Spirit AeroSystems Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
116 Reviews

2.7
116 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Larry Lawson
18 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good benefits, including tuition reimbursement (got an MBA paid for) (in 14 reviews)

  • Good pay, including overtime for Exempt positions (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management not very good at communicating, no loyalty to staff (in 9 reviews)

  • The work environment at Spirit is no longer a "healthy" environment in any way (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Enjoyed my time

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

    I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Excellent team atmosphere, proud of the product, good salary

    Cons

    Can take lots of time to complete projects, a lot of people can get involved on the simplest of things

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fast Pace, challenging work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Management  in  Wichita, KS
    Current Employee - Management in Wichita, KS

    I have been working at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Lots of good people that care about the products we build

    Cons

    Long hours, lack of consistency at times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time with those on the floor to really understand what is going on

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Be sure to do your due diligence before joining

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - External Reporting (Formerly)  in  Wichita, KS
    Current Employee - External Reporting (Formerly) in Wichita, KS

    I have been working at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    To start, I will have some negative things to say about Spirit, but I want to keep it real because I know it sucks taking a job then finding out that it is not a good fit. I actually recommend working at Spirit if you go in with open eyes, ensure that the culture in your department will be a good fit, and ensure that the manager will be a good fit for you.

    Pros:
    Great pay (probably the highest in Wichita), standard benefit package for the area. Flexibility of start time, time off, flex time, lunch breaks, etc depends on manager. Be sure to talk to manager and current or former employees separately to gauge if the manager's policies on those items would fit you. in some areas those work great and are a good perk, in others areas they have driven people to quit. There is potential for moves to other departments after a while to get experience in other areas (just don't expect vertical moves).
    Some great leaders and very talented individuals in various areas, good opportunities to learn from them (if you are in an area where you can work with them, some managers will deal with leadership directly and not let analysts go to meetings with them.)
    In many areas there are great opportunities to make changes and improvements and really make a difference (just make sure it is an area with a manager who encourages that.) Great coworkers, standard office working environment, and usually an 8-5 schedule. There can be cyclical overtime (50 hours/week) in some areas, a lot (60-70 hours/week) in others (but if you are in accounting/finance you probably expect that). Currently over a certain number of hours per week overtime is paid for even salary (nonmanager) workers at straight time.
    The company has some new aircraft programs and a stable backlog that should provide steady revenue for years. If costs can come down there is probably profit potential (be careful that your role would not be one of the 'costs' to be cut).

    Cons

    Lack of growth potential in finance/accounting. Over time your salary will increase due to annual raises, but you will essentially do the same work. Then management realizes they have people making a lot of money doing work that someone making much less could do and they lay those people off.

    Management strength varies. There are some great managers who are good mentors and will help you grow personally and professionally. However, some areas have micro-managers who will isolate you from contact with other management above them so they can control the information flow to you and from you. The external reporting/SOX manager is a definite micromanager like that. Some managers like her have a track record of lying or bending the truth in an interview or one-on-one situations with their employees then telling their senior management something different, even blatantly throwing their employees under the bus. Be sure to ask to speak with current and former employees (obviously those still with company) separately from the manager before accepting a job in Spirit external reporting, accounting or finance (if they will not accommodate that it should be a red flag to stay away from that manager). Be sure to talk to enough employees that you get a good feel that the hiring manager's management style and/or department policies (which can and often do differ from official HR policies), are a good fit for you. Also would be a good idea to validate anything the manager told you in the interview about department plans, changes, etc with the employees before signing up because unfortunately there are some bad apples like the one that was in external reporting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You cannot change Boeing culture with career Boeing employees. Good new strategy and vision from current C-level, but those tasked with implementing it are the same ones who made a career of doing it the old way. At the lowest levels employees are aching for change, it is the middle levels that are lagging behind. If you get the same analysis or lack thereof, or same charts that you don't like it is middle management causing that, not incompetence of the accountants or analysts. There is a group of 'yes' men and women who get the orders from C-level and try to implement without fully understanding or being on board with the vision and strategy. They direct their staff to do something or do not want them to change the current finance format, charts, reports, etc. so things stay the same.

    It would be nice to actually see the CEO, CFO, or other C-level person go down to the worker bee floor and walk around and talk to people. Part of strategy should be creating an engaged workforce and you cannot do that by staying on the second floor all the time. People will buy in more if you seem real to them, which means not just a meeting with 500 people in the auditorium but making an effort to walk around and talk to people once a week or once a month (office people, not just factory people.) You just might get the scoop on what is really going on because those people want to be engaged and make improvements, they are just not given the venue.

    Office culture is pretty conservative, no Google culture here (may be pro or con). There is a diversity team, but I think it just means they will try to hire more non-whites and women. Try making your diversity team diverse by including people of various ages and experience levels. Including just managers and above or just those 'high performers' selects a non-diverse population. Include some interns, new hires, people with 3-4 years experience that are non-mangers, etc and you will be surprised with the ideas they come up with.

