AECOM

www.aecom.com

AECOM Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated January 17, 2015
Updated January 17, 2015
917 Reviews
2.7
917 Reviews
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AECOM President & CEO Michael S. Burke
Michael S. Burke
100 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • As a large company there are opportunities to work in the middle east and on good projects (in 27 reviews)

  • The work-life balance is good with the alternative work week program and pay is reasonable (in 25 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior Management only cares about shareholders, not employees (in 58 reviews)

  • The upper management is not connected with the people actually doing the work (in 51 reviews)

More Highlights

12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great work life balance and flexible- big corporate feel.

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

    I worked at AECOM full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits- my experience is that they are flexible on hours (when you come in) and people around you are generally supportive.

    Cons

    Upper management just cares about billable hours, so feels short sighted and a bit cold. Has the feeling of a huge corporation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    A confused behemoth of a company - some good people despite its track record for poor employee retention

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Economist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Economist in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AECOM full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The variety of the projects was the primary draw to AECOM. If you could align yourself with interesting co-workers, there was the possibility of generating a good stream of project work. The benefits were middle of the road. The company does attract a lot of interesting people, though it has trouble keeping them.

    Cons

    The company is a disorganized mess because it tries to be everything to everyone. The size and revenue requirements of the company makes it such that they have to compete in a lot of commodity consulting, where price is the only real factor for clients. That leads to working on a lot of uninspiring projects. There is a lot of pressure to work off hours and off the books to make projects profitable. The culture suffers from the frenetic pace of work and the focus of profitability at all costs. And the profits go to management and shareholders, not employees to any measurable degree. A lot of talent has broken off from the company because it such an unwieldy clunker of an operation that underpays its people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to keep the best, you have to create real professional growth opportunities and pay them what they are worth. The disregard for any training for entering hires at any level was astounding. There also needs to be more checks for quality work. I saw a lot of crap being produced. The compensation was at the bottom of the industry. Typical pyramid scheme where the labor of the junior staff, who were largely under-compensated, supported the salaries of principals and management, who tended to focus more on getting work than making sure any of it was done well.

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

    AECOM was the company that merged several companies together without proper oversight

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - CADD Drafter IV in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - CADD Drafter IV in Oakland, CA

    I worked at AECOM full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Best reason the compensation and location.

    Cons

    Disorganized, needed someone to take control for merging.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve employee/management relationships.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    AECOM was a great place to intern as the managers are extremely accessible.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corporate Communications in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Corporate Communications in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AECOM as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    The office environment is engaging and active. They value work/life balance. Since AECOM is such a major player in multiple industries, you work on meaningful projects.

    Cons

    As with any large company, you never know whom you'll be working with on a weekly basis. Fortunately there is a strong culture, but collaboration could be more streamlined.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 15 people found this helpful  

    Poor company culture, unpleasant work environment

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

    I have been working at AECOM full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    * Pay tends to be on par with competitors.
    * Large company means opportunities to do work in different markets
    * Company wins large-scale projects

    Cons

    * Stock price looms large
    * Company lays people off frequently, and no announcements are made. You never know when someone has been cut loose, or why.
    * Mid-level managers are expected to perform marketing duties "on their own time." Overhead hours for work pursuits are only approved for VERY large projects. Smaller projects ($50K, $100K) are expected to be won on your own time. When you're spending several hours per week on your own time preparing proposals to continue earning new work, the salary is no longer worth it, because your pay/hour is now considerably lower.
    * Remaining employed here means staying billable. If upper management is unable to win work, staff gets cut.
    * Company would rather hire someone new than promote from within.
    * Annual pay increases are very low, regardless of how you've performed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is unethical to expect people to win work on their own time. Part of being a project manager is marketing/networking. It is unreasonable to expect project managers to be 100% billable - they need at least a small percentage of overhead hours as well. As it stands, there is little incentive for junior staff to want to move into middle management positions, as it is clear that middle managers are being abused.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    good on your resume but not a long term place

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

    I have been working at AECOM full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    flexible work schedule available, good projects

    Cons

    old school. a lot of detached people in management who really don't understand what it's like to actually do the work. not many opportunities for younger people. they're idea of next gen is 50 something.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be open to a new generation of ideas

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    AECOM-ZILLA

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer II in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer II in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at AECOM full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company has great projects to work on, large infrastructure and important civil contributions. Can get great experience and build you resume for future promise.

    Cons

    As AECOM is a huge corporation where the only thing that really matters is numbers, the human element is diminished. Management claims to want to help you reach your specific goals for you career, which is truly not the case. Hard to rise within the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Help engineers reach their full potential. Stick to your word and keep you promises when developing a Career path and plan for employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Too Many Employees, Benefits Package Spread Thin

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at AECOM

    Pros

    free coffee and tea. They want to streamline everything to digital, so no space is wasted on hard files. They have consistent work.

    Cons

    They plan work spaces that cram too many employees together. They put more value on cutting costs than showing appreciation for their employees.

    Every corporate decision shows they don't really care about their employees ( which leads to decreased morale) . They just want to save money in the smallest possible way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Manage salary increases for hard work based on changes in a cost-of-living index. Design work environments where people actually want to work there and be creative. AECOM can't be a Google by designing/planning offices in the manner they do. I can't imagine why talented leaders/ future visionaries would stay at this company long-term.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Too big of an animal to do detailed design and implementation.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AECOM

    Pros

    Resources of multiple professionals
    The equipment and technology to do the work one of the best
    Enjoyed working with the junior staff

    Cons

    Too much overtime
    Too much bottomline

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand what is your core emphasis. Don't morph into becoming a expert within a field. Should be able to review senior management on their performance from junior staff.

    No opinion of CEO
  11. 8 people found this helpful  

    "Do you have a charge number for that?"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Practice Leader in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Practice Leader in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at AECOM

    Pros

    Its relatively easy to get international assignments.
    Appears to be strong on compliance with the law.
    Very interesting, world class project work opportunities
    AECOM's employees are had deep and diverse pool of technical expertise

    Cons

    "Do you have a charge code for that?" is the most common phrase used by AECOM employees. The reason for this is because the only measure of an employee's worth that really counts here is utilization (the number of hours you work divided by the number of hours they pay you for). If you don't have enough billable hours to put enough hours on your timecard (most people are expected to be 90% to 100% billable), you have to take vacation time or unpaid leave, but still be at your desk. If you have more than 40 hours billable work, you only get paid for 40.

    Why is that? Because executive management need cashflow to pay the interest bill on the money they borrow to make acquisitions.

    Why to they make acquisitions? its a way faster way to increase executive earnings than organic growth.

    As earlier reviewers predicted, people are beginning to leave for better opportunities now that the economy has improved.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your strategy of taking too much from the existing business to fund acquisitions will catch up you. Maybe not now, maybe not next year, but it will. Also, buying a construction business does increase the overall risk profile of the company. A lot.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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