Naval Surface Warfare Center Reviews | Glassdoor

Naval Surface Warfare Center Reviews

Updated April 17, 2017
90 reviews

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90 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Big Navy, big government equals red tape (in 8 reviews)

  • It seemed that most of the interesting engineering work were given to contractors while the government was just doing the high level project management (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Hiring a lot of young professionals"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Panama City, FL
    Current Employee - Engineer in Panama City, FL

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time

    Pros

    good job security
    good hours
    good benefits
    variety of projects to work on

    Cons

    A lot of mandatory training
    hard to get software/hardware
    having to go through a multitude of levels of management


  2. "Electrical Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    - Good work/life balance
    - Autonomous work available
    - Decent lab equipment
    - Job security

    Cons

    - No drive for doing greater things
    - Typical government bureaucracy
    - Low pay compared to other industry

    Advice to Management

    Encourage your employees to be innovative and allow them to actually do so!


  3. "Electrical Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Phila, PA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Phila, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible hours, challenging work. Ability to work in different technical areas although many stay in the same area for their careers.

    Cons

    Terrible IT support and contracts support. Takes a long time to get things done. Requires significant travel.

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees like the professionals that they are. Let the engineers solve problems and not be burdened with so much admin.


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  5. "NSWC IHDEOTD DET PICATINNY Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great Health Benefits. Very generous leave policy. Help serve the warfighter.

    Cons

    Very few career growth opportunities.


  6. "administrative"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Administrative in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time

    Pros

    All over the united states

    Cons

    Please stop turnover rate in office

    Advice to Management

    Promote Talent


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Stagnation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Indian Head, MD
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Indian Head, MD

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule (9/8 with one Friday off during a bi-week)
    The amount of annual leave and sick leave is good

    Cons

    If you are a junior electrical engineer, you may find yourself stagnating here.

    There is very little to no opportunity to learn new skills here -- there is no mentoring for young engineers, senior engineers are too busy in their lead roles and have no time to train new engineers. Few even said they were OK just doing their work and did not even want to train anybody.
    There is no opportunity to get professional training outside of the base -- at least, in my branch I was told 'No' every time I asked.
    There are no detail/rotation assignments -- I was told they stopped providing such opportunities to their engineers after many did not return.

    The amount of bureaucracy and waiting required to purchase anything (not just expensive items but even cheap resistors) are tremendous.

    Management is poor. In some projects, there are no meetings or clean planning for work ahead (at least, such plans are not communicated). At times, there is very little work available in projects; however, at other times workload is stressful.

    From talking to others, I know that there were times when there was not enough work for everybody. Despite that the base keeps hiring new engineers to avoid being BRAC-ed and also to replace people who gave up and left for a better job.

    Also, some projects may require you to work A LOT in a very isolated environment, like a basement room or a building to which almost no other person ever goes. You may feel very physically isolated from the world and start being lonely and sad.

    Advice to Management

    Train your young engineers -- provide them a mentor, an opportunity to learn new skills, take professional classes or do a detail/rotation assignment. Given them enough work so they do not idle and feel bored. Communicate better -- have regular meetings in projects as well as discussions about their performance and other projects.

    Invest time and money your new engineers; how else are you going to keep them from quitting? I guess, the other strategy is hoping to retain those engineers who are aiming to become non-ambitious 'lifers' and let everybody else quit?


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Mediocre Pay, Great Benefits"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Crane, IN
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Crane, IN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Overall there is a lot of exciting work going on at NSWC Crane, especially if you are an engineer or scientist. You are only expected to work a normal work week and are compensated for anything greater than 40 hours. Benefits include multiple choices of health plans, a defined benefit retirement, 5% matching 401K/Roth 401K, 13 days/yr of sick leave, and 13-20 days/yr of annual leave.

    Cons

    As expected with any government position, there are a lot of politics within the workplace regarding the projects being completed. Pay increases are generally small overall (~1-2% per year) and there are not many opportunities for additional pay increase beyond moving into management.

    Advice to Management

    It would be good to offer the ability for employees to receive raises based on increases in their education and certifications such as receiving a Master's Degree or a specialty license within their career field. There also needs to be a more defined career path for the technical workforce without going into management.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Computer Scientist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Dahlgren, VA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Dahlgren, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Amazing pay and great benefits (health care - including vision and dental). Coworkers are all generally pleasant people with their technical capability and quality ranging from amazing to bad. Work atmosphere is laid back and only as stressful as you make it.

    Cons

    NSWC Dahlgren is a great place to work at as long as you do not care about 2 things. 1) Maintaining or improving your technical sharpness/capability. 2) Actually producing a good quality, working product. You should not expect any satisfaction from what you are working on. Bureaucracy, red tape, and "government process" remove most (if not all) innovation, efficiency, and quality. You should expect to use 10-20 year old software development practices and 7+ year old tools and technologies. Project management is unbelievably poor and there is very little responsibility and accountability. High grade promotions are equally part seniority, part who you know, and part qualifications/resume based.

    Advice to Management

    The current work situation is very inviting to employees who just want to show up to work for 8 hours a day and not actually do/produce anything. As a result both the quality of the workforce and moral is degrading at a very rapid rate. Set expectations and deadlines and hold employees accountable. Get project managers with better technical leadership that can make good decisions to promote quality products.


  10. "Good but it could be better"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, work/life balance. The commute is easy.

    Cons

    Underpaid for amount of work/responsibilities. Too much bureaucracy. Limited promotional potential. Big old boy culture/mentality.

    Advice to Management

    Start promoting energetic employees with the experience/desire to fulfill high value positions.


  11. "Fantastic, loved the work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Visual Information Specialist in Dahlgren, VA
    Former Employee - Visual Information Specialist in Dahlgren, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Loved the creativity, and challenge working on warfare systems for Surface Navy.

    Cons

    Big Navy, big government equals red tape!

    Advice to Management

    It is very difficult for management to make decisions, when all of the decisions are made uptown by DoD.



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