At Burns & McDonnell, 95 percent of employees say their workplace is great.



This review is based on 1339 employee surveys, with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 2.28. It was published on Aug 21, 2015. 43039 Visitors

What Employees Say

I'm proud to tell others I work here.
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
People here are willing to give extra to get the job done.
People here are given a lot of responsibility.
Management is competent at running the business.

What They Do

We asked Burns & McDonnell to explain what they do. Here is what they had to say.

We provide innovative engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services on large, complex projects worldwide. As a 100 percent employee-owned firm, all of us share in the rewards that come from doing whatever it takes to make our clients successful.

About this Company

Website: US Headquarters: Kansas City, Missouri
US Sites: 150 Major Locations: Kansas City, MO; Houston, TX; Chicago, IL; St. Louis, MO; Denver, CO
US Employees: 4973 US revenues: $2214 million
Worldwide revenues: $2454 million Employees worldwide: 5217
Founded: 1898 Industry: Other

Employee-owners had a chance to mark their name in Burns & Mac history in 2015 by signing the topping-off piece of the world headquarters expansion, the final beam.

Perks and Programs

We asked Burns & McDonnell to share a few programs they feel really capture what's unique about their workplace. Here is what they had to say.

  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan: The Burns & McDonnell employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is the foundation of a culture that stresses the principle of ownership over all aspects of professional life. The ownership culture translates into exemplary project performance. Many project contracts set financial incentives for meeting schedule, budget and safety targets. Meeting these incentives actually enables clients to save money on total project costs due to early project delivery and few cost overruns. Those project incentive payouts flow into the year-end bonus pool and translate into steady increases in stock portfolio values for employee-owners. In other words, it is a constantly reinforcing cycle. The ownership culture drives project and client success, which in turn means greater financial success for all owners, reinforcing ownership culture.
  • Intern Program: Each year, the Burns & McDonnell internship program proves to be an excellent source of new talent for a variety of engineering, construction, technical and professional support positions. The company recruits from more than 100 colleges, universities and technical schools throughout the country and receives thousands of applications from high-performing students. In 2015, 220 interns were hired. Because the company continues to expand, many interns will receive offers for full-time positions upon completion of their degree programs.
  • K-12 Outreach Program: Burns & McDonnell is strongly committed to educational outreach at the K-12 level, both to foster greater momentum nationally for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and to support schools in the communities where we live and work. The company supports STEM education because it believes it is crucial to ensuring America’s future economic competitiveness. Burns & McDonnell sponsors a rich variety of programs illustrating that a strong education in STEM areas can lead to a bright future in careers that grow three times faster than the overall average. The program also helps stock the pipeline for future employee-owners through relationships established with young people who have job shadowed and attended informational sessions.
  • The Burns & McDonnell Foundation: Our employee-owners are committed to the places where we live and work—to nourishing our communities to become healthy and strong. We build a sturdy foundation through financial gifts and investing our time and talents. From fundraising walks and rides to community cleanup and rehabilitation, from educational outreach — especially when it’s a chance to share our passion for STEM topics — to one-on-one mentoring, the opportunities are bountiful and inspirational. The Burns & McDonnell Foundation was formed by our employee-owners in 1987 as the embodiment of our strong belief in corporate citizenship and philanthropy. Our giving, volunteering and grant programs are primarily directed into four strategic areas: education, community development, health and arts and culture. These corporate giving and volunteer efforts combine to provide a broad-based community outreach throughout the year. In 2015, Burns & McDonnell plans to pour more than $3 million and 5,000 volunteer hours into our communities. 
  • Own Your Health Wellness Program: New in 2015, Burns & McDonnell partnered with a third-party wellness consultant to reinvigorate our wellness incentive program. This enhanced program, gives employee-owners additional opportunities to gain valuable insight on their health status and risk factors, as well as earn points through attending Burns & McDonnell wellness events, health coaching, online and on-site classes and various "challenges" that encourage rallying co-workers or taking them on. It's also added a feature allowing participants to register their wearable fitness devices, which allows activity tracking. If the requirements are met, participants earn a premium discount of $60 per month, plus, another $20 per month if they are a non-tobacco user.


