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Working at Department of Veterans Affairs — Reviews by Employees

Learn what employees have to say about Department of Veterans Affairs pay, work/life balance, care potential, job security, and much more by reading our anonymous employee reviews.

Reviews of Jobs at Department of Veterans Affairs

3.1Rating Details
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance2
Career Growth2
Work Environment2

From Washington, DC — 04/27/2009

I worked in the VA for more than five years. Benefits are great I have to say, such as Health and Metro-checks and job security. The pay is ok. The first and second year were good as well as been new employee you have opportunities to ask for training, software, etc. and loving VAs mission get deeply in your heart. I will always feel proud that I served there because of its mission.

Once your responsibilities start to increase and increase, and you get to the top of your position, you get stuck in it unless you move to another agency or priv. sector. After the first two years, it may be possible that even if your office receives money for training, you do not see any training except the mandatory ones. Even if you are told that you can go to a training locally, a week before the training you will get a 'No' because the office needs you there or other priorities arise in the office and you are asked to cancel the training.

After two years working in VA, I didnt have training for the following years, not because I didnt ask or was not allowed, but because management made me cancel it because of new priorities in the office every time.

Also, I thought that the recruiting process was fair because it goes through another agency before the office gets the list; however, sometimes resumes/applications are not truthful but the candidate is not tested on what he-she writes in the application. You can encounter a very close friend of your boss or management applying for a position who added in the application things like programming or database skills, but when he-she is recruited in the office, he-she has no clue and is in the same salary range of your colleagues but working in the phone or doing less than others but paid twice.

Work/Life balance: Even if you have a job from lets say 8-430, you may end up working long hours. You can be paid overtime IF that is what was decided before, otherwise you get CT or Comp Time (accrue the hours for later use), but in my case and many others in the office where I was, we accrued many hours and because of our constant support to others and 'priorities' in the office, we lost many of those hours! Some of us after a while didn't bother to request them later because there was NEVER time to use them...

Career/Potential Growth: If you have good contacts and are very close to top management, you can go up in the chain to top positions.

Respect & Work Environment: Not the best and not the worst in general, for me it was not good at all. Sometimes been a minority as me and other excellent coworkers were, means no promotions.
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3.3Rating Details
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth4
Work Environment3

From Fayetteville, Arkans — 08/04/2008

The comforting thing about having a government job is the above average pay and job security. However, I do not feel like this VA hospital cares at all about overall employee welfare, and if it were'nt for the union we would be screwed.

We do earn a very fair amount of leave, however taking it is another story. My supervisor haggles me so much when I attempt to use leave that is rightfully mine (as in "do you really need the whole day" or "what are you doing" and roll their eyes when I take off for family things even though I have saved up leave in order to do so and my days off are far from excessive. I find it to be the least family friendly job I have ever had, thus the Work/Life balance is -1.It is sad when it is by far easier to call in sick than try to take planned leave!

In my department, the supervisors are more interested in "doing things the way they have always been done"than becoming more efficient or progressive to better serve our Veterans.

As far as co workers- I think it's safe 2 say there are 2 groups. Those doing the least they can just to get by, and the others who work very hard 2 pick up the slack.

If we were not in the middle of an economic recession, I would leave the VA, but right now I need job security. Yes, the retirement here is great- But I can not imagine 30 years in this soul sucking place!
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