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AECOM Reviews

Updated December 13, 2017
3,343 reviews

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3.3
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AECOM President & CEO Michael S. Burke
Michael S. Burke
1,206 Ratings

3,343 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • You can bury yourself in work or have a work/life balance; your choice (in 89 reviews)

  • Also opportunities to work overseas (in 59 reviews)

Cons
  • work overtime sometimes, work life balance not good enough (in 61 reviews)

  • Drive from upper management somehow dwindled down the vine (in 124 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AECOM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, exciting projects, really impressive, fun place to work!

    Cons

    Minimal downtime - however, if you like the challenge and thrive on being busy, this turns into a Pro.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!


  2. Helpful (13)

    "Megagluttony in action"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sacramento, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Global company. Many business lines.

    Cons

    No communication from upper management except corporate platitudes and stiffling bureaucratic rules. Corporate strategy of constantly buying companies and then burning them. Despite several years and many, many acquisitions, still clueless on how to actually integrate purchased businesses into the firm - you would think the C-level would have learned by now just through shear repitition. A strategy of buying everything and growing too big to fail. Proven track record of dismantling successful firms they've acquired.

     I'll let you guess where this leaves the average employee and what the employees long-term prospects are....

    Advice to Management

    The company is made up of more than just senior leadership. When you ignore and burn your employees, you set the company up to fail. Its an odd strategy you have in a service-based industry, where your employees are your means to success.

    Spend a few days with the line employees and see how the company is affected by your policies. And to be clear, by the line, I don't mean the managers - I mean the accountants, CAD techs, biologists, receptionists, project managers, etc, that are where the rubber meets the pavement, who deliver the service to the client, who power this company.

    The goal of effective management is to make things possible - not to muck it all up.

  3. Helpful (9)

    "Company produces great work but Corporate environment is depressing."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager, Corporate Office in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Manager, Corporate Office in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The work performed in the field for clients is amazing, so if you are looking to work at a place where you can get great experience working on world-class projects, this is the place for you. There are opportunities to work on projects around the world.

    Cons

    Be prepared to for senior management to want cutting edge technology without approving budget to implement that technology. There is tremendous ambiguity within corporate which makes achieving your objectives extremely difficult. The strategy of growing via merger and acquisition means everything changes from day-to-day. Training and professional development is non-existent at the corporate level. The corporate experience is a frustrating one if this sort of environment is not your style.

    Advice to Management

    Fully develop your strategy before you begin leading the company down the implementation path. Changing the organizational structure every 18 months is not effective for corporate staff or field employees. Develop your employees so there is a succession plan in place.


  4. Helpful (11)

    "Will leave at the first opportunity."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Quite a few talented hardworking people. The salary is above average for the position and industry. On the metro line.

    Cons

    No guidance. No opportunities for professional growth and development. Some of the managers are incompetent and rude. No work-life balance. Some employees are forced to stay at the office till midnight. No recognition and appreciation for hard work.

    Advice to Management

    Empower employees. There should be a clear career path and opportunities for learning and professional development.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Company is Fraudulent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interpreter in Virginia Beach, VA
    Former Employee - Interpreter in Virginia Beach, VA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Very questionable business dealings in Boston, VA, Florida, and DC

    Cons

    This company takes all your information, says that it is processing, and then claims they "lost your file." This may be a scam. They usually take fingerprints on the street, meet you in a diner, or inside the dining area of some federal building to make you think they work with and for the govt. These people interviewed 5 of us and then took all our info and then "lost it" and then they disappeared.
    They have 1 person in VA and another in major cities collecting info.

    Advice to Management

    Questionable company with hidden motives


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Bad every where in HR & Acctg IRS &DCAA needs to take a good look at the books. Employee's do not get pay correctly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Accountant At HQ in Springfield, VA
    Former Employee - Accountant At HQ in Springfield, VA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Some of the employees try to do they jobs correctly and help others but they do not stay long.
    Some middle managers are also helpful but again they do not stay long.
    Most of the benefit are ok. Not too many things good to say about the company.

