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4.1 out of 5 stars.
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National Security Agency Employee Reviews

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4.0Work-Life Balance

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Very good company

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Very good company respectful environment patrols neighborhood All be on guard while on duty gGolf cart patrol Hardest part of the job is residential What I enjoy about the job is patrolling and helping people
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Great job

Awesome place to work. It’s a really nice place to work and the employees treat you like family. The training was in-depth and very informative. Absolutely love it…
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National Security Agency insights

Based on 84 survey responses
What people like
  • Supportive environment
  • Clear sense of purpose
  • Ability to learn new things

High Freedom; Maybe a Chaotic amount of Freedom

Working at the NSA is similar to other large bureaucracies; The low bar for performance is easy to clear as long as you show up on time, do what your bosses tell you, and keep all your paperwork up-to-date. The high-bar is up to you and your willingness to push the system in the direction of innovation. Have a favorite, unsupported programing environment? You are free to bring it in and champion it to everyone else, As long as you do all the work and don't suspect anyone to sustain it once you move on.
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Good supervisors and work environment.

This was a good work environment being young and single, however I doubt I'd like working in a SCIF when married, but that's just me. Very good learning environment and very personally supportive leadership who will work with you if you need help and if you need time off if you suffer from a chronic illness/disability. Very generous benefits and annual/sick leave, however, the pay could be higher, I would make a higher starting salary with Baltimore Police, this is my one gripe. Extremely rewarding job, you do important things here and I loved it and may one day return.
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Awesome Mission/Work-Life Balance, Terrible Office Politics/Issues

Overall working at the NSA is a mixed bag with some tremendous positives and some horrible negatives. Many of the missions are really cool and you get to work with some insanely intelligent, dedicated, and hardworking colleagues. Some of the tools and programs are cool, albeit cumbersome. Work-life balance is pretty fantastic. NSA also sets you up with a clearance, but working full-time in a SCIF can be a drag.On the flip side, the bureaucracy was bad when I started in 2009 and exponentially worsened when I left in 2021, what used to take 30 minutes to accomplish now takes well over an hour. The senior management at NSA is a mixed bag--some are great and some are terrible narcissistic people, with lots of toxicity in various offices, which I experienced firsthand at NSA Georgia. Working full-time in a SCIF can be awful too, especially if you experienced hybrid/remote work schedules.


Awesome missions, Intelligent/driven colleagues, Obtaining a clearance, Work-life balance


Nepotism, Excessive bureaucracy, Toxic work environments, Poor leadership, SCIF life
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Stay for a few years then go elsewhere

Great place for a first job, not so much for mid-career. Some offices are better than others in terms of management. Promotion system is ridiculous and incredibly subjective. Lots of bureaucracy/red tape to go through to get things done.
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5 stars

What is the best part of working at the company?The MISSION provided such a positive sense of pride!!!What is the most stressful part about working at the company?Dealing with items unrelated to the MISSION as they were distractions from the MISSION. Every Agency and every Company has these internal items…What is the work environment and culture like at the company?Fantastic and loved it!!! Everyone had their place and role - got the job done.What is a typical day like for you at the company?Involved 12-hr shifts which I enjoyed. Conducted numerous briefing to higher staff which were the highlights for me.
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Great Job

I enjoyed working there. It was a great job and I felt like I made a positive impact in the world and for my country. I would recommend this job for any patriot.
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Working at a SCIF can be challenging. Some of bureaucracy I did not like.

Only one gripe I have--promotion. It is widely known that even if you are eligible for promotion, it often will not happen for you. The agency goes as far as saying this openly on all the promotion sites/forums. As a result, turnover is high among the various divisions and sometimes retention is an issue.


Some telework.


No cafe. Working in a SCIF.
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Productive and fun

This was a very fun and exiting job that didn’t require too much work too complete which made it very easy to continue to work on other things throughout the week
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Military employee

Military employee that worked in both NSA and Military shops. The job was easy to do but the culture was not a fit for me. Lots of different opportunities.
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Overall, not too bad but could be better

It's just too much of a "politically correct" environment for me. Depending on which org you work in, you're likely to get promoted because of who you are instead of how good of a job you do. Do not become a special agent (previous position) for the NSA. You won't work counterintelligence as the job description states. Instead, you will be trained on how they want background investigations done...unless your goal is to get your clearance and get your foot in the door for other fed jobs/contractors.
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3 stars

What is the best part of working at the company?During my tenure at the agency, I learned so much and was assigned to numerous positions/jobs. Thoroughly enjoyed it!!!What is the most stressful part about working at the company?I rather not say. I worked for this agency approximately 35 years and over the years, it changed dramatically, not for the better. I had to make a tough decision to resign, vice retire, based on what I saw occurring over the last few years.
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Sacramento Management was unprofessional

Management carted to certain workers. When those same workers chose not to stay overtime due to having to get kids or wife, was fired. When. I asked to fill in one of those positions I was once part of, I was denied no no reason. This job was easy, pay and etc. No support from Sacramento Management, based on that, seems like a family business due to the recklessness by management, worst evet.
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Pésimo el trabajó de oficina de la compañía

El trabajó que hacen en la oficina para atender a sus empleados es pésimo y el salario no pasa de 11 la hora
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Stepping Stone

Job should be used as a stepping stone. Not many people I know use this as a career. It was poor management who do what the office thinks is best regardless of how the officers feel. Some days are cool while others are spent following people around to unlock doors. If you don’t mind being security and having a job that’s not mentally stimulating, this is it. You’re not rewarded for work but rather who likes you. A lot of things need changed here, don’t see it happening.
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Zero fun to be had here, but the job has maximum impact on the world at large

No flexibility, extremely long hours (even for an 8-hour shift), maximum stress, minimum appreciation from your peers. Satisfaction must come from within or you will hate this place.
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The great pleasure of working for the federal government.

The job is very people friendly, I worked with people from all parts of the country. I looked forward to coming to work every day. The job has a plethora of opportunities.
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Great benefits and opportunity to expand expertise but terrible management

There are different cultures there and some great offices who sincerely value their employees and some really bad ones where people are considered the least important and treated as disposable servants. Definitely recommend working there for an experience like no other with the type of work but be sure to work in an office with a positive reputation and leave those without it!
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A huge labyrinthine place that can crush your spirit like a giant does an insect

Many talented people leave the NSA because of the bureaucracy. Many sociopathic people stay to play games in management. Many stay and ossify in their jobs, they tend to call themselves worker bees. In recent years the body of employees adopted a hive-mind approach, and if you don't go along, it's not good. You would think an intelligence agency would encourage independent thought, but you would be wrong. Very difficult to get promoted. Even more difficult to move a project or idea from creation to fruition.
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Government job, lower pay, time sheets, security clearance required

Lots of bureaucracy and politics. Easy to stick around as long as your security clearance is maintained.Low pay for technical skills compared to industry.Contractors are paid lots to meet the short comings of government technology
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Overall rating

Based on 281 reviews

Ratings by category

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

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