$58,685 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Drafter/Detailer $136,360 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Electrical Engineer
50% 401(k) match of employee's contribution, up to 3.25% of an employee's salary 76% Company-paid health coverage for employees
78% Company-paid health coverage for dependents 30 hours Weekly hours at which part-timers receive health care coverage


  • 401(k) or 403b plan
  • Pre-tax savings account
  • Employee stock ownership plan


  • Free beverages during the day
  • Massage therapy
  • Fitness classes
  • Convenience store
  • Banking
  • On-site package/mailing service
  • Discount ticket sales
  • Car wash
  • Dry cleaning
  • Personal travel service
Employee-owners celebrate the founders of Burns & McDonnell, Clinton S. Burns and Robert E. McDonnell, each April with a special luncheon served by the company’s leaders.


8 days Holidays & vacation days after one year of employment 60 days Job protected maternity leave


  • Flexible schedule
  • Phased retirement planning (5% use it)
  • Lactation room(s)
  • Compressed work weeks (7% use it)
  • Onsite child care


  • Dental care
  • Prescription drug subsidy
  • Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, or chiropractic
  • Vision care
  • Mental health care
  • Fertility treatments


  • Breast cancer screening
  • Skin cancer screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Complete biometric screening
  • Subsidized offsite gym memberships
  • Prostate cancer screening
  • Cholesterol tests
  • Flu shots
  • Fitness center
  • Medical facilities
In 2015, Burns & McDonnell selected Habitat for Humanity as the firm’s Charity of Choice. One way employee-owners supported the organization through the Habitat for Humanity Kansas City “Rock the Block” event. Nearly 20 houses were revitalized by 100 employee-owners.


Burns & McDonnell participates annually in Corporate Challenge Olympic-style competitions with other local companies. To jumpstart the fun, employee-owners attend an annual kickoff celebration complete with music, barbecue and more.

How to Get Hired

We asked Burns & McDonnell for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?

We look for initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit. As a leader in the engineering, architecture and construction industry, all of our people must be technically strong but the added element is client service. That requires strong communications skills — both verbal and written. We define an entrepreneurial spirit as that quality that causes someone to look for a solution that will solve a problem in a new and different way. We want people who are excited and passionate about meeting a project challenge, or even starting a new business line that will contribute to our collective success. We are always on the lookout for people who take the initiative to complete tasks and hold themselves accountable. Often these are people who have served in leadership roles in the community or at previous employers.

What can prospective employees do to get your attention?

Candidates who have done deep research and have familiarized themselves with our company beyond a general description catch our eye. A wealth of information is available about our company through both social and traditional media, so we are looking for people who have gained some insight and ask probing questions. Have they given some thought to how they will fit in with those they will be working with? Have they thought about both projects and processes? Do they demonstrate qualities of an owner? Do they understand how important ownership is for Burns & McDonnell?

Are there any unusual or especially rigorous steps of your hiring process that candidates should be aware of?

Candidates who have recently graduated, or are nearing graduation from engineering or technical schools, should be prepared to do a brief presentation on themselves and why they are interested in Burns & McDonnell. Other, more experienced candidates can expect a series of conversations with a number of people and should be prepared for a less formal but still rigorous presentation on why they desire to work here. We especially look for clues about character and relationship-building skills, particularly when the candidate is in a more relaxed setting. By observing how they speak and act in these settings, we often gain insight that is informative on whether that person will be a great team member and new employee-owner.

Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?

Our internship program has proved to be our best source of high-quality new grad employees. In 2015 we brought in 220 interns, and many of them can expect to receive formal job offers upon completion of their degrees. We consistently look for qualified engineers, particularly electrical engineers due to our focus on the power industry. However, we are aggressively seeking engineers and technical staff with commissioning experience or training. Though we are adding staff at our Kansas City world headquarters, the majority of our openings are located in regional offices around the country, many of which are located in large metro areas. We are particularly interested in candidates who are willing to accept relocations to field assignments on some of our large projects. These projects sometimes are located in remote areas and may span two or three years.

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

We cannot over-emphasize the value of networking and establishing connections with current employee-owners. We have a relationship-driven culture, and the ability to influence a current employee-owner to provide a reference or make a call is held in high regard. Our application process is comprehensive as candidates must submit applications, resumes and other materials via our online portal. We also advise prospective candidates to familiarize themselves with Burns & McDonnell via and on social channels like LinkedIn or Twitter.

hiring Outlook

11% Job Growth 73 Average applicants per opening
4% Total voluntary turnover of full-time employees in the past year 70460 Applicants in past year
967 Openings in past year 28% New hires by employee referrals

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