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Kittelson & Associates Overview

Portland, OR
51 to 200 employees
Company - Private
Transportation Management
$25 to $50 million (USD) per year
Kittelson is transforming how communities move.

Whether we’re recommending improvements to a single intersection or helping communities plan for autonomous vehicles, we love tackling transportation challenges through planning, operations, design ... Read more

Mission: We solve complex transportation problems to improve people's everyday lives.

Kittelson & Associates – Why Work For Us?

A National Reputation, Built One by One.

We opened our door at Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) in 1985. The professionals who now define our reputation and quality of work came to the company one by one, each bringing the commitment, initiative, inquisitiveness, and willingness to take risks that has led to our collective success. We actively seek and promote personal, cultural and professional diversity, and our staff now represents more than 50 universities and 19 countries. The wide variety of interests and backgrounds of our staff have greatly expanded the firm's capabilities and expertise into planning, operations, design and research. Our engineers and planners are supported by an outstanding team of professionals that provide administrative, financial, IT, creative, and technical services.

Our staff is committed to our overall firm purpose and mission to

  • Create and sustain a lifelong learning environment for all staff,
  • Increase the value and contributions of our profession and the communities we serve, and
  • Provide the opportunity for the independent success of all staff.

KAI was founded by Wayne Kittelson with the goal of creating a workplace that allows transportation enthusiasts to pursue their passions while growing personally and professionally. Almost 30 years later, we continue to follow the same philosophy of operating as “one office in many locations” and support this approach in a variety of ways, including

  • Maximizing connections with one another,
  • Making all the firm’s resources available to all staff,
  • Actively encouraging and promoting internal exchanges between offices,
  • Operating with a flat organizational structure, and
  • Applying our one-firm approach to managing firm wide financials.

Our core value is most simply described as “outward focus”, which means we are committed to putting the needs of clients, staff, the profession, and family ahead of our own. Independence, outward focus, and trust define our relationship with our staff and clients. Through thoughtful and targeted educational and professional development opportunities, meaningful work, and a healthy and collaborative work environment, we seek to empower staff as they improve the larger communities they serve.

KAI seeks to positively affect the transportation environment and our surrounding communities through the application of contemporary academic analysis in innovative ways. We use state-of-the-art analysis procedures and techniques to improve the movement of people and goods. Members of the firm actively participate in national transportation research and professional committees. From long-range transportation plans to neighborhood traffic management, KAI combines transportation planning and traffic engineering to integrate solutions with community goals. Our staff specializes in the creation and implementation of innovative, cost-effective, and tailored solutions to the broad range of transportation issues facing our clients and communities.

Many People, Many Roles, One Focus


KAI continually seeks people who share our enthusiasm for the transportation profession and our excitement in having a positive impact on our communities. Such candidates are sought after for professional, administrative, technical, and corporate roles. Our firm has a specific interest in helping individuals find the career path best suited for them. Many of our employees come from different backgrounds and experiences, which adds to our diversity and allows us to offer unique perspectives on all aspects of project work and careers. The KAI core values and commitment to hiring people who share similar goals, principles, and outward focus lead to natural and real friendships that transcend the workplace. The office environment at KAI is energetic, team-oriented, and professional. All staff levels leave their office doors open to encourage free discussion of problems and questions. This team approach results in a high level of trust and respect among staff. The interaction promotes an environment where staff members at all levels and all roles are open and willing to help each other and call on others.


Ideally, KAI seeks to be the place where individuals grow personally and professionally, as opposed to simply providing a job to a person seeking employment. The interests and passions of our staff lead and direct the firm's activities, whether it's venturing into new applied research areas or using state-of-the-art technologies and practices in our work. By following our staff, we create opportunities for all employees. Thus, we look for professional, administrative, technical, and corporate staff who will take advantage of the opportunities provided and create new ones for others.

