Air Force Research Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Air Force Research Laboratory Reviews

Updated 25 Jun 2019

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Found 77 reviews

3.3
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
58%
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Pros
  • "AFRL/RV is a great place to work for with great people and state of the art labs(in 8 reviews)

  • "Nice salary and a great work life balance(in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • "The lab is mired in bureaucracy, and day-to-day red-tape challenges severely get in the way of work being done(in 6 reviews)

  • "The culture at AFRL was not for me(in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Bureaucracy First - Bureaucracy Second - Technology Third"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Dayton, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great facilities for on-site research personnel (university and small business). Substantial dollars for external technology contracts (large business). Interaction with wide range of Air Force and DoD organizations.

    Cons

    Process zealots have replaced strong leaders throughout the entire organization. Employee morale is abysmal due to ineffective, incompetent, and idiotic managers. There is an exodus of top technical talent (especially early and mid career).

    Advice to Management

    It is pointless to provide advice to management. AFRL is dying from a cancer of bureaucracy that was created by the management and for the management. They will remain aloof and in denial of their carnage forever.

    Air Force Research Laboratory2019-06-11
  2. "Not a great place to grow technically"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Aerospace Engineer in Eglin AFB, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Benefits and compensation is second to none.

    Cons

    Performance is measured by a contribution score, which sounds great in practice. The contribution score is an aggregation of communication, business management, and technical skills. In reality, the best scores and rank increases are given to friends and people who buddy up to management. In fact, you are highly encouraged from day-one to just "get along" and not make waves in order to keep climbing. Despite it being...

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    Air Force Research Laboratory2019-06-26
  3. "Exellent Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Wpafb, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    At AFRL we work on some technologies that are truly at the forefront of innovation trying to solve some of the daunting challenges facing the Air Force today. There is lots of opportunity for those who are motivated to broaden their expertise and pursue new projects aligned with the Air Force mission. Great work life balance.

    Cons

    Lots of bureaucracy, IT infrastructure is slow and frustrating, and it is difficult to get even the best technologies transitioned to a user.

    Advice to Management

    Allow for more ways to collaborate between the engineering community so that we are not all stove-piped into our respective branches and divisions.

    Air Force Research Laboratory2019-05-05
  4. "Good Place for Researchers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Engineer in Rome, NY

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good salary (slightly less than industry standard) Stable employment High degree of flexibility to work on projects you like (as long as it fulfills Air Force needs) Collaboration with a wide range of researchers Numerous opportunities for travel Can work on interesting and cutting-edge research

    Cons

    Government processes are slow and bureaucracy can be a bit stifling A fair amount of time is spent reporting/documenting/presenting research to various bosses and funding agencies Government shutdowns are a pain, but employees have been relatively shielded from the consequences so far

    Advice to Management

    Continue seeking agile processes that minimize the unnecessary acquisition processes.

    Air Force Research Laboratory2019-02-10
  5. Helpful (2)

    "If Your Young Spend a Few Years Here Don't Plan on Making a Career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    - Great people to work with - Work is as challenging as you want it to be - Cost of living is low in most lab locations - Rewarding work if you can find it

    Cons

    - Upper level management is awful, most DR-Vs were promoted needlessly - Promoting people into DR-IV management and supervisor positions that do not have soft skills - Directors and Deputy Directors have no idea what each other are doing and do not work in lock step with each other, there is usually undermining of authority happening - HR is as bad as management at most locations, HR is there to promote their buddies...

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    Advice to Management

    - Stop feeding the PhD God complex, if you have the experience, the knowledge and the work-ethic your credentials shouldn't matter, sometimes experience > schooling - Reward people for their work, stop feeding the lies to people that money doesn't create more motivated people - Promoting people into DR-IV management and supervisor positions that do not have soft skills, it creates an aggravated work environment ...

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    Air Force Research Laboratory2019-02-17
  6. "Not the place for me"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Albuquerque, NM
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Stability, relaxed atmosphere, clean office spaces

    Cons

    The culture at AFRL was not for me. It was slow, boring, and stagnant. Meetings were wasted talking about administrative tasks only. It seemed that very few people did real work there.

    Advice to Management

    Don't waste engineer's time with administrative tasks. Give them meaningful work.

    Air Force Research Laboratory2018-11-09
  7. "Optical Physicist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

      I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time

      Pros

      Great Benefits. Cutting edge projects/facilities.

      Cons

      Oftentimes slow pace of work. Red tape.

      Air Force Research Laboratory2018-09-21
    • "Overall - Great Atmosphere to Work. Great People, Work/Life Balance and Benefits."

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Secretary in Edwards, CA
      Recommends

      I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than 8 years

      Pros

      Overall, great place to work. Working for the Air Force is the best of both corporate and military life that you can get. Working in an S&T and R&D environment allows flexibility and ease of work. Everyone from management to fellow co-workers and contract customers are wonderful to work with. It's very laid back. You have opportunities to learn and grow and excel in personal and professional development. We...

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      Cons

      Not the best place for military personnel as a first assignment. It is not your typical operational Command so active military members need to keep in mind that this environment is a research environment and protocol is, at times, not as one coming from an operational command would expect. Also, working 9/80 schedule leads to long days because of a 50-mile commute. Sometimes, people can be difficult to work with...

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      Advice to Management

      I would love for opportunities for administrative personnel (such as myself) to move and advance or crossover elsewhere. Especially if my degree supports a career change.

      Air Force Research Laboratory2018-08-09
    • Helpful (1)

      "Research at AFRL"

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Program Manager in Arlington, VA
      Recommends
      Neutral Outlook

      I have been working at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

      Pros

      Opportunity to do some really interesting work. Possibility for advancement.

      Cons

      Poor management. Budget stress and instability. Poor management and understanding of S&T careers. Don’t reward the best employees.

      Advice to Management

      Protect the lab from Air Force budget games. Treat the lab like an actual laboratory, not a SPO.

      Air Force Research Laboratory2018-07-29
    • "Research Scientist"

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
      Doesn't Recommend

      I worked at Air Force Research Laboratory full-time

      Pros

      Awesome amount of labs for research

      Cons

      terrible, incompetent middle management

      Advice to Management

      Choose middle management that is capable to manage over scientists and engineers

      Air Force Research Laboratory2018-07-01
    Found 77 reviews