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American Institutes for Research Overview
Washington, DC
1001 to 5000 employees
Nonprofit Organization
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year
The American Institutes for Research (AIR) lives and breathes to enhance human performance. The not-for-profit organization conducts behavioral and social science research on topics related to education and educational assessment, health, international development, and work and ... Read more

American Institutes for Research – Why Work For Us?

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 science available to bring the most effective ideas and approaches to enhancing everyday life.

Our work spans a wide range of substantive areas: education, student assessment, international education, individual and organizational performance, health research and communication, human development, usability design and testing, employment equity, and statistical and research methods. The intellectual diversity of our more than 1,500 employees enables us to bring together experts in many fields, including education, psychology, sociology, economics, psychometrics, statistics, public health, usability engineering, software design, graphics and video communications—all in the search for innovative answers to any challenge.

We are a thriving and diverse, mission driven organization where many of the brightest people in their fields have built successful careers. We conduct our work within a culture and philosophy of strict independence, objectivity, and non-partisanship, as we tackle society’s most important issues.


AIR Logo ImageAIR’s mission is to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving peoples’ lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged.


Within the United States and internationally, AIR will be the preeminent organization that

  • produces improvements in education, health, and the workforce;
  • addresses the needs of individuals, organizations, and communities;
  • designs and advances statistical and research methods;
  • causes practitioners and organizations to adopt evidence-based practices; and
  • informs public understanding and policymaking by the best evidence.

Join Us In Making a Difference

AIR offers an innovative, collaborative environment where motivated people can apply their talent, education and curiosity. At AIR, every staff member's contribution is vital.

AIR is a large and diverse organization, with a staff of more than 1,600, where many of the brightest people in their fields have built successful careers. Some join AIR directly after completing their training and find many opportunities for professional growth; others come to AIR after building a distinguished career to pursue a more fulfilling work life.

AIR offers a comprehensive Total Compensation package. We provide our employees with competitive base salaries, a generous benefit package, and a workplace that promotes growth, development, and creativity.


AIR strives for external and internal equity for all our salaries. We define our external market as the competitor organizations for our talent. Individual performance and growth is rewarded during our merit and promotion cycles.

Family Friendly Benefits

  • Domestic Partner Benefits – Qualifying employees may include their domestic partner in AIR benefits.
  • Adoption Leave – Employees who adopt a child may receive an additional 4 weeks of Paid Time Off leave (PTO).
  • Family Events – Include Bring Your Daughter or Son to Work Day, sports outings, and the annual Halloween Party.
  • Nursing Mother’s Room – Provided for returning mothers who are nursing their children.
  • Child/Elder Care Referral – Advice and referrals are available from our Employee Assistance Program provider.


  • Medical Benefits – AIR offers a national POS Open Access health care plan including prescription drug coverage. HMO options also are offered at our larger sites. Spouses, domestic partners, and dependent children under 19 (or full-time students up to age 25) may be covered under these plans.
  • Dental Benefits – Employees can choose to participate in one of two dental PPO plans.
  • Vision Benefits – Employees are eligible to participate in one of two vision insurance plans.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts – In addition to offering the medical and dental benefits on a pre-tax basis, employees can also elect to participate in the AIR Health or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • FreshAir Wellness – Through our freshAIR wellness initiatives Employees can participate in annual Wellness Fairs, Health Assessments, our 10,000 step challenge, and many more healthy activities. A large library of educational materials is available to all Employees.
  • Flu Shot Clinics – Offered at our larger sites and employees may submit for shot reimbursement if a clinic is not offered at their AIR location.
  • Weight Watchers – On-site programs are offered every 10 weeks at many of our sites. Participation is voluntary.
  • EAP – Our Employee Assistance Program provides online products and managed behavioral health care services to help our employees manage their work, life, financial and emotional health challenges.


