US Forest Service Reviews | Glassdoor

US Forest Service Reviews

Updated January 14, 2019
179 reviews

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3.7
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US Forest Service Chief Thomas L. Tidwell
Thomas L. Tidwell
23 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Also hard to move up without a lot of time put in" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Temp employees have a very hard time getting permanent positions" (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Helitack"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Wildland Firefighter in Rapid City, SD
    Former Employee - Wildland Firefighter in Rapid City, SD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at US Forest Service (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flying almost everyday. Seeing and landing places most people will never step foot on. Variety of missions.

    Cons

    Waiting and monotonous training between fires. Seasonal work only.


  2. "Great place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Forest Service full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Mission-drive work. Employees are passionate and hard working

    Cons

    What you'd expect working for the government: slow, lots of bottlenecks, etc.

  3. "Fire Lookout"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Fire Lookout in Sundance, WY
    Current Employee - Fire Lookout in Sundance, WY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Forest Service full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great organization, work outside in the most beautiful places in the country

    Cons

    The hiring process starts in the fall and doesn’t finish until the spring. TAKES FOREVER. Also its the government. Lots of red tape.


  4. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Hydrologic Technician in Fort Collins, CO
    Current Employee - Hydrologic Technician in Fort Collins, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Forest Service full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Health insurance
    Flexible schedule
    Team oriented

    Cons

    None, I loved working for the forst service


  5. "Entirely supervisor dependent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Forest Service full-time

    Pros

    Good exposure to a specific field.
    Interesting way to see a new part of the country.
    Some good learning experiences.

    Cons

    Slow advancement to positions with any kind of responsibility.
    Low pay.
    No overtime (When the FS budget is slim)


  6. "Forestry Technician (Recreation)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Forest Service full-time

    Pros

    Work in America's most beautiful places. There are tons of opportunities for cross training. In one season, I got my wildland fire training and forest protection officer training (limited law enforcement). Unfortunately I missed out on the blasting class and chainsaw class but there's always next season. You get to do a little bit of everything, no pigeon-holing. When fire season comes, all hands on deck. Flexible schedule depending on position. I had plenty of opportunities for overtime.

    Cons

    You will be a temporary seasonal. Landing a permanent position is elusive and coveted. It can take many seasons before you stand a shot at getting permanent. As such it can be difficult to make a living working for USFS, which lead me to pay. If it was higher, it might be possible to survive a year while only working temporary but as it stands now, it's impossible unless you're a firefighter and getting constant OT. I would love to make a career out of the Forest Service, but unfortunately at the ripe age of 25 I need to begin a steady career. If you're a college student looking for a summer gig, this is the best of the best.


  7. "Wildland Firefighter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Working outdoors, traveling around the country to remote areas most people do not have a chance to see. Doing real work to maintain healthy forests

    Cons

    Very arduous physical work. Basically takes over your life all summer. Can have periods of slow busy work when waiting in-between fires. You have to live in a constant state of awareness to watch for life - threatening job hazards

  8. "Forest Service Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Forestry Technician in Cody, WY
    Former Employee - Forestry Technician in Cody, WY

    I worked at US Forest Service full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I was able to ride horses in the mountains all day, work with stock, learn new skills such as mule/horse packing and backcountry stock management, drive big trucks, spend weeks in the wilderness at a time, be part of an organization that aims to sustain the health of our forests.

    Cons

    The slow moving government engine is difficult to get used to. Everything takes time and paperwork. The office I worked in was unorganized, and employees did not share information amongst the whole group well.

    Advice to Management

    Have a meeting a couple times a week that highlights what everyone is doing, in case people need to collaborate on the same task.


  9. "park ranger"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bishop, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bishop, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at US Forest Service full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Lived in a pretty place

    Cons

    I was hired from across the country (VT - CA), at the end of a season and was told that I would be kept on for my full 1039. I worked 8 weeks, and without reason was laid off because of funding - so with out a job, and being kicked out of govt, housing. The Inyo national forest is the most unprofessional work place I've ever worked it. Information that was supposedly confidential was not, the supervisors are friends with each other, so you cannot talk to anyone in HR other than out in New Mexico. All together this experience wasted my time and money, and gave no concern to all that I left back home.

    Advice to Management

    Get it together. Learn to communicate, and don't make promises to employees that can heavily affect their lives.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "It is a shame"

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

    I worked at US Forest Service full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Most fulfilling job I have ever had!

    Cons

    Too stupid to keep dedicated, hard working people. They are more concerned with checking a box than keeping quality.

    Advice to Management

    Realize who considers it an honor to work here from the ones who are simply earning a paycheck and checking a box.