American Institutes for Research

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American Institutes for Research Reviews

Updated August 25, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014
94 Reviews
2.8
94 Reviews
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American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers
David Myers
32 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • nice group and great working environment (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is not great, especially for those of us who are willing to work hard (in 5 reviews)

  • The salary for lower level staff: AIR hired me in at (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

24 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great for short term resume building & flexibility. Poor work life balance, inequitable promotions and salaries.

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

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

    Pros

    Without an advanced degree or with an advanced degree but little experience: in the short term, great position for building a resume with a breadth of experiences. Some upper level staff is great to work for and will assist in professional growth. Flexibility with hours. Good benefits.

    Cons

    Employees often expected to work extra hours to complete assigned tasks but hard work is rarely rewarded. Salaries sometimes appallingly low and typically inequitable. Sans an advanced degree, promotions difficult to impossible past one level and more dependent on assigned reviewer than merit. Longevity and experience at company not valued. Many projects suffer from poor management and low morale.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    A good stepping stone for moving up in your career. Start looking for a better position as soon as you are hired.

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

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

    Pros

    Nice people to work with. Relax dress code.

    Cons

    The company is very stingy about salaries. Very low pay for DC area. Pay raises are between 2-3%. Promotions are based on who you know.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work through HR to compensate hard working employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Manager at AIR

    • 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

    Good team and location. Company is growing fast.

    Cons

    Bad management style, use one people as three.

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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good colleagues and not enough focus on good management or management structures.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Hands-on experience and some autonomy after finding a niche which may take years. Good and hard-working colleagues who are willing to help one another.

    Cons

    Top heavy with hierarchical structure and big differences in pay scales. Projects understaffed so workload is heavy and often unpredictable. Many managers have no management skills and do not solve problems. Low salaries for entry level staff and raises minimal for those staff. Many burdensome organizational requirements. Not much interaction in the course of work day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reduce emphasis on AIR prestige and increase focus on good management so projects are appropriately staffed and work is feasible given timelines, budgets, and conditions. Be sensitive to staff burnout.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Clique riddled, no work life balance.

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

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Benefits try to fill in the gaps where pay or commendation lacks. As long as you aren't in the CSSC or Assessment department, things seem to be pretty good for you work-wise.

    Cons

    It's all about who you know, and who likes you on whether you get any kind of notice or stimulating work. If you manage to make it to a position with any responsibility then they work you to the bone. 7 days a week, 10-12 or more hours a day for months on end.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Limited career paths and disregard for technical skill restrict opportunities and create inefficiencies.

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

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

    Pros

    If you are single, there are many after-hours events to get to know other employees. Also, if you already established in your career with good experience, they pay very well.

    Cons

    If you are just beginning your career (as I was), you will not be paid well. Also, if you have more technical skills, such as programming, you can get into a situation where they need you to use those skills, but do not provide opportunities for advancement in that line of work. The only available career track in my location was as an analyst. It also meant that they had a hard time retaining people with the technical skills they need in their line of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Even if analysts can be billed at a higher rate, consider creating some advancement for technically-oriented employees. Also, there was considerable cronyism in the program-level management. People who were friendly with management were promoted much more than those that were quiet and reserved, yet objectively better at their jobs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    OK, if you are in need of a job

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

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Good benefits, good work-life balance, flexibility to take time off, good mission/cause, nice people to work with.

    Cons

    Lots of red tape to get things done, innovation is not encouraged, virtually no professional development, really slow professional growth, lack of recognition, low salaries. They pay about 70-80% of what you could get at a software product company.

    If you are more of a follower and don't mind working alone, while enjoying some of the perks, this could be the right place for you.

    There are lots of cliques and annual reviews/promotions are not necessarily merit-based. Salary increases are partly based on internal equity, so even if you deserve a good bump in pay, you might see a smaller one.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Nice people, terrible management in my Division

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

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

    Pros

    A lot of great people who fight the good fight to create a quality product and work atmosphere. Great location, decent pay, great benefits, and little perks like coffee and offices.

    Cons

    Inept management in the Assessment division. Not all of the managers, but several of the key players just create an environment that is sub-par. The client side managers are the most unprofessional and disorganized I've dealt with and dump whatever then can last minute on the technical side of the house. Tech managers are not allowed to push back effectively or reach a happy medium with efficient communication / workflow process's. In fact there aren't process's at all here, at least not in the Assessment division.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get organized, get some training.

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

    Miserable experience

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

    I worked at American Institutes for Research as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    I hear they have good benefits, but I just worked as an intern, so I didn't get them. Bagel Wednesdays were pretty cool.

    Cons

    BORING! Maybe it was just what I was doing, but even my bosses just did the same stuff. Over and over again. No training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe actually work with your interns. All the interns were sitting in a room alone with nothing to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Ever try eating soup with a knife? Now imagine the soup tastes like sewer water and bleach..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - No One of Any Particular Importance
    Current Employee - No One of Any Particular Importance

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

    Pros

    Benefits are ok, some locations you get your own office apparently,laptop was decent, holiday party was nice. Worked with some very bright people. If you enter the company at a high enough level, you can lock in for the long haul judging by the length of tenures of some. Folks in DC seem to like the locale.

    Cons

    Directionless unimaginative task oriented work, very stagnant culture, little incentive to excel since promotion is so rare, talents appear to waste horribly, exceptional lack of transparency at the senior strategic management level, non-productive competitiveness, lack of business development foresight, quite gossipy, lack of consistency as to how rules are applied, lack of clarity and consistency on key policies, experience will vary
    greatly by project. It is easy to be sucked into the "potential" of what could be early on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Current operating structure is counter productive to securing more lucrative business opportunities in health, communications and digital media. May work in less competitive areas though. There is a lot of talent wasting in the organization. Very poor job so far.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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