American Institutes for Research

  www.air.org
  www.air.org

American Institutes for Research Reviews

Updated October 7, 2014
Updated October 7, 2014
99 Reviews
2.9
99 Reviews
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American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers
David Myers
36 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company gives lip-service to work/life balance and the mission is a good one (in 11 reviews)

  • nice group and great working environment (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is not great, especially for those of us who are willing to work hard (in 6 reviews)

  • Low salaries for entry level staff and raises minimal for those staff (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great day to day, problematic supervisor interactions.

    • 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 as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great co-workers and environment. Good flexibility. Generous company supported outings and break room amenities. Dedicated green team. Bagel Wednesdays. Good location. Makes efforts to be more bike-friendly.

    Cons

    In facilities, micro-managing from supervisor combined with little to no feedback from supervisor when issues that required their input arose. Received backlash each time I went around or over supervisor from supervisor to resolve outstanding issues, sometimes months old, that could have been moved forward with a simple email response. Co-workers seemed aware of situation when I arrived and all counseled "keep your head down."

    When not dealing with outstanding issues of their backlash, was always told I was doing a good job, up to the point my contract was not renewed with no explanation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perform reviews on middle management by seeking feedback from those under them.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Rewarding Experience

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

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very skilled content teams, reasonable pay, flexibility

    Cons

    If upper management does not like you, you will see new hires promoted before you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to offer training and professional development as opposed to throwing employees into new tasks and then holding them accountable for what they do not know.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great perks and people, young coworkers, uninteresting work

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

    I worked at American Institutes for Research as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    nurturing environment, great coworkers, company is interested in your feedback, great perks and team development events.

    Cons

    Little variety in the work, often difficult to get feedback on your work, company relies heavily on temp labor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's important to not only ask for feedback from your employees, but also to give your employees feedback on their work.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person 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
  6.  

    Great

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

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

    Pros

    Great work environment, very flexible, nice benefits

    Cons

    Some projects are better managed then others

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train people to be project directors

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 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.

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Promises

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

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Benefits were great, especially the health care coverage.
    - Some of the staff members are great, genuine people.

    Cons

    - Project enjoyment will vary by client, AIR division, and manager. I had the particularly frustrating experience of being promised certain projects and work during the hiring phase, only to have these projects largely shelved with me idling by.
    - Ideas for generating work were met with some enthusiasm, but I was never given the permission to take any action.
    - Some of the senior staff members, particularly in the health section, are completely self-serving and set everyone else up for failure because they are never around to answer questions, provide guidance, or generally be helpful in any way. And then have the gall to blame everyone else when things go awry.
    - Toxic work environment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on improving morale, send some of the upper-management to sensitivity training because they have no idea what it's like to work with themselves, take some project management classes, stop accepting mediocre work, don't let people pass the blame on to others when they are responsible for certain deliverables.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

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

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

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

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great experience, flexible, not the best work/life balance/salary in the field.

    • 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

    Very smart people, lots of interesting work, great professional development, love the ability to work remotely and AIR's flexibility.

    Cons

    Salary could be higher, could be more room for advancement, everyone is over-worked, very dependent on if you have a good manager or not.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 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

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