Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Reviews | Glassdoor

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Reviews

Updated June 11, 2017
22 reviews

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2.0
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Richard A. Hyde
10 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Low pay compared to similar jobs (in 15 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. Helpful (4)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  2. "Weary Warrior in IT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Diverse environment. Innovative approach. Open to building new relationships.

    Cons

    Slow growth. Lack of open door approach. Unrealistic and unclear goals and expectations. No concrete career path from management.

    Advice to Management

    Develop team build exercises, clear professional development goals, be approachable and amenable to change.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Mixed Feelings"

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

    I worked at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Working at the TCEQ provided a unique opportunity to truly make a positive difference, and to be able to actually see the results of your work in the improvement of the environment. It also provides a chance to learn about many different aspects of environmental regulation.

    Cons

    As with so many governmental agencies, priorities are always shifting, which can be difficult to respond to. Politics plays a huge role, which can be disheartening. Goals and requirements have evolved to a strict numbers approach rather than considering results and level of effort.

    Advice to Management

    Support the staff rather than managing with intimidation. Acknowledge the many positive contributions that they make every day. Recognize the challenges that staff face in performing their jobs. Pay will never be as high as the private sector, so it is critical that job satisfaction be high to retain staff. It is management's responsibility to evaluate and provide those factors that lead to high job satisfaction.


  4. Helpful (11)

    "Inefficient and Apathetic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Purchasing in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Purchasing in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Job security is always a plus. Benefits, specifically the health insurance, is quite good as well.

    Cons

    - No real options for advancement. It's not even possible to receive a promotion from my current position.
    - Revolving door. Most employees are hired at entry level positions, trained, and then hired by other companies for better pay.
    - Some of the more veteran employees can be surprisingly toxic and combative about minor issues. Complete refusal to take on tasks not explicitly stated as part of their responsibilities.
    - Management is completely apathetic to the needs of the employees. It may be a lack of power to change things (since it is a state agency), but they don't give any impression that they try to make things better. They also have a tendency to be apathetic to the faults of their employees as well, so long as it doesn't severely impact the end results. They look the other way and just shrug when employees are rude and unprofessional.
    - The processes and procedures required for any action is so inefficient things can't get done for a month or more at a time.
    - Poor training. No one even really fully understands their job. I have not been able to find a single individual across the agency who I can call to receive clear answers (been here about 9 months as of writing this).

    Advice to Management

    Increase pay so you can keep your employees you spent money training, help create a culture of employee appreciation, fix the obvious problems instead of shrugging your shoulders, and make more efficient procedures for job requirements.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Messed up"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investigator in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Investigator in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flexible time schedule. Good pension. Lots of days off.

    Cons

    Miserable managers that blame everyone but themselves for the morale of the office and the lack of work that gets done. A lot of finger pointing.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of R. Hyde. He's a Rick Perry hangover and is doing things to destroy the agency and it's credibility.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Houston Region"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Environmental Investigator II in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Environmental Investigator II in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    There is opportunity to move within the media sections. There is opportunity to move up, if you want to. There is a good opportunity to learn the rules and regulations. Stress free.

    Cons

    The pay is very low. Coworkers complain of being overworked when there actually is not enough work to keep you busy. A lot of employees are complacent. The upper regional management is disconnected and has no idea how to manage this region. There is a high turn over in all areas. The office space is not big enough, there is not enough parking for all the employees in the building, and it is in a high crime area.

    Advice to Management

    With the high turn over and letting go of so many employees, maybe the problem isn't with them.....


  7. "A place to get experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You can have opportunities to take classes. It's secure. Good work life/balance.

    Cons

    Low pay, they waste money, training for your job can be substandard. Advancement can be hard.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to get started with entry level work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and Paid Time Off

    Cons

    Biased management and abuse of authority

    Advice to Management

    Hire new work leaders


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Unrewarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality full-time

    Pros

    State insurance, 40 hour work week, and a few more holidays than your friends get.

    Morons apparently have great job security at TCEQ.

    Cons

    Crap salary. If your manager is crap too, get used to it -- a lot of people stick around so they can get the retirement benefits. I don't blame them for making that rational decision, but I can blame them for being lazy, inconsistent, unappreciative, stodgy, and generally uninterested in doing anything that would lift then above the the low side of mediocre. It's not their fault that we're underpaid -- that's the nature of the beast -- but I get the sense that employee morale is not a major concern. People in the private sector may have to occasionally endure silly team-building exercises, but at least those sorts of things are intended for the purposes of morale and, yes, productivity. In my experience, TCEQ barely even makes token attempts to humanize the workplace. I had more job satisfaction working retail as a teenager... but health insurance doesn't pay for itself, so to the endless grey cubicles we must go. Obviously there's political crap governing the agency, since the commissioners are appointed by the Governor. Headlines about the agency are always depressing.

    Advice to Management

    Solicit, consider, and respond to feedback. Treat employees consistently -- productivity expectations, job responsibilities, supervision, etc. If you think you're not paid enough, just remember that your employees are worse off, and that they have a very small chance of advancement. It may be a plodding, inefficient state agency, but that doesn't mean that your management style needs to be plodding and inefficient too. Remember that, particularly in departments with a wide range of ages, you may need to directly address generational issues. The workforce may be predominantly middle-aged, but that doesn't excuse sexist, insensitive, or unprofessional behavior. There are plenty of ways to make employees feel valued, so quit hiding behind low food budgets and find other ways to express appreciation. Genuine praise goes a long way.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "The song remains the same...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Environmental Investigator in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Environmental Investigator in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good opportunity to learn various media (air, water, and waste); decent benefits; good work schedule and many paid holidays.

    Cons

    There are many negatives. A lack of consistency, well-defined standards, and clearly stated expectations are just a few. There are great disparities in the way employees are treated and in management styles. In the year plus since I posted my original feedback, the situation has deteriorated somewhat. Currently going through a mass exodus of personnel now that economy appears to be rebounding.

    Advice to Management

    Area/Regional Management has recently been shown the door. Not clear yet how this change or the recent appointment of Zak Covar to Executive Director will impact the day-to-day work activities in the Regions.


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