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Smithsonian Reviews

Updated Jan 25, 2023

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Found 393 of over 633 reviews
3.9
66% Recommend to a Friend
Smithsonian Secretary Dr. David J. Skorton
78% Approve of CEO

Found 394 of over 633 reviews

3.9
66%
Recommend to a Friend
78%
Approve of CEO
Smithsonian Secretary Dr. David J. Skorton
Dr. David J. Skorton
96 Ratings

What people are saying about Smithsonian

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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment

Pros
  • "And you will meet so many great people (tourist) from all over the world.(in 52 reviews)
  • "good benefits, for trust employees 12% of your salary in your 401k without any match requirement.(in 27 reviews)
  • "Coworkers are friendly and well(in 16 reviews)
  • "Great Staff (non(in 14 reviews)
  • "Excellent work environment and supportive(in 13 reviews)
Cons
  • "Low pay for living in an expensive city.(in 21 reviews)
  • "poor management(in 13 reviews)
  • "Low salary for DC metropolitan area(in 12 reviews)
  • "Unpaid internship where I was doing some of the same work that paid employees were doing.(in 10 reviews)
  • "Long hours in summer/ short or no hours in winter.(in 7 reviews)
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Ratings by Demographics

This rating reflects the overall rating of Smithsonian and is not affected by filters.

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  1. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Best job I ever had

    Jan 23, 2023 - Pipefitter 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Government employment is very flexible and beneficial

    Cons

    Keep the same policies amongst the buildings

    Be the first to find this review helpful
  2. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Would not recommend

    Jan 25, 2023 - Assistant Editor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Location - Content is interesting - Good insurance options - Decent retirement benefits if you stay long enough to get them

    Cons

    - Daily publishing quotas (3/day) - Monthly writing and reporting quotas (2-4 features) - VERY LOW rates for freelancers - Low salary for DC metropolitan area - Underpaid, overworked - Low to no paths to promotion - Raises issued in 5-10 year intervals—if that (Team is small but expected to do the work of a team 3x their size) - Expectations are outside of staff capacity and compensation - Very little meaningful mentorship opportunities in media with current staff issues - Daily morning meetings and 2-3 additional check in or team meetings weekly - Senior to CEO leadership out-of-touch with media landscape - Senior leadership is not open to competitive salary negotiation - Near constant staff turnover - Extremely slow hiring process - Very tangled bureaucratic culture overall

    Be the first to find this review helpful
  3. Join the Smithsonian team
    See Our Latest Jobs
  4. 3.0
    Current Employee

    Experience working at the Smithsonian.

    Jan 10, 2023 - Lead Visitor Service Representative 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Able to meet a lot of people, and was able to learn a lot about history

    Cons

    Was made a lot of empty promises of growth but never grew.

    Continue reading
    1 person found this review helpful
  5. 3.0
    Current Employee

    It’s okay

    Jan 11, 2023 - Security Officer in Washington, DC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    It’s decent. A good way to get your foot in the door on the federal side

    Cons

    Its not worth the pay whatsoever

    Be the first to find this review helpful
  6. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Great organization

    Dec 22, 2022 - Director in Washington, DC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The Secretary is incredibly inspirational and such a great person -- and helping to move the organization to be much more forward thinking Fantastic benefits Amazing community of colleagues Impactful and meaningful work

    Cons

    Quasi-governmental bureaucracy can be challenging Sometimes slow progress for aforementioned bureaucracy

    Be the first to find this review helpful
  7. 5.0
    Former Employee

    Stay independent as much as possible

    Dec 13, 2022 - USRO 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Email Arkeemjones@ outlook.com for interview questions for USRO position.

    Cons

    Diverse work environment and colleagues of same origin tend to gang up against others. Stay to yourself!

    Continue reading
    Be the first to find this review helpful
  8. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Great

    Dec 6, 2022 - MPO 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great great great great great

    Cons

    No cons nothing bad to say

    Be the first to find this review helpful
  9. 4.0
    Current Employee

    Smithsonian Pros and Cons

    Dec 2, 2022 - Security Officer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Leadership Development Promotions Overtime Paid Sick and Annual Leave Health Benefits - Dental, Vision, Heath Care Transit Benefits

    Cons

    Grueling Work Schedule 6 days work 2 days off rotation. Can be held over to work double shifts if there are personnel shortages Only 8 weekends a year on a 6 and 2 schedule. Greatly Understaffed

    1 person found this review helpful
  10. 2.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Great mission, poor leadership

    Dec 7, 2022 - Project Manager 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The mission and vision of the Smithsonian and its sub-organizations are great. Enjoy being a part of such an interesting organization. Being a federal worker is nice. Pays well for museum field.

    Cons

    Constantly understaffed. Poor leadership decisions. They promote and hire based on academic credentials rather than management skills. Entrenched hierarchy without any appreciation or agency given to non-curatorial staff. Toxic work culture -people are so committed to the mission and their egos that they work constantly and brag about it... it's about to be 2023, get a life.

    1 person found this review helpful
  11. 3.0
    Current Employee

    Lots of opportunity, challenging bureaucracy

    Dec 6, 2022 - Major Gifts Officer in Washington, DC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Opportunity for impact and great programs

    Cons

    Challenging bureaucracy to overcome including disengaged employees

    Be the first to find this review helpful
Viewing 1 - 10 of 394 Reviews
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Smithsonian Reviews FAQs

Smithsonian has an overall rating of 3.9 out of 5, based on over 633 reviews left anonymously by employees. 66% of employees would recommend working at Smithsonian to a friend and 53% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has decreased by -5% over the last 12 months.

According to anonymously submitted Glassdoor reviews, Smithsonian employees rate their compensation and benefits as 3.6 out of 5. Find out more about salaries and benefits at Smithsonian. This rating has improved by 5% over the last 12 months.

66% of Smithsonian employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Smithsonian 3.7 out of 5 for work life balance, 3.7 for culture and values and 3.2 for career opportunities.

According to reviews on Glassdoor, employees commonly mention the pros of working at Smithsonian to be benefits, career development, coworkers and the cons to be senior leadership, culture, management.

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Smithsonian Photos

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Smithsonian photo of: Washington DC - Smithsonian Institution Building  (Photo thanks to Flickr user thisisbossi, available under by-nc-sa v2.0)
Smithsonian photo of: After hours at Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian photo of: Washington DC: Arts and Industries Building  (Photo thanks to Flickr user wallyg, available under by-nc-nd v2.0)
Smithsonian photo of: Smithsonian Institution Building  (Photo thanks to Flickr user rpongsaj, available under by v2.0)
Smithsonian photo of: Washington DC: National Gallery of Art - East Building  (Photo thanks to Flickr user wallyg, available under by-nc-nd v2.0)
Smithsonian photo of: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC  (Photo thanks to Flickr user IslesPunkFun, available under by-nc v2.0)
Smithsonian photo of: Smithsonian Museum of Natural History  (Photo thanks to Flickr user hmerinomx, available under by v2.0)
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Glassdoor has 633 Smithsonian reviews submitted anonymously by Smithsonian employees. Read employee reviews and ratings on Glassdoor to decide if Smithsonian is right for you.