American Institutes for Research Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers
David Myers
6 Ratings

Pros
  • This allows for a better work-life balance (in 11 reviews)

  • Admirable mission and good benefits (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • the culture doesn't support a healthy work-life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • The salary for lower level staff: AIR hired me in at (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

29 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Assessment Program Manager

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great location in Georgetown; smart people supporting projects; currently has lots of business

    Cons

    Arrogance trickles down; less than professional/respectful environment provided by some (and some in charge); lack of process/quality management; lack of financial oversight; no training and accountability to management

    Advice to Management

    Industry is aware of issues and without some intervention, business is likely to diminish


  2. Helpful (8)

    Business Is Growing, Employee Satisfaction is Shrinking

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Casual dress code - Excellent benefits - Great Co-workers

    Cons

    AIR used to be a great place to work and should still be. The company has won some major contracts and is bringing in record profits year after year. Despite that fact, the environment for employees keeps getting worse. For example: - The highest performing employees get a 3% raise - AIR does not promote from within. Many employees have been doing jobs 1 or 2 levels above their title for years, but they will never get promoted. - Pay is well below the market rate for the DC area. Most positions pay 10%-20% less than the competition. - Projects are poorly run. There is no consistent project management methodology throughout the organization. Every team does things their own way which makes collaborating cross-projects a nightmare and unnecessarily burdensome. - Management ranges from good to awful and there is no oversight of anyone who is a level 5 or above. Some teams have decent work-life balance, some teams work 70 hours a week. If you get stuck under one of the inept directors there is nothing you can do about. They don't allow transfers within the organization and HR/upper management doesn't care about how terrible your boss is. - Social events seem to be evaporating. There used to be some sort of social event every 6 weeks or so. Most have been eliminated, including the Christmas party. The events they still have are almost exclusively after working hours. - A lot of the work-life balance that is promised when you are hired is not true. Very few people are allowed to work from home even a few days a month. Its extremely difficult to get requests for PTO approved. You are expected to be "on call" 24/7. If your boss calls at 9pm on a Saturday, you are expected to be available to work.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be a system of performance evaluation for employees to evaluate management. There are terrible managers but no one notices because the people under them do good work. AIR needs to put more value on the people who actually do the work. The company is making a fortune but employees get the same minuscule raises and bonuses they got when the company was not doing as well.


  3. Good starting job out of college, very demanding with little pay

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

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

    Neutral Outlook
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great starting job out of college, worked with people my age, everyone was very nice, small perks made it somewhat OK

    Cons

    Summers are the worst, no life, expected to work over 40 hours some weeks without overtime pay, little room for promotions without more education


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Right place for the right mindset

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Work-life balance is great, flexible hours

    Cons

    Very, very unique culture that may be off-putting to younger, more driven staff. Feels impossible to advance in a meaningful way. Rarely promotes from within and pay is extremely low.

    Advice to Management

    Cater to your strengths and promote from within. Offer a competitive and live-able wage to employees as enticement to stay.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Small Perks all Disappearing

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, bagels on Wednesday I generally had a manageable work load, though that wasn't true for everyone. Free tea and coffee.

    Cons

    Very low salaries, especially for junior staff. It used to be in exchange for good benefits, but those are disappearing thanks to a new president. Need a masters for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Take more interest in your employees.


  7. Helpful (5)

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

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    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.


  8. Helpful (4)

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

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

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

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

    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 Management

    Work through HR to compensate hard working employees.


  9. Helpful (5)

    Manager at AIR

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.


  10. Helpful (5)

    Clique riddled, no work life balance.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    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.


  11. Helpful (5)

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

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

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.



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