"We take pride in the quality of work we do and in the number of clients for whom we do repeat business."
— Judy Blair, Vice President of Human Resources

Systems engineering Large shop


American Management Systems (AMS) provides systems engineering services in applying information technology toward solving complex management problems in large organizations. Clients include commercial firms in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, and energy as well as local and federal government agencies and universities.

AMS was founded in 1970. They have almost 3,200 employees, including over 1,800 in the Washington area. Twenty-five percent of their business is with federal government clients. The Washington area office is corporate headquarters. AMS's revenue is over $262 million.



AMS has its own data center with an IBM 3090, IBM 4381, a DEC/VAX, and several DEC 2065s. Computer professionals use an array of database management systems, including ADABAS, DB2, CA-IDMS, and IMS. They work on the entire life cycle of a project from conceptual design through development and implementation.

AMS has two general categories of computer professionals. Programmer analysts are responsible for technical design, prototyping, and coding; and business analysts perform feasibility studies, requirements analysis and systems design. The company has four job titles: Member of the Professional Staff, Principal, Senior Principal, and Vice President. The last three positions are titled, provide basic management and are eligible for incentive compensation.

Recently, AMS personnel have been helping the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) consolidate its administrative operations. AMS teams have implemented a financial system, developed a payroll interface, and updated the IRS's internal procedure manuals.


Computer professionals in the Washington area work primarily at AMS headquarters in Arlington (Rosslyn). They may expect to travel as much as 25 to 30 percent of the time, although there is a wide variation. It is very common to work more than 40 hours a week at AMS. Compensatory time is granted after 15 hours of overtime in a 2-week period.

AMS offers an environment with very little structure since they believe that professionals are not so much responsible for keeping a strict hourly schedule as for ensuring that the job is completed on time. There is a sense of comaraderie and teamwork when a project is completed. Fourteen Vice Presidents have been at AMS for 15 years each, since they graduated from college.

AMS observes nine holidays and offers three weeks of vacation to start. After seven years, titled employees receive eight weeks of extended leave. The company offers medical insurance, long-term disability, dental and life insurance, tuition reimbursement, and a retirement/savings plan.


AMS's professionals must have good communication skills and analytical abilities since they work closely with clients. In a typical interview, AMS might ask a candidate to describe a problem they encountered and how they solved it.

AMS does hire entry-level employees. Half of their new employees are recent college graduates. Many have degrees in Computer Science; a substantial number have Master's degrees. Entry-level candidates must have a college degree and a grade-point average of 3.0 or better. AMS has a summer intern program.

In the last year, AMS hired over 500 information technology professionals. Many new employees come from employee referrals and the company's active college recruiting program. The rest come from advertisements and employment agencies.


Phone inquiries are accepted, but resumes are needed also.

Ms. Judy Blair, Vice President of Human Resources

(703) 841-2011

American Management Systems, Inc.

1777 N. Kent Street

Arlington, Virginia 22209

Copyright 1993. Vandamere Press. Covin’s Washington Area Computer Job Guide