National Renewable Energy Lab Reviews | Glassdoor

National Renewable Energy Lab Reviews

Updated Aug 9, 2019

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Found 187 reviews

3.4
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
47%
Recommend to a Friend
55%
Approve of CEO
National Renewable Energy Lab CEO Martin Keller
Martin Keller
39 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "I don't have too much complain on NREL(in 25 reviews)

  • "There are a couple senior scientists on the brink of retirement that really need to do it(in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Excellent mission, great coworkers, feel supported. Beurocracy of being subcontracted to the government is no fun."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Communications Specialist in Golden, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Mission, coworkers, compensation, benefits, career opportunities, support

    Cons

    Current administration in DC and the Department of Energy makes it tough

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-06-15
  2. "Great mission, fun and friendly people, not the best benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Golden, CO
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Some really great people, plenty of interesting topics to solve, and seemingly no lack of funding for data science type work. You have the ability to perform research but also work with industry partners to develop tools that can advance business operations - so a nice blend of research and production-level software development. Not to mention, these projects are helping to advance a clean energy future, so you feel...

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    Cons

    If you're interested in building production-level code or models, this may not be the best fit for you. I find it is a nice blend, but someone who is truly industry focused may find the research side of things to be a bit too slow or pedantic. While work-life balance is encouraged, the PTO amount is pretty small (15 days including sick leave). Salaries are slightly lower than industry, but not by much.

    Advice to Management

    Re-evaluate PTO packages to be more competitive, since salaries already tend to be lower than industry, benefits packages should try to at least be closer to much of what is happening in industry these days (e.g. Flex Time/unlimited/more days off).

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-08-01
  3. "Mission is strong, Culture is terrible"

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

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Incredibly flexible place to work (unless you are in the lab) Good benefits People really care about the mission

    Cons

    Ultra competitive culture being promoted from lab director is unhealthy Complete lack of support by executive management Managers not set up for success (too little overhead devoted to managerial duties)

    Advice to Management

    An overhaul to the culture is desperately needed. Our leaders need to adopt a mindset of valuing employees, really understanding the importance of organizational culture and recognizing that well-being is a piece of the total employee experience.

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-08-09
  4. "A place for someone really passionate about the subject and can work with lots of deadlines"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Golden, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Good benefits and competitive pay - Focus on publications

    Cons

    - Strict deadlines - Reaching milestones is the first priority and the boss could not care less about the postdoc's interest - Poor communication between scientists and groups - No job guarantee - Unfriendly environment. People who I work with every day even barely say hi to me.

    Advice to Management

    - Foster a friendly environment - Less funding-oriented

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-07-05
  5. Helpful (1)

    "I recommend running away fast, but depends on what you like"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Manager in Golden, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    They have a laudable mission and it is energizing to be around such a passionate group, particularly the scientists. The benefits and flexibility are very good.

    Cons

    Very bureaucratic with entrenched long term employees that are hostile towards change. Anything outside of the core mission activities you can rest assured will be littered with under performers many of whom occupy senior management positions. If you are riding out your career until retirement, come on in and hook up with like minded people!

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-06-25
  6. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Golden, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Meaningful work that impacts the sustainability of our energy system

    Cons

    This is a minor point, but being required to bill all time to a task number when many things we do are not directly related to any current task gets old.

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-06-01
  7. "Smoke and mirrors"

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

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great campus for golden only and in Boulder you had very little benifts. (Free eco pass but the bus doesn't drop off at NWTC and they charge for charging your car. If you like written papers then it's the place to be.

    Cons

    No flexible work schedule for non exempt staff, very little to no job growth, low pay, favoritism, rules governored by manger so what happens for all at work doesn't always apply. HR is their to protect the company and not help staff, lots of extra jobs in HR that seem unnecessary.

    Advice to Management

    Treat everyone with the same respect, flexible work schedule for all and wfh should be aloud for everyone, it's 2019 and staff can get work done anytime or place. Lower the overhead cost by not taking management retreats.

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-06-26
  8. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing mission and staff but led by poor executive management"

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

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The mission of the Lab makes you know that you are working toward making the world a better place. The benefit package is very good and you get to work with some of the most dedicated and talented research and support staff.

    Cons

    Executive and Senior Managers are so afraid for their positions that they refuse to challenge any of the truly bad ideas and decisions that come out of the C suites.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize that you are not operating a disruptive tech start-up and breaking something in order to fix it later is not a sustainable model. You need to stop thinking that your "tile people"(research) have more inherent value than the many dedicated "carpet people(support) that keep the Lab operating. The mission is research but it does not have to come at the expense of 25% of your employees.

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-06-23
  9. "Energy Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Project Leader in Golden, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great mission. Staff is smart, really smart, or world class smart.

    Cons

    Little chance for advancement. Management usually hired from outside.

    Advice to Management

    Create career tracks for employees.

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-05-18
  10. Helpful (1)

    "New direction is not good"

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

    I worked at National Renewable Energy Lab full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Fantastic people and great mission. Used to be a great place to work.

    Cons

    New leadership has brought in a heartless, clueless arrogance. Maybe the current public lawsuit will open some eyes to how people should be treated.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to TRULY value people and not just the bottom line

    National Renewable Energy Lab2019-06-21
Found 187 reviews