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AECOM Reviews

Updated July 18, 2017
576 reviews

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AECOM President & CEO Michael S. Burke
Michael S. Burke
245 Ratings

576 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (9)

    "Bureaucracy at its finest. I have no regrets leaving because it turns out the grass is greener elsewhere."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Group Manager in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Group Manager in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AECOM full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - at the local office level, there are some managers who try hard to support and promote talent and buffer the bureaucracy that exists company-wide.
    - at the company level, salaries are commensurate with industry (based on my experience when job searching), the schedule was extremely flexible as long as you got work complete on time.
    - the variety of projects and places you have access to can really expand skill sets, networking ability. Overall, if you can put up with the cons for several years, you can get very good work/project experience quickly.
    - cross functional collaboration is easy to do if you put in the time in the internal technical practice networks

    Cons

    1. High Bureaucracy - a) the organizational structure of AECOM (especially at corporate level) has a lot of layers; b) decision making is either slow or reactionary instead of proactive; c) utilization is monitored to the nth degree.

    2. Too many tools and/or emails - tools used for project management are time consuming and not user-friendly. The most recent switch to another PM software was supposed to fix that, but it didn't improve efficiency. When AECOM first acquired URS, the number of emails that I received on a daily basis that either repeated the same thing, or that were non-relevant was high. Those did eventually become consolidated somewhat, but since I am busy keeping billable, I couldn't spend a lot of time reading them.

    3. As many emails went out, there was poor vertical communication. People below the managerial levels were not always aware of the big picture or longer term goals of the corporation, and people who did know definitely did not feel included in working towards those goals.

    4. Lack of visionary leadership - supervisors and managers tend to administrate or micromanage. There is no leadership development program unless you personally work out a mentorship with someone.

    5. MAJOR lack of initiative. There is poor motivation/encouragement. People do not feel their contributions make a difference so they work defensively and not creatively. Employee morale is generally low.

    Advice to Management

    1. ENGAGE the organization effectively. Appreciate your employees. Whether you like it or not, their efforts help the company meet its goals (whether monetary or otherwise).
    2. GET RID of the 9-box performance review tool. I put a lot of thought and my own time into giving specific and productive reviews to my group, only to have ratings reduced by managers several levels above me because of having to meet some quota.
    3. EVALUATE who you are letting go before you do. Don't just simply look at the amount of overhead salary. Check the earnings that person brought in based on project billable work done by his/her staff. As an example, if a manager got paid 100K all on overhead, but brought in $2+million billable for his/her team, then letting them go is not the best idea. Especially because you risk losing clients and talent when that person goes to a competitor.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Your only as good as your last billable hour"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Civil Engineer in Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - Civil Engineer in Tampa, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AECOM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great talented technical staff that does the heavy lifting for incompetent management.

    Cons

    About everything else. Open office, AECOM has squeezed every penny out of a nice work environment. The management constantly checks utilization rates. One layer of management over another. The upper management doesn't have a clue what you do and they sign the contracts. They walk around the office and don't know who pays their salary. The people who do the work. Every week the department manager gets a call on utilization. The way the consulting field works is there are ups and downs. When I'm working 70 hours a week for many months. I don't want to hear why I had 4 hours of overhead later on. If your not billable out the door you will go. The project managers focus on software programs but not staffing requirements. So they agree to unreasonable deadlines. You slave away blow the budget and they are asking how it happened when the design cost is 2 percent of the construction cost. They don't read the contracts and provide a realistic price for the job because they are incompetent. Scope creep usually occurs . The only help they provide is hiring an entry-level person who is clueless.

    Advice to Management

    Accept the position if you can do the job. I have had many jobs with blown budgets and many late nights because of you lack of digging into details.

  3. Helpful (16)

    "Stay away!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Vice-President in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Vice-President in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AECOM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great projects - all around the world.

    Cons

    Project delivery required 80+ hour weeks. Senior management do not act as true leaders should, they are out for themselves.

    Advice to Management

    You have forgotten the golden rule, none of you would want to be treated how you treat employees!


  4. Helpful (15)

    "How in the world is this an admired company?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Planner in Baton Rouge, LA
    Former Employee - Planner in Baton Rouge, LA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AECOM full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good corporate initiatives in theory. Some great local people until you laid them all off. Was a great place to work at one time but no longer.

