Arup Reviews | Glassdoor

Arup Reviews

Updated May 14, 2018
600 reviews

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4.0
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Arup Group Chairman Greg Hodkinson
Greg Hodkinson
184 Ratings

600 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance can sometimes be a challenge (in 29 reviews)

  • Some long hours if work not scoped correctly (in 37 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Amazing company full of opportunities"

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

    I have been working at Arup full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Interesting and prestigious projects
    Lots of internal opportunities (to move geographically, between teams and projects, to develop skills and to learn)
    Full of bright, dedicated and approachable individuals
    Equal employer (no bias against gender, nationality or sexual orientation, although white British men from Cambridge or Oxford are faring particularly well)

    Cons

    Unclear career progression (some people shine, while others get stuck at the same position for years)
    Some people spend extreme efforts on self-promotion taking credit for other people's work
    Slowly becoming an over-managed corporation (design and core values are secondary - only used for internal brainwashing)
    High level of internal politics
    Inefficient (everyone constantly reinvents the wheel)
    Huge differences between locations and teams (quality of work, work-life balance, management style)


  2. "Good place to learn and contribute"

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

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

    Pros

    1. Structual leader in the world
    2. World wide brunch

    Cons

    1. Take too long to get promoted

  3. "Mechanical Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    International colleagues, great benefits, huge wealth of in-house knowledge.

    Cons

    Not as easy to move between offices as the company leads you to believe. Need to focus on training new staff and automating monotonous tasks to ensure retention of new engineers.


  4. "Review Title"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Structural Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Structural Engineer in New York, NY
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Incredible working environment, great employees, awesome benefits.

    Cons

    Financial compensation (benefits excluded) is around average for the industry.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Poor pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Love the work, exciting fresh

    Cons

    Poor pay, find it difficult to stay for long


  6. "Great company"

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

    I worked at Arup full-time

    Pros

    Strong culture, good internal knowledge management systems, opportunity to transfer internationally

    Cons

    Not enough talent management, everyone treated the same in a highly structured development process


  7. Helpful (7)

    "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

  8. "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.


  9. Helpful (17)

    "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.


  10. "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.


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