Environmental Protection Agency
Happiness rating is 72 out of 100
4.1 out of 5 stars.
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Environmental Protection Agency Employee Reviews

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United States378 reviews

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4.2Work-Life Balance

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A bureaucracy on a mission

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Leadership goes in circles over some the most simple problems. A lot of people have been working there for a long time (over 25 years) and so have trouble seeing how where changes should be made. There is a hostile environment toward people coming from other organizations that attempt to bring new ideas of how to address issues. Fire drills are extremely damaging to morale because there is no process and established responsibilities for responding to them. A competent few step up to handle most of the important work. There is a lot of job security, good pay, and benefits. People are personable, and there is a strong sense of collaboration (to a fault when it comes to establishing priorities). Some people are pigeon holed into uninteresting work, but there are opportunities to work on a variety of things and learn a lot of skills.

Pros

Job security

Cons

Few people do most of the work, many people do little
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Chill work environment

Not the most rigorous, but very casual work environment which allows you to get meaningful work done at your own place. Not the best for advancement as government sector is very slow but it is better than nothing
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Environmental Protection Agency insights

Based on 74 survey responses
What people like
  • Time and location flexibility
  • Ability to meet personal goals
  • Clear sense of purpose

A good foot in the door

I was under a temporary student services contract which was a good foot in the door for gaining relevant experience. My managers were very friendly, easy to work with, and were always willing to help when I asked for it.

Pros

Good work/life balance

Cons

Under a temporary contract there are no benefits
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Difficult working conditions.

Benefits are great, but the culture was bad. Not open to new people or ideas. Promotions ae only considered for in house personal. Not cordial. Not welcoming
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Clicky culture. Promotions not based on merit

I loved working for the federal government and felt proud to work for the EPA. However, my management never followed through with promises. I was not challenged enough and when I asked to be I was chastised because I "should be thankful for being where I was"

Pros

work life balance, got paid well to do easy work

Cons

boring, poor management support, promotions not based on merit but on who you know and how many times your "name has been in the hat"
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Poorly run

Typical government run job. Full of arrogant people who are waitsting tax payer money. As a contractor you don't matter and will be poorly treated all the time.

Pros

None

Cons

Everything
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The job is nice but growth is limited.

My typical day is pretty much meetings with little to no work. Travel is slow right now so there is not much work. We do have a lot of workshops that you can participate in to keep you somewhat engaged and or busy.

Pros

Work from home

Cons

not enough room for growth or opportunities to learn. low pay.
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Lot’s of flexibility in career paths

EPA was a very supportive place for people who wanted to try new career paths. There is a bit of PC culture, but it’s not over the top. Most of the time I was there I felt I was doing something useful for the environment.
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Good

Great job to work here, very good benefits. Offers lots of different benefits like retirement benefits, health, life insurance, student aid, tuition assistance.

Pros

Very positive

Cons

None
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Good work life balance

EPA positions generally have a good work life balance. The work can become repetitive and there aren't a whole lot of opportunities for growth and advancement. Good benefits.

Pros

Work life balance, telework, good benefits

Cons

lack of opportunity for advancement
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Good Organization

People care about the impact of their work. There is a good deal of expertise and experience that makes projects and assignments flow smoothly. Overall a good place to work.
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Working here is situational (i.e.) contingent on the department and the supervisor and your occupational series.

Everyones experience will be drastically different based on your management, job classification and division. Mine primary supervisor was not supportive.

Pros

You earned sick leave and vacation every pay period, The leave policy is ver liberal for the most part. (i.e.) I never experienced maternity leave her, so my answers about the policy should be N/A. There was no option for that choice.

Cons

Telework was virtually non applicable for the administrative staff, again this was based on the supervisor and division, for most in the 308 occupational series it was disallowed, trainng opportunites and growth potential based can be limited based on management, job series often dictates success rate, approvals may require too much red tape to get accomplished.
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Making a differance

Great organization even better than it was 4 years ago. Those were the horror years but hopefully we've put that behind us it's a government agency so there's always gonna be manusha And craziness but at the end of the day yesterday you feel like you've done the right thing.
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Worst environment ever

Management is always looking around the federal hiring laws to hire those they want, and not those that are best qualified for the position. If you raise any concerns, you're flagged for termination.

