US Department of State Reviews

Updated August 29, 2015
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3.7
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US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
109 Ratings

Pros
  • Really good if you are interested in the Foreign Service (in 30 reviews)

  • See the world while serving your country (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • The biggest turn off for me were actually the foreign service officers (in 32 reviews)

  • This can dramatically impact work-life balance for years at a time (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

405 Employee Reviews

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  1. State department the best employer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Felxi-time, yearly bonuses, equal opportunity employer, employee wellnesss programs, a lot of employee rights protection,. Regular salary revisions, medical insurance plus awesome multi cultural environment

    Cons

    Well there are a lot of opportunities in-house but you can't like grow into a managerial position you have to compete each time to grow and I don't really think this is a con

    Advice to Management

    excellent job,keep on!! You're the best government employer I've ever known.


  2. Foreign Service Medical Provider

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Family Nurse Practitioner in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Family Nurse Practitioner in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Opportunities world wide to serve at US Embassy Health Units as "forward medical support" for US diplomats and their families. Very independent practice with at least regional medical backup. The Embassy provides necessary facilities, supplies, and equipment - but you have order and advocate if necessary. Primary and urgent care practice- must rely on local resources for emergencies beyond NP scope of practice. Health promotion and disease prevention are important job elements.

    Cons

    The State Dept has a long hiring process- it can easily take a year after your application is accepted. Every NP must have pediatric and OB training and experience. You are expected to lead in mass casualty events. Services of the Health Unit must be available 24/7. If NP is not on call must find adequate coverage from another qualified provider.


  3. Join to serve, not for the glamor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Remarkable colleagues; working to address some of the most interesting challenges facing the United States; reasonable opportunities for advancement; job security; good benefits

    Cons

    Poor utilization of technology impedes efficiency and slows decision making; proliferation of political appointees favors short term fixes over long term solutions. Service at hardship and/or dangerous posts is a reality, creating significant challenges for families


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  5. OMS

    Current Employee - Office Manager in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at US Department of State (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people and good hours

    Cons

    Low pay and limited opportunities for advancement


  6. Escort

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of State part-time

    Pros

    Awesome staff, incredibly flexible hours, easy work. The staff at U.S. Mission, Athens is phenomenal. They are a pleasure to work with and for. Excellent part-time job for anyone who needs a flexible work schedule due to other commitments.

    Cons

    If you want the option to work 40 hour weeks consistently, it is difficult. There is also a huge language barrier so if you have no interest in learning the native language, you won't do as well.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure communication between GSO and Facilities and RSO is improved. There were many instances of miscommunication that led to inefficiencies.


  7. To many supervisors

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Department of State (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Decent pay and the benefits are pretty good

    Cons

    Everyone thinks they are a supervisor.


  8. Great start for a civil service career with State.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Passport Specialist in DC Ranch, AZ
    Current Employee - Passport Specialist in DC Ranch, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of State (More than a year)

    Pros

    Training, travel, fascinating well-travelled coworkers. Hopefully translates into more interesting work at higher grades. Opportunities for growth are phenomenal. Language courses for free.

    Cons

    Production based job with all the accompanying cons. Many over qualified young people using the position as entry to federal government career.


  9. Interning at State

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Hands on experience, more than a purely administrative internship.

    Cons

    The internship was unpaid, which took a lot out of my savings.

    Advice to Management

    Require interns to bring in resumes for advice from office.


  10. Despite cons, a great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The opportunity to serve my country and advance American foreign relations by serving as an ambassador overseas. The American State Department is regarded as highly prestigious in most countries around the world. It also provides the opportunity to gain international experience and work with people of different cultures.

    Cons

    As with any government agency, the bureaucracy can be oppressive. Local staff can sometimes take their work for granted. Change happens slowly. Lack of accountability.

    Advice to Management

    Increase staff involvement in decision-making. Provide local staff more opportunities for advancement. Put less emphasis on training and more emphasis on accountability.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Go into this work with your eyes open.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    In the U.S. Foreign Service, you see the world, work on high level issues, have some truly amazing colleagues.

    Cons

    The system of management at the State Department is problematic There are significant written and unwritten rules. Assignments and promotions do not follow the stated rules at all, and the process of "bidding" for your new job and location every two or three years is very stressful. Your life literally depends on these rules, and since they're applied more capriciously than you might thinkk, you never know when you're going to be on the good side or the bad side of the "system."

    Advice to Management

    Seek continuous external review of Department systems so that areas of weekness can be quickly identified. The Department is too insular and focused on the needs of high level individuals.



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