US Department of Veterans Affairs
3.2 of 5 465 reviews
www.vacareers.va.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of Veterans Affairs Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.2 465 reviews

                             

71% Approve of the CEO

US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki

Eric K. Shinseki

(196 ratings)

60% of employees recommend this company to a friend
465 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great work life balance as overtime typically is frowned upon"
    in 15 reviews
  • "good benefits and well stocked as far as materials and tools"
    in 30 reviews
Cons:
  • "The upper management had no idea what was happening in the different departments"
    in 14 reviews
  • "This creates an interesting work environment"
    in 14 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Federal jobs are not always worth the money

    Mental Health (Current Employee)
    Detroit, MI

    ProsGood pension plan and step increases. You will know your salary at the time of the interview. The union is very good and management does respect the union. The majority veterans are very appreciative of the services they receive.

    ConsLow work & family balance. Significant amount of stress which can carry over into your personal life. Constant pressure of productivity percentage but not quality. Management cares about what looks good on paper (e.g. percentages). Management does not like to promote or hire within. They would rather hire someone off the streets than to hire an internal applicant. There is racism within the VA. Be careful because its easy to become bitter due to work conditions. Most employees stay only because they need the money to support their families.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSay what you mean and mean what you say. Stop telling employees something on Monday then change it on Tuesday…be consistent and honest.

    No, I would not 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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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    VA Medical Center in Durham

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe mission of the agency, many people on staff at the Durham VA are veterans themelves and go above and beyound

    ConsBad workers can not be fired, there is constant in fighting going on and blame going around. If the low producers could be fired with ease like at a private company things would improve fast.

    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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    • Senior Management
           
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    IT Senior Project - Program Manager

    IT Specialist (Current Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsSome of the best people I have ever worked with, a great mission, and career stability.

    ConsSome of the worst leadership I have ever worked under. Long term career/empire builders are entrenched in outdated mindsets and methods, which recent scandals have revealed are across all areas of the VA. The truth about pay is that on the lower end of the GS Pay Scale, salaries are higher than averages. On the higher end of the GS scale, you are seriously underpaid for what you do, the education and experience levels, etc.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease retire. Your time is done. It's time for a new generation to take over.

    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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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Great mission, poor execution

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood medical care for a very large body of people.

    ConsIt organization needs some work at the top.

    Advice to Senior ManagementQuit.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    It's not the worst place, it's a job.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsYou get a check twice a month.

    ConsWhen policies are made they are never followed and there are no consequences for those that don't follow them.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSupport your staff.

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    Many different areas of pharmacy to gain experience. Room to grow here as a technician.

    Pharmacy Technician (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsGood Pay. Nice benefits (travel..etc), not too stressfull, well staffed

    ConsMany employess that have been here too long. Once you pass the one year probationary period, it is very difficult to get fired. Many people take advantage of this

    Advice to Senior ManagementRetire and let some fresh minds come in to clean the place up and modernize the facility. If you have been in the same position for 20+ years, don't you think its time to move on?

    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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    1 person found this helpful  

    Wonderful i loved working with fellow vets.

    Certified Nursing Assistant (Former Employee)
    Memphis, TN

    ProsGreat team experiences and upward mobility.

    ConsTo many bad managers they need to hire more Vets and DOD ex employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire more Vets.

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    VA for voc rehab

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosperson-centered care, good benfits, strong mission, paid holidays, great location

    Consnegative media, beaucratic, politics, inflexible, militant

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    Rating Veterans Service Representative

    Rating Veterans Service Representative (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    Pros-You are positively impacting the lives of Veterans
    -Everyday is different because you are working on a cases of a different Veterans each day.
    -Challenging job as you are evaluated on quality and production

    Cons-Mandatory overtime
    -You must go through GS-10 before reaching GS-11

    Advice to Senior Management-Have more understanding about production standards as job can be stressful; especially with new computer systems

    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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    2 people found this helpful  

    Job security or just about as secure as you can get.

    Licensed Vocational Nurse (Current Employee)
    McClellan, CA

    ProsBankers hours if you work in a CBOC aka: Community Based Outpatient Clinic.
    That includes Monday-Friday 0800-4:30PM work hours.
    No Holidays and No weekends.
    This schedule does allow for one of the best work/life balances that I have found to date and I am a Licensed Vocational Nurse/LVN and considered a Sr. LVN due to my 10 years of clinical experience thus far.

