Great workplace with flexible schedule, but standard worries for working for a government with financial issues
Energy Analyst Student-RPP (Former Employee) – Golden, CO – February 15, 2013
I enjoyed working there. There is a lot of beurocracy, but the company is great to work for. Most new hires get hired on as contractors or temporary to hire, and there has been a pay increase freeze for the last while, but they are expanding the number of workers on campus. The hours are relatively flexible and the workspace is very nice.
can work from home 1 or 2 days a week. flexible schedule
Sr. Systems Analyst, INFOSEC (Current Employee) – Golden, CO – March 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.
intern (Current Employee) – Golden, CO – January 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.
benefits, work-life balance, beautiful campus in Colorado, great mission
Senior Linux Consultant (Contractor) (Former Employee) – golden, colorado – October 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.
Intelligent People, High Expectations, Little Support, Not Secure
Former Employee (Former Employee) – Golden, CO – April 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 notmore... 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
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.
Rewarding work with highly talented individuals, poor job security
Intern (Former Employee) – Golden, CO – September 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.
Scientist (Current Employee) – Golden, CO – June 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.
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 Lakewood – June 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. Whenmore... 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
boring work, horrible management, hostile work environment
Shipping and Receiving (Former Employee) – Golden CO – September 23, 2013
The shipping and receiving department is not operating within DOT regulations. The delivery trucks do not have DOT numbers on them. Hazardous materials are being transported on public roads without being in compliance with DOT regulations. Delivery drivers are forced to drive illegally, or face retaliatory action. Any company that is blatantly operating illegally is not a company worth working for. This can be verified by calling the local DOT office.
management, pay, hazardous environment, racist, classist, no advancement, no accountability, no regard for safety, no regard for the law
It's an amazing place to work! I love NREL and what it stands for. Truly making our world a better place. I've been able to gain an abundant amount of knowledge and have been guided by a couple of the best managers I've ever had. I don't have a bad thing thing to say about the place I work.
benefits, hours, being a part of such a great mission
Professional I (Former Employee) – Golden – January 28, 2013
This position is with a quasi governmental agency: funding is through DOE and therefore attracts and keeps mostly slackers. Management is paid very well; works very little; screws up often, and blames others routinely. If you work hard you will be made to work even harder...if you don't work hard and cover for your bosses’ poor performance you will be rewarded. Management is not held accountable: bad behavior is rewarded; and, good behavior is punished. Management avoids work at all costs: they push work off onto their staff; they arrive late; they take two hour lunch breaks; they leave early; and, they commission spies to cover their inadequacies. If you try to mention, to their boss, all the inequalities and shenanigans that go on with management - you will be punished. If management makes a grave error they will blame staff. There is nothing staff can do about it as upper management covers for lower management and vise-versa. Management will then systematically give individuals that speak-out or “trouble-makers” poor performance reviews and those individuals will then ultimately leaver or be fired for speaking out. Everyone is so afraid of speaking out and therefore if you rock the boat you will have no allies. Be very careful.
Research Engineer (Current Employee) – Golden, CO – July 25, 2012
I'm shocked at some of the reviews about NREL here. Fortunately, poor work and poor effort are not rewarded here. As a new employee, the first thing I was told was that they were there to support me in my personal and professional goals and that I should come first. I've never worked in a place with such an employee-oriented environment. The work hours are standard but flexible schedules are encouraged and supported. Managers and Center Directors are involved and encouraging without micromanaging. Relevant, quality research is in no danger of short funding. There is an active and social culture amongst everyone I've come across. Overall, with the frustrations that come along with the research process, and the mangement at NREL, it's my favorite place to have worked. I'm thankful for my employment here and hope to stay for the rest of my career!
work environment, active lifestyle, flexible schedule, appreciative management, cutting edge research
typical government contract salary, not as competitive as private industry