Southwest Research Institute Reviews in San Antonio, TX | Glassdoor

Southwest Research Institute San Antonio Reviews

Updated May 25, 2017
86 reviews

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San Antonio, TX Area

3.7
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Adam Hamilton
21 Ratings

86 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Smart people, interesting work, many areas (in 13 reviews)

  • Most people had a good work life balance in automotive engineering, my boss made me work more than most though (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Projects are constantly oversold and under estimated leading to a horrible work life balance if one takes pride in their work (in 4 reviews)

  • No forward thinking in alternative schedules, commute from home, etc (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great people working there! Always something interesting going on around campus."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Database Administrator in San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Database Administrator in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Southwest Research Institute full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people, competitive pay, interesting work. Good incentives and benefits. Credit Union right on campus makes it convenient to perform transactions.

    Cons

    Since testing and development has to be stable, sometimes a bit behind on technology levels and versions. Can get stuck easily on one platform for years


  2. "If you can't find a better job come here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Antonio, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Research Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fitness center, 9% company pays towards retirement even if you don't contribute (vesting every year at 20%)

    Cons

    Pay is significantly low compared to national average or even san antonio average. Work hours are horrible


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Good experience, low pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Engineer in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Senior Research Engineer in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Research Institute full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place for younger engineers to gain a lot of experience. Fairly horizontally structured, divisions aren't overly management heavy and project managers/engineers have decent decision making authority.

    Cons

    Technical staff required to wear multiple hats - not always a bad thing. But experience/personal value surpass compensation very early on. It can be very frustrating for a highly motivated/career driven employee.

    Three categories of employees at SwRI:

    The chosen one - not always the best technical performer but adds some benefit to the face of SwRI that upper management really likes. If you are this person you will be happy.

    Shinning stars - the high performers in each division. These people excel technically and are successful project managers. These are the people that tend to leave after a short tenure because there is no real incentive to succeed. Promotions (unless you are the chosen one) are almost 100% based on time in position.

    Everyone else - anyone from good to moderate to low performers. In terms of promotions and raises, there isn't a lot that separates shinning stars from everyone else.

    SwRI relies heavily on the view that "SwRI is a great place to work". It can be, but this isn't going to keep talented people around. There are tons of really cool projects if you are fortunate enough to work on one, but this alone isn't a great retainment strategy. They really promote the benefits during the hiring process - they are good but don't really substantiate a lower salary over time.

    Promote from within but there aren't a lot of management opportunities. Not a lot of advanced planning for new/potential managers


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  5. "Stable, fulfilling, stagnant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technician in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Senior Technician in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Research Institute full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Pay for your degree, 1-2 classes a semester only.
    Onsite workout facility

    Cons

    Under appreciation for their technicians. meeting personal benchmarks often goes unrewarded.

    Advice to Management

    Reward exemplary skills and responsibilities with competitive pay. If someone is expected to work at a level above the one they currently work, promote them.


  6. "Good Benefits, Low Compensation, Slow-moving"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Analyst in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Research Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Stable, conservative company with a long history of growth

    Cons

    Unable to work with newest technologies, rigid career ladder

    Advice to Management

    Be more flexible with promotions and pay scales.


  7. "Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Southwest Research Institute (More than a year)

    Pros

    401K contributions are really above average.

    Cons

    No bonuses because it is a non-profit. Slightly below average pay for industry.


  8. "Great people, interesting work..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager R&D in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Manager R&D in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    SwRI has a wonderful work environment made up of very smart staff members who are down to earth and easy to work with. The applied R&D focus keeps the work interesting and virtually unlimited areas of opportunity. The San Antonio campus has lots to offer with sports leagues and clubs promoting long term friendships among employees. Very low staff turnover.

    Cons

    The independent non-profit status provides no advantage for capturing business opportunities with DOD clients unlike university affiliated institutions which fall within the sole-source acquisition regulations.

    Advice to Management

    Determine how to capitalize on the non-profit, non-biased nature of the company for acquiring Department of Defense work.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Petroleum Division"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Laboratory Technician in San Antonio, TX
    Current Contractor - Laboratory Technician in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Research Institute as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work is repetitve and easy. Lots of down time. Coworkers are great. Management is fine, but some are underqualified. Benefits are great from what hear, if you get hired permanently.

    Cons

    Many older coworkers grandfathered from a time when a diploma was more than enough. Pay is far below average.

    Advice to Management

    Hire externally


  10. "Good work, medium pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Engineer in San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Research Engineer in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Southwest Research Institute (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, interesting work, many areas

    Cons

    Pay is a bit low


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Read the fine print."

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

    I worked at Southwest Research Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits are above average although you will pay a lot for health insurance due to older demographics of the company. Read the fine print. Probably a great place for engineers as they do work on a lot of cool things, if you can deal with cons. The company is non-profit, so you do obtain good experience in the Admin office if you plan on working in non-profit industry.

    Cons

    Good 'ol boy culture, older generation make it hard for younger generation to acclimate. A lot of micro managing. Admin office deals with constant audit headaches due to the company being a government contractor. If you are unlucky enough to be an auditor, good luck getting audit documentation out of self-entitled engineers and project managers.


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