AOPA Reviews | Glassdoor

AOPA Reviews

Updated July 18, 2017
27 reviews

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3.5
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Mark Baker
11 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at AOPA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The employees are excited about what they do and what they represent. AOPA has transitioned into forward thinking organization that is trying to change the way other think about General Aviation. The opportunities to expand your role in the organization and benefits are really hard to beat.

    Cons

    As with every organization there are a few cons, such as transparency & communication, however even those are areas that have improved quite a bit over the years.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to encourage an open door policy with managers, and keep the Orange Frog concept in front of employee's.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Mission Driven, Pilot Friendly Organization"

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

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

    Pros

    Being a non-profit, AOPA's strength is that it is mission-focused and makes decisions and adapts to a changing landscape in order to do what's right for aviation as a whole, not just a set of stakeholders. That means that change is inevitable, as the problems facing general aviation are incredibly complex and can't be solved with one solution. Creativity is welcomed, as is a take-charge mentality that many companies shy away from in their staff. The benefits are great, the flying perks are outstanding, and the culture is work-life balance focused. AOPA isn't perfect, but it's a breath of fresh air compared to companies that focus on leaning expenses, putting employee satisfaction on the bottom of the priority list. The CEO, Mark Baker, is also very forward-thinking and welcomes new ideas to old problems. The difference can be seen with the initiatives and changes that have gained momentum under his leadership.

    Cons

    As with any company, there are people at AOPA who do not want to change, who see new people as a threat, and who get complacent in their high-ranking titles, earned by tenure. No doubt negative reviews hang on frustrations caused by those people, justifiably. But that being said, the challenging few are overshadowed by genuinely good people with great ideas. Under Baker's leadership, the organization is making some real headway and heading in the right direction. Pay is also pretty low for newcomers, especially in comparison with the tenured employees who have had steady pay increases over 10+ years, but the great benefits and free flying money help make up for the con.

    Advice to Management

    AOPA execs need to take a deeper look into the levels below their direct reports to get some real feedback about how the organization is being led. One on ones or interviews with real employees (where feedback is protected and not held against the employee) could make a real difference. Or really evaluate surveys and feedback.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Want to have a substantive role? Look elsewhere."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Pilot Information Center in Frederick, MD
    Current Employee - Pilot Information Center in Frederick, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AOPA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good location, easy hiring process, good flight benefits.

    Cons

    The select few at the top think they know everything to save GA but wouldn't know the industry if if parked in front of their office door. It's also sad to see that they continue to post fake reviews on this site. Membership numbers continue to decline causing another round of dues increases. Which, as the plebs of the organization, the pilot information center staff get to deal with telling the members.

    But, thankfully we are writing cover stories on the leadership team's trips home and going to Cuba to 'show off GA'.

    Advice to Management

    Stop faking reviews here.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "AOPA - A Great Place to Work and Play"

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

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

    Pros

    AOPA is a great place to work and play. Where else can you marry your passion for flying with your career. There is enthusiasm, a sense of community and belonging among staff. You are part of something special, and your work is definitely contributing to that which will make a difference. Hallway and water-cooler conversations are more often about the fun of flying, then normal work. It is refreshing to be surrounded with so many like-minded individuals who share the same love as I. It is a pleasure going to work every day.

    The organization itself has a good solid mission, that has been adjusting with the times, and is putting its weight and money behind ideas that can make a difference in general aviation. General Aviation is hurting, and times are tough, but people (especially kids) still love airplanes, making it possible to reverse the trend. AOPA has a fighting chance of reviving general aviation, and reigniting the fun of flying.

    Compensation packages are fair and reasonably competitive, but most decide to come work for the camaraderie, the opportunities to work on exciting new initiatives, the passion for aviation, and the love of flying.

    Management is working hard to modernize the work culture, tear down the silos, and make everyone feel like they have a voice. The CEO along with all Sr. management are approachable, friendly, and happy to share their time with anyone who so desires. Office doors are routinely left open, and management welcomes the occasional intrusion, even if only to share an exciting moment in one’s work or personal achievements.

    No doubt, the work is hard, and always plenty of it, but the rewards are worth the efforts.

    My experience is nothing but positive, and I highly recommend AOPA to all who wish to be a part of this exciting company.

    Cons

    You'll have to look hard to find the negatives. It is still work, and there is always something else most would rather be doing then coming to work. But if you have to work, as most people do, this is a great place to spend your time and earn a decent paycheck.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing, and continue focusing on your employees. You have great staff that with a little encouragement and guidance will do amazing things for the organization.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great organization with great benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Frederick, MD
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Frederick, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AOPA full-time

    Pros

    AOPA does a great job of developing a sense of community among the employees. All employees are invited to attend AOPA's aviation events but there is no sense of requirement. Great benefits(who else teaches you to fly as a benefit?!). You can really feel the passion and dedication to GA from everyone, senior management to accounting to IT. I definitely don't plan on going anywhere soon.