    Ability to work anywhere within the USA as well as overseas as the VA has stations all over the world with the ability to transfer if one chooses to due to the desire or need to relocate/move.

    3 different retirements and they 'match' your TSP account which is one of them @ up to 5% of your own contributions. IF you do not contribute to the TSP then an automatic 1% is given to you each paycheck and automatically deposited into that retirement account.

    Automatic deposits WITH the ability to allocate as many different checking/savings accounts as you like. For me this works beautifully as I have my primary checking account, a separate savings account and one joint checking account that me and my partner use to pay our monthly mortgage and household bills. Saves me time as the deposits into each of my accounts occur automatically @ each pay period removing the need for me to manually transfer monies. The state of California does not offer this to its employees and I know this as my partner works for the state and has for over 6 years ago. This is a huge selling point for me.

    Pay is competitive however the more experience you have the better as the VA's pay schedule is based on two things:

    Grades and Steps ad they base these things on a combination of education & work experience however a CON is that they really push for degrees such as Bachelors and Masters and often times hire people based solely on their 'paper degree' however they severely lack actual work experience and it shows in the poor leadership.

    Health insurance. Many types to select from, from HMO's PPO and POS including high deductible plans which is a benefit as it allows for diversity and a more custom fit to each employees own needs.

    VA pays for 3/4 of the premiums as well for the health insurance. This is an excellent + when working with them. Benefits begin immediately as well no waiting period.

    Negative is that they don't pay for Vision or Dental but do offer decent plans such as the Humana Dental I just started carrying. For a single person such as myself I pay $14 every 2 weeks for the premium.

    ConsNO State Disability participation and that is non optional. If you wonder if this is an important benefit to have consider the fact that in the event that you become injured/disabled or otherwise unable to 'work' due to an injury/illness that occurred while not on the job then your income will cease to exist once you exhaust your saved vacation and sick time.

    Your medical coverage will also cease to exist unless you continue to pay for it should you experience the above listed inability to work due to unforeseen circumstances.

    This is the primary deal breaker for me and I've been working for the feds for the past 5 years and is why I am now interviewing for another company to work with as quite frankly the risks are just to high and a person would/could loose everything they have worked so hard for IF they are unable to work due to an accident/illness that is unforeseen. And don't think it can't happen to you I've seen and worked with so many VA employees who have experienced this exact same thing and been financially devastated until they could finally return to work. Actual example: Nurse broke her back while riding an ATV at the beach. Unable to work x 1 year. Absolutely no other income coming into her home and that includes no disability insurance payments as she didn't even have her own private policy.

    Temporary solution to above major issue: Carry your own private policy which is what I do and have since realizing the lack of it. However even those are very expensive & have maximums on them such as 6months-1 yr. of paid benefits. Weigh it all out however as a nurse myself I don't think the benefits outweigh the positives as accidents/illness happens when a person least expects it.

    Employees get rather 'lazy' when working at the VA I've noticed. Its really one of the easiest nursing positions I have held however it can get rather tedious and boring. If this isn't an issue for you then I'd say you may very well be quite contented working for them.

    Hiring process is long as the back ground checks and the general overall process is rather cumbersome however you are working for the federal government and they are very thorough when it comes to hiring. Several months from start to finish isn't all that rare. It depends on the HR department of which ever location your applying for really. Mather HR has been unbelievably organized & professional whereas Palo Alto's division although monstrous was horrifically disorganized, poorly managed and beyond dysfunctional in particular their HR department which slowed the already tedious process to a crawl.

    Unions are useless in all the VA's I have worked in. High rates and crappy contracts. Joining is not mandatory which is a positive thing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't focus so many of your leadership decisions on educational degree's alone as the weaknesses in doing so are very clear in the turn over rate as well as employee aka: worker ant job dissatisfaction.

    The VA hires many veterans which shouldn't be a negative thing however I have seen far too many 5'ers meaning veterans who come on board to work for the VA put in their 5 years of work, 'buy back' the remaining years and retire within them first 5 years. Unfortunately that means you have a person just here doing time. Not so much what a system needs.

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

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US Department of Veterans Affairs – Why Work for Us?

About VA Careers Department of Veterans Affairs offers Veterans the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the United States. We operate more than 1,400 sites of care, including… Full Overview

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at US Department of Veterans Affairs reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for US Department of Veterans Affairs CEO Eric K. Shinseki. All 465 reviews posted anonymously by US Department of Veterans Affairs employees.