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National Renewable Energy Lab Reviews

Updated January 25, 2018
151 reviews

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3.4
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National Renewable Energy Lab Director Martin Keller
Martin Keller
26 Ratings

151 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • If you're looking for a good work-life balance, this is the place to be (in 33 reviews)

  • The flexible work environment allows adjustment in schedule to accommodate a busy life (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • Lots of bureaucracy and subject to political whims (in 6 reviews)

  • They will lie to you and make you think you have a chance of full time employment: it never happens (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great place for cutting-edge research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time

    Pros

    - Very interesting projects to work on.

    Cons

    - Subject to the constraints of funding, which are obviously influenced by politics.


  2. "High-energy environment with opportunity for growth"

    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 National Renewable Energy Lab full-time

    Pros

    Good salaries
    Lots of opportunities for advancement
    Good on-site perks, like a gym and coffee shop

    Cons

    Lots of bureaucracy
    Disjointed management
    Difficult to have visitors

    Advice to Management

    Try to shield your teams from the bureaucracy and financial ups and downs as much as possible

  3. "Great mission, some management issues"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Golden, CO
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Golden, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    great people, great mission
    good work-life balance

    Cons

    inconsistent leadership
    Lots of bureaucracy
    budget uncertainty

    Advice to Management

    Get out of the ivory tower


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Poor Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Lead in Golden, CO
    Current Employee - Project Lead in Golden, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Most employees are deeply dedicated to the mission and truly believe they are helping make a better world for future generations.

    Cons

    Poor leadership, dysfunctional operations, disrespect of company culture. The new leadership team cares nothing for the mission, only "science for the sake of science." People are rated purely on the number of scientific publications produced. If you're not in a position that produces publications, well, you don't matter.

    Advice to Management

    Learn what's going at the lab. Your ivory tower is out of touch.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Good old days ..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist in Golden, CO
    Former Employee - Scientist in Golden, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    1. Mission is great
    2. Many talented scientists and engineers
    3. Location is good (right in between Rocky mountains and Denver downtown)

    Cons

    Horrible management - Upper level managers blamed the reduced supports from DOE (which is indeed true), but they haven't done anything to keep the organization healthy. Lots of well-known scientists have left over the past few years, but the managers are still there and just worrying about their paycheck.

    Advice to Management

    Managers don't listen to what researchers are saying. So, there is no point for me to write anything here ...


  6. Helpful (1)

    "SULI Internship Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - SULI Intern in Golden, CO
    Former Employee - SULI Intern in Golden, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Awesome, interesting, brilliant people to work with
    -Learned relevant skills for the wind technology industry
    -Numerous networking opportunities
    -Interesting, relevant research topics

    Cons

    None--NREL is an amazing place

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  7. "Great people, exciting work...bureaucratic mess, very dependent on politics"

    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 National Renewable Energy Lab full-time

    Pros

    The people are great, and pretty much everyone loves what they do. The pay is good, and it's very deadline oriented. If you get your stuff done well and on time, you get a lot of freedoms and independence.

    Cons

    As a DOE facility there is a lot of bureaucratic nonsense. It can be frustrating at times. The funding, and therefore job security, fluctuates with Washington and the value the administration places on renewable fuels.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Intellectually challenging work - no accountability for toxic employees"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time

    Pros

    The work is truly able to address impactful, cutting-edge issues. I adored the close relationship with my DOE clients and the collaborative approach to getting results. The range and depth of intellectual horsepower across the lab is inspiring and humbling.

    Cons

    Notoriously “difficult” and likeable-but-barely-competent employees are both treated with kid gloves by management. This is not a meritocracy.

    Advice to Management

    Make people accountable for their bad work and bad behavior and stop punishing the messengers willing to speak up. Collaborate more with other labs instead of the frequent in-fighting over proposals.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "NREL has a wonderful mission"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Support Specialist in Golden, CO
    Former Employee - Technical Support Specialist in Golden, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    What NREL is doing for the environment is wonderful. Their collaboration tools/networks are impressive. Stay away from the politics, keep your head down, and just do your job and you will be happy here. Benefits are great, compensation could be better - but knowing that you are working for the better good of well... everyone that leaves you with a sense of pride you don't just find every where you go.

    Cons

    Management is awful. It looked for a while like they wanted the employees feedback but then after all the surveys they did and feedback they asked for all the upper management up and quit (literally all of them) a whole new team was brought in and things started changing for the worse again.

    Advice to Management

    There's a little saying 'if your employees aren't happy then your customers aren't going to be happy' its a domino effect. For a long time that's how NREL was run. It needs to go back to that.


  10. "Shipping?Receiving Lead"

    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 National Renewable Energy Lab full-time

    Pros

    Good Benefits, Pay, Culture, Location, Vacation Time

    Cons

    None. NREL is a great place to work.


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