National Renewable Energy Laboratory Employee Reviews

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Laser annealing system
INTERNSHIP (Former Employee) –  Golden, COJanuary 2, 2017
Assisted in the development of a model of a LASER ANNEALING SYSTEM that will produce better PV Cells (programming with LAB View).
Pros
love the job
Cons
It was only an internship
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Nrel
Sustainability Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Golden, CODecember 7, 2016
It was a pleasure working at NREL and to be a part of their mission. I was very proud of the laboratory's accomplishments while I was there.
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Fun
Employee (Current Employee) –  Golden, CODecember 6, 2016
Pros: Great company! A good place to retire. Easy going. Culture is nice. People are nice. Great pay. Great Benefits.

Cons: Not for the ambitious. Glass ceilings.
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Terrific company to work in
Graduate Intern (Former Employee) –  Golden, COSeptember 8, 2016
Great place to work in; I enjoyed my tenure as an intern. Everyday I get to work on exciting problems and the colleagues are just wonderful
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Not bad
Sr. Systems Analyst, INFOSEC (Current Employee) –  Golden, COMarch 14, 2016
Like anywhere, your experience as an employee at NREL depends upon your direct management. I've been lucky enough to have a manager that's alright. With budget cuts over the past few years, things are a bit tight, and some divisions could use a moral boost.
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Great place to work with awesome mountain views
Systems Engineering Intern (Current Employee) –  Golden, COMarch 14, 2016
A very good place to work. They involve you in great projects which you really want specially in early stages of your career.
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Great mission and friendly people
intern (Current Employee) –  Golden, COJanuary 5, 2016
NREL mission is superb. Renewable energy has potential to be the way of the future. The downside is that it's funding by the national government could be better. Other than that, the atmosphere is great, and the work-life balance is respected. Benefits are also a plus.
Pros
benefits, work-life balance, beautiful campus in Colorado, great mission
Cons
budget
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Stuck in the mud
Senior Linux Consultant (Contractor) (Former Employee) –  golden, coloradoOctober 5, 2015
Inexperienced technical teams - bad solutions result in bad performance. Unwilling or unable to accept criticism or suggestion. Learning as they go - but leave a wake of problems behind as they jump to the next new project.

Has a nice cafeteria.
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A culture of fear and an enviroment that is prohibitive to production.
Building Engineer (Current Employee) –  Golden, COJune 25, 2015
Budgets and funding are poorly managed, it would appear that some in the leadership may be involved in corruption and misappropriation of finances.
Pros
Close to home
Cons
Overboard on safety concerns to the point of disrupting building and facility operations.
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Terrific place to work
Research assistant/intern (Former Employee) –  Golden, COMay 23, 2015
Amazing facility and an amazing town. There for only a short time in one department, but it is a fantastic place to even visit.
Pros
Just about everything
Cons
Hard to find positions at times
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Professional work place
Graduate Research Intern (Current Employee) –  Golden, COMay 17, 2015
National Renewable Energy Lab is the excellent place to work with very high tech equipment and very helpful and skillful employees. Definitely recommend.
Pros
Excellent work facilities.
Cons
Government.
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Intelligent People, High Expectations, Little Support, Not Secure
Former Employee (Former Employee) –  Golden, COApril 16, 2015
You better make sure you are an expert at what you're applying for before you accept the job offer. NREL only hires the best, the flawless, the ultra-intelligent systematic super humans.
There is little training and zero to little mentoring for your specific job. You are expected to learn quickly and independently, without much guidance. Most people are willing to help, but your manager will most likely be informed and irritated if you are continuously asking for help (even if it's a new type of task). Don't put your trust in everyone, because if they do not like you or are unsatisfied with what you are doing, they will tell on you like a tattling child. If management decides that you are not performing to their expectations (they are usually so busy, they don't actually know what you are doing half the time and go by what others tell them), or you are not intuitively catching on to the functions of federal government fast enough, or your manager doesn't like your personality (combined with pointing out every flaw and not praising the positives), they will fearlessly terminate you without warning.