    Cons

    Work employees to long of hours. Made employee do thing that are not up to FAR or SOX. Turn over is way to high. No Communication in the company. Company goes through employees like water. Also company lost a lot of contracts in the past two years due to management...

    Advice to Management

    Upper management you need to look at yourself and improve or replace some of you. Your employees are all looking for new jobs and are unhappen but will not tell you until it is too late or never, for they fear they will lost their jobs or will get black ball in the job market.... There is so much wrong at the company from HR, payroll, finance, A/P, Billing, Contracts, program management, Controller, and the CFO you need a total redo to save the good employees that are left before it is to late to save them...... You need to go back to 2007 and early 2008 when management was much better and they cared about the company growth and employees and doing the right thing......


  7. Helpful (17)

    "Worse Job I've Had in 40 Years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Friendly co-workers who want to do a good job.

    Cons

    Very myopically profit-oriented at the expense of employee morale. Employees always warned that they are next in line for layoff if they don't meet billability expectations.
    Does NOT support mentoring, training or professional development despite what their career ads say. Management refuses to pay for training; makes employees pay out of own pocket.
    The people who do the hard work and produce the product don't get the bonuses. Bonuses are only handed out to managers who bullwhip their staff into coming in under budget on projects.
    Top management not trust-worthy-speak out of both sides of mouth.
    Everyone is so fearful of going over budget and charging to overhead that no one helps each other and junior level staff are thrown to the dogs to fend for themselves.
    Salaries not commensurate with cost of living. Benefits are minimal.
    Management has no training in communicating to staff or in conducting performance reviews.

    Advice to Management

    This company is in free fall. It owes more than the revenues it takes in. It hasn't learned over the past year that "too big to fail" is a myth? Motley Fools advise: SELL YOUR AECOM STOCK!!!!!

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Its a big company that can't get any bigger"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Acton, MA
    Current Employee - Consultant in Acton, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company has great people.

    Cons

    The worst part about the job is the constant scramble and pressure to make billability goals. This creates a stressful work environment.


  9. Helpful (17)

    "Dangerously Heading Down a Wrong Path"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Architect in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Project Architect in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice stable govermnent contracts when the government is looking to spend money and congress isn't trying to slash every state project.

    Good people for the most part who have the capability tio treat you like a professional

    Cons

    AECOM PDD in Arlington, VA otherwise known the National Capital Office (NCO) is a collection several recently acquired AE/EA firms. Having its foundation as DMJM design, there was eventually a collocation of with recently acquired Hayes, Sean, Mattern & Mattern (HSSM). Eventually there will also be a full collocation of former Ellerbe Becket as well. With a total staff of just around 350 employees mostly architects and engineers, there was the expected challenge of trying to integrate the ideas of all other cultures into one identity. This would be a huge undertaking - one that would require the right leadership and management. Unfortunately, instead of integration, management chose a more dangerous path.

    The "collocation" turned into an all out clash of civilizations. Much of the management became hostile and certain leadership roles were given to favorites. Also other leadership roles were superseded (i.e. DMJM which is a far more reputable firm had its management side-stepped by that of HSMM) and there was soon another wave of aggressive politics to bring Ellerbe Becket's leadership into prominence as well. By late 2010 there were some truly ugly corporation politics. People were stabbing each other in the back left and right - anything to justify the existence of one another in the midst of a rapidly evaporating workload. Leaders who you expected to act professional were not and in one nauseating scene there was a complete unprofessional breakdown of several of the firms principals for not being invited to a client meetings. This of course happened right in front of the entire team of people who were working late - well past regular business hours. Where there was once a very outstanding group of professionals turned into a cesspool of immature, unprofessional, overzealous, self-serving scoundrels, and maybe their most occasional critic. Unsurprisingly, there were a string of promotions to some of the most woefully unqualified individuals. Clients were literally shocked when they would be introduced as "Principals" or "Vice-Presidents."