    As someone who hasn't worked here long, I can also say that I've never worked for a company with a more seamless onboarding process.

    Cons

    No real cons. As with any other industry, there's a bit of a learning curve if you don't come in with an aviation background, but the organization makes learning the industry fun and easy.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Enjoying the opportunities"

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

    I have been working at AOPA (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    AOPA has provided opportunities for me to learn alongside of some of the best people I have met. As a result, I have been able to advance accordingly.

    They invest in their employees and have excellent benefits, including wellness and flexible work schedules. Team members who desire to learn to fly are able to do so!

    Current leadership has the organization focused on growing the pilot population and ensuring the future of the industry.

    Cons

    I have none, quite happy.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "A company that changes direction like the weather."

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

    I worked at AOPA full-time

    Pros

    If your not a pilot, the company will provide you free flight training so you can better relate to companies constituents. Some positions provide opportunity for travel to various locations, but you will be expected to work long hours with little appreciation.

    Cons

    Company works hard to keep expenses low, including employee salaries. Many employees are pressured into salary positions, and are volunteered to work long hours during travel. During 'Airshow Season' you can expect days beginning well before sunrise for 'All Hands' meetings and ending well into the night, sometimes after 9 or 10pm. If you are an hourly employee, management will be quick to send you back to your hotel to avoid reaching overtime hours, and place your tasks on the shoulders of salary employees. Many promotions from hourly to salary, i.e. Technician to Senior Technician, will overall net a decrease in pay and in increase in working hours. Many projects are executed at the whim of senior management, specifically in marketing, publications, and communications, without adequate research and supporting evidence of success. For this reason, hundreds of man hours and millions of donor dollars are spent on projects that often fall apart prior to launch, or launch and dissipate after s short lifespan. Upper Management lacks the drive to help entry and middle level employees grow with the company and participate in the ideas and strategies that will help the industry and this organization recover from its long-term decline.

    Advice to Management

    General Aviation is in a decline and so is AOPA. You have no product, you have limited services, you have very little assets compared to other organizations. Your income comes from two places, membership dues and donations. Members join AOPA, not for the value you bring to them directly, but because they are proud of their accomplishments as pilots and their AOPA membership dues are a small price to pay for a reminder, wether in the form of magazine, hat, or member recognition at airshows, of their accomplishments. Donors give money because they want to believe their hard earned money can give back to something they believed in through their life. We all know that General Aviation is in a decline, and as generations grow in age, we will have less pilots in the sky, and less pilots in the donation pool. Lately, your strategy has been to lower cost and amp up support programs. But these support programs can't grow without strong, appreciated employees helping contribute to the success of the mission. AOPA strongly underpays and overworks its employees, especially middle level contributors. Its no secret that the top tier, which represents more than a handful sue to the top heave organization structure, are grossly overpaid compared to the worker bee's reporting to them. Happy employees do great work, and will help aid in your mission, but underpaid or overworked employees just grow bitter. AOPA has many bitter employees for this reason, and they don't strive to contribute and grow the success of this small failing company.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting Place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westminster, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westminster, MD

    I have been working at AOPA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible schedules available; many long-time employees

    Cons

    Siloed work environment; departments are not all run the same way so varying consistency exists in advancement and pay


  9. "Aviation Insurance Broker"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Aviation Insurance Broker in Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Aviation Insurance Broker in Wichita, KS
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits and opportunities to travel to trade shows

    Cons

    Ivory tower management style, management that is behind the times and is uninterested in opinions other than their own. Business practices better suited for used car sales rather than aviation risk management. Management's focus on rapid growth and making quick money rather than providing value to the consumer. Agents are not well trained and work chaotic days with phones ringing off the hook, while a few "managers" try to look busy.

    Advice to Management

    Advice for the board- stop hiring yes men and women and hire qualified aviation insurance managers that have experience with training their employees to a professional level.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work, filled with people who care about general aviation."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Full Time Employee in Frederick, MD
    Current Employee - Full Time Employee in Frederick, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AOPA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you're into aviation, this is Mecca. You can really share your passion. The association is very mission focused, and most employees really care about serving the members.

    Cons

    There are a lot of 'silos' between departments. It's a challenge to stay on the same page sometimes. Leadership has taken steps to break down these barriers, but they linger a bit.

    Advice to Management

    It's a great place, with a great culture. The salaries could be higher. Frederick is an expensive place to live, and similar positions in DC and Baltimore pay more.


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