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US Forest Service Employee Reviews about "work life balance"

65% Recommend to a Friend
58% Approve of CEO
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US Forest Service Chief  Vicki Christiansen (no image)
Vicki Christiansen
151 Ratings

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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment

Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor

  • "Great people and fun to meet the people camping and enjoying the national forest and national parks.(in 85 reviews)
  • "great benefits and great 401k(in 61 reviews)
  • "Good work/life balance(in 18 reviews)
  • "Good opportunities to move up.(in 17 reviews)
  • "coworkers are great(in 16 reviews)
  • "Low pay and you only become a firefighter when you die(in 71 reviews)
  • "Long hours and travel requirements(in 26 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 23 reviews)
  • "Poor leadership.(in 17 reviews)
  • "Upper management is crippled by political influences and those hired to make decisions are incapable of thinking like a business person.(in 9 reviews)

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Found 45 of over 1K reviews

Updated Sep 25, 2023

Reviews about "work life balance"

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    1. 4.0
      Aug 9, 2023
      Former Supervisor
      Former Employee, more than 1 year
      Albuquerque, NM
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook


      Very mission focus with good senior leadership in Human Resources Management. Always concentrating on the greater good.


      It can get overwhelming with vetting to get buy-in. All levels from bottom to top can be challenging. Execute work life balance and not just say the words.

      1. 3.0
        Apr 19, 2016
        Anonymous Employee
        Former Employee, more than 5 years
        CEO Approval
        Business Outlook


        Training and safety are emphasized at all levels, which is glaringly apparent when working with contract crews. If the outdoors is your happy place- you've found the right place to work. For permanent employees, there are full benefits, employer matched 401k, paid vacation with rollover etc. For seasonal employees, you have the option to buy into the healthcare, can accrue PTO, but no retirement. The culture (for this specific job) is very male dominated, often work harder not smarter, but the sense of community is unparalleled. Upward mobility is somewhat fluid, depending on the management in your specific district. Task book and training requirements allow for career growth. Long hours and limited societal contact make it very easy to save money-- I paid for all of college and then some just working summers. You will have access to many rarely seen views, both fire related and otherwise. Good segue into aerial or helicopter work if that interests you.


        Male dominant, chest beating culture (I'm a girl... you lose all pretenses of chivalry on a crew with 19 other men... and 24/7 exposure. Not to deter women-- but if you offend easily, might not be for you.) Poor hygiene (often go 14 days w/o showering... once had to cut a 4 inch dreadlock out of my hair) Will likely break something, cut something, or definitely burn something if you do it long enough. During fire season- no work life balance (likewise in the off season... surprisingly too much at home isn't as great as it sounds. Line up another job or a hobby at minimum. School was my 'off season'). Again if you're a female, be prepared to work harder than everyone else. You have to prove you can pull your weight, and hang in. In all fairness, if you have to pack someone out, or hike in with a lot of equipment, you are often the weakest link. PT hard and earn respect. That said, some take it to the point that they are disparaging their own gender- please avoid this- it sucks. Bureaucracy will really come to light after working for the government. The budgeting really blows my mind... if you don't use it you lose it, regardless of the fire activity specific to that year. Not taking action when you should, suppressing fire when you shouldn't. Loads of politics. Often locals are either hero worshipping and lovely to be around, or hate the government and you as its extension.

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