    There is really no growth potential at Spirit. In finance or accounting there are literally 150 people or more with 15+ years of experience doing the same job. And they are great at it. Some have moved laterally, some have not. Most have not moved vertically because there are no opportunities to do so. Review the manager roles that have been filled in the last year. Almost solely in finance they have been external hires. Not because all 200+ people in finance are incapable of being managers, though some are, but because there were no experienced people able to step into a manager role. And why no experienced people able to step into a role? Because they have no opportunities to manage others, no manager training program, no management development program, no formal plan to grow internal management talent from the analyst level to the manager level. Obviously not everyone can become manager, but I knew several who should have but were passed over for promotion because the company did not want to invest in training and developing them (several left to take management jobs at other companies). There is a succession plan program but it seems ineffective in finance, with no successes that I am aware of. Granted there are some exceptions of people who get promoted but it is their ability to work the good old boy network on their own and/or threaten to leave rather than a proactive career growth plan by the company. I understand that it is a buyers market in Wichita with entry level finance managers with a lot of supply so Spirit can just dump managers who are not 100% effective rather than truly develop them and hire someone new externally, but that is a recipe for disaster in the long term. I know several people in both Wichita and Tulsa who left the company to take management jobs elsewhere because there was no growth potential for them at Spirit.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good, easy work in a climate controlled building

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Structure Mechanic  in  Tulsa, OK
    Current Employee - Structure Mechanic in Tulsa, OK

    I have been working at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Easy aviation manufacturing work, the majority of which is done in a climate controlled building. Union labor

    Cons

    The tuition reimbursement program could use some help at the sister locations. Union Labor

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management is doing ok as of now

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Is a wonderful place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Composite Mechanic  in  Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Composite Mechanic in Wichita, KS

    I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I enjoyed working for Spirit. Wages were good.

    Cons

    Need to have grievances more timely.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management is management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Pretty typical corporate environment....just a number

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Procurement Agent  in  Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Procurement Agent in Wichita, KS

    I worked at Spirit AeroSystems as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay, flexible schedule, some good people

    Cons

    Being just a number, office culture, terrible on-campus food

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Started out positive and team oriented. Sadly changed direction proving a hostile work environment for employees

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

    I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great benefits - insurance, vacation, discount memberships.

    Cons

    A lot of distrust of upper management and the office world. Focus has shifted from quality work to just keeping shareholders happy. Moving to 'X' theory managing style, from what used to be a collaborative of team work between management, office, and shop floor world. Pressure from upper management to lower management to put blame of $$$ problems on the worker bees through false accusations, reviews, etc. Morale is very low in the office world these days.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees with respect and dignity. They are on the floor doing the day to day work and continue to have valuable input. Sometimes, a hit needs to be taken to protect the quality of work and reputation of the company not just pass the blame. Covering up the problem, pretending it doesn't exist will not keep even shareholders happy in the long run.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Keep your eyes open for more stable employment

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

    I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Learning new tech with good people

    Cons

    Poor management, never know when you will be laid off, good ole boys club, The French run the show, not Spirit management. Meetings for everything, reassurance means nothing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    How does management progress while workers get laid off?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Finance Manager

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

    I have been working at Spirit AeroSystems

    Pros

    Not any pros at this time.

    Cons

    Finance does not do a very good job of promoting within.
    It is not what you know but who you know to get ahead.
    Have to identifed 15% of emoployees each year as not meeting expectations, even if they all are accomplishing the job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good for Entry-level or Management/Directors, all others avoid.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Stress Engineer II  in  Wichita, KS
    Current Employee - Stress Engineer II in Wichita, KS

    I have been working at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Flexible Working hours (for engineers, at least)
    Good health benefits
    Good 401k match
    Good entry level time off & pay
    Great place for engineering contractors (Chaos = Cash)

    Cons

    Bureacuracy is ridiculous here; if you're hoping to change things here, stay away
    Hiring process is flawed. Credentials are everything, and capability is nothing.* (ex. below)
    HR treats people as a resource, not as a person. Working at Spirit - you are a part in the machine that can be replaced very easily.
    Pay flattens out very quickly (2-3% raises, not 4-5% inflation)
    Obtaining your next level raise is extremely hard
    Your manager is the key to your career - if they look after you, you're golden. If not, you will stagnate in pay and opportunities.
    'Good ole boys' organization. If you're in with a director or executive, you'll fly up the ranks. If not, you won't be able to climb up the ladder.
    Time off is ETO - No sick leave - If you're sick you're using vacation
    Does not promote within (or even outside) team. You are a resource to be tapped until they cannot get any more from you.
    Teams work against one another, not with one another. Transferring within the organization takes an act from the VP.
    Personal growth within the organization is entirely upon your manager. If your manager likes you, they will provide training to you. If not, you're stuck.
    If you are on a development program, you will be asked to work 45+ hours. Hope you like overtime. (Contractors, congrats.)

    *Rather than promoting within the team, a manager was hired from outside the organization. (Recurring flaw) His qualifications mentioned he was a strong stress engineer, though he would be working at managing multiple facets of the organization, such as industrial, design, and many other aspects. He was a great stress guy (could tell you how thick to make a part) but he was horrible at managing people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a more open working environment where employees can move between teams
    Promote & train within the organization rather than promoting externally
    Rely on Chief Engineers to get the product right, and allow Managers to deal with personnel issues (promotion, training, etc.)
    Remove bureaucracy and allow workers to get things done; too many processes
    Institute a capabilities test to ensure that management is trained and experienced in handling personnel situations rather than simply hiring technical experts for management. Being a great engineer does not make you a great manager.
    Set more specific standards for achieving the next level and create opportunities for lower level engineers to grow into higher level technical or management roles.
    Institute a few sick days for employees. Too many employees come to work sick rather than sacrificing a vacation day, then the rest of the office comes in sick.
    I understand that HR is needed, but treating people with care rather than creating an envrionment of animosity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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