Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Reviews | Glassdoor

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Reviews

Updated May 13, 2017
129 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.1
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Richard A. Hyde
40 Ratings

129 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Low pay compared to similar jobs (in 18 reviews)

  • Some of the positions involve pretty technical work and you would receive much more money for the same job working in the private sector (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good place to get started in career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time

    Pros

    -Good health coverage benefits
    -Lots of interesting training and extended learning opportunities
    -Nice campus with a variety of places to eat and activities to burn some energy
    -Great way to start an environmental career
    -Generally a good place to work. I certainly enjoyed my time starting out at TCEQ.

    Cons

    -Underfunded and it shows
    -Very bureaucratic which is important to know if you plan to advance within the organization


  2. Helpful (4)

    "learn regs then leave-fast; organization has nothing else to offer you"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Environmental Investigator in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Environmental Investigator in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You work to protect public health and the environment. My co-workers are incredible, smart and hardworking people and I've made some great friends.

    Cons

    Regional management is incompetent and they look to find ways to fire people that make the 'dead to me' or DTM list. Management has been overheard bragging about firing people.
    The turn over rate is over 25%. At least one person leaves/quits/gets fired every week. There are at least 50 vacancies.
    Management is promoted with no experience managing, no experience in the subject matter staff is working on and is given no training.
    Regional management demands that subordinates not talk to, email or call managers unless it is during the few hours they're available during the day; which they're then called into meetings and yet again unavailable so staff is left with vague instructions and no way to clarify what is supposed to be done.
    I've never worked in a place where people are scared to request a day off; even if they have over 40 hours of comp time alone and have been forced to work 12 hour days and weekends for weeks at a time. The morale in this office is non-existent. Even other regions within the agency acknowledge how terrible management is; yet nothing is done to change it.
    The office building is falling apart; the elevators are constantly broken, stairwells have mold or bird poop, bathrooms are not always working and the parking lot turns into a lake when it rains. Not to mention it's in a sketchy part of town and not safe. I would never suggest to anyone to work here.

    Advice to Management

    It's not the staff that's the problem. You've driven out all of the competent, knowledgeable staff and you will not retain good staff with the current agenda.


  3. "Can be a good employer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Specialist in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Specialist in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Overall, TCEQ is a good employer that cares about its people. I've developed many friendships with co-workers while I worked there.

    Cons

    The experience you have depends on which division you work. There are frequent organizational changes which can make someone feel uneasy. After a reorganization, you never know what your new upper management is like. A couple of retirements can change your entire career.

    Advice to Management

    Hire lower management that actually cares about people instead of people looking to get ahead.


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  5. "Natural Resource Specialist II"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Natural Resource Specialist II in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Natural Resource Specialist II in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Supportive staff, flexibility with many vacation days, great work life balance

    Cons

    Not a lot of incentive to go above and beyond, pay isn't competitive with other agencies

    Advice to Management

    Good management


  6. "Environmental Permit Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - EPS in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - EPS in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great work life balance meaning once you leave at 5pm you're done. No weekend shifts. Lots of holidays, great sick and annual leave. Great immediate manager in my air permits division. If you just do your work as requested you will succeed. Lots of opportunity to move up if you stay in line. Volleyball at lunch is amazing. Nice distribution of skill level, great volley.

    Cons

    Complacency is everywhere. Mediocrity. Slow to make changes. Pay is very low compared to private industry. There's a certain "type" that typically gets promoted: those that stay in their lane and don't question authority.

    Advice to Management

    Try to close the gap between Section Managers and Team Leaders. Team Leaders are expected to carry the weight of their teams while Section Managers seem to be further removed from the responsibility. Also, succession planning is lacking as well as training.


  7. "Fairly good for what it is"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    consistent work, long-term opportunities, good coworkers

    Cons

    Government, red tape, desk job, lots of writing and reviewing, boring


  8. Helpful (4)

    "It's a decent place to start...or stay if you don't like being valued and like living in poverty."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Overall the work is somewhat challenging and interesting. If you're a bright person who likes to learn, there are volumes of information at your disposal. If you do well in projects that have direct communication with companies, it is a very good way to get your foot in the door for a better job. And almost anything short of a walmart greeter would be considered a better job.

