Anchor QEA Reviews | Glassdoor

Anchor QEA Reviews

Updated February 13, 2017
20 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.2
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Clay Patmont
7 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Environmental Scientist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Environmental Scientist in Syracuse, NY
    Current Employee - Environmental Scientist in Syracuse, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    Work and life balance is good.

    Cons

    High pressure for job security.


  2. "Opportunity to advance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Landscape Architect in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Landscape Architect in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    can work your way up, but expectations are high

    Cons

    struggling to manage growth and maintain cuilture


  3. Helpful (6)

    "Great company that needs to trim the fat."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montvale, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montvale, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Anchor QEA part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A great majority of the staff are pleasant and have wonderful personalities. Very accommodating with family matters.

    Cons

    The company culture is EXTREMELY clicky and creates an uncomfortable work atmosphere at times. It honestly comes off cult-like. Many individuals also take advantage of the ability to expense items for personal gain.

    Advice to Management

    There are obvious signs of favoritism between staff and management. Employee moral is important but you should recognize when the company is being taken advantage, cause its costing you monetarily.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "The intangiles are good, but the salary and raises are average"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff III in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Staff III in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Variety of projects and experiences, company holiday party, consistent year end bonuses

    Cons

    Pay is average or slightly below when compared to industry standard, and the 401K is a 3% match. Other places I have seen triple this value. Also, AQ contributes this 401K match on a yearly basis the following year...in March. This means their "match" lags behind yours. Goodbye dollar cost averaging.

    Advice to Management

    Improve your 401K and increase your yearly salary adjustments and raises. I do not think you have kept pace with inflation.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Would rather hire expertise than train staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    A lot of technical ability at the company. Interesting projects. Some really great people. Yearly company retreat.

    Cons

    Younger scientists get the shaft with salary. Engineers get paid more, even though many of them are just making area and volume estimates for their engineering work-only the partners stamp drawings.

    It all comes down to your manager whether you get good work or not. Seems like they are hiring people from outside of company for their expertise rather than training or giving people a chain. It's like they want the other consulting firms to do all the hard work of training for them.

    Advice to Management

    Actually pay attention to the "work-load" projections that you make people do. Pay scientists fairly, especially entry level ones. Giving engineers the hierarchy from the beginning is pretty annoying. Don't hire so many people so fast.


  7. "Awesome company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    Vibe, smart people, great clients

    Cons

    workload balancing, communication, rate of growth


  8. Helpful (2)

    "AQ: Where young professionals go to get underpaid, overworked and underappreciated"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    A steady paycheck, great health insurance, 4 hours of free time during the yearly company retreat.

    Cons

    Boring projects, long reports, appendices, and tables that no one reads. Feasibility Study projects move at the speed of government agencies which is to say not fast. Nothing here is innovative, or cutting edge. Its very much rule of thumb and "Well how did we do it before?"

    A "Bonus" Overtime Policy that is setup to pay you for the time worked IF - 1) you don't get sick 2) you don't take vacation, or 3) don't have any admin time in the entire month. The system is setup so you work extra hours and don't get paid for them. The 401k match pays out once a year, three months after the full year is complete. So if you quit in January you don't get your last year's 401K match - even if you worked the entire previous year. Oh and did you go on a work trip and lose a receipt? Don't even bother trying to get reimbursed for it unless you want to fill out a form, get some partner signatures and go through all the adminstrative hoops. Sounds like fun? That's just to get paid for work related expenses.

    An obsessive culture of Safety. Think wearing your life jacket while swimming in a 4 foot deep pool. Its that bad. Think about a "near miss" being a knife placed upside down in a dishwasher a company wide email with this actually happened during "Safety Week".

    The yearly 360 review - a popularity contest, score everyone else lower so your numbers stand out.

    Career path matrix - a long list of the impossible hoops to jump through to get promoted to a 5% raise.

    The yearly retreat - used to be fun, now its all weekend meetings and "team building" - who doesn't want to go to meetings on a weekend and stare at baby photos and guess "Which partner is that?". What a GREAT use of time.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within. Think of your employees as people, treat them like people and not expenses. Revise your OT and 401K payout policies.

    Don't be surprised when talent leaves, and treat them respectfully when they go.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Getting worse"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    Good people, varied projects, good day-to-day work life balance

    Cons

    When you're at the top of the pay scale for your staff level, your raises will stop covering even the cost of inflation. You'll watch the purchasing power of your salary go down and down and down. (I'm talking raises in the 0.6 to 0.8% range. As of the time of this writing, the current inflation over the last 12 months is 2.07%.)

