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

American Institutes for Research Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated Jun 9, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.8 50 reviews

                             

62% Approve of the CEO

American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers

David Myers

(21 ratings)

39% of employees recommend this company to a friend
50 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great Company, Bad Planning

    Communication Associate (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsEntry level staff received offices, great company events, friendly senior management.

    ConsBad planning on the company budget wise. No company should hire employees if they are not certain about the work they're going to win. This always end badly and someone who is new to the work world shouldn't have to experience being laid off without any notice. Wasn't a good feeling at all.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUse better planning when hiring new staff.

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

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

    Quantitative Researcher (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsNice people to work with. Relax dress code.

    ConsThe 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 Senior ManagementWork through HR to compensate hard working employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Getting ahead depends on who you know rather than performance

    Researcher (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsWith 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.

    ConsIt'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 Senior ManagementBe 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.

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Friendly invironment

    Software Tester (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    Prosworking environment is great. People and great to work with

    ConsI don't have anything negative to say about the company

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Could be better, could be worse

    Research Scientist (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsSome leaders are very passionate about their work.
    Many of my colleagues are very smart.
    AIR has a diverse range of projects that can provide some variety and interesting work.
    Great benefits.
    Flexibility is great. The most important focus is getting the work done, but you can shape your schedule within reason.
    AIR's HQ is located near the Georgetown waterfront. This is a great area for lunch breaks, especially when the weather is nice.

    ConsWork-life balance is not great, especially for those of us who are willing to work hard. A lot of hours are donated to business development.
    Hit or miss project management can be frustrating.
    While the pay is fair, it is not great.
    It's very difficult to get promoted.
    Very little racial diversity in senior positions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in employees at all levels, especially junior levels.
    Train project directors and leaders. It's not enough to be subject matter experts.
    Senior managers need to get in touch with what is happening on lower levels.
    Improve career paths for hard working people who want to move up.

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Okay Starter Job

    Research Associate (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsGood place for young people, some good perks (free food, fun events, good coworkers)

    ConsLow pay, experiences depends heavily on staff managers and bosses

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    Clique riddled, no work life balance.

    Test Development Specialist (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsBenefits try to fill in the gaps where pay or commendation lacks. As long as you aren't in the CSSC or Assessment department, things seem to be pretty good for you work-wise.

    ConsIt's all about who you know, and who likes you on whether you get any kind of notice or stimulating work. If you manage to make it to a position with any responsibility then they work you to the bone. 7 days a week, 10-12 or more hours a day for months on end.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    A very interesting hybrid of strong nonprofit mission with corporate structure

    Director (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsExcellent benefits, flexible schedules and an understanding of work-life balance; strong dedication to mission - although you may be doing business-like work it is always focused on the desire to make good change in the world. My salary is excellent compared to traditional nonprofits (although it sounds like the entry-level positions less so). Have always had lots of opportunity for professional development. Enjoy working with professional, nice people across the org here and in other offices.

    ConsSome of the programs are more difficult to work with than others. A lot of the negative reviews here sound like they are from people working in one particular program that has a reputation for not valuing its people, requiring long hours and having poor management. BUT, the other programs and the administrative units have some really good people, good management, and good opportunities for advancement. If you are interviewing here you just need to keep that in mind and try to get a feel for the personality and management style of the group you'd be working in.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStrive for a more consistent experience for all employees - work harder to help staff under difficult managers and to make sure people are rewarded, recognized and promoted without cronyism or favoritism, even if you have to work around those difficult managers.

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

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    Good place to work if you've got experience

    Research Associate (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    Pros-I know there are others who said that management was not supportive, but mine was very supportive.
    -Great benefits
    -Constant professional development

    Cons-As with other nonprofits, the pay isn't so great
    -Moving up in the company requires more education, like getting a Masters or PhD.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Lots of good colleagues, but too much work, low pay, and slow promotion

    Research Analyst (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsFirm has some excellent values and attracts some really good people in terms of skill and experience - most of people here are very bright and hard working

    ConsPeople kill themselves to get work done and are not appreciated - Company has way too many managers who don't really do much of anything but talk about how they want to support you - advancement and promotion is slow - pay is not great and you don't get any real reward for good performance - everybody gets low increases even when company seems to be doing really well

    Advice to Senior Managementbe real about what salaries outside the company are and be competitive with - it is very demoralizing to realize you may be hired at a competive salary but then fall behind people in very similar jobs - realize too that people have very different skills and should be paid differently, even with same job title

    Make clear what it takes to advance in company

    Don't let managers play favorites

    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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