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
MANAGEMENT ANALYST (Current Employee) – Golden, CO – February 8, 2017
This organization has a fabulous mission, a beautiful campus, and relatively good benefits, with a flexible work environment. NREL hosts thousands of dedicated and talented people, but the executive management team has reduced communication (both channels and information) in the last year following new leadership. This research engine hosts some of the most sophisticated facilities and capabilities in the world for studying energy efficiency, and if you're a research scientist or engineer, it could be very fun to work here. However, if you do anything on the business support side of the house, you are held in low esteem. Project management rigor is virtually nonexistent, resulting in poorly planned and sloppily executed projects. Business units are now more siloed than ever, and there is little integration between them, resulting in increasing inefficiencies. Funding is largely from Congress, although there is increasing emphasis on acquiring industrial partnerships.
The facilities, the campus, the flexible working schedules, good salaries, good benefits
Siloed management, rampant micromanagement, poor communication from and between senior managers, funding dependency on Congressional appropriations
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.