Westat

  www.westat.com
  www.westat.com

Westat Reviews

Updated December 13, 2014
Updated December 13, 2014
159 Reviews
3.3
159 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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James E. Smith
26 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance depends upon the particular project (in 9 reviews)

  • An opportunity to work from home if your home setup qualifies and you are out of state (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Low pay and sometimes not many projects available (in 5 reviews)

  • Many supervisors are vindictive by nature (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall a great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Study Director in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Study Director in Rockville, MD

    I have been working at Westat

    Pros

    Company has experience and is active in a wide variety of research areas
    Top notch in-house research methodologists and statisticians
    Ability to obtain experience on multiple types of projects
    Generally a collegial corporate atmosphere although competitive
    On-site fitness center with equipment and different types of classes.

    Cons

    Many projects staffed so tightly that many at all levels end up working long hours and/or weekends quite frequently. (Burn out)
    Newer in-house support groups and centralization of certain project activities placing a heavy financial burden on projects.
    As at all large companies, a mix of admirable senior management and those who shouldn't be in leadership positions given their lack of skills.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember the roots of the company and that your most valuable asset is your employees. Employees who feel valued will continue to perform at a high level.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Research Associate for close to 20 years

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

    I have been working at Westat full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good compensation. Salary plus 401K/ health, dental, vision, long-term disability, life insurance, employee stock ownership, profit sharing bonuses, stock dividends. Education is important and employees are encouraged to take part in professional development. Accommodation is often made for individuals pursuing master or doctoral programs.

    Cons

    With 2000 + employees there are always those managers who exhibit poor behavior toward their subordinates. Unfortunately, this is often tolerated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    360 degree review process.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Data management

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

    I have been working at Westat

    Pros

    Great benefits, 401k, health insurance, etc.

    Cons

    Low salary. Management is hit or miss. There are some great managers and some terrible ones.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good with tons of room for improvement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Rockville, MD

    I have been working at Westat full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits package is great. The people are great. The company is employee owned so there is great care given to ensure both your personal and work needs are met without compromising one for the other.

    Cons

    Salary. Sadly, Westat salaries are not very competitive. They often lose great talent due to the lack of competitiveness of their salaries. There also does not seem to be a clear path of advancement for Research Assistants so if hired as a RA the chances of being promoted are slim to none. There are however, great opportunities for lateral movers!! If you aspire to greatness unfortunately it won't happen at Westat, it is very possible to be hired and retire as a RA.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Scale salaries to remain competitive. Additionally, add mid-level positions, RAs that manage/supervise should not be RAs.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    have not received any possibilities for the past 4 years to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Supervisor in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Field Supervisor in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Westat as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Loved to work for the company and the education projects by working with the schools and teams working in the schools. I loved to work for my old supervisors and field Managers in the past. the training is top in its field for completion of the projects.

    Cons

    All new personnel, the old supervisors and field managers are gone or forced out, asked to retire, As soon as Chris retired (I did hear she was back helping with training) the company changed everything about itself, not in a good way. The projects used to be run by supervisors and field managers who had the power to hire there workers or supervisors but that is not the case anymore. The lack of being offered contracts to workers who put many years of service in the company is tragic and should be discussed. If so many problems happened that regular employees were not offered work anymore why does the company not take pride in saying hey maybe we are the ones to blame for either lack of training or lack of qualified field workers or Supervisors? I was put under a field worker who came from IT and as soon as the project was completed he left the company. For some reason I have never been offered a contract to work there since that happened. I used to love to work at Westat but have never been given the opportunity since my last project to work there since??? I called the company to find out why and was told I was still listed as active but since, I have been let go for rasons I still feel need to be told to me....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There should be an investigation to why many people have been forced out or asked to retire or have not been asked to be a part of projects when they put many years of there lives into working there??? I believe that when you changed your over qualified degree requirements that went into effect you pushed many good people out onto the streets asking why did this happen to me. You should be ashamed of how the company has gone down hill for the past 4 years or more and look into a morror and you will see the reason why.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Field Investigator

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - MCBS Field Interviewer in Orange, CA
    Current Employee - MCBS Field Interviewer in Orange, CA

    I have been working at Westat part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Loved the training. It was in New Orleans - 1 wk paid. That was nice. Westat paid for everything. I enjoyed doing the interviews-field work. Its great being a part in national health study. Makes you feel like your doing something positive and contributing to the big "humanity" picture.

    Cons

    Hours changed frequently to suite the need of the company. Making it very difficult to work out side of the hours they requested. Plus working in the heat sucked-worst part of the job-though sometimes it was unavoidable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensation was a little low. Need some kind of benefit after 6 month of consistent work to hold on to the next research project to prevent the huge cost in turnover and retraining!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Field Interviewing

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

    I have been working at Westat as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    It is interesting, fulfilling work

    Cons

    There are to many hands in the pot for each project. Instead of having one supervisor to report to, you have 3-4 people to report to on a weekly basis.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have a more streamline reporting system.

  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Project management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Support Staff in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Support Staff in Rockville, MD

    I worked at Westat full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    My manager was a great mentor. Ever staffs are willing to support and guide you every step of the way. Very family-orientated culture.

    Cons

    Low pay, but great benefits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider a higher pay range.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Long Term Mid Level Employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Rockville, CT
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Rockville, CT

    I have been working at Westat full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flexible working hours. Sometimes allowed to work remotely. Nice commute for Marylanders.

    Cons

    Inefficient management. Personnel Supervisors are typically Project Managers/Directors are more focused on project status then improving employee performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider having employee oriented managers to manage personnel issues. This would allow Project Mnagers/Directors time to manage projects

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good Work Life Balance

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

    I worked at Westat full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The management accommodated flexi times and was understanding of the needs of a mother when kids were sick. Appreciated that. As long as the work was done there was no micro managing.

    Cons

    Slow Growth, pay could be better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward hard workers soon as this could be a motivational factor for others to improve as well. You cannot please all the staff all the time. If you reward the hard workers then they will not be demoralized.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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