Air Force Research Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

Air Force Research Laboratory Reviews

Updated September 14, 2017
61 reviews

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61 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • It's a great place to start your scientific career, and they are very supportive of advanced education (in 5 reviews)

  • Great work life balance and benefits package (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Being a government institution sometimes the bureaucracy and red tape can slow down the work, but it is just the nature of the job (in 5 reviews)

  • Sometimes government work isn't the most enthralling, but it's a steady paycheck (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good place to work"

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

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Great work life balance and benefits package

    Cons

    Limited growth potential for those who want to stay technical.


  2. "Anonymous"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I cannot come up with a single "pro"

    Cons

    This is an exceptionally toxic work environment. There is rampant sexism and ageism occurring, along with an attitude of snobbish disdain toward non-scientists. The waste of taxpayer dollars is mind-boggling, and the overall lack of productivity if abhorrent. If the general public knew what goes on in this place it would be shut down overnight. Do not work here; in fact, run for the hills if you are considering taking a position here.

    Advice to Management

    Flush it all down the toilet and start from scratch.

  3. "Highly incompetent bunch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Electronics Engineer in Dayton, OH
    Former Employee - Senior Electronics Engineer in Dayton, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    job security, very mild (due to incompetence) professional supervision

    Cons

    Rampant incompetence ranging from lowest level engineering staff to top level management. Lots of BS, very little justification of tax payer spending.

    Advice to Management

    get out of the way


  4. "Research Physicist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Wealth of equipment and computer resources

    Cons

    Terrible middle management that can be a show stopper.

    Advice to Management

    To Upper management-vet your middle management more thoroughly


  5. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Secretary in Edwards, CA
    Current Employee - Secretary in Edwards, CA
    Recommends

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Overall, great place to work. Working for the Air Force is the best of both corporate and military life that you can get. Working in an S&T and R&D environment allows flexibility and ease of work. Everyone from management to fellow co-workers and contract customers are wonderful to work with. It's very laid back. You have opportunities to learn and grow and excel in personal and professional development. Great place for engineers, fabrication machinists, scientists and chemists to experiment, work, explore, and do what they do. There are plenty of opportunities for work in the science and development of rocket technology. I love the advancements, the projects and the work we do. It's amazing!

    Cons

    9/80 schedule leads to long days because of a 50 mile commute. Not much opportunity for administrative professionals like myself to advance or move. Sometimes, people can be difficult to work with depending on how long that person has been here and how much they don't like change. No travel for admin personnel (but plenty of travel opportunities for engineers).

    Advice to Management

    I would love for opportunities for administrative personnel such as myself to move and advance or crossover elsewhere.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Fascinating technology, big impact for the country"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wright Patterson AFB, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wright Patterson AFB, OH
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - Highly recommended. I sometimes regret leaving but I make almost twice as much in private industry.
    - Lots of opportunity to be involved in cool projects and many choices about career direction.
    - Excellent research facilities, often best in class
    - World class personnel - technically excellent, most groups are extremely friendly
    - Excellent job security versus private industry
    - For top talent, you can have a disproportionate influence on the course of major programs once you have proven yourself - very exciting
    - Opportunities to do very basic research or cutting edge engineering that directly impacts the Air Force fleet.
    - Retirement benefits are excellent, modest pension, Thrift Savings Plan ("401K for federal employees"), and Social Security.
    - High level of organizational agility at lower levels.
    - Generally a very ethical environment
    - Good career advancement for early to mid-career personnel
    - It feels really good when you get to make a contribution that really helps the Air Force and the country. This will sound sappy, but this is what I miss the most.

    Cons

    - There are a few low performers and civil service protections make it impossible to get rid of them
    - Higher levels of the organizational structure are not nearly as agile because planning process locks in many decisions for years
    - Top performing mid-career team members often leave because of strict limits on the number of high paid personnel
    - Pay for top performers is fairly low compared to industry, bonuses are tiny and rare, even for truly notable achievements

    Advice to Management

    - Work hard to remove under-performing employees or get them in positions where they can cause the least trouble. There are not many, but they are troublesome.
    - Figure out how to be agile and to move quickly
    - Eliminate dumb rules and processes ruthlessly
    - Make management roles more attractive so that your best leaders will take them


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Dayton, OH
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Dayton, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    AFRL is a great place to work. Challenging, good advancement opportunities, friendly people, low cost of living.

    Cons

    AFRL can be a difficult place to work as a young person due to the uneven age distribution. There are a lot of people who are very close to retirement, and a lot of young people, there are not many people in between.

    Advice to Management

    There are a lot of people who are very close to retirement, and a lot of young people, there are not many people in between.

  8. "AFRL Rvw"

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

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Ability to participate in the cutting edge of Air Force technology research and development and to work with experts in a variety of engineering fields.

    Cons

    Gov bureaucracy makes it tough to make significant changes to research direction from the bottom. Most opportunities to pursue innovative new research require seeking outside sponsors for the work. Very slow hiring process makes it tough to attract and keep fresh talent.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to adapt more quickly and to continue to enhance innovative & rapid acquisition processes to cut red tape. Put procedures in place to fast-track hiring & to make offers more competitive with industry in key technical areas.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Horrible Experience. Integrity is gone here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dayton, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dayton, OH

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I was paid almost every biweekly.

    Cons

    They allow inexperience veterans/army to fill positions, and they have no skills for position. They bully and harass outsiders who are not government or Army/Air Force. What happened to Integrity, which is in the Airman handbook? The sequestration really has destroy this place. This place at one time where dinosaurs (great), but there is just dinosaur bones here now. Donald Trump should clean house here. We need some innovation coming from here again. and fast...

    Advice to Management

    Do not be scare of leading and saying something is wrong. Or allowing injustice to prevail.


  10. "Summer Scholar"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great opportunity to learn about some amazing research and with incredible scientists.

    Cons

    Limited project scopes for summer.


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