Westat Reviews | Glassdoor

Westat Reviews

Updated May 17, 2017
284 reviews

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284 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Excellent company, good work life balance, genuinely nice people who care about their work (in 20 reviews)

  • Got to work from home, make my own schedule, great pay, loved my supervisor, generous 401K plan (in 19 reviews)

Cons
  • Low pay ,No pay raises ever after you reach 11 (in 13 reviews)

  • PM is treated more as a secretarial position, with no room for growth (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Best work place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Field Interviewer in Presque Isle, MI
    Current Employee - Field Interviewer in Presque Isle, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Westat part-time

    Pros

    Everything about Westat. I love my job. I love the company. Very flexible job. Supervisors are very understanding. I love being able to trave and Get paid for it! I get to meet new people! Everyday is a new experience which make my job very fun and interesting.

    Cons

    Nothing.. In my region very little work in the winter time nothing against the company just the area I live in..

    Advice to Management

    You are doing a great job..


  2. Helpful (6)

    "If this could be a negative 5 stars, it would be"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Westat (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Free lunch and dinner about 10 times per year, if you would like to work during your lunch or stay at a company event until 9pm.

    Cons

    Backstabbing, falsifying reviews to the company's agenda, does not handle workplace discrimination, injuries or harassment well. Once one of these things happen, they try to diminish and dehumanize you as much as possible in order to justify firing you. Numerous law suits have been filed against the company by its employees, yet the company keeps on denying, denying, denying.

    Advice to Management

    If you have so many employees suing you, perhaps it's time to realize it's you as a company that's wrong and not employee after employee.

    If you would like to be respected by your community as an upstanding company, then perhaps it is time to start acting like an upstanding company.

    Perhaps if you could keep a higher renewal rate of the contracts you obtain, you wouldn't have to constantly let people go when you loose yet another contract.


  3. Helpful (4)

    "Stable but Top Heavy"

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

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

    Pros

    People stay forever and it is hard to get fired or laid off. People with families enjoy the flexibility.

    Cons

    People stay forever and it is hard to get fired or laid off. Too large a proportion of the staff are senior managers. Little opportunities for new/younger workers. There are no consequences for incompetent managers. Pay and benefits are not great.

    Advice to Management

    Create more mobility for staff at the bottom of the hierarchy. Evaluate the performance of senior study directors and other management. Reward good performance and punish bad performance.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Long hours decent pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Collector in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Data Collector in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Westat part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Pay is ok for someone looking for long hours
    Very easy job to work in
    Locations can be close to where you live

    Cons

    Lot of sitting around / not very busy
    Long hour work days , equates to about 10 hours
    Locations can be far from where you live


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Unstable outlook"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Researcher in Logan, UT
    Former Employee - Field Researcher in Logan, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The pay is decent, the job is based working at home which makes the job flexible, and they pay for training.

    Cons

    Management is unclear. I worked here for quite a while and then was let go because Westat ran out of budget funding. They will get you to sign on by making it sound like you will make really good money and will receive training, but they fail to mention that most projects only last for a few months. The company was very inefficient also with how they conducted the research and gained data, data systems would often have troubles.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest and clear about the projects your hiring people for. Also provide opportunities when you run out of budget monies. Also, training management and data systems could be a lot more organized.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Company in Transition"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good work life balance, and the research projects are interesting and rewarding. Lots of in-house professional development trainings during lunch hours, and the graphics/printing department is extremely helpful. Great benefits, plenty of vacation time, and onsite cafeteria and gym. Very smart people work here. Some departments are beginning to modernize and change the way they operate and manage projects, which is exciting and refreshing. This a very traditional research firm, so it's due for some big changes.

    Cons

    Some ageism is at play at this company...managers tend to hover and micromanage younger employees who "get it" and already excel in their roles. Pay is not competitive for entry to mid-level employees.

    Advice to Management

    Project directors and senior staff should be more open to change, and more engaged with their staff. Projects don't "run themselves"...ask employees for ideas and how they are feeling about their work. Westat needs a stronger work culture which should involve employees at all levels.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Assessment Coordinator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Westat (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great people and training is top-notch

    Cons

    Very steep learning curve and not much opportunity for consistent work. These positions are best for people that are not relying on a regular income.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Okay for getting experience, then leave to move upward"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Decent work/life balance and flexible hours. I have been able to schedule my work around doctor's appointments and make up hours earlier and later as needed.
    -WFH as needed. I was able to work from home periodically if I had morning appointments or had service/plumbing work being done. I had a boss that worked remotely so she trusted me to get my work done from anywhere at anytime. Other entry/mid-level staff did not have the same privileges so check with your supervisor when you first start your position about expectations for working hours and remote work possibilities.
    -Good 401K matching (5.5% as of this post in 3/2016)
    -Nice gym and campus location off of 270 in Rockville, MD
    -Friendly and laidback coworkers
    -Good experience working on a variety of federal and private-funded contracts.

    Cons

    -No clear structure or promotion plan for entry/mid-level staff. Younger workers are likely to leave if there is no incentive of being promoted within 2-3 years of initial hire.
    -Pay your younger staff more! There is a reason why you are losing younger staff with Masters and PhD degrees to other companies for 20-30% salary increases. You need to readjust your salary scale to match the DC Metro cost-of-living and move away from a model that focuses on length of time spent at company. I have seen people stay as a Research Assistant or Analyst title for years without promotion despite changes in responsibilities.
    -Slow to implement technology and social media. Computers are out of date, and it took their marketing department years to be allowed to use social media for promoting our firm's work.
    -Proposal season can be a damper on summer vacation plans. Be prepared to scuttle any time off and out-of-office hours for proposal development. Make sure you plan out vacation time far in advance and make this clear to your project directors.

    Advice to Management

    Create clear pathways to promotion for your younger staff. You will continue to lose younger staff to your competitors if there is no apprenticeship for project management and acknowledgement of hard work.


  10. "Field Interviewer/Data Collector"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Field Executive/Interviewer/Data Collector in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Field Executive/Interviewer/Data Collector in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Westat (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, work from home, 5 surveys to each household over a 2 year period

    Cons

    A lot of down time


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Field Interviewer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Interviewer and Customer Service Representative in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Field Interviewer and Customer Service Representative in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Westat (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good to manage your own hours and travel. If you are good enough you will get an opportunity to travel to other locations and get per diem and other benefits.

    Cons

    Be very careful about who is your Field Manager. The game is very political and deniability of responsibility at this level. Many very nasty self important FM females who cannot be trusted to be at your back. Don't ask too many questions and try to get help unless the FM likes you. It makes no difference if you are a top producer or bottom level person the FM is the God of the kingdom and many rule with a bad attitude and my way or the highway mentality

    Advice to Management

    Best to listen to the Field Interviewers in a review of their manager to get the real lowdown on those that should be considered for elimination.


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