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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "Low pay and you only become a firefighter when you die" (in 79 reviews)
- "Long hours and travel requirements" (in 28 reviews)
- "Hostile Work Environment: The agency is extremely cliquey; it pays poorly and employees are under chronic stress due to ongoing poor management and budget turmoil." (in 25 reviews)
- "Poor leadership." (in 18 reviews)
- "Upper management is crippled by political influences and those hired to make decisions are incapable of thinking like a business person." (in 10 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of US Forest Service and is not affected by filters.
Reviews about "opportunity"Return to all Reviews
- 5.0Aug 27, 2021Human Resource SpecialistCurrent Employee, more than 3 yearsAlbuquerque, NM
This is a great place to build a career. While I work in Human Resources the Forest Service offers a wide range of jobs from fire fighting to environmental biologists. There are many opportunities to learn and grow making it an ideal place to start a career.
The General Schedule pay system can be difficult to navigate for new employees and does not work like private sector jobs. It is difficult to enter federal employment at a high level do to this, but it is easy to advance once in.
- 2.0Oct 6, 2011Anonymous EmployeeFormer EmployeeBoise, ID
Great benefits Flexible hours if approved by supervisor Challenging work Advancement opportunities if you're willing to relocate or if you have a bachelor's degree
Disconnect between upper management and support staff Unprofessional behavior tolerated Inability to adopt newer, more efficient ways of doing things1
- 4.0Apr 1, 2017Volunteer ManagerCurrent Employee, more than 3 yearsConcord, NH
An opportunity to beef up your resume while you look for a $$ job. Use your talents and try new opportunities at no risk. I've been doing this for 2 years now. With 400 hours of voulunteer service, I've helped to restructure their recruting efforts, scale their programs using significant upsizing of volunteers.
They don't invest and funds or priorities to volunteer participation.1
- 4.0Jul 11, 2013Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 10 years
Provided diverse experience in all areas of my career; provided with many opportunities for training and development. Participated and served on a variety of committees and outside activities.
The compensation and classification program was somewhat outdated and did not match the level of work expected. This caused some employees to be overpaid while others were underpaid.2
- 5.0Jan 4, 2017Information ReceptionistFormer Contractor, less than 1 yearIdaho Springs, CO
The Forest Service creates the space to explore nature and restore nature. It gives you the opportunity to show visitors hidden gems and beautiful spots to see natural history and animals. Theres also room to grow in the forest service by working other positions and jobs.
Working as a seasonal employee has its downfalls as in 6 months out of the year you have to find other compensation.
- 5.0Nov 1, 2019ContractorFormer Contractor, more than 1 year
Great coworkers, good work life balance, supportive work environment.
Few opportunities to become a federal employee as most new positions were not open to the public.
- 4.0Mar 18, 2018Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee
It was a great opportunity to learn more about the internal workings of Fire on FS land.
Seasonal Temp means I leave with projects unfinished.
- 4.0Sep 11, 2020Wildland FirefighterFormer Employee, more than 3 years
I really enjoyed working for the Forest Service as a wildland firefighter. This position was everything I needed it to be at that point in my life. I was able to work hard, spend the summer outside, learn new skills, grow a badass community, and travel. I never went into this position thinking it would be forever for me, and it wasn't, but I had a marvelous time while I was there. This position is not for anyone and everyone, but it is full of great experiences for those who can hang with this kind of work environment and culture.
The bureaucracy of it all can be a total mess, and unfortunately some crews can be a little unfair. They may have a 'golden boy' who seems to get every assignment and every training opportunity. Even without a 'golden boy,' the setup seems unfair. Whether it actually is or isn't doesn't matter much (life is inherently unfair anyway) but this can cause negativity and a drop in crew morale. Also, toxic masculinity is alive and well within some crews, and it is only made worse by the number of super young guys that come in thinking they have something to prove rather than something to learn. This is a crew environment which means it can be really frustrating when members of the crew don't seem to have the same mentality about the job or the other crew members, and sometimes you just need to shut up, put your head down, and dig. Some may find this a pro others a con, but either way consider this before applying. One last thing to consider: the workload fluctuates. Some days are incredibly slow and boring, others are crazy and fast. Be flexible.
- 1.0Nov 16, 2023GIS SpecialistCurrent Employee, less than 1 year
Cool, smart people 3 hours wellness Telework flexibility Fire work
Work is very boring, I don't have anything to do. People think the government is wasting the taxpayer dollar, well I am living proof. Poor mentorship for young professionals and they hire people without knowing what to do with them. Do not recommend. Just wish I had some work to do and opportunities to learn new things related to my job.
- 3.0Apr 27, 2020Intern/Seasonal EmployeeFormer Intern, more than 5 years
Worked with mostly wonderful, caring people with similar interests and values. You feel good about the work you're doing. You get to work in some really beautiful and amazing environments. Supervisor was pretty open and encouraging for us to take advantage of opportunities for learning and leadership roles. Might get to work on unique projects that most people would never get the opportunity to do. Fun job if you're young and just looking for a outdoorsy summer job and not looking to pursue a career with the Forest Service. There's often staffing gaps so you do get to learn to play a lot of roles trying to fill them.
Stuck working there for many years as a temp/contract employee, so less job and financial security and less benefits and union rights, and less mobility than permanent employees. I knew people that worked there for many years and were practically running the show but could not get hired in a permanent position. Pay wasn't great but it's expected in the public sector but somehow you still end up working very hard despite knowing you don't get much for it. Benefits I hear are really good and kinda make up for the low pay, but only if you're permanent. Leadership seems generally supportive of staff, but after years of people complaining about job insecurity and feeling like cheap labor, it's just kinda been continually brushed off. Perpetually scraping for funding for projects and programs really killed morale too. Can be very political working for a federal agency so that bogged down some progress too. Because the skills I gained were most applicable to Forest Service jobs (who else would pay someone to take care of the land beside government or non-profits?), it was hard finding a good job outside Forest Service. A lot of people struggled passing the USAjobs application process even if they were great candidates. Opportunities to take on more advance responsibilities or variety of roles but mostly because there's staffing gaps so you may not really get adequate training in your new responsibilities and have to navigate a steep learning curve.