Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Reviews | Glassdoor

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Reviews

Updated June 20, 2018
310 reviews

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3.8
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas R Frieden MD MPH
Thomas R Frieden MD MPH
155 Ratings

310 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Working for the government can be difficult with layers of administrative red tape and bureaucracy" (in 22 reviews)

  • "It is extremely difficult to get hired full time" (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Summer Intern"

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

    I worked at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention full-time

    Pros

    very helpful, knowledgeable lab team

    Cons

    There's a lot of hoops that need to be jumped through for each process; it makes sense though since it is a governmental organization with a ton of important information and research being conducted


  2. "Epidemiologist"

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

    I worked at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention full-time

    Pros

    there is plenty of job security after 1 year probation
    easy to move around to different divisions and centers

    Cons

    little room for innovation, moves very slow

  3. "Intern in the Malaria Branch"

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

    I worked at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention part-time

    Pros

    Loved the people, flexible hours, laid back.

    Cons

    The work could get boring / repetitive.

    Advice to Management

    None


  4. "Health communication specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The work environment is positive, upbeat, and fast paced, and teams of dedicated professionals are always willing to lend a hand.

    Cons

    Working for the government can be difficult with layers of administrative red tape and bureaucracy. Projects can take much longer than expected to complete.

    Advice to Management

    Keep an eye towards innovation and pushing the envelope as far as outside the box thinking and ways to get more done with less.


  5. "Public Health Associate"

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

    I worked at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention full-time

    Pros

    On-site learning, workforce development, support for higher education

    Cons

    Low pay for PHAP associates, PTO also seems low for associates.


  6. "PHAP: Management of this program is comically inept."

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

    I worked at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention full-time

    Pros

    If you're proactive about it, PHAP can be a good networking opportunity, especially if you have an interest in building a career with the CDC. Your mileage will vary however, as your assignment is determined with no regard to your own professional interests or circumstances, meaning it is very possible (perhaps even likely) that you'll find yourself doing grunt work unrelated to your career goals while being surrounded by people who either have no interest in helping you or couldn't even if they tried. Due to the mismanagement of the program, it's a matter of being lucky or not.

    Cons

    The pay is low, generally hovering around $30,000/yr depending on where you are placed. Unless you are placed in an area with a very low cost of living, you'll probably need to get a second job to stay afloat.

    The CDC will give you zero support in relocation, which is necessary for the vast majority of associates. It also doesn't help that they expect your response to their offer letter within 2-3 days.

    The program is poorly thought out and managed. Very few things, if any, are explained clearly or on time. Management is quick and eager to mete out disciplinary action for any mistakes resulting from this. While the word "flexibility" is often thrown around, it doesn't go both ways. Associates are expected to be unreasonably flexible, while not even receiving a modicum of that flexibility from the CDC.

    The provided training is next to useless. The required coursework is slipshod, a waste of time.

    Your experience will be heavily determined by the supervisor you are placed under. Supervisors are untouchable. Associates are completely at their mercy and have no means of voicing their concerns.

    The work culture is pretentious and sanctimonious. Expect to be surrounded by people who think they are brilliant but are severely lacking in EQ.

    Advice to Management

    Supervisors should be held accountable for their actions (or inaction). Management should create concrete ways for associates to voice their concerns.

    Give more consideration to the associates' time. Expecting people to decide whether or not they can relocate to their assigned sites within 2-3 days is ridiculous.

    Consider hiring an educational consultant to help design the program's training or at least train the people providing the training how to effectively teach people.

    Be transparent about what associates will be doing for the next two years. Associates should be provided information about what sub-field of public health they'll be working in and what day-to-day responsibilities they'll be handling. Of course the turnover is horrible. You provide next to no information about what associates will be doing and leave it up to them to find out when they've already relocated and started the job.


  7. "Stable job"

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

    I have been working at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention full-time

    Pros

    In my experience CDC is amazing with many opportunities and with it being a government job, pretty much stable.

    Cons

    None at this time. I have been blessed with my opportunities.

  8. "Great place for growth."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Public Health Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Public Health Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends

    I worked at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Get to travel nationwide as well as international.
    Opportunities available for learning new skills.

    Cons

    Very competitive work environment that builds conflict between workers.


  9. "Glass ceilings and the Peter Principle"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Health Scientist in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Health Scientist in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, good benefits, and generally friendly colleagues.

    Cons

    Promotions are rare and limited to employees whom management has deemed to have "paid their dues". Lots of senior employees do very little work and (honestly) would have trouble competing for their positions under private sector hiring practices. Also, ineffective scientists-turned-managers are abundant.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating MDs like they're the only ones who can do science, and make promoting practices more transparent and fair.


  10. "Accountant"

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

    I worked at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Teleworking program was good at times

    Cons

    the management is not very smart

    Advice to Management

    good if you just want a job


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