Arup Reviews | Glassdoor

Arup Reviews

Updated March 24, 2019
736 reviews

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4.0
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Arup Group Chairman Greg Hodkinson
Greg Hodkinson
225 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Better work life balance ar times" (in 31 reviews)

  • "Long hours often with no overtime" (in 42 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Vacation Student"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Arup full-time

    Pros

    -Supportive environment
    -Great place to learn
    -Everyone is really nice and understanding
    -Can grow here without any hassle
    -Everyone is friendly
    -Everyone is smart

    Cons

    There is Nothing that is bad


  2. Helpful (1)

    "One of the rare great consultant companies"

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, steep learning curve, international mobility

    Cons

    Difficult promotions to leadership levels (much easier to get into leadership as direct hire, than as career progress). Almost no demotions whatsoever, which translates to lack of liability for mid level leaders.

    Advice to Management

    Keep looking for ways to improve some things, and listen to your employees - they have a lot of constructive things to suggest.

  3. "Electrical Engineer Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer Intern in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer Intern in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Arup (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Interns are given lots of high-quality resources for learning technical standards, company initiatives, and professional software tools. I personally felt like I was able to help with real work that was being done. I also felt very supported in my passion for automation, and felt comfortable asking senior engineers for help developing time-saving tools. The environment brought out the best in me, socially and productively.

    Cons

    The commute into Boston can be tough if one lives far away.

    Advice to Management

    All of the initiatives to promote a healthy office, in my short span of time there, seemed to really have an effect of the quality of life of everyone working there.


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Project Administrator"

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

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

    Pros

    Best medical and dental coverage possible, extremely intelligent teams of engineers, and interesting international projects. Good work / life balance, most admin are non-exempt and require no overtime.

    Cons

    Specifically for people working admin, it's a super dead-end job with no hope of any sort of advancement ESPECIALLY if you are a woman. The salaries are really bottom of the barrel compared to the rest of the industry. Witnessed several men in generic admin positions get promoted to different fields from graphic design to cost estimating. Definitely a weird cult ambiance at times, with a keen worship of Ove Arup and his ideologies. A two-tier system is often in place, with admin / support staff not invited or allowed to many team-building events.


  5. "Great benefits"

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

    I worked at Arup full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits
    Good hours
    Great company values

    Cons

    Hiring the wrong people and keeping them too long


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Pick your manager wisely"

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

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

    Pros

    Pay/benefits are good, nice office (Boston), stable workload. International/diverse coworkers.

    Cons

    Hours are obscene. It's not uncommon for people to do endless 60-hour weeks. Enormous company means any problems you have will be treated via flowchart. If your managers are bad, they will stay bad. So many layers of management means more meetings, means less availability.


  7. "Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Get to work on some of the absolute coolest engineering projects around the world.
    Global company, always someone to help you solve your obscure engineering challenge.
    Lots of smart, interesting co-workers.
    Company values are laid out clearly in the Key Speech, written by the original founder.
    People actually really care about diversity and equality.
    If you get on a good team and cool project, you can have a 6/5 experience working here.

    Cons

    Experiences will vary from office to office and project to project-- if you get put on a sinking project with a bad manager, it's more like 2/5 to work here.
    People aren't held accountable, so you have managers messing up over and over, and no one is ever fired or demoted.
    Deadline-driven work means you're always rushing from one fire drill to the next.
    Career paths are unclear. Roles are poorly defined.
    No recognition for going above and beyond.
    You're part of a big, slow-moving machine (good luck getting IT to help fix your computer, or getting HR to talk to you).

    Advice to Management

    If you want to engage your younger engineers, you need to hold people accountable, stop letting people get away with bad work, it sends a really bad message. Similarly, show some recognition when someone does a good job. If you don't recognize a job well done, it really doesn't make people want to bother to put in the effort the next time around.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Trading Prestige for Low Pay"

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

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

    Pros

    High Profile Projects - You can brag about your recognizable work to people and they may have heard of it.

    Well-Known Company in Architectural-Engineering Consulting World - Good Resume builder

    Overtime Pay for Long Hours - Straight time, not 1.5X

    Decent, helpful people - Your peers are generally good, fun people who are willing to help if asked.

    Cons

    Low Pay, High Turnover - Arup uses it's prestige in the AEC world to justify a significantly lower base salary in the industry. Most engineers can see through this logical fallacy. Profit-share bonuses are usually a joke. 401k only vests until after 4 years, to keep people from leaving before then.

    Slow Advancement/Terrible Flexibility- They only promote/raise once a year. Negotiation is rarely allowed. The compensation scheme is based on grades that are supposed to follow your advancement. In reality, this is rarely the case. On some projects I'm asked to do things well above my experience and pay grade. Who doesn't love doing the work of someone who gets paid a lot more than you? Or getting paid the same as someone who does bad work?

    Lacking Transparency - The ultimate decision of whether you get a raise or not is behind closed doors. The factors of the decisions are discussed with your supervisor. In my case, my supervisor barely has an insight onto this process.

    Undefined Expectations - There are no defined goals, or maybe that's just my group. I've been working here for over 2 years, and I still have no idea where I'm supposed to be in terms of skills, capability, and autonomy on projects. I can only guess where I stand among my peers. You "turn and burn" projects with no evaluation of the finished product. No feedback on things that could have been done better, just on to the next project with a tight deadline.

    No Accountability - Nothing incentivizes you to do more work. Whether you're work is good or bad, you can expect no praise for good work or repercussions for bad work.

    Culture can feel... Cult-ish - "We shape the World" is the motto. Loyal employees call themselves "Arupians" and have nothing but good things to say about our impact. The late Ove Arup is such a "visionary" and plastered everywhere around the office.

    Yearly Appraisal System - There is a very corporate appraisal system that occurs yearly and supposedly influences your raise. Since your raise is influenced, most people will avoid negative reviews and be untruthful with there career development. Most people do not take this seriously and the conversation is extremely forced.

    Bad Support - Big slow moving company. Hard to get timely support for your projects and/or from HR or IT.

    Advice to Management

    - Provide review sessions on completed projects so people know if they did a good job or not.

    - Make sure your engineers are not doing work excessively above their pay grade and/or have a more flexible pay scheme for those that advance to greater responsibility than others. We have lost so many good people to companies that will actually pay what they are worth.

    - Provide structure for advancement so people know where they are supposed to be in terms of skills and leadership ability.

    - Do away with yearly appraisals. How about quarterly or monthly less formal "check in" meetings? Have separate system for determining raises so employees feel they can say anything rather than lie to get a better chance at a raise.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great company interested in growing their human capital"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Graduate Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people, great projects, engaging social culture (ex. Cycling group) flexible working

    Cons

    Can sometimes work long hours


  10. "Marketing Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great team
    Awesome work culture
    Free bagels on Fridays

    Cons

    I do not have a con