Thoughtful and Informed

Independence and outward focus define KAI's employees and culture. We seek employees who take advantage of existing opportunities while also creating new ones for others. We look for potential employees who want to join us for a career, not just for a job. Because of this, our hiring efforts and activities are customized for each candidate to collaboratively determine whether joining KAI is a good fit, with the goal of allowing the candidate and KAI to make a thoughtful and informed decision. Our interactions are designed to expose individuals to all aspects of the company and working environment.

Whether talking with KAI or other potential employers, we encourage candidates to proactively guide and direct the interactions by asking questions and evaluating the prospective employer just as the prospective employer would the candidate. At KAI, we encourage informal office visits and meetings with small groups that allow the candidate to experience the working environment first hand and interact with individuals at all levels of the firm. It is common for us to put next steps back on the candidate to follow up with a summary of what they learned in the interactions, questions remaining, and their feelings about continuing our interactions.

After a variety of interactions where we and the candidate determine a formal interview is the next step, we may invite candidates to one of our offices; not always the office location nearest the candidate. Candidates are often asked to prepare written responses to questions prior to a formal interview. The responses to these questions help us gain additional insights into the candidate's interests, characteristics, values, and background. The formal interview allows the candidate to meet staff from all offices (via video conference) and often includes a firm-wide presentation. The presentation is typically conducted over lunch and focuses on a topic chosen by the candidate.

While these activities may involve significant time and effort, we believe this multiple-interaction-with-multiple-people approach is the most effective way for the candidate and us to make an informed career decision.

We encourage candidates to learn as much as possible about KAI during hiring activities. There are quite a variety of ways to begin this process even prior to meeting with us for the first time, including browsing the following pages:

Meet KAI Staff
Who We Are

Following us on social media is also helpful to get to know our firm (reference links in footer)

If you think KAI could be a good fit for your professional career goals, express Interest to get the discussion with us started.


Communicate Your Passion

While we occasionally list current opportunities, KAI is continually growing and we are always happy to hear from anyone interested in joining the KAI family-from those fresh out of college to seasoned professionals. We look for potential employees who want to join us for a career, not just for a job. Because of this, we take care in our hiring approach to make thoughtful decisions regarding potential candidates, and we seek employees that take the same care as they learn about us.

If you believe there is a match between the characteristics and values we seek and you are committed to exploring a career path in transportation, please let us know by expressing interest below to get the discussion with us started.

KAI is an equal opportunity employer.

Kittelson & Associates Reviews

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Mark Vandehey
8 Ratings
  • Helpful (1)

    "Work Experience at Kittelson"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Tallahassee, FL
    Current Employee - Associate in Tallahassee, FL
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kittelson & Associates full-time (More than 10 years)


    I work with Kittelson & Associates for around 10 years. In my opinion, I think that this company has many great professional consultants and its unique culture. There are plentiful opportunities for entry-level young staffs in this company which may be hard to find in other peer transportation consultant companies.


    For middle level staffs, sometimes it is challenging due to company's unique flat structure.

See All 17 Reviews

Kittelson & Associates Photos

Kittelson & Associates photo of: KAI's young engineers working out in the field.
Kittelson & Associates photo of: KAI staff leading a roundabout training session.
Kittelson & Associates photo of: KAI staff member at Beyond Traffic Forum.
Kittelson & Associates photo of: KAI summer interns visiting corporate headquarters during intern week.
Kittelson & Associates photo of: KAIstaff engaging in collaboration in one of our open work spaces.
Kittelson & Associates photo of: KAI staff leading a tech session.
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Kittelson & Associates Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Senior GIS Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview


    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Kittelson & Associates (Portland, OR) in September 2017.


    My interview started with a conference call with multiple employees around the firm. The second interview was an in-person half day interview with the office I was applying for. I was able to meet the staff, share with them my skills and provide a lunch time presentation. It was a great opportunity to meet the staff and better understand the office culture. Next, my final interview was at the corporate headquarters where I spent all day meeting with several employees from around the company. I also provided another company-wide lunch time presentation to share some of my projects and experiences. Again, it was another great opportunity to share my skills, personality, and for me to learn more about the company culture.

    Interview Questions

    • What is your ideal work environment?   1 Answer
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