Westat Reviews in Rockville, MD | Glassdoor

Westat Rockville Reviews

Updated January 22, 2018
136 reviews

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Rockville, MD

3.4
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James E. Smith
29 Ratings

136 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. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great Research company to work for. Flex schedule.

    Cons

    No big cons as such.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work


  2. "Not a lot of growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nearly everyone has an office, work on important projects

    Cons

    Boring work, not a lot of room for growth.

  3. "IT Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - IT Specialist in Rockville, MD
    Current Contractor - IT Specialist in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place for new people in IT and retired professionals. The team leaders do care and are very understanding of their employees. They always try their best to work with your schedule and are extremely helpful. You get to try on different hats within the helpdesk to understand better your potential in IT and get to volunteer to test software and hardware. their CAFETERIA IS PARADISE! go for it!

    Cons

    Just the background checks and procedures are so tiresome its hard to keep up with so much paper work at once BUT working on government projects i guess its totally normal. I can't think of anything bad other than free coffee tastes like pi$$s.

    Advice to Management

    Pay a little more to your federal contractors :)


  4. Helpful (1)

    "SPS Staff"

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

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

    Pros

    good for very young or very old people.
    Can literally wear shorts and a tee-shirt to work.
    Flexibility with hours and assignments
    Managers are generally accommodating and are willing to bend rules for the benefit of employees
    Managers don't mind if you listen to music while you work
    Gives you experience for other jobs

    Cons

    No room for advancement.
    Benefits come after a year.
    Low pay.
    Work is monotonous.
    Work is by contract and not guaranteed

    You are basically working for Westats internal temp agency. If you need consistent pay or expect raises look elsewhere. These jobs are really more for people who either don't really need work (i.e retired, parents) or are too inexperienced to find higher paying positions.
    You are a second class employee. No vacation, no paid leave other than sick.

    Advice to Management

    Give your hourly employees room to advance in the company. At least pretend that you're making a commitment to us and are interested in our potential. There is one manager who you need to replace, and we all know who it is.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "Corporate only cares about its older, "experienced" employees."

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Things on site:
    -cafeteria
    -fitness center
    -your own office (can be good and bad though)
    -ESOP

    Cons

    -Low salary. Asking for a raise will only be met by them matching someone else who has already offered you another job.
    -Little to no room for growth. Extremely hard to move toward a "higher" position.
    -Telecommuting is not an equal option, but is considered as more of a benefit to more "experienced" staff at "higher" positions.
    -Sick and Vacation leave time is less for staff at a "lower grade level"

    Advice to Management

    Value your younger staff more and stop low key discriminating because of "years of experience." Care more about work-life balance, and promote positive work-related outcomes by wanting your staff to exercise the option of WFH (if it works well for them and when it makes sense to). Help change the organizational culture by stopping using language that belittles your staff at different positions. In short, treat staff at all levels equally. You can start by making the sick and vacation leave "benefit" the same for all staff, and not dependent on grade level.
    Also, take harassment complaints seriously, and show zero tolerance.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Good company that needs to catch up with the times"

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

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

    Pros

    Multidisciplinary, room for advancement, friendly co-workers, employee-owned, some managers promote work-life balance

    Cons

    Benefits are expensive, company has trouble keeping younger talent - constantly losing newer workers to companies with better pay and benefits once they have a little experience, Aging workforce means that company policies and benefits are aimed at those who will retire soon rather than recruiting and retaining new talent, clunky and inefficient

    Advice to Management

    Modernize benefits and incentives so you can recruit and retain talented younger employees. Your benefits packages, particularly health coverage, are no longer competitive, so your salaries need to be.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Your experience depends on your job title and department"

    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
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Wonderful benefits
    Some great coworkers
    Employee owned firm
    Interesting work

    I've had some really wonderful experiences here. I've had some great coworkers and really interesting work.

    Cons

    Some unbearable senior management
    Only 6 days off per year (holiday leave- anything else is vacation)
    Conflict avoidant culture
    Layoffs lately (like many research firms that rely on gov. funding)

    It's really hard to climb the ladder without a Ph.D. or someone in your department that fights hard for you that has a lot of pull. There's some cliques. If you're not in them you don't get work.

    Advice to Management

    Treat people more equally. Assess them the same for similar mistakes and similar work.

    Provide some training to new supervisors. They need more awareness and training on how to treat/deal with junior staff.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Ups and Downs"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Westat full-time

    Pros

    -Good PTO (vacation time and sick leave, plus floating holidays. All can be rolled over to the next year)
    -Great opportunities to go to conferences. Believe in business development
    -Work from home opportunities (only occasionally unless you've been there for a few years.)
    -Interesting, varied work. Lots of different projects.

    Cons

    -Culture. Westat's senior staff don't always care about the careers of junior staff. If junior staff express interest in learning certain new skills, senior staff may just ignore them, even if it's in their power to help junior staff grow.
    -Very, very limited advancement opportunities. Going from junior to senior staff is incredibly difficult.
    -Pay. Westat definitely underpays.

    Advice to Management

    Put more effort into keeping your junior staff. There's a high turnover rate because junior staff know they can make more money elsewhere and will actually have the opportunity to learn new skills and be promoted. If you want to keep your junior staff, you need to make more of an effort.


  9. "One where the team pulls together effectively."

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

    I worked at Westat as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You are able to learn new, interesting things with every project.

    Cons

    If you cannot do a project due to other jobs you have you may lose the ability to apply as an insider.

    Advice to Management

    When you see excellence in work don't let that employee go-regardless if they don't have a degree you desire.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Anonymous"

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

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

    Pros

    If you are a person with connections within the company then this a company for you.

    Cons

    Poor compensation, clicks, management's failure to listen to employees grievances makes me not willing to recommend Westat as a prospective employer.


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