    However, the biggest pro is the work/life balance. You never have to take work home with you and it is a truly 8 to 5 world with a generous amount of holidays. Although there is an "expedited permitting" program where you can choose to work a little overtime. Even if the program is poorly run by poor management, you can at least use the extra money if you want to eat more than bread and water for the month.

    Cons

    There is no way to accurately state to someone how abhorrent and abysmal the salary situation is, especially if you've invested time and money into earning a four year degree in science and engineering. God help you if you have a post graduate degree. It isn't really even accurate to call it compensation. Most employees of the agency live in a city that is rapidly becoming too expensive to live in, and are paid a small fraction of what other STEM professionals make at almost any job. They always have the excuse of the fact that there just isn't enough money in the state budget, which I imagine is true when you don't charge any company any taxes. The little money the state does have goes to funding frivolous lawsuits against the federal government to fight regulations that might actually help Texans, since the state isn't interested in doing it. Besides, even if they had money and weren't litigious to the point of absurd, they wouldn't pass a reasonable budget and give you a raise because the legislature has more important business to discuss, namely who can pee and in what bathroom (or other nonsensical things that don't matter).

    Also, please don't imagine that going to work for an "environmental agency" means you'll be doing anything to help the environment. Working for the environment in wild west Texas is about like watching a Sarah McLaughlin ASPCA commercial and volunteering to work at your local animal shelter, only to find out your job is to shovel dead puppies into a furnace (and yep we permit that too).

    Since it is a government job, it does cater to a certain class of employee who just couldn't hack it in the real world due to laziness and apathy. You will find these people to be at best an annoyance, and at worst a daily obstacle and hindrance to any productivity at all.

    Lastly, the "management team" is either inconsistent bordering on incompetent, or they are the most petty group of passive aggressive bullies you will ever come across in your life. One can never guess from day to day what anyone in management may choose to care about at any one time. Therefore, everything is contradictory to the point that anything they approved of yesterday, they will castigate you about tomorrow. They make themselves indispensable by making sure that there is no way anyone below them could ever be correct and do a good job, because the rules are a daily moving target. Not because new laws or regulations are passed, but because they have no clue what they're doing.

    Advice to Management

    Since you can't get people more money from a state legislature that resents their very existence and intelligence, the least you could do is cull the place of the ineffective and incompetent leaders who couldn't manage their way out of a wet paper sack with two hands and a flashlight. Then you could replace them with people who give a damn and are productive (yes they do exist).

    In the absence of that, at least have the decency to leave policies and practices in place for more than a day so that employees could have a since of what they are supposed to do consistently. No one will remember you because you leave a legacy of having changed the most minute policies in your tenure, especially since they're more concerned with the fact that none of the random policies you do enact actually help to improve the health and environment of Texans.


  9. "Overall Functional and Accountable Agency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Considering the low pay, there are many competent and dedicated staff. There is little of the gossip and trouble-making that plagues many organizations. Management is engaged and makes decisions based on technical considerations (I have worked in an environmental agency in another state where that was not the case, albeit in a different program that tends to be more political). The atmosphere is friendly and pleasant.

    Cons

    Training is lacking. There is too much emphasis on tracking and database management and not enough emphasis on deep technical knowledge. Problems are dealt with when they surface rather than proactively, even when looming problems are obvious. The agency is too centralized and is weak on facility inspection.

    Advice to Management

    Start to address the looming retirement of key staff immediately. Raise pay to equivalence with other State of Texas agencies.


  10. "Good Workplace, but Low Excitement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Laboratory Assessor in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Laboratory Assessor in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Job is safe, won't lose it if you do an average job
    -People are generally nice and not harsh
    -Working for the State of Texas, feels cool in concept
    -Great insurance and pension plan
    -Great place to retire/round out career

    Cons

    -Not inspiring, can be monotonous, not great for young professional
    -Low energy workplace
    -Pay is only ok-to-average, not competitive
    -No amazing ammenities (cafeteria food is bad, gym is very basic)
    -Change is very slow to come

    Advice to Management

    Not much, since the ceiling for improvement is set by the Texas Legislature and state budget.


  11. "Summer Internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Ihtern in Sugar Land, TX
    Former Employee - Ihtern in Sugar Land, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - There is alot you can learn at TCEQ and it is a fun internship.
    - This is a great place to start if you are looking for a career in Environmental Science.

    Cons

    - Some of the work gets repetitive at times and there are days when you run out of things to do.
    - The pay is very low.


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