American Institutes for Research

  www.air.org
  www.air.org
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American Institutes for Research Reviews

Updated September 8, 2014
Updated September 8, 2014
94 Reviews
2.8
94 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers
David Myers
32 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 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is not great, especially for those of us who are willing to work hard (in 5 reviews)

  • The salary for lower level staff: AIR hired me in at (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    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
  2.  

    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.

  3.  

    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
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  5. 2 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
  6. 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 for more than a 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
  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 for less than a 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. 3 people found this helpful  

    Getting ahead depends on who you know rather than performance

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

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    With offices around the country, everyone is used to having to work with staff that is located remotely, so the infrastructure is in place for when I need to telecommute. This allows for a better work-life balance.

    Cons

    It's not an equal playing field. Recognition and promotion depends on who your staff manager is and who you know. When AIR acquired one company a few years ago, all new staff from that company automatically received a promotion of a level or two, so that people that came in from the new company with only a couple of years experience out of college were on par with people who had that same number of years of experience and a Ph.D. because the new VP pushed for them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with staff! It's very unfair to say, "You need to do x, y, and z to get a promotion," and then not give out a promotion when x, y, and z are accomplished. What staff needs to do to get ahead shouldn't be a secret and shouldn't depend on who your staff manager happens to be.

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

    A good stepping stone for moving up in your career. Start looking for a better position as soon as you are hired.

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

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nice people to work with. Relax dress code.

    Cons

    The company is very stingy about salaries. Very low pay for DC area. Pay raises are between 2-3%. Promotions are based on who you know.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work through HR to compensate hard working employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Manager at AIR

    • 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

    Good team and location. Company is growing fast.

    Cons

    Bad management style, use one people as three.

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