American Institutes for Research
2.8 of 5 89 reviews
www.air.org Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

American Institutes for Research Reviews

Updated Jul 3, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.8 89 reviews

                             

53% Approve of the CEO

American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers

David Myers

(30 ratings)

39% of employees recommend this company to a friend
89 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "The company gives lip-service to work/life balance and the mission is a good one"
    in 9 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 4 reviews
  • "Requests by higher level staff to do admin work outside of normal project functions"
    in 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A place to end up, not to start

    Research Associate (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    Pros- some great managers
    - good benefits
    - interesting work, if you have luck

    Can be very good work if you end up on the right projects with the right project directors. Unfortunately assignments are made based on staff availability, not interests or qualifications. Timing is everything here.

    Difficult to advance from within but a great deal if you are going in as a senior manager. More flexibility in which assignments you work on, based on your experience.

    Cons- extremely low pay
    - no checks and balances system on sr. mgmt
    - not very fair, different rules for different employees

    The pay is offensive. You can make 25-35% more at a similar company. No negotiating power unless you have a salary history, even then they might not be able to accommodate you.

    How well you fare depends on how much your supervisor advocates for you/how well they are liked by senior mgmt.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLet people who are good at supervising supervise, let people who are better at research just research. Being a brilliant PhD does not mean you should mentor lower level staff. You might assume working in education research would make people realize teachable moments...but it doesn't.

    And pay more.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    My experience working there was amazing.

    Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsThe development team there is really talented and have lots of years of experience.

    ConsThey tend to work more on modifying a previous made website instead of being more creative.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    A good company that invests in its own people (helps to have an advanced degree)

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat location, good pay and benefits for a non-profit, flexible schedules. They also value independent workers so in a lot of cases you don't really have a boss in the traditional sense.

    ConsLimited room for advancement in a lot of cases. Not all positions at the company are like I described in the pros. Great company to work for if you have a PhD or Masters.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    I enjoy working at AIR. There are many opportunities to move within the company.

    Marketing Associate (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsRelaxed work environment and high diversity

    ConsLow salary, but to be expected working at a non-profit

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Lots of flexibility but very little opportunity for growth

    Project Manager (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsLots of flexibility in terms of work hours, PTO, and telecommuting options.

    ConsRegardless of your skills and accomplishments, promotions and salary increases are arbitrary and extremely difficult to obtain. Training for new employees is virtually non-existent. It's sink or swim. Not an ideal place for a long-term job.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest on professional development to retain talented employees and offer training tools to new employees. Reduce perks like free happy hours and instead reward your most productive employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Nice people, terrible management in my Division

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsA 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.

    ConsInept 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 Senior ManagementGet organized, get some training.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Challenging work, great colleagues--but low pay"

    Research Associate (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsAt AIR you get to work with talented, intelligent people with diverse expertise on a daily basis. You are constantly learning from others. Although it really varies depending on who your manager is, some managers are really great at providing opportunities for career development.

    The work is intellectually stimulating and at times can be fun.

    The benefits are decent and the flexible work day is a nice perk.

    ConsSalaries for research assistants and research associates are too low. Most research associates have Master's degrees and pay ranges from 45,000 to 55,000. \

    Many divisions have too much work for the number of people working. Some employees have been able to implement a work-life balance, but overall people do not have work-life balance.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReduce perks like free bagel Wednesdays and free beverages and instead use the money save to recognize your most productive workers.

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsExcellent benefits. A good place to grow and a good start for entry level employees fresh from college.

    ConsCan be tough to move up

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Miserable experience

    Curriculum Intern (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

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

    ConsBORING! 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 Senior ManagementMaybe actually work with your interns. All the interns were sitting in a room alone with nothing to do.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

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

    No One of Any Particular Importance (Current Employee)

    ProsBenefits 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.

    ConsDirectionless 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 Senior ManagementCurrent 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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The American Institutes for Research (AIR), founded in 1946 as a nonprofit organization, is one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. Our overriding goal is to use the best… Full Overview

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