USDA Forest Service

  www.fs.fed.us
  www.fs.fed.us

USDA Forest Service Reviews

Updated November 15, 2014
Updated November 15, 2014
45 Reviews
3.4
45 Reviews
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Excellent work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Computer Specialist in Olympia, WA
    Former Employee - Computer Specialist in Olympia, WA

    I worked at USDA Forest Service as a contractor (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Team work atmosphere (we are all here to achieve the goals). Supervisor\managers are there to assist with career. Very positive work environment perfect for learning new things and acquiring new skills. Working relationships among groups of all discipline are encouraged which allows for the cooperation needed to get things done in a large diverse agency. The can do attitude is present throughout the entire agency. There's a family atmosphere to this agency as they care about their employees.

    Cons

    As a Federal agency this agency is at the mercy of federal budget cuts and the mood and politics of congress and as such resources needed are thinning. Resources especially people are often not replaced and when they are it is after a very lengthy process needed to justify replacing the resource.

    Recommends
  2.  

    USDA Forest Service Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in Clovis, CA
    Current Employee - Intern in Clovis, CA

    I have been working at USDA Forest Service part-time

    Pros

    You are able to create your own schedule. I'm a full time student so school comes first and they completely understand that. Very flexible, always get the days I want off as long as I've finished all my priority projects. Even though I mostly work indoors there are always opportunities in the summer for me to go out into the field and experience our beautiful forest.

    Cons

    Disorganized at times. Management is very busy so at times it can be very difficult to get ahold of them. Computer software is also updated and can be very slow.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Rewarding career.

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

    I have been working at USDA Forest Service full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Work in many great places across the country, outdoor work at field offices, important mission, and wonderful colleagues.

    Cons

    Inefficient government processes in administrative services, human resources and policy development mainly due to partisan swings in political oversight and political control from USDA, OMB, and congress. When more time is spent on process than mission, it eats away at job satisfaction and accomplishments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire political appointees based on executive qualifications and managing programs for the long-term mission vs. partisan views.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    SCEP - Engineering

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - SCEP in Ogden, UT
    Former Employee - SCEP in Ogden, UT

    I worked at USDA Forest Service as an intern (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great job if you want to be outdoors. Very relaxed environment. PTO and other benefits were great. I had opportunities to embark on some unique adventures. Flexible schedule. Traveled into some neat country.

    Cons

    Pay isn't great. Hard to get a job and/or a promotion if you aren't a diversity candidate. A lot of individuals who are close to retirement, but have pretty much stopped trying at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Weed out bad employees. Better performance reviews.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    It's the government

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Civil Servant in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Civil Servant in Portland, OR

    I have been working at USDA Forest Service full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, including adequate time off, great health care, and a pension, if vested. Some flexible schedules. Uniforms paid for, if you don't like to worry about what you wear every day or don't want to spend your own money on work clothing.

    Cons

    Slow to change. Politics rule. Many people who are unwilling to change. Training opportunities are subject to the whims of your particular manage.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Researcher

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

    I have been working at USDA Forest Service full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very flexible work environment with telework encouraged, if you know the right people you can get a lot accomplished. Federal benefits

    Cons

    Needs better collaboration among units and similar projects. Funding is difficult to come by unless you collaborate with the right folks. Expected to meet quotas and work tasks without many resources

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Foster a more collaborative environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    A good place to work for people who like to pretend to accomplish goals.

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

    I have been working at USDA Forest Service full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The federal government has pretty good benefits, although new employees pay higher amounts into the pension program. In general the co-workers are good people and will make coming to work still worth the effort.

    Cons

    Upper management is crippled by political influences and those hired to make decisions are incapable of thinking like a business person. Typically they know little about the land they were hired to manage. Hence you will accomplish little other than trying to make their performance look good to their boss.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Unfortunately, agency leadership will continue to promote those who tell a good story but actually accomplish very little. Most employees would be excited to work for a leader who knows forest management and actually enables active effective forest management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    Working for the forest service as a civil engineer can be very satisfying if the personnel and office culture is good.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Civil Engineer in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Civil Engineer in Phoenix, AZ

    I have been working at USDA Forest Service full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of training opportunities.
    You get to work in the outdoors and in the office.

    Cons

    The office culture can be oppressive with lots of back-biting and competition.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    Great job, but a terrible employer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Forester in Bend, OR
    Current Employee - Forester in Bend, OR

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

    Pros

    One of the best missions around in protecting our national forest resources in the most amazing workplace (the forest) with terrific coworkers. Great work/life balance.

    Cons

    The agency does not care about its personnel. Consolidated human resources in Albuquerque does not understand the mission and is not held accountable for abysmal performance. Very low pay. Poor performers are not placed on a legitimate performance plan and are protected by unions. Too many of the old-guard are retired in place and holding back the contemporary best management practices, science, and socio-economic realities. The agency has been captured by special interests. Disconnected and incompetent senior management. Many employees lack a career path. Poor succession planning. The agency is out of touch with the local communities that depend on the forest resource for social and economic wellbeing. Ancient equipment, poor information technology, and redundant business processes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stand up to political leaders and demand adequate funding to execute the mission. Involve the local community and spread awareness of the environmental and business interests that have captured forest management.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    An eye-opener!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Newtown Square, PA
    Former Employee - Intern in Newtown Square, PA

    I worked at USDA Forest Service full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The office culture was great, lots of respect among colleagues, management took care of its subordinates.

    Cons

    It hard to say, not many cons, time-off was plenty, work-life balance was great--there was opportunity for telecom work and as long as you got 40 hrs in a week, it didn't matter what time you got to work and what time you left.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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