Chicago Bridge & Iron

  www.cbi.com
  www.cbi.com

Chicago Bridge & Iron Reviews

Updated October 8, 2014
Updated October 8, 2014
171 Reviews
3.0
171 Reviews
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Chicago Bridge & Iron President and CEO Philip K. Asherman
Philip K. Asherman
72 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • have a great pay scale and good benefits package, RRSP Dental Extended Medical all really great (in 13 reviews)

  • Flexible working hours; very good work-life balance (at the local office level) (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management typically makes decisions without realizing the full impact of the people doing the work (in 7 reviews)

  • Upper management can treat you like you don't exist or matter (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

31 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Currently CB&I is downsizing Environmental & Infrastructure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Scientist in Alpharetta, GA
    Current Employee - Project Scientist in Alpharetta, GA

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, flexible hours, ability to work for other offices in the US while not enough work in my office.

    Cons

    Currently no business development support for a lot of the offices leading to little to no future work for those offices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We need new business development employees to help regrow a shrinking company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Career at CBI

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

    I worked at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The best reason to work here is the people that work for you. They are all easy going and very loyal to CBI. Get great work experience to build on with future employers.

    Cons

    The supervision is very one minded, treats their employees like a number, don't review your performances on a regular basis, and are extremely stingy come time for raises. Everything is based on some written procedure which gets white washed across the entire company regardless of your particular type of work being performed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reconsider your No Tolerance Policies and their true impact to your safety culture. Treat your employees more like human beings who want to work and help CBI Succeed than a simply number that is no more than a plug and play periphery to the system called CBI.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Employee

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

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay, Opportunity to travel (paid by the company), great people to work with

    Cons

    CB&I claims to be a global company, but operates like a local mom and pop. There is truly no reason to put hundreds of people out of a job in the Baton Rouge office and move all of those positions to The Woodlands. Global companies know how to effectively operate without everyone being located in the same office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop micromanaging. Get some education on contemporay workplace flexibility and get current.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Process focused, not solution focused

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron

    Pros

    paycheck comes every two weeks

    Cons

    CMS attrition turnover direction information flow

  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Avoid at all costs if you value your career.

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

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Collaborating with talented and loyal employees and working on a variety of interesting projects.

    Cons

    CB&I may have acquired The Shaw Group, but it was only on paper. Instead of getting the best of both companies, we've got the worst of both sides as far as management is concerned. Shaw practices has infected CB&I upper management, resulting in questionable and shady behavior, muddled processes, and cloak-and-dagger backdoor politics.

    A forced relocation of all Corporate personnel to the Woodlands by September 2014 will result in 90+% cannibalization of IT and HR departments (among others). Only "selected" persons were asked to move, given paltry and laughable relocation packages, then told to keep "hush hush" about it. The unlucky ones left behind are being hung out to dry, still waiting for any official word from management about office closures, severance (yeah, right) and any other pertinent information related to the obliteration of their jobs. Management has been silent and uncommunicative about the whole affair. This company likes to preach and extol high moral and ethical standards, yet they can't even maintain the common decency to communicate to employees who have been loyal and hard-working to them for many years.

    Plans to outsource work overseas is the cherry on top of this putrid cake. Avoid at all costs if you value your career and your professional development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enjoy your shiny new building and best of luck this September. You'll need it.

