/for (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Unpaid intership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - ITA Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - ITA Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of Commerce as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Given significant responsibilities
    Given work with minimal supervision
    Worked on actual, useful projects, not on any fluff projects
    Very flexible in schedule

    Cons

    Not as economics related as expected
    Sometimes guidance was vague
    Only a small travel subsidy provided after a complicated process

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Experience widely varies between offices

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

    I worked at US Department of Commerce full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work, telework is an option, and you're not chained to your desk 40 hours a week. If you have a supportive manager, there's lots of ability to develop and and carry out new initiatives and projects locally, regionally or even internationally.

    Cons

    The local managers can do just about anything they want. That's fine if you have a good one, but unfortunately I didn't. People who raised issues were retaliated against.

    You're public facing and will have to take calls from and travel to meet with people who are very hostile to the government and its employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a good look at the offices with high turnover.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great "foot in the door" experience while interning with the Department of Commerce

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Department of Commerce as an intern

    Pros

    Great "foot in the door" experience while interning with the Department of Commerce. That being said, like anything else, it is what you make it. This can be a unique opportunity to work with smart, motivated people and leverage connections for future employment opportunities.

    Cons

    In federal offices the attitude can be lackadaisical at best as people are more passionate about where they are going than where they are.

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  5.  

    Worked with strong,responsible people from diverse backgrounds.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Operations Supervisor for 2010 Census in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Field Operations Supervisor for 2010 Census in Boston, MA

    I worked at US Department of Commerce full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I developed many valuable skills and was able to advance in a short period of time. I made some strong connections personally and professionally. It is too bad the position was short term. If available for the 2020 Census, I will apply for this position again.

    Cons

    Some aspects of the job were mundane. It was difficult to fill all positions required to get the job done. There were certain hiring mandates that made it difficult to be efficient.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    Interesting scope of work but many uninterested coworkers.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of Commerce (more than an year)

    Pros

    Many different areas fall under the DoC - census, patents, minority business, trade, economic indicators.

    Cons

    Coworkers were disenfranchised or uninterested in their work. While most in management work to do the right thing, a few shouldn't be allowed to manage others.

  7.  

    Internship in SelectUSA Office

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - SelectUSA in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - SelectUSA in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of Commerce as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    There was a great working environment. The office is great because its fairly new (3 years) and very unique to DOC. So, its staffed by some really excellent, smart people with varying experience. Its probably one of the best and most under-rated offices in the agency.

    Cons

    Fairly understaffed and under-resourced. Insufficient job descriptions and boundaries. Clearly, there are some people in the office pulling more weight than others.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Structured and Diverse

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Office Operations Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Office Operations Supervisor in Chicago, IL

    I worked at US Department of Commerce as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Clearly defined responsibilities, expectations, & review results. Plenty of opportunities for cross-training and lateral movement into more enjoyable rolls.

    Cons

    It's a cog in the machine. Not too much opportunity for improvement or innovation, but results of work are definitely seen as processes move from one department to the next for appropriate reporting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase expectations and revise budget allowances for improved efficiency.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Entering into federal service from a (lengthy) private sector background - a tough jump.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Foreign Commercial Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Foreign Commercial Officer in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of Commerce full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Stability: Once you're in, with very few exceptions, you can pretty much have a job for life...without really accomplishing anything. Since most staff write their own performance reviews (and in my case, my bosses review of my performance and his bosses review of my performance...) anyone can appear to be a star-- with no real accountability. Yes, this same commentary could (and probably should) be read as a "con".

    Cons

    Bureaucracy (whether at Commerce or probably any other federal agency) stifles initiative, drive and creativity. In fact, the environment in the federal government is such that mediocrity is not only cultivated, it is celebrated! A truly motivated person, with a creative, dynamic entrepreneur's attitude and motivation will rather rapidly find the environment suffocating.

    We had a phrase in my agency that went something like this: "Praise for the guilty, blame for the innocent and promotions for the non-involved!". It may seem humorous, but it's sadly very true.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you're a political appointee, good for you (nice resume builder) -- but please, please stay the hell out of the way of the career professionals. Enjoy your office, go to nice lunches and move quietly on, without attempting to leave your "legacy".

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Underrated

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

    I worked at US Department of Commerce as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Coming in as an intern, I had no idea how much Commerce actually did. Working on an interagency project, I got the chance to meet and work with lot of interesting (high level) figures. Metro stipend was nice too.

    Cons

    Unpaid. Facing the federal hiring process to become an employee. I also never really met interns working elsewhere in the building, which would have been helpful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure. Didn't work under the current Secretary.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Several great opportunities, and all at one place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Census Enumerator in Brecksville, OH
    Former Employee - Census Enumerator in Brecksville, OH

    I worked at US Department of Commerce as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    I really enjoyed working on the census. the job offered flexible hours, great interaction with the public, and great pay. I also enjoyed my co-workers, who were from diverse backgrounds and stages of their careers.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, most tours of duty only lasted a few weeks, a month or two at most. I was able to pick up several different tours over a 12 month period.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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