  • Supplement Retirement Annuity Plan (403(b)) – Employees may defer up to 50% of their pay (subject to IRS limits) into investments with TIAA-CREF.
  • AIR Retirement Plan – AIR contributes to a retirement plan on behalf of all eligible employees. Contributions are based on the employee’s age and length of service.
  • Banking – Credit Union membership is available at many of the AIR sites.
  • Life Insurance – Employees are eligible for two or three times their base salary in life and AD&D insurance.
  • Supplemental Life Insurance – In addition to the employer-sponsored Basic Life Insurance, employees may elect Supplemental Life Insurance for themselves and/or a spouse, domestic partner or dependent child.
  • Long-Term Disability – AIR pays the full cost of this insurance for all eligible employees.
  • Supplemental Long-Term Disability – This benefit allows employees to purchase an additional10% of LTD coverage above the employer-sponsored Basic LTD Insurance.
  • Long-Term Care – Insurance is available as a voluntary benefit to all employees.
  • Legal Services – Discounted legal services, including unlimited telephone advice is offered via our voluntary legal services plan.

Education and Training

  • Tuition Aid Program – Eligible employees may receive up to $5,250 per year to help defray the cost of tuition, fees, and books for educational courses relevant to their work at AIR, or that are required for a job-related degree.
  • Ph.D. Publication Support – All new employees who have earned a Ph.D. within the previous 12 months of their hire date may apply to be given up to 12 weeks to write articles for peer-reviewed journals or to produce other publishable materials.

Time Off

  • Holidays – AIR has 10 paid holidays each year.
  • Paid Time Off – Based on length of service, employees accrue 17 – 29 days per year. Time off may be used for vacation, when you or your family members are sick or when you need personal time off.
  • Wage Replacement Program – This benefit is available to all employees whose illness or injury keeps them out of work for more than 14 days.
  • Compassionate Leave – A maximum of 3 days is available for employees to care for a critically ill close family member, to attend a funeral of a close relative, or in the case of extreme personal hardship.
  • Jury Duty and Military Leave – Paid time is available for employees on jury duty or temporary military duty for up to two weeks.
  • Leave of Absence – Unpaid leave may be available for one to 12 months to pursue professional interests such as completing an advance degree or visiting professorship. Generally these leaves are without pay.


Employees located in the Washington, DC offices may elect to receive either Metrocheck benefits or subsidized parking on a monthly basis. AIR’s other locations offer free parking.

Other Benefits

  • Refreshments – Free beverages from coffee and tea to soda are available at most AIR sites.
  • Longevity Awards – Employees are rewarded for their loyalty to AIR. Starting with 5 years of service, employees are recognized with a certificate and gift commensurate with their service milestone.

Our Culture: Social and Behavioral Science that Changes the World

AIR staff meeting

AIR places a strong emphasis on creating a collegial atmosphere that encourages staff to be creative and supportive of each other. We believe that intellectual diversity and respect for the contributions of each individual is central to our success.

We produce good work because we are a good place to work. Our staff care about the work they perform, they care about the colleagues they work with, and they care about the clients they serve.

AIR conducts and applies behavioral and social science research to improve people’s lives and well-being, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged. That ideal is the driving force that motivates our staff.

AIR staff meeting

AIR is proud of its tradition of maintaining a work environment that values diversity and nourishes respect for the dignity of each individual. We are committed to continuing our efforts in creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through our recruitment and employment practices.

American Institutes for Research Reviews

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American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers
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    "Great place to work"

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    Current Employee - Senior Researcher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Researcher in Washington, DC
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    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than 3 years)


    Great experience for conducting research that matters for governments. Smart colleagues that work hard. Strong research assistants and good organization.


    Hard work is needed. Large organization, which brings some bureaucracy. Not always clear how organizational structures work. Overall a great place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Continue on the current path and invest strategically in new research opportunities for the long term. Provide incentives to research associates to stay longer.

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American Institutes for Research Photos

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American Institutes for Research Interviews

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  1. Featured Interview


    Research Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
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    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at American Institutes for Research in April 2016.


    The recurter called and told me the description of the job. Made an appointment for a phone interview. On the phone interview day nothing hard was asked... The interviewer mainly described the job and asked if that is something I would be interested in

    Interview Questions

    • They just want to know if what they are offering you is something that you would interested in doing   Answer Question
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American Institutes for Research Awards & Accolades

  • J.E. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award, Council for Exceptional Children, 2012
  • Elected President of the Association for Education Finance and Policy,, 2012
  • The Post 200, Washington Post, 2011
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