US Forest Service FAQ

All answers shown come directly from US Forest Service Reviews and are not edited or altered.

22 English questions out of 22

July 26, 2020

What is health insurance like at US Forest Service?

Pros

If you want to be a Wildland firefighter, the US Forest Service is the top Wildland fire service in the world. There is no better place to learn from the best Wildland firefighters at a place that has been doing this job for nearly 120 years. You can be a hotshot, smokejumper, helicopter crewman, or engine slug. There is no limit to how far you can reach in this job.

Cons

The retirement is the worst of its industry. Compare to other fire service agencies, it’s embarrassing! Other benefits such as health insurance and life insurance are the same way. Costly and not very beneficial as compared to other agencies.

Advice to Management

Modernize benefits to be competitive with non federal fire agencies. Raise salaries to compete with California fire service market.

Other benefits such as health insurance and life insurance are the same way.

July 26, 2020

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October 12, 2020

What is the retirement plan like at US Forest Service?

Pros

Great Health Benefit programs and retirement benefits

Cons

perpetual downsizing results in increased workloads and decreased morale.

Advice to Management

Strive to balance workloads with pay, and give the environment priority over politics. MANAGE the forest.

Great Health Benefit programs and retirement benefits

October 12, 2020

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August 9, 2018

What is paid time off like at US Forest Service?

Pros

Benefits Paid Time off Networking Volunteer Opportunities Stability (federal employment)

Cons

Clueless upper level management Centralized HR Unmotivated employees Some of the highest paid people do no work Stand Up for Each Other and other diversity/sensitivity training feels like they are in place just so higher management can check a box

Advice to Management

Please do not hire recent graduates for the contact (CALL) center. I was offered this position and the PD stated that working as an HR assistant would essentially mean being trained in each HR department and exposure to more opportunities. There was a hiring freeze and there were no open positions until 1 year and 8 months into working at the call center (and for most of those management already has ideas on who they will select). In addition to that, the call center position is a GS 05/06/07 and 0203 (useless) series. If you accept this job it is not classified in a way that counts as specialized experience so if you want to stay with the FS you essentially have to find a position in an HR department (staffing, ER, pay) and start over under the same GS 05/06/07 level in the 0203 before you can move to the 0201 specialist series. The recent graduates were not told that this was a call center until we reported for work. No one would give us information on what the day to day was and we made the mistake of thinking this was normal. Some people moved across the country for this position. The management and leads are adamant about stating this is HR experience and it's not a call center because you aren't making sales. You have 60 seconds between calls and your performance appraisal depends on your numbers and stats...this is a call center. Please, unless you have a high school diploma with no hopes of a *real* career do not work in the contact center. While employed I was threatened with termination constantly during probation and labeled and stereotyped. One supervisor was allowed to treat me this way with no consequences and I was warned that if I went to the union I would be fired by seasoned agents who had seen the same thing happen to others before me. The rest of the HRM seems to be much better. The environment as a whole in FS, besides the rape and other sexual harassment (PBS special), is pretty good. Those in the field seem very happy and those who I have interacted with in other departments are typically kind and happier than I have been while employed. But I’ve still ran into some colleagues who belittle and talk down because of the position I worked in. Also, if after this you still decide to work there please be prepared for the majority of your callers asking for mundane assistance with password resets and the like. All real HR issues are typed into cases and elevated to Staffing Specialists 0201. Also, if you are a recent graduate PLEASE look at Superior Academic Achievement and make sure you accept a job based on your GPA. If you have over a 3.0 more than likely you can qualify for a GS 07 right off the bat and should not accept lower.

Paid Time off

August 9, 2018

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February 22, 2019

How are career development opportunities at US Forest Service?

Pros

The places you work and the people you work with are amazing.

Cons

Very limited upward career mobility.

Very limited upward career mobility.

February 22, 2019

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October 20, 2020

What kind of career opportunities exist at US Forest Service?

Pros

You get to work in wonderful locations

Cons

no funding or opportunity for advancement

Advice to Management

Fund your programs

no funding or opportunity for advancement

October 20, 2020

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22 English questions out of 22