Pros

None

Cons

They are all cons.
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Slow paced, antiquated research culture

I was only one of 2 people in my field at the EPA. There was no room for growth and little oversight of on going clinical studies. A very complacent attitude among work staff when presented with quality improvement efforts in the area of clinical research. Difficult to connect with mentors that had over arching knowledge of GCP guidelines and bioethics related to conducting research with human subjects.

Pros

High salary and great benefits

Cons

Lack of leadership/mentorship
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Great mentors

Great mentorship and excellent projects. My work life was well balanced and I liked the applied element to my research. Networking within EPA was facilitated by my mentors.

Pros

Applied research

Cons

Hard to get a permanent job
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The people are dedicated public servants, but political influence runs deep.

A typical day at EPA can be hectic, so project (and time) management skills are very important. You have to be responsive to all of your stakeholders (there are many different meetings to attend) and transparent (i.e., all non-CBI information, correspondence and/or deliverables may become accessible to the public upon request). The culture and workload vary by office, but in my experience, EPA employees tend to be dedicated public servants. The best part of the job is the personal gratification that comes from doing meaningful work. My efforts serve to support EPA's mission (i.e., to protect human health and the environment) and I'm really proud of that. The hardest part of the job (for me) is the whiplash that occurs when there is a change in administration. This often leads to policy shifts that can impact the work we do (and hinder progress). Political influence runs deep at EPA.
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Toxic Workplace

I worked for the EPA as an IT contractor. The EPA is ran like a high school. Very little oversight, contractors are treated like animals compared to government employees. There is too much drama amongst different division leaders.

Pros

None

Cons

No upward mobility, toxic work envirionment, micromanagement
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Wonderful team of people, meaningful work and lots of opportunity for professional development - if you can handle the politics

I have had an excellent experience during my time with EPA. Our work is challenging: you must be detail-oriented, communicative, solutions-focused and organized. I have found an incredible amount of support in my immediate supervisors. I have been given ample opportunities to learn new skills and grow as a professional at the agency. I really cannot imagine a better place to work for anyone passionate about environmental protection, public health and public service. That said, it is a highly political organizational culture that can feel vulnerable to whatever is happening in DC, the news and in academia. You have to be ready for a lot of changes in priorities. Additionally, compared to other workplaces and federal agencies there is a lack of political and viewpoint diversity at EPA. I've regularly experienced other staff members saying disparaging, sometimes cruel, things about others based on political prejudice and bias. At times, some of my colleagues (particularly younger staff) are quick to adopt the most radical position on environmental and social issues and casually promote their personal political agenda in the workplace. I see an increasing embrace of radical activism in the workplace, which I find troubling and ultimately unproductive. These moments of concern are rare, and I still very much enjoy my time at EPA.

Pros

Benefits, supervision, opportunities, schedule flexibility, meaningful work, always more to learn

Cons

Politics, inappropriate and unprofessional personal politics of staff
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Supportive and Purpose Driven Workforce

Upper management is very supportive of their workforce. People who work here work with a sense of purpose and a mandate. Most of the workforce has worked at the EPA for 15+ years and have no intent in leaving or working anywhere else.
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Good for a Huge Government Organization

If you're okay with being a cog in the wheel of a huge machine with all the associated bureaucracy then its a great place to work. Good luck getting a job there though!

Pros

Excellent benefits.

Cons

Doing lots and lots of work that goes no where fast.
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Overall rating

Based on 412 reviews

Ratings by category

4.2 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
4.0 out of 5 stars for Compensation/Benefits
3.7 out of 5 stars for Job Security/Advancement
3.7 out of 5 stars for Management
3.9 out of 5 stars for Culture

Ratings from women

3.0
InHerSight Score
2.2Personal Development
3.5Career Opportunities
3.9Family Support
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