    It gets even worse. There was a lot hiring even during the Great Recession but only of senior level personnel who were brought in with the idea they could bring in additional work. This created an extremely top-heavy organization that carried merely a handful of junior-level architects and a smattering of mid-level people. The later ones would constantly be in the line of fire when there is poor workload forecasting - if that makes any sense. A lot of very good talent was lost. Therefore, when you would spend five days in a row working around the clock towards a deadline, that person doing much of the production would instantly be treated like dirt and cast aside when that phase of the work was finished. Then to add insult to injury, that person would also get lectured on using "way too many hours" on the project even though they were asked to do their job. So in turn, in order to justify the existence of Senior level staff that supposedly manage projects, they throw their production people under the buss constantly so that they can use of all of the project's available hours for themselves. It has become a perfectly accepted practice at AECOM and completely overlooked by management that is more than in cahoots with this ugly way of conducting business. It came to a point where I was being asked by my supposed "Studio Manager" to lie about my hours. Unacceptable.

    Layoffs started around (you guessed it) Christmas Eve! Basically you already had a relatively beaten down and demoralized workforce facing the grim reality that they would be next in the line of fire. And by January 2011 about 2 or three people were getting the axe per week (it is April now and this has continued). It created an ugly political and cultural atmosphere where there was once a positive environment became a dreadful place to come to work. Everyone was on pins and needles and production took a huge hit, gossip and fear mongering became rampant, people started to step all over eachother - and of course upper management seamed only to encourage the madness as they continue to sink even further as an organization. Astonishingly some of the other organizations that AECOM views as "competitors" (Gensler, HOK, Aedas, RTKL, SOM, etc) were hiring people.

    Advice to Management

    Of course the pity in all of this is that it was once a truly great place to work - a positive atmosphere with great people and what seemed to be an abundance of work. The design direction taking the lead of some truly talented principals rivaled the design ideas of similar organizations. Everyone of every age group was treated like a professional. My advice to management would be to slow down, focus, and step back to the key fundamentals of operating a successful architectural practice without looking at the larger picture of AECOM as a corporation. It worked from 2008 to middle of 2010 where projects were being awarded left and right and a greater sense of business and design identity rivaled some of the other global design firms. They have the option to go back to it but I think that it's a little late for that.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Chauvinist environment with little to no dignity or respect for lower-level employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Geologist II in Warrenville, IL
    Former Employee - Staff Geologist II in Warrenville, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    AECOM is easy to join at entry-level, and has numerous locations around the world.

    Medical benefits offered rate above average, compared to other companies of similar size and rank.

    Great comradery amongst employees, at lower level.

    Readily accomodating to transfers within the company. Hired into the Piscataway, NJ office, and transferred to the Warrenville, IL office with little to no conflict. AECOME (then ENSR) even reimbursed relocation expenses.

    Some flexibility in schedules can offer opportunites to manage somewhat of a balance between personal and professional life, if you know how to 'work the system.'

    Adequate resources (i.e. equipment, technology, administrative support).

    Cons

    Little respect or opportunity given to any employee who puts family needs ahead of the company's needs. Was basically forced out of my position after taking personal leave to care for a sick family member.

    Pay is not nearly competitive enough, and is inconsistent between regions. Was told that I was hired 'cheap' in New Jersey, and was given a substantial pay increase in Illinois to bring me up to the correct pay level in that region (still lower than other companies in the same industry, for my experience level).

    Project managers often lack any working knowledge of their sites, and are lucky to have ever physically visited the sites. Consider it a plus if they have ANY knowledge of the regulations that apply to the work being conducted at their sites.

    Company policy (official or inferred) often reduces options to the cheapest, not the most beneficial or appropriate resources.

    Human resource related issues are dealt with poorly, if at all.

    Employees are kept on despite multiple unsatisfactory performance reviews from co-workers, managers and clients alike.

    Ridiculous amounts of pomp and circumstance cover the fact that this company has no idea what is really going on in the world, or with their clients and employees. Workload and profit are so strongly promoted, that quality of work and concern for employees' well being is thrown out the window on a regular basis.

    Lack of knowledge and careless mistakes cost AECOM clients hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

    Advice to Management

    Management is the problem. Lack of communication and knowledge is a constant source of dischord and inefficiency.


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