American Institutes for Research

www.air.org

American Institutes for Research Reviews

Updated December 3, 2014
Updated December 3, 2014
116 Reviews
3.1
116 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers
David Myers
43 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company gives lip-service to work/life balance and the mission is a good one (in 11 reviews)

  • I hear they have good benefits, but I just worked as an intern, so I didn't get them (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is not great, especially for those of us who are willing to work hard (in 9 reviews)

  • Low salaries for entry level staff and raises minimal for those staff (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

16 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research

    Pros

    There is enough to learn

    Cons

    Nothing absolutely. No growth there

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Check the IT jobs turnovers - that's a hint!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Support Specialist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Technical Support Specialist in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Open to trying out new technologies. If you have no options, this company may be a good start for you, especially, if you're a newbie in IT world.

    Cons

    Pathetic work environment especially for the IT world folks. This department is managed and controlled by a clique of folks, and if you do not swing to their music, you will be underpaid and seriously frustrated. Simply run a search for the IT turnovers at AIR and you will be amazed. Someone did mention this to me, but I didn't believe them until I joined AIR... I left in a hurry!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the culture in your IT department. It simply is not professional and it will deter and chance away much needed talent. The management should simple be changed!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Research, not successful application

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    benefits, great environment for researchers

    Cons

    Research institution not skilled at application and limited understanding of school improvement beyond research. No practical success and autocratic leadership style. Low comparative salary. No room for growth; company does not develop talent. Culture is competitive. To paraphrase another reviewer, 'almost do more fighting than working together.'

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop business leadership structure and develop a true collaborative model. Value employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Promises

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Communication Specialist
    Former Employee - Communication Specialist

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Benefits were great, especially the health care coverage.
    - Some of the staff members are great, genuine people.

    Cons

    - Project enjoyment will vary by client, AIR division, and manager. I had the particularly frustrating experience of being promised certain projects and work during the hiring phase, only to have these projects largely shelved with me idling by.
    - Ideas for generating work were met with some enthusiasm, but I was never given the permission to take any action.
    - Some of the senior staff members, particularly in the health section, are completely self-serving and set everyone else up for failure because they are never around to answer questions, provide guidance, or generally be helpful in any way. And then have the gall to blame everyone else when things go awry.
    - Toxic work environment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on improving morale, send some of the upper-management to sensitivity training because they have no idea what it's like to work with themselves, take some project management classes, stop accepting mediocre work, don't let people pass the blame on to others when they are responsible for certain deliverables.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Getting ahead depends on who you know rather than performance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Researcher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Researcher in Washington, DC

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    With offices around the country, everyone is used to having to work with staff that is located remotely, so the infrastructure is in place for when I need to telecommute. This allows for a better work-life balance.

    Cons

    It's not an equal playing field. Recognition and promotion depends on who your staff manager is and who you know. When AIR acquired one company a few years ago, all new staff from that company automatically received a promotion of a level or two, so that people that came in from the new company with only a couple of years experience out of college were on par with people who had that same number of years of experience and a Ph.D. because the new VP pushed for them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with staff! It's very unfair to say, "You need to do x, y, and z to get a promotion," and then not give out a promotion when x, y, and z are accomplished. What staff needs to do to get ahead shouldn't be a secret and shouldn't depend on who your staff manager happens to be.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    high living expense with low pay and much much much work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time

    Pros

    free beverage and other unimportant benefit
    location is dc area not far from metro

    Cons

    a lot
    too too too much work
    get promote not base on your performance

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Lots of good colleagues, but too much work, low pay, and slow promotion

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Firm has some excellent values and attracts some really good people in terms of skill and experience - most of people here are very bright and hard working

    Cons

    People kill themselves to get work done and are not appreciated - Company has way too many managers who don't really do much of anything but talk about how they want to support you - advancement and promotion is slow - pay is not great and you don't get any real reward for good performance - everybody gets low increases even when company seems to be doing really well

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be real about what salaries outside the company are and be competitive with - it is very demoralizing to realize you may be hired at a competive salary but then fall behind people in very similar jobs - realize too that people have very different skills and should be paid differently, even with same job title

    Make clear what it takes to advance in company

    Don't let managers play favorites

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not good for entry-level staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research in Washington, DC

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time

    Pros

    Some perks are nice - free coffee, bagels on Wednesdays. The company gives lip-service to work/life balance and the mission is a good one.

    Cons

    Don't make this your first job. You'll be stuck and stale a few years later. AIR works its junior staff very hard, but offers very few opportunities for advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    After the employee engagement surveys of the past few years, some additional attention seems to have been paid to research assistants and associates. Make sure the senior technical staff and management internalize the importance of these staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Working here is torture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Communication Specialist
    Current Employee - Communication Specialist

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flex hours -- but totally off-set during proposal season
    Casual dress -- but what does it matter, most folk look like re-treads
    Location -- but you won't get out much

    Cons

    No career path
    Weak managerial talent
    Re-hashed credentials
    No investment in talent, in capital equipment, in technology
    Mostly serve as a pass-thru for outside specialists
    Lackluster assignments
    No opportunity to stretch

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so short-sighted
    Invest in your company's future
    Look around -- be realistic in assessing your competition
    Stop going after every RFP that comes down the pike -- be strategic and you won't be so hungry
    See you employees as capital getting in the elevator at the end of the day
    Treat employees with respect -- don't tolerated indiscriminate managerial treatment and favoritism

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Would not recommend...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time

    Pros

    - Free bagels and coffee

    Cons

    - Poor Management
    - Not innovative
    - Many projects seem to be mismanaged with little positive results being produced for the people they are meant to help.
    - Employees are over-worked and over-stressed
    - Lots of government funds wasted on useless projects

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat employees with more respect. Learn how to manage.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

American Institutes for Research Photos

AIR Nationals Day
Conference
Conference

+ Add Photo

Work at American Institutes for Research? Share Your Experiences

American Institutes for Research

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.