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Westat Reviews

Updated January 9, 2018
311 reviews

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311 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work from home opportunities (only occasionally unless you've been there for a few years (in 25 reviews)

  • Excellent company, good work life balance, genuinely nice people who care about their work (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • Low pay ,No pay raises ever after you reach 11 (in 16 reviews)

  • PM is treated more as a secretarial position, with no room for growth (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Westat full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work, good growth opportunities, 100% employee owned. Good colleagues.

    Cons

    Hard to move across organization. Staff tend to stay within one department.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Get the experience and move on"

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

    I worked at Westat full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great work life balance. Many opportunities to learn (depending on project). Great co-workers (depending on project).

    Cons

    Very limited to no growth opportunities. Many entry level staff spend years in entry level positions earning entry level salaries, performing mid-level tasks without being appropriately compensated.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to retain and engage your younger workforce. You will not be able to compete if you continue to allow your younger workforce to leave.

  3. "Assessment Coordinator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assessment Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Assessment Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very good pay. Flexible hours good training

    Cons

    Short term projects. However you know that going in.


  4. "Assessment Administrator"

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

    I worked at Westat part-time

    Pros

    Great Training
    Paid from door to door (travel to and from location)
    Decent pay for the job performed
    Working with great people

    Cons

    Short term employment
    No benefits
    Not sure about opportunities past current project


  5. "Assessment Coordinator"

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

    I worked at Westat part-time

    Pros

    I carried out important scientific testing of our nations 4th and 8th graders.

    Cons

    Often there are early morning hours to start the day--out the door by 6:00 a.m. and charging tablets was time consuming plus packing them in pelican cases.

    Advice to Management

    Create an electrical pelican case with one plug that charges all the tablets at once. That way, the tablets do not have to be individually charged.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "field interviewer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Interviewer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Field Interviewer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    good hourly pay, good training

    Cons

    boring work, must go by the book

    Advice to Management

    The management in general are kind and well trained


  7. Helpful (2)

    "NAEP 2017 Assessments"

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

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

    Pros

    Great working with the 4th and 8th graders, meeting the various school principals or school coordinators. Assessments themselves were very interesting and rewarding.

    Cons

    The training was less than adequate for the work you were expected to do. The field managers need to be more adequately trained. My field manager was dismissive, almost to the point of being rude. She was also the trainer for my California training and definitely showed that she had either not ever been a teacher or never learned fundamental skills in how to do a training for adults. She jumped from topic to topic, had problems with her own equipment and then raced through lessons to make up for lost time. She didn't seem to care whether someone understood what she was presenting and caused so much stress that I became physically ill. If it weren't for other supervisors who showed some empathy when I was so frustrated, I probably would have quit. Then as the field manager for our area, she was even worse. I realize she has a job to do and a large territory to cover, but she gave the word "bureaucrat" an even more distasteful meaning. She seemed to go about her job trying to pinch pennies and causing more problems than what was needed. Assigning people to a team who live 1 1/2 -3 hours from you only caused me to have to do not only my job, but the assistants' jobs also. Not understanding the landscape of Upstate NY and the winter weather also caused problems. You cannot expect someone who lives in a snow belt to drive in a snow storm to get to a school by 6:P30-7:30 AM from your home which is usually and hour or more away. She made you feel as though you were trying to steal from the government when you expected to stay in a hotel the day before an assessment. The roads through the Adirondack area are winding, and can be dangerous in the Summer because of the wildlife, in the winter they can be deadly.
    The materials given to learn you job were horrible. The manuals were written by bureaucrats who are too close to the material to see the problem. They are not straight forward, they don't even have an index at the back to be able to look for key words or terms to find where in the manual you might find the answers. Some common sense training on who to do important forms like time sheets, TERS, and FEFs were never given. Disjointed training with your team members caused a lot of problems. My team were sent to training near where they lived so that I never got to meet my team before we showed up at the hotel the night before the first assessment.

    Advice to Management

    Be more straight forward with people you are hiring. You understate what this job entails and the amount of time it will take. It is no wonder so many people quit after the first few weeks. The money is not worth the time and effort you put in to do a good job. Being penny wise and pound foolish causes so many more problems down the line than adequately taking care of the problem in the first place. Your field managers need to be sent to human resource training. Their attitude does nothing to enhance the image Westat is trying to portray. There is no additional support when you have a problem. Most of the supervisors were great, although they had to be the buffer between the field manager and the ACs or AAs. One piece of advice I would definitely give would be to hire more teachers to write your manuals or do your editing. Bureau-speak is not a language most people understand and that is what you are hiring --average people, many of them retired professional. They are looking to do something that is rewarding but not overwhelming; something that pays a decent wage for the amount of work that has to be done; and something that is worth giving up their time in which to be involved.
    You also should pay your Help Desk people more. They, on the whole, were wonderful, patient, encouraging, and extremely helpful whether it was to just calm you down because of the frustrating stress you were going through with whatever problem you were having.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Short lived"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Rockville, MD

    Pros

    Nothing unless you are looking for temp. job

    Cons

    Bad payment, no benefits and poor treatment.
    Highly not recommended.


  9. "Quality Control Supervisor"

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

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

    Pros

    Incredibly talented and bright supervisors and managers, treat everyone fairly, interesting studies, free stock benefits.

    Cons

    Higher pay would be nice.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  10. "Great Place To Work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Conference Planner in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Conference Planner in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Westat has always treated me well. I have been working here over 18 years and it's just a very comfortable place to work. I have developed wonderful friendships here and enjoy the work I do.

    Cons

    You won't get rich working here.

    Advice to Management

    Faster promotion of low and mid-level staff who are deserving.


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