American Institutes for Research

  www.air.org
  www.air.org

American Institutes for Research Reviews

Updated November 4, 2014
Updated November 4, 2014
107 Reviews
2.9
107 Reviews
Rating Trends

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American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers
David Myers
40 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

32 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Good place to start your research career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in San Mateo, CA

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

    Pros

    Admirable mission and good benefits. Good place to start off your career as you can get a lot of hands-on experience and research training.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is bad, and the low pay makes it worse (no cost-of-living adjustment for those of us living expensive areas). Thus, people look for other opportunities after burning out.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good as an entry level position

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

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

    Pros

    Co-workers are very supportive which makes it grate for someone who is just out of college. You get to work on a lot of high profile projects.

    Cons

    There is not much mobility within the company and the work expected from an Research Assistant is not challenging. It ends up become pretty boring a repetitive

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Some RA's work hard, others do nothing. In the end, we all make the same.

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

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

    Pros

    Fulfilling work working on projects that attempt to do good.

    Cons

    Most of your work as an RA goes unappreciated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider investing more in your Level 2s. We'd stick around if you gave us a chance to grow 'up' in the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Quality of Job Varies Greatly by Position, Program, and Level

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

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

    Pros

    AIR is doing cutting level research in many areas. It can be an exciting place to work with smart colleagues and the opportunity to learn and increase skills. Benefits are generally good and for people who stay for a while the retirement benefits are particularly generous (AIR's contribution as a percentage of salary goes up with age and time worked at the company). I very seldom get bored working here.

    Cons

    The work experience is very dependent upon the program and the supervisor. I have found it hard to maintain a reasonable work-life balance but I have talked to people in other positions and programs who have not faced this issue. Supervisors have a lot of freedom and some are much better about teaching and mentoring staff than others. Salaries are low for entry level staff and vary greatly for staff in higher level positions. In most job categories there is a glass ceiling unless you have a terminal degree. I feel like we lose a lot of good staff because they develop skills at AIR and then move to another employer where they feel like they have more opportunities to advance.

  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    ok place to 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

    decent work life balance, reasonable pay

    Cons

    high turnover, many short term project

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good colleagues, poor work-life balance

    Current Employee - Researcher
    Current Employee - Researcher

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

    Pros

    Co-workers are generally committed and helpful

    Cons

    Poor work-life balance, limited opportunities for promotion

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Follow through on commitments to staff rather than just paying lip-service to concerns.

  8.  

    Friendly place with flexible hours

    Current Employee - Systems Support in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Systems Support in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    I work in a fairly laid back atmosphere. Staff members are willing to help when you have problems. Flexible hours.

    Cons

    Not many future development space. Work can be challenging every now and then, but most of the time it feels flat and repetitive. For someone like me who likes the job to be a little challenging and interesting, it feels plain most of time.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    OK place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Friendly collaborative work culture, flexible hours, casual dress code, low stress if you're active about managing your work but can be high stress if you aren't.

    Cons

    Lack of career growth opportunities

    Relatively low pay compared to similar positions in same industry

    Requests by higher level staff to do admin work outside of normal project functions

    Occasionally disorganized leadership due to how projects are structured (you have multiple bosses who each have multiple bosses), and the company's policy of underfunding projects in an effort to underbid competitors (which leads to staff working a lot of unpaid overtime and conflicting messages about how to allocate your time).

    The expectation is that new hires will leave in 2 years so there isn't much effort made into retaining lower level staff. A promotion does not lead to much higher pay at lower levels, seems to be based mostly on time served, and without a graduate degree there is nowhere to grow after you obtain it. The lack of incentives to work hard leads to low motivation/morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This company needs to pay it's employees more if it wants less turnover.

  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great Company, Bad Planning

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

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

    Pros

    Entry level staff received offices, great company events, friendly senior management.

    Cons

    Bad planning on the company budget wise. No company should hire employees if they are not certain about the work they're going to win. This always end badly and someone who is new to the work world shouldn't have to experience being laid off without any notice. Wasn't a good feeling at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use better planning when hiring new staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Could be better, could be worse

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

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

    Pros

    Some leaders are very passionate about their work.
    Many of my colleagues are very smart.
    AIR has a diverse range of projects that can provide some variety and interesting work.
    Great benefits.
    Flexibility is great. The most important focus is getting the work done, but you can shape your schedule within reason.
    AIR's HQ is located near the Georgetown waterfront. This is a great area for lunch breaks, especially when the weather is nice.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is not great, especially for those of us who are willing to work hard. A lot of hours are donated to business development.
    Hit or miss project management can be frustrating.
    While the pay is fair, it is not great.
    It's very difficult to get promoted.
    Very little racial diversity in senior positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in employees at all levels, especially junior levels.
    Train project directors and leaders. It's not enough to be subject matter experts.
    Senior managers need to get in touch with what is happening on lower levels.
    Improve career paths for hard working people who want to move up.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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