    Also, say hi to our friends in India.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Poor Management

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

    I worked at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, opportunity to travel across the country, good travel agency, Fortune 500, worked with some very intelligent, amicable people that I still keep in touch with

    Cons

    Poor communication between management levels, rampant favoritism and nepotism, poor management of offices, treatment of field personnel is sub par,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This was my first job as a professional. I worked for the company for six years and despite receiving repeated good reviews from my superiors I was only "promoted" once. There was always talk of advancement opportunities within offices and projects, yet these "opportunities" never actually seemed to materialize. I witnessed several very intelligent, hard working people forced to leave the company after many years of service due to poor upper management decisions. I once worked on a project where I had 6 different supervisors. It was hard no to think of the movie Office Space because of this. "So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired." Sadly, this was my introduction to corporate America.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Give it a year or two, then leave! Bottom line: No one will fight for you!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Environmental Scientist in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Environmental Scientist in Denver, CO

    I worked at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's a good starting job to move on from. I started my first job at Shaw after undergrad as an Environmental Scientist. The starting pay wasn't terrible, but there was no opportunity for advancement. If you are a low-level employee, they will just try to get as much out of you before you leave for something better. The only other good thing was every other Friday off (9/80 schedule), but this was a Shaw thing that I heard CB&I is getting rid of.

    Cons

    Worked for Shaw Environmental for 5 years. During that time, it always seemed like things were going downhill. When the CB&I acquisition came along, they made us believe things were going to get better. They didn't. No communication at all from higher-ups, with shutdowns of departments and layoffs. You couldn't even get through to get your voice heard, because regional management denies they are kept in the loop at all. Bottom line: No one is fighting for you but yourself. This is a terrible company to work for, very unreliable, and does not care to keep its promising assets. Only join as a last resort if you plan to move on in a year or two.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Needs a change in company culture. Management only cares about themselves. Loyal employees and technical assets are treated very poorly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Disorganized money machine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Energy and Sustainability in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Energy and Sustainability in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Opportunities, if management likes you

    Cons

    constant turnover; little to no training. Often thrown into projects plans or context.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The energy management practice lacks direction and doesn't understand it's strengths. Somehow it's stayed pretty profitable. For me, it's taken a lot of the warm-fuzzy out of working in sustainability, it's clear they wouldn't be in the business if it wasn't for the money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    CB&I Power Division

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

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Some talented, dedicated people in certain areas
    - Large company that may or may not have potential for advancement
    - Large industrial projects with some interesting aspects

    Cons

    This mostly applies to the Nuclear Division:

    - Chaotic, disorganized project management
    - Management creates a wall between themselves and staff. Poor communication breeds rumors and low morale. Management tells staff how to act and does the opposite themselves. Staff treated like children.
    - No bonuses or employee incentives
    - A lot of dead weight
    - High turnover of talented people...good people don't usually stay here too long
    - A lot of nepotism/favoritism
    - Actual results are not valued as much as adherence to ambiguous metrics
    - Unprofessional, hostile behavior is tolerated (almost encouraged) by management with no consequences
    - Hard to get a promotion or raise unless you leave the company and return or have another offer for bargaining

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest and fair with employees, stop treating employees like contractors if you want to retain them long term (clear career paths, incentives, training, regular promotions), weed out poor performers and stop accepting mediocrity to get projects on a successful path

    CB&I management is supposed to be addressing issues in the newly acquired power division but changes have been slow in coming...time will tell what reforms take place. CB&I overall as a company seems much better than the former Shaw Group. In current practice, they have not been well integrated and are still very separate entities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good past, not so rosy future.

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

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Was a very tight knit IT group that consistently delivered results on nearly impossible timelines/budget.

    Cons

    The amount of work was at times overwhelming with requirements to work nights, weekends, holidays, away from home, etc.. However, when the deliverables were met, and they usually were, the euphoria was unequaled in my professional experience.

    The upcoming forced move to Texas will cost 80% or more of the historical base of IT, and will cause tremendous chaos in the next 12-24 months. Combine that with the currently all time highs in backlog work, and I fear some projects will suffer.

    It is a vicious cycle when your future work is partially based on general perception of your ability to complete the job. One major misstep can affect your prospects for years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The idea to centralize IT to The Woodlands is causing loss of personnel and historical knowledge. This introduces a huge risk to the environment that is required for the business to work. I feel that if CB&I has issues going forward with IT, this move will be the point where CB&I "jumped the shark".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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