Tips:
Make sure you treat your managers like superiors and always act professional around them.
Treat everyone with respect because they all deserve it.
Read about NREL's programs and research in your free time (after work because you won't have time while you are there) to become more familiar with everything, but don't report those hours on your time sheet.
NREL highly values education, so the more you have the better.
Dress professionally, act professionally, do not
  more... share about your personal life.

On the plus side- they have great benefits and everyone who works at NREL is extremely intelligent and an expert in their field.
  less
Pros
Good benefits intelligent people
Cons
Not secure, bureaucratic, little guidance
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A great place to work.
Project Administrative Associate (Current Employee) –  Golden, COJanuary 29, 2015
They care about their people and strongly believe in their mission.
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Cutting edge R&D in the renewable energy field
Subcontract Associate (Former Employee) –  Golden, Co,October 23, 2014
Reconciling vendor invoices against terms of contracts, including labor rates and occurrence pricing. Purchased goods and services for researchers in a laboratory setting.
I became familiar the regulations included in the FAR.
Micro management is still a large part of the culture, though there were practices in place to reduce it.
Coworkers were very supportive and usually very helpful.
The hardest part of the job was meeting the different expectation of various supervisors and managers.
The most enjoyable part of the job was completing and awarding a complex procurement.
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Great benefits and opportunities
Scientist II (Current Employee) –  Golden, COSeptember 30, 2014
A great location to work, but limited by management decisions
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Rewarding work with highly talented individuals, poor job security
Intern (Former Employee) –  Golden, COSeptember 5, 2014
I learned much more at this job than I could possibly include here. Most importantly, I learned to independently conduct multiple high-level experiments, manage several projects, and communicate effectively with other busy co-workers.
Pros
authorship on publications, valuable experience
Cons
poor job security, uncertain funding, poor management
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Wonderful experience!
Store Manager (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIJune 17, 2014
I worked for Autozone for a long time and most of the time i really liked it. As a store manager the demand from upper management was unrealistic.
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Not much room for career advancement
Scientist (Current Employee) –  Golden, COJune 6, 2014
Careen advancement for people without Ph.D. is very limited. Even with Ph.D., opportunity for those with hands-on and evolution instead of revolution mind set is not that great. Those who can charm others with their fantasy move to the top; those who do the hard work stay at the bottom.
Pros
work life balance
Cons
limited career advancement
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Patrol functions were very boring but yet very political. work environment with absolutely zero accountability of supervision and management.
Protective Force Officer (Former Employee) –  Golden and LakewoodJune 1, 2014
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory protective Force officer job is the classic situation of it "Much to do about nothing." The basic Patrol function is nothing more than checking and rechecking the same locked doors to the same buildings over the course of an 8 to 12 hour shift. The emergency preparedness procedures are overly detailed and convoluted. This step by step process for things such as fire alarms medical emergencies and HVAC issues is often used as ammunition against security if the slightest thing goes wrong or someone complains about how it was handled even if handled correctly. The communication and dispatch center for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory often doesn't work due to power issues, making it difficult for security personnel to do their jobs. The worst part of the National Renewable Energy Lab protective Force officer position is the security management and supervision. Security supervision will often hideout for several hours expecting the regular security personnel to do all of the work. Security supervision often will not make on the spot supervisory decisions and leave it up to the regular officer to "Make the Call" only to be criticized later for making the decision that they made. Often especially during shift change security supervision will argue and yell and sometimes use profanity at the other officers in front of other employees. These arguments were usually about last minute call offs, schedule changes and disagreements on policy and procedures. Sometimes these arguments escalated and almost became physical confrontations. When  more... all of these above mentioned issues were brought to the attention of upper management, nothing was ever done and the behavior continued. Do yourself a favor and take your knowledge skills and abilities somewhere else and work where you will be appreciated.  less
Pros
Good benefits.
Cons
Boring work, Horrible Management, Hostile work environment
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Nrel
NREL Analyst/Web Developer/Environmental Policy (Current Employee) –  Golden, COMarch 25, 2014
NREL is a great organization rich with intellectual minds working on a great mission: to walk the talk in creating renewable energy and reducing our carbon footprint.
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Overall rating

3.6
Based on 29 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.4
Compensation/Benefits
3.7
Job Security/Advancement
3.0
Management
2.8
Culture
3.6

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