US Forest Service

  www.fs.fed.us
  www.fs.fed.us

US Forest Service Reviews

Updated December 15, 2014
Updated December 15, 2014
53 Reviews
3.4
53 Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great to be working outdoors all of the time (in 6 reviews)

  • For the opportunity to work outdoors in some of the most beautiful places this country has to offer (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • There is a sense of entitlement among some employees who feel the Federal Government owes them more than their current salary (in 4 reviews)

  • Any full-time/permanent jobs are extremely hard to come by (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good Summer job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recreation Technician in Thorne Bay, AK
    Former Employee - Recreation Technician in Thorne Bay, AK

    I worked at US Forest Service part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    good experience in the field. Great learning experience.

    Cons

    long hours away from my home state.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    GUBERMENT WORKERS

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Forest Service

    Pros

    Get to work outside. Hike through the woods all day long. Get exercise while working. Fresh air. ECT ECT ECT

    Cons

    Guberment workers guberment workers guberment workers guberment workers Guberment workers guberment workers guberment workers guberment workers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being Guberment workers

  3.  

    I work at the front desk for a Forest Service visitor center.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Visitor Services Associate in Olympia, WA
    Current Employee - Visitor Services Associate in Olympia, WA

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

    Pros

    Great way to get my foot in the door and learn all about how the agency works and what opportunities are available. There are also plenty of training opportunities.

    Cons

    Feels like a retail position sometimes-- selling permits/passes/books, annoying/repetitive questions, repetitive daily office tasks. Not flexible hours at all since it is a visitor center, and it can be difficult to get coverage because of the remote location. Mostly desk/computer work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Its Still the Government

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Firefighter in Fort Collins, CO
    Current Employee - Firefighter in Fort Collins, CO

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

    Pros

    Potential consitency of employment and travel is amazing

    Cons

    Dangerous line of work, micromanagement. This line of work is not for the natural born leader

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    I was a seasonal GS-5 Biological Resource Technician

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Biological Resource Technician in Redding, CA
    Current Employee - Biological Resource Technician in Redding, CA

    I have been working at US Forest Service full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The scope of work was a dream come true. The experience was priceless. The Supervisors were incredibly smart, passionate, and a blessing to work with. Compensation was great, as was the structure for getting time off. The potential for personal growth is wonderful, if you can secure a position which will allow that. Work-life balance is stressed upon the employees which is wonderful. Company values are also wonderful. It's truly a great place to work.

    Cons

    Most Forest Service positions are seasonal, not to exceed 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc. Any full-time/permanent jobs are extremely hard to come by. Applying for jobs is the worst part about trying to get your foot in the door. Everything goes through USAJobs.gov and it's insanely hard to get through the system and into the hands of a real person. If you do, then it's somewhere across the Country (generally) from where your applying, and it's a very long process.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of USAJobs.gov and use a different application process. Allow applicants to apply directly to the Hiring Manager of the position that is being advertised. Skip all the "keyword matching/online system" nonsense. I understand Veterans get preference, AS THEY SHOULD, but it makes it almost impossible for anyone who is not a Veteran to get a position. There should be positions available for everyone.

    Recommends
  7.  

    The Forest Service is a Terrible Agency

    • 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 Forest Service full-time

    Pros

    Nothing I can think of.

    Cons

    Hostile Work Environment: The agency is extremely cliquey; it pays poorly and employees are under chronic stress due to ongoing poor management and budget turmoil. This stress leads to unhappy people who back-stab and who fail to solve their own problems. The culture encourages tattling on each other for minor issues. Forest Supervisors aren't that great, but they are "untouchable". There's no solid, safe place to lodge complaints without being ostracized.

    Poor hiring practices: The only new hires for the agency are Latino's and vets. This is discrimination against other more qualified applicants. There is also a trend to only hire people with advanced degrees. This is in direct violation of legal hiring practices which state that people with 4-year degrees qualify for hiring. People holding 4-year degrees are rarely considered because of biases from the hiring managers themselves, who have Master's or PhDs.

    Wildfires: The agency supports bad behavior on wildfires. Tax-payer dollars are abused on wildfires but there's no external oversight to review abuses. The cliquey-ness is very apparent on wildfires employees almost have to be on a "team" to be allowed to go to wildfire camp in overhead positions. The agency pays large amounts of taxpayer money to send employees on fire training assignments so they can help in firecamps, but these same employees can not finish their training because they can not get overhead assignments within the 2-year period after training. That is because the wildfire teams are basically closed to new people. There are gate-keepers who allow only certain people to be sent out on fires. The only new people who are allowed to come into these closed systems are vetted by good-old-boy friends. Incident Commanders can be incompetent and make bad decisions, but like the internal workings of cops or the military --they are protected at all cost. Anyone who brings up a complaint is black-balled. Unjustified paperwork is made up and suddenly appears against whistle-blowers. People in control are unethical. This agency needs to be investigated at the Congressional level for corruption and incompetence. All GS-14's and above ought to be transferred to other agencies and new managers moved in. Maybe some fresh blood could help this agency since the people in control are products and propagators of the problem.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to be investigated. The bad behavior and the desire to keep everything status-quo when clearly things are not working smacks of extreme incompetence. The Washington Office needs to be moved off the east coast to a more central location where quality people would be willing to move. Probably in Colorado or someplace more central. Intelligent people do not want to work in Washington DC; therefore the agency does not pull the best and the brightest to work on it's egregious problems.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8.  

    Great if you love the outdoors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Forestry Technician in Chester, CA
    Former Employee - Forestry Technician in Chester, CA

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

    Pros

    Working outside, great people and large enough organization to move up and around if you want to. It is easy to change districts and try different jobs if you want to or if you find a district that you really like it is easy to find a role and stay for a while. You get to work in some of the most beautiful places in the world and usually you are around people that appreciate it. Also, you get great training opportunities if you want them.

    Cons

    A lot of politics and some of the people can drive you crazy but it is such a huge organization you can move around to find somewhere that works for you. The pay and benefits aren't great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the employee reviews more seriously.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Like-minded people, very devoted to service & conservation.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Forest Service

    Pros

    Sense of accomplishment & public service.

    Cons

    Con: Federal government budget cuts!

  10.  

    Biological Technician, Fisheries

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Biological Field Technician in Delta, CO
    Former Employee - Biological Field Technician in Delta, CO

    I worked at US Forest Service as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great people and very friendly office dynamics, interesting work outside everyday, good benefits even as a seasonal worker, good work-life balance. Mentoring from supervisors was great.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy of the federal government makes it hard to get a job full-time. This makes it a tough job to stick with in the long-term because you have to find other employment 6 months out of the year. It'd be much better if more year round positions were available, but that's out of the control of your immediate supervisors.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    Awesome people and experience.

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

    I worked at US Forest Service as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    I was able to meet a lot of very interesting people and learn a great deal about the wilderness. Additionally, everyone I worked with was very friendly and helpful.

    Cons

    Work is not challenging and when slow the day can drag on. Another downfall was having to deal with tour buses carrying unruly passengers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

US Forest Service Photos

Smokey at the Hungry Horse fire cache

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