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Arup Reviews

Updated January 21, 2018
560 reviews

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4.0
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Arup Group Chairman Greg Hodkinson
Greg Hodkinson
163 Ratings

560 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work/life balance (if you tackle the subject well with your team) (in 47 reviews)

  • Global company with some really high profile projects (in 23 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can sometimes be a challenge (in 27 reviews)

  • Culture of long hours, although depends on teams (in 34 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Mechanical Engineer"

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

    I worked at Arup full-time

    Pros

    One thing that Arup is known for is its high-profile projects. As a design engineer, I doubt you'll be bored with repetitive, mundane building design.

    Also, in my experience, the management and mentoring were excellent.

    Cons

    Another thing Arup is known for is its complex engineering design and pushing the design envelope. In my experience, high client expectations come with higher risks. Although infrequent, I had some experiences where supervisors promised clients performance results that were not attainable, given the constraints provided by the architect.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Mired in what they were, not what they could be"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Arup full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Intelligent PMs, engineers and admins.
    Wonderful, prestigious projects
    Beautiful office in NY
    Opportunity to work on long/short term assignments at their other locations all around the world.

    Cons

    Strangely antiquated management for such an innovative company
    Flexibility for remote work is arbitrary
    No finite structure for project finances
    Extremely time consuming annual appraisal in which management doesn't specifically address job performance

    Advice to Management

    Great PMs deserve effective, modern project management software
    Better structuring for project accounting to assist PMs and PDs
    Do not restrict flexibility for remote work and/or alternate working hours
    Respect that work/life balance should be for all staff

  3. "Good benefits if you're used to not having any"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    They have a health clinic and many low cost health insurance options.

    Cons

    The health clinic is very strict about "preventive" medicine. They will write you a prescription for an antibiotic in a heartbeat but they will only do the bare minimum. It feels as though they are trained to not go above and beyond. I had some severe allergy issues and the provider dismissed my concerns and said the process was not worth it. I asked another time for some blood tests done and they looked at me like I was crazy.


  4. Helpful (6)

    "British Colonialism at its best"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nice office locations, some really smart coworkers, better benefits, feeling of "We Shape the World" which is soon destroyed when you stop being an "Arupian" and go see the real world.

    Cons

    Only way to get promoted is to use big words in front of your bosses. Very little career advancement for silent and smart hard-working people.
    All upper management consists of "brought in" British people. They selectively give leadership roles only to imported British folks. Each office has a big system in place to bring 8-10 British people over for a year or two on Long Term Assignments (LTA) and then keep them in America forever so that they can be the next bosses.
    90% of the projects (In Buildings department) are new office buildings or Tenant improvement (TI) in existing buildings, so architect firms like Gensler are the ultimate client who dictate everything . Hence no job satisfaction if you are a proud engineer. The rest 10% of the projects (healthcare, datacenters etc) are done by the select few people who don't want to share their skills and experience with new people.
    Entry and mid-level engineers are paid atleast 20% less than the industry standard. Arup hires lots of underpaid graduate engineers and get bulk of work done by them. This helps them pay fat salaries and business class travel expenses for the "British rulers". Company works on a slim profit margin thanks to extensive wasteful overheads. They take pride in the fact that they are not publicly traded, but in reality that is their biggest weakness - there are no checks on these wasteful spendings.
    Only diversity exists at junior staff level. At higher up ranks, Arup is a white, male and mostly British party. There are big meetings and regular emails about "Diversity and Inclusion" efforts and only people talking in them are 'concerned white people'.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being the British colonial machine that you are. Hire some black, brown, asian, hispanic people in top management who can really tell what "Diversity and Inclusion" is. Stop wasting money on stupid "Invest in Arup" ideas and first class travel for overpaid Arup Fellows to attend conferences half the world away that have nothing to do with "shaping the world". Hire and promote skillful people who increase the productivity instead of talking big words all the time.


  5. "Assistant engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great learning and working environment

    Cons

    a bit lower salary compared to similar industry


  6. "Best global design engineering firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Arup full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    the only global design engineering firm which people can work in different offices and countries

    Cons

    strong culture which takes time to get used to but worth it


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Keep calm and carry on..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some High profile projects example, Sydney Opera House
    Some good systems in place
    Interesting colleagues
    Collaborative culture across offices
    Great Benefits

    Cons

    Collaborative chaos
    Inexperienced but bright staff
    Odd concepts of management
    See the history of Sydney Opera House

    Advice to Management

    Keep calm and carry on...

  8. "Excellent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place, great projects, great benefits, flexible work culture

    Cons

    Paid time off as opposed to traditional holiday pay


  9. "BIM Technician"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Arup full-time

    Pros

    great knowledge sharing between company

    Cons

    Senior Management can be a little backwards


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Expect to work to exhaustion with low appreciation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Administrator in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Project Administrator in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Arup full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very good benefit package. Prestigious projects. Flexibility if needed (for families) They try to make it a casual atmosphere. Lots of social events.

    Cons

    Low Pay for the amount of work expected from support staff. Unfair pay rates in same positions. Very small raises. Unrealistic overtime is expected. Hard work is overlooked by management and supervisors. The company talks alot about equality for women and work life balance but it is just talk. Project managers dependent on the admin but you will not get the credit for doing their job or making them look good. HR is non responsive and complacent. Some Engineers and PMs can be verbally abusive but no one cares.

    Advice to Management

    Realize how hard some people are working for you. Create a better assessment tool for raises and promotions. HR should listen when you have a valid and VERIFIABLE complaint about a co-worker or supervisor.


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