NASA Reviews | Glassdoor

NASA Reviews

Updated December 1, 2017
294 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

4.4
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
NASA NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
129 Ratings

294 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
Cons
  • The famous "Governmental Red Tape" (in 14 reviews)

  • The overall experience was great; no cons (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Postdoctoral Research Scientist"

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

    I have been working at NASA full-time

    Pros

    Amazing work environment and amazing people

    Cons

    Sometimes admin things move very slow


  2. "Sr System Engineer/System Safety Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer/Systems Safety Manager in Goddard, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer/Systems Safety Manager in Goddard, MD

    I have been working at NASA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits and retirement plan

    Cons

    none at this time that i can think of

  3. "Intern"

    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 NASA part-time

    Pros

    It's a great place to learn.

    Cons

    I don't have any complains


  4. "Intern"

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

    Pros

    awesome place to do an internship.

    Cons

    none that i encountered while being an intern


  5. "NASA life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at NASA full-time

    Pros

    It truly is an experience.

    Cons

    tough work working with geniuses


  6. "Test engineer"

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

    I have been working at NASA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pension, matching 401k, social security, job security

    Cons

    You work for the Federal government


  7. "Amazing Place To Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer(Internship) in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer(Internship) in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at NASA (More than a year)

    Pros

    Everything in NASA is hands on. I was initially assigned to the UX Development Team, but within the first couple of weeks I was able to branch out and learn so much. My mentors were friendly and ver VERY helpful. Once you work there, everyone makes an effort to help you out; whether it is finding another project for you to work on at NASA, or helping you out.

    Cons

    Some of the projects may seem very simple and bland.

  8. "Aerospace Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Director in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Director in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NASA full-time

    Pros

    The attitude we can do anything if it is good & right with physics & soundness.

    Cons

    Time and money, like most companies we never have enough to do all we wish to

    Advice to Management

    Lobby for more funds & take on Space Solar Power-NASA's invention 50 years ago.


  9. "Paramedic"

    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 NASA full-time

    Pros

    Great people and atmosphere, exciting job!

    Cons

    Low volume EMS/ and patient care

    Advice to Management

    ....


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Lots of opportunities, great benefits, at the cost of a slow pace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Engineer in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at NASA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    NASA is consistently rated as one of the best places to work in the federal government and I believe that's reflective of the high amount of pride that comes with the work. NASA has a large breadth of work from aeronautics, to science, to human spaceflight, which translates to lots of opportunities. Over the course of 15 years I managed to work on multiple projects/programs and even temporarily transfer to another NASA center (Headquarters).

    As with all government positions, the benefits are good. You receive plenty of leave (depends on seniority but eventually I earned 8 hours of paid leave every 2 weeks), there's an increasing amount of flexible schedule (9/80) work, telework, separate sick leave, government 401k (TSP) with matching, federal health benefits (FEHB), etc. There's also a heavy interest in work-life balance. If a family or home issue came up, I would be able to simply send a note to my supervisor or catch them in the hall and mention the times I'd be out. This flexibility comes with trust in the employees which certainly grows as you prove your dedication to getting the needed work done.

    In summary, NASA is a good place to work with many friendly and passionate people, good benefits, and interesting work in comfortable environment.

    Cons

    Most all aerospace projects take time (many years/decades) to go from conception to implementation. NASA is not exempt and has the added complication of facing constantly changing political winds every 4-8 years which directly affects the agency's priorities. Some areas (such as aeronautics) see a little less shift while others (predominantly human spaceflight) can experience major programmatic changes each political cycle. This means you typically have the choice of working large scale programs that move at a snails pace or on new, innovative projects with a very high likelihood of cancellation or outsourcing, leaving you with little sense of fulfillment.

    If you're an experienced aerospace veteran, you may have grown numb to this and find NASA's benefits outweighs the potential lack of fulfillment. However, younger employees will (and have) grow(n) frustrated and leave. You could find yourself working 10+ years on an exciting project to only have it massively restructured. While I started as a student employee, I would highly encourage young engineers to first consider work at some of the more innovative, faster-paced startups in aerospace to gain experience unless your desire is simply career stability and being able to say "I work at NASA." Similarly, while hands-on engineering work does occur at NASA, those projects are at higher risk of cancellation as the work eventually transitions to a contractor and you're left to supervising a contract and engineering progress. Fine for an experienced engineer wanting exciting but easy work, not so engaging for a young engineer looking to exercise their creativity.

    I caveat these cons with the fact that NASA is a big organization. Each center has its own unique culture where some take greater pride and effort in rapid, innovative development while others wish to maintain more of a slow and steady pace of development despite constantly changing priorities. Do your homework and reach out to employees at the center your interested in to see if you'd really find the work engaging or if you're merely drawn to it because "its NASA."

    Advice to Management

    The NASA brand, while still powerful in attracting talent, is slowly waning. While NASA once was seen as embracing bold and daring challenges ('moonshots'), more of the younger generation is being drawn to the exciting innovation of companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Moon Express, etc. While these companies do not compete against NASA, they are competing in the attraction and retention of talent. To attract and retain top talent, smaller scale, rapid development projects need to be made available that younger talent can lead.

    Regarding human spaceflight, much of the NASA culture is still waiting for the 'resurrection of Apollo' - a bold, visionary announcement from the highest levels of government backed with matching funds stating the next goal for human spaceflight. Management must recognize that the aerospace and political climates are undergoing transformative change and an 'Apollo moment' will never occur again. Its time for NASA to focus on its purpose in this new climate and restructure accordingly. I believe once that new purpose is found (or is provided to NASA by commercial and startup entities), NASA will attract and retain top talent in government yet again.


Showing 294 of 411 reviews
Reset Filters