    If you experience the death of an immediate family member, expect to be worrying about work rather than grieving and dealing with whatever logistics you need to be dealing with. (Facebook is offering 20 paid bereavement days - which they just increased from 10. AQ offers 3, which is enough to fly out for a funeral and back, but don't expect to deal with things like planning the funeral or any other logistics like helping an aging newly widowed parent, dealing with a will or estate, or anything else.)

    You get a measly 6 sick days a year, all of which you'll get in January. This means getting sick in January is a lot less stressful than getting sick in December. Oh, and you can't accrue or bank any more than 6 days (when I started here, you could bank as much as 6 weeks). Use it or lose it; it won't roll over. So people come to work sick a LOT and spread it around, especially as it gets later in the year.

    The cliquish, and frankly somewhat sexist culture, is becoming worse as the company grows. If you're a young, eager guy, you can expect to be able to remind the male partners of their younger selves and get a LOT more opportunities from potential sponsors and mentors. If you're a young, eager female, expect to work twice as hard as your male counterparts while they take credit for your work. Well, you CAN take the route of playing the daughter they never had (or wish they had), which is creepy and will make you feel like you want to shower after work every day. The female partners are great and encouraging, but they are few and far between; and with the aforementioned opportunities mostly going to men, likely to stay that way. And if you bring up constructive review feedback about these younger men who are viewed as "outstanding" by the "right" people, be prepared to have your comments ignored.

    Advice to Management

    Start seeing your employees as human beings. Offering the "industry standard" benefits is WHY few companies feel compelled to improve their benefits, and AQ could be leading the pack rather than following it blindly. Rethink your sick and bereavement benefits, which are heartless and horrible. Go back to having sick time accrued throughout the year.

    Train partners and senior management on recognizing the both the overt and subtle forms of sexism happening every single day in your office. Your female employees cannot remind the male partners of their younger, hungry (mostly) male selves, but that doesn't mean their contributions are diminished. Gone are the days of ass-grabbing and quid pro quo, but there are a lot of incidents and attitudes you're blatantly ignoring.

    Even if you think someone is outstanding, be prepared to hear criticism on their performance and take it seriously. Don't cover for them because they've always being outstanding with just you (especially when you're a partner and it would stand to reason that someone would be sucking up to you while at the same time treating others at or below their level more poorly).


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great People, Low Salaries"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    They truly embrace their core values. Easy to get exposure within the company. Health insurance is great. Annual bonuses and 401k match. The people that work here genuinely care about the environment and they take pride in their work. HR is very responsive and well organized. You can have a work-life balance here.

    Cons

    Salaries are not adjusted based on region. A starting salary in San Francisco is the same as the midwest. There's been a lot of departures in the mid-staff level due to salaries being well below the market. Its very top heavy right now as a result. Raises are low and based on employee reviews of each other at the end of the year. Engineers tend to be very risk averse and conservative. Not embracing of new analytical methods and technical expertise is low. If you're fresh out of college, you'll be frustrated with the technical resources here.

    Advice to Management

    Open the wallet and buy some resources that allow employees to be more efficient and produce better designs. Listen when employees present new technologies. Take time to get to know employees more.


  11. Helpful (8)

    "Great company with its blinders on"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, very smart people work here. Company is innovative in its fields. Has a lot of opportunities for outside-work company activities, such as the sustainability committee, retreat committee, etc.

    Cons

    Has major growing pains; isn't very culturally diverse (feels like a good 'ole white boys club a lot of the time), very top-heavy (a lot more senior staff than mid- or junior level staff), doesn't promote a healthy work-life balance. Women at the firm don't seem to move up as quickly as men, and sometimes the company feels like a popularity contest. The marketing strategy is very archaic in the digital age. Also, despite what the firm claims, it is extremely bureaucratic and therefore change is very hard to institute. Also, if you are an administrator at the company, you have VERY LITTLE room for promotion.

    Advice to Management

    Force the partners (and all managers) at the firm to have management and communications training; many of them need it badly. Promote women and POCs faster. Think hard about what the firm has to sacrifice in order to function efficiently as it continues to grow; don't be afraid of new technologies for your technical work AS WELL AS your administrative/marketing work!


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