National Institute of Standards and Technology Reviews | Glassdoor

National Institute of Standards and Technology Reviews

Updated February 4, 2017
111 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.9
Star Star Star Star Star
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Approve of CEO
National Institute of Standards and Technology Acting Director Dr. Willie E. May
Dr. Willie E. May
19 Ratings

111 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Red tape and procurement process (in 8 reviews)

  • Expect to work you butt off for little or no pay and be told "be happy you have a job (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Flexible work environment"

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

    I worked at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Ability to collaborate with multiple scientists.

    Cons

    Limited budget to retain guest researchers and post docs.


  2. "NIST Information Technology Lab (computer science)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Science Intern in Gaithersburg, MD
    Current Employee - Computer Science Intern in Gaithersburg, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It has an academic feel, but with less pressure to publish than in an academic job. You also don't have to fight for money as much to pursue your research agenda. People are friendly too.

    Cons

    Your salary will be limited (it caps out in the research non-management track at around 140K). Of course no one goes into the government to get rich. Also, things move slower in the government. If you're seeking a super exciting work environment this may not be the place for you. (I can only speak for the department I'm in though. Other departments may be different.)

    One more thing: When you start unless you're lucky, you will probably have an interior office. On the positive side, you don't have to work in your office. For instance, I do most of my work in the main library where there's a lot of natural light.

    Advice to Management

    I actually think you do a good job. I have no complaints.


  3. "Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great Campus, people, and location

    Cons

    Old buildings, people, and location


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  5. "Summer Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Everyone's very friendly and willing to help you
    The atmosphere is very relaxed
    Lots of cool opportunities to tour other facilities

    Cons

    Not always super exciting work


  6. "Good work life balance, great people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow, Biomedical Engineer in Falls Church, VA
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow, Biomedical Engineer in Falls Church, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Had a great experience working at NIST. Everyone is really friendly; easy to develop a network & collaborations (both research & personal). There are tons of seminars/workshops/conferences for individual and career growth.

    Cons

    The cafeteria is horrible. Budget is uncertain.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing. Maybe a less less micromanagement.


  7. "Great place to work, just not really for me."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Computer Trainee in Gaithersburg, MD
    Former Employee - Computer Trainee in Gaithersburg, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great place to work, very friendly people overall. Have a chance to be involved in some really interesting projects solving very real problems.

    Cons

    Work got kind of boring for me. No real motivation to succeed or do well. Pay wasn't that great considering the cost of living. HR can be a pain sometimes.

    Advice to Management

    Didn't really work there long enough, not sure. The management directly above me was great, levels beyond that I didn't have interaction with them.


  8. "Great place for research, not so great for foreign nationals"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Guest Researcher in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Guest Researcher in Boulder, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The staff here consists of outstanding scientists and the scientific equipment is top of the line. The working hours are usually very flexible. The reputation of pretty much all groups is excellent and the location right next to the flatirons is amazing.

    Cons

    If you are able to catch a federal employee position - jackpot! For foreign nationals, this is not an option and this is a government agency in the end which unfortunately mean that you'll always be treating somewhat differently. I like the people and the environment but never liked how they treat foreign nationals.

    Advice to Management

    I understand security is important and we all want to stay safe but kicking out foreign scientists that came all the way over from their home country to serve the US with their expertise is not the right way to go. Also consider supporting your guest researchers with a green card application. They obviously want to work for you!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Gaithersburg, MD
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Gaithersburg, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It is the government so it is pretty difficult to get fired if you are a full time employee off of probation. The salary for IT work is excellent compared to other government workers ( not the private sector). The benefits are also pretty good. This may change in a Trump administration.

    Cons

    The problems with the place are often the flip side of some of the pros. The security of the place leads to some really bad work behavior among management and employees. The managers figure that you won't leave which leads a small minority of managers to act badly towards their employees. A fair number of employees goof off and need to be bailed out by their more committed coworkers. Their is also a number of incompetent employees on the staff which can be a burden to their more competent coworkers who have to again pick up the slack.

     IT management is pretty clueless. They have never been anywhere else other than NIST and are not that interested in how anyone else solves the same problems. Consequently, you see Rube Goldberg solutions to problems that have pretty effective and well known solutions in the outside world. The scientists generally do not think well of the IT organization and consider it more of a hindrance than a partner.

    Advice to Management

    Please retire already. There is a group of IT professionals below you that are ready to run the place in a more effective and efficient manner.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great research, hard to stay"

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

    Pros

    Great research facilities in a beautiful location, flexible working schedule, good job and life balance, very smart and friendly people.

    Cons

    Lots of red tape. Salaries and raises are low compared to local companies. Management doesn't take care of their people, postdocs come and go.


  11. "Perfect summer internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    1 on 1 mentoring, lots of freedom given, and very useful skills learned.

    Cons

    Can be hard to be prepared for the end of summer presentation depending on the project given.



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