At ELS Architecture and Urban Design, 89 percent of employees say their workplace is great.



This review is based on 45 employee surveys, with a 90% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 3.92. It was published on Feb 27, 2017. 1069 Visitors

What Employees Say

Management is competent at running the business.
People care about each other here.
Management recognizes honest mistakes as part of doing business.
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
People avoid politicking and backstabbing as ways to get things done.

What They Do

We asked ELS Architecture and Urban Design to explain what they do. Here is what they had to say.

For 50 years, ELS has designed extraordinary places that enhance the experience of urban life while being mindful of the environment. We focus on the entire spectrum of public spaces – arts, education, mixed use, retail and sports.

About this Company

Website: Industry: Architecture & Design
US Headquarters: Berkeley, California, 94704 US Sites: 1
US Employees: 49 US Revenues: $12.4 million
Worldwide Revenues: $12.4 million Corporate Structure: Private
Founded: 1967

Dressing up for Halloween

Perks and Programs

We asked ELS Architecture and Urban Design to share a few programs they feel really capture what's unique about their workplace. Here is what they had to say.

  • Professional Development: ELS values our staff's quest for learning and self improvement. We sponsor the costs for architectural licensing exams and LEED Accreditation. In addition, ELS encourages continuing education for all staff through design/technical, management/administration, or business development seminars of each employee’s choice that directly affect an employee’s performance or contribution to the professional practice. The benefit provides 8 hours of company paid time and $250 in reimbursement as an annual benefit to employees with one month to five years of employment, and $500 in reimbursement as an annual benefit to employees with five or more years of employment. Training, conferences, networking events, as well as internal and external workshops recommended to employees by ELS management are in addition to the Continuing Education Benefit. The more our staff knows, the better we are as a firm. 
  • Celebrations and Parties: We love to celebrate! Whether it's a champagne toast after winning a project, or when a member of our ELS family becomes licensed or is promoted, we gather as a group with pride. Other celebrations include baby showers and send-offs for staff going to graduate school. We throw fun, casual parties on our back deck, known internally as "back deck feeds," for staff and their families including pumpkin carving contests and holiday bake offs to display our staff’s creative talents. Holiday parties are held at East Bay local businesses such as the Berkeley Art Museum (BAMPFA,) Plank Beer Garden, Bowling & Bocce in Oakland, or glassblowing at Glassybaby's Berkeley Hot Shop (in which employees were gifted a handblown glass and portions of the firm's purchase went to our non-profit of choice, Costanoa Commons).
  • Weekly chair massages: Employees can sign up for weekly chair massages with a talented massage therapist.
  • Dogs of ELS: Employees can sign up to bring their dog into work. We have a variety of four-legged visitors who all love snacks and a pat on the head. 
  • Green workplace: We are an Alameda certified green business, and engage in green business practices. Many of our staff members bike to work. ELS converted a historic warehouse in Downtown Berkeley into a comfortable working environment with a central spine operable skylight, providing lots of daylight and fresh air, as well as indoor trees. Our office also has a large back deck for lunching or just taking a relaxing coffee break.
  • Food: We support small, emerging local businesses to cater our parties with themes such as pulled pork sandwiches, Korean dumplings, mac and cheese, and tater tots/sliders. We also provide Friday treats where staff members are invited to bring in breakfast items, paid for by ELS, from their favorite shop or bakery; we indulge in a plethora of choices from parfaits, to Chinese and Filipino pork buns, to Cheeseboard pastries and Johnny’s Donuts.
  • Casual Work Environment: We offer a casual work environment, relaxed business casual attire, and tremendous work-life balance. We make every attempt to accommodate the need for flexible schedules. 
  • Technology: We have technology groups in which staff members can learn from others using our in-house technology such as laser cutter and 3d printers for model making, Autodesk Revit, BIM, 2d and 3d modeling, video software, energy and daylighting performance analyses.


100% Company-paid health coverage for employees 100% Company-paid health coverage for part-timers
20 hours Weekly hours required for part-timers to receive health insurance
Office Charette


  • Written policy prohibits discrimination based on (at a minimum) age, disability, race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender and sexual orientation
  • Non-birth parents in same-sex relationships can take parental leave

Leadership Diversity


Workforce Diversity

Petchitecture Fundraising



How to Get Hired

We asked ELS Architecture and Urban Design 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?

ELS Architecture and Urban Design is a team of talented, creative, and passionate professionals dedicated to working collaboratively to deliver high quality and inspirational projects in core markets including Retail and Mixed Use, Sports and Recreation, Arts and Entertainment, and Historic Renovations. We are interested in creative, collaborative, and motivated candidates.

What can prospective employees do to get your attention?

Submit cover letter, resume, and samples of work

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

Designers and architects

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

Watch for our job postings, or submit cover letter, resume, and samples of work

hiring Outlook

5 Forecasted positions to fill in coming year 4% Job Growth
15 Average applicants per opening 11 Total job applicants
4 Recent graduates hired
* All figures refer to 12-month period prior to reporting, unless otherwise noted.

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