Washington State Department Of Ecology Reviews | Glassdoor

Washington State Department Of Ecology Reviews

Updated December 29, 2016
16 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.6
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Washington State Department Of Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant
Ted Sturdevant
7 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Why I continue work at Ecology"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Section Manager in Richland, WA
    Current Employee - Section Manager in Richland, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Washington State Department Of Ecology full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I feel like I can make a difference in the Hanford cleanup. My job is interesting. I like the people that I work with. I feel like the public depends on us to do a good job, and that the public recognizes us when we do a good job. I like the benefits.

    Cons

    They pay is about 30% lower than comparable Federal jobs, and 40% or more lower than comparable Federal contractor jobs.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "One of the best state agencies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Information Technology Specialist in Lacey, WA
    Former Employee - Information Technology Specialist in Lacey, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Washington State Department Of Ecology (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You get to work with a very diverse group of people, not just culturally but professionally. There are Ph.D's, engineers, laborers, etc and most are very passionate about the environment and our natural resources.

    The IT department is relatively well functioning and we we're able to deploy some relatively cutting edge stuff - especially for government where being comfortably behind in technology is the norm.

    Cons

    A specific con of the IT department is management that is pretty far removed from the technology. My supervisor was pretty informed, but had a hard time getting upper management on the same page as they just wanted to do "insert new tech buzz here," regardless of whether or not it made sense.

    This agency has many programs with differing budgets who all basically have their budgets "taxed" to pay for administrative services like IT. The problem this creates is that big programs with big budgets tend to get to set the direction for IT - they pay for it afterall - which is a challenge IT is continually working through.

    IT compensation for the state of WA (all agencies) is bad. Like bad bad. There are about 100 positions open at any given time across the state. This makes it hard to retain good talent.

    Advice to Management

    Don't get so excited by technology "buzzwords," and trust those of us who actually do the work. Doing things just so you can say you did them rarely works out in anyone's best interest.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great coworkers, great mission - upward mobility low"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Communications Consultant in Olympia, WA
    Former Employee - Communications Consultant in Olympia, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Washington State Department Of Ecology full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Wonderful coworkers. Nice headquarters building. Accompanying for new software and equipment like ergo desk stations. Fairly casual and open minded atmosphere. Common value environmental mission unites employees and management. Benefits are great.

    Cons

    Upward mobility, like all state government, is hard to come by. You can never be directly promoted. You must apply for an open position at a higher level to get promoted. Pay is low compared to private sector.

    Advice to Management

    Work on retaining employees by offering better opportunities for upward mobility that don't require applying for a higher level position. Leaving Ecology was very hard as it is a great place, but I had to to move up in my career.


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  5. "Good work/life balance, but not particularly intellectually stimulating (unless you go looking for it)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Environmental Engineer in Olympia, WA
    Current Employee - Environmental Engineer in Olympia, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Most folks are passionate about the mission of working on improving the environment both large scale and small.

    Most Ecology management encourage the use of telecommuting and flexible work schedules. My personal experience has been that if you can prove that you are trustworthy and get your work done, supervisors typically will let you schedule your own time.

    Cons

    Management is risk averse and new ideas/projects are typically viewed through the lens of guilty until proven innocent (at least the first time it is presented). If you're patient and can handle the bureaucracy, your idea may find traction, but it can take multiple years. On that note, finding new, interesting work is difficult -- if you're a motivated individual willing to look for projects of interest, you'll find them, but the amount effort can feel intense and availability lacking.

    Career advancement is possible, but feels a bit lethargic. Be prepared to work beyond your scope for years before much opens up to you. My personal belief is that the bureaucracy makes this the hassle it is, not the management directly.

    Advice to Management

    Engage with your staff more to help ensure the projects they are passionate about are getting off the ground. Help be obstacle removers.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Bureaucratic, but can be good fit for some"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Site Manager in Spokane, WA
    Current Employee - Site Manager in Spokane, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Washington State Department Of Ecology (More than a year)

    Pros

    Job security, having a real impact on making our environment a better place, consistent work schedule, able to be home with family more.

    Cons

    Very bureaucratic environment to work in, bad employees are not fired, many employees just waiting until they can retire, uncertainties in state legislature passing state budget; it affects whether or not you will have a job every 2 years.


  7. "Environmental Planner for the National Estuary Grant Program"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Manager in Tacoma, WA
    Former Employee - Financial Manager in Tacoma, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Washington State Department Of Ecology (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Beautiful place to work and friendly environment

    Cons

    Difficult to advance and I didn't like the commute from Tacoma to Olympia through JBLM

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing great work!


  8. "Policy Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Washington State Department Of Ecology full-time

    Pros

    Great and dedicated staff. Generally hard working. Management that actively encourages staff and believes in the mission of the agency.

    Cons

    There is a culture of getting along, which can make it difficult to implement effective policy because staff are often unwilling to challenge each other.

    Advice to Management

    Break down the silos between the different programs. Encourage cooperation with other state agencies


  9. "Washington State Ecology"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Washington State Department Of Ecology full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    All work is local to a region of the state. Therefore not a lot of travel required. Good training support. Mid-level management is supportive and easy to work with.

    Cons

    Poor pay compared to private and other government agencies and little growth potential. Little or no support from upper management and state legislature. There have not been any raises for seven years. Conditions appear only to be getting worse.

    Advice to Management

    Take care of your people. The staff is your most valuable asset and retention of quality staff is critical to the mission and health of the state. County and city worker make more than state worker in comparable fields. Need to have regional pay compensation.


  10. "Good place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Washington State Department Of Ecology full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, no issues if you need to take time off, alter your schedule, leave early to handle family matters, etc; no expectation to work beyond 40 hrs per week

    Supportive management, your ideas are heard

    Good people, highly motivated by environmental ethic

    Meaningful and interesting work

    Cons

    Lower pay within industry, Staff reach salary max early and "top out"

    Level of public scrutiny

    Professional jealousy, egotistical employees, examples of "dueling scientists" and battles over data, etc.

    Tendency to be bureaucratic when not necessary

    Advice to Management

    Address salary issues


  11. "Friendly atmosphere"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Developer in Olympia, WA
    Current Employee - Developer in Olympia, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunities for advancement into higher levels. The staff were very friendly. Lots of fun events and a nice trail to walk.

    Cons

    Pay wasn't competitive compared to private companies. Once you reached a certain level there wasn't any room for growth.



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