    Cons

    Org charts constantly changing. Corporate greed. Upper management ( area and regional level) constantly changing with folks shifting jobs. Area/regional management worries too much about covering themselves and maintaining their bonuses than about local offices.

    Advice to Management

    Your people are your resources--might want to start treating them better. You have destroyed an entire office with a great business line for your own purposes. You should be ashamed.


  5. Helpful (12)

    "35 Years of working the worst company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior EHS Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior EHS Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AECOM full-time

    Pros

    Not Much - Nice office location office staff great people. I feel sorry for them.

    Cons

    Computers not working, no employee orientation, no HR, no employee interaction, poor morale, employees do not work together, no teamwork, constant firing of qualified employees. Top management is up to no good -look at CEO record. Management Systems that does not exist. The McDonals of consulting.

    Advice to Management

    Safety is a joke. The safety officer is not qualified and the documents are a mess. URS was a better company.Get going with the computer systems. Develop reality-based management systems with simple documents. Treat employees with respect. Spend money to make money. Get ride of finance people running the company- no people skills. It's too late your in trouble and your client's know it. Age discrimination big time


  6. Helpful (7)

    "URS take over"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chantilly, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chantilly, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AECOM full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    AECOM prior to the URS acquisition was the place I thought I would stay for a long time

    Cons

    Acquisition of URS. They could care less about the employees. HR barely leave their offices to see employees and check morale. All about the bottom dollar

    Advice to Management

    Take back management from URS and start caring about youremployees


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Only money matters at AECOM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Archaeologist in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Archaeologist in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AECOM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Relatively high-paying salary (though they may not always pay you), flexible hours

    Cons

    HORRIBLE work culture, negligence to the point of illegality, frustrating bureaucracy because of its size, no loyalty to workers. They rely on their image, cool projects, and menial gestures of appreciation to hide their structural devaluation of their workers through things like refusal to pay for department meetings, pushing people to use PTO when work is slow, and just general oversight that leads to unsafe job sites. They tell you what you want to hear, then scramble to make it true enough to get by. I cannot believe this company is as large as it is, as it feels like it's propped up on stilts with the way it's constantly shifts leadership internally (there have been TONS of mergers in the last few years, and they have NOT gone over smoothly). There is not accountability on large or even small scales. For example, I regularly experienced payroll issues as their was no dedicated payroll person in my office and would get people from all over the U.S. helping me. Currently, they paid me incorrectly for my final check and are now Fedex-ing me another check even though they told me that they would direct deposit it, and there is a surprise penalty payment. Typical AECOM. There was also only a single HR person at my office for over 400 employees, who went on maternity leave and was not replaced. When I began experiencing issues and needed to talk to HR, I was passed around to four different HR people throughout the process. Nothing was resolved. The lack of communication or commitment to people is outrageous at this company.

    Advice to Management

    Value, respect, and listen to your workers. Talk is cheap--take actions to show them their importance. Prioritize fixing your workplace culture rather than just on the immediate goals (winning work), and your retention and productivity will improve (and you'll win more work in the long run).

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Don't get sick"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Engineer in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at AECOM full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You'll get your EIT requirements fulfilled.

    Cons

    They'll push you out the door after refusing a Reasonable Accommodation and broadcasting that you have a condition to the rest of the office.

    Advice to Management

    Work within the laws. Understand HIPAA and ADA. Don't be afraid to back your employees to upper management. You won't work here forever. Leave with your integrity.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Would advise against it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Management in Grand Rapids, MI
    Former Employee - Management in Grand Rapids, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AECOM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    They did pay well, but in the end, it's not worth the stress and frustration.

    Cons

    Chaotic (mis)management, extremely low morale, bureaucratic nightmare, no job security for anyone.


  10. Helpful (13)

    "Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Environment Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Environment Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at AECOM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A few good employees who still remain with the company but actively look to move on as soon as possible.

    Cons

    Horrible management. Cheap company where only senior management staff get compensated. HR is just horrible as no one wants to support management or employees.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of senior management and HR and start appreciating your productive employees.


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