25 Highest Paying Companies in America

April 20, 2016 by Thomas C. Frohlich

Paychecks in America vary tremendously. On average, U.S. workers earn just under $50,000 a year, which takes into account workers who live off poverty wages as well as those who earn six-figure sums. Companies in just a few sectors pay the highest wages. In the top 25 paying companies in the United States, the average salary is nearly triple the salary of the average U.S. worker.

Based on figures provided by employee review website Glassdoor, 24/7 Wall St. examined the highest paying companies in America. Consulting firm A.T. Kearney leads U.S. companies with workers reporting median total annual compensation of $167,534. Technology company Broadcom rounds out the top 25 with a median compensation of $140,000 a year — tied with Adobe.

The companies that pay their employees the most operate primarily in two industries: consulting and tech. These companies offer high salaries to attract some of the nation’s most highly-skilled workers, who demand the pay to match their expected performance. This is overwhelmingly the case with technology companies, which dominate the list, comprising 20 of the 25 highest paying jobs.

Click here to see the 25 highest paying companies in America.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Scott Dobroski, community expert at Glassdoor, explained, “The things that move technology companies forward are big ideas, innovation, and collaboration.” Because these key qualities and expertise are very difficult to replace with automated techniques, the jobs remain in demand and the salaries remain high. By contrast, employment in health care, retail, and manufacturing positions have been increasingly vulnerable to offshoring and automation.

A high level of college education was not always needed in order to land a high-paying job, and this list would certainly have been very different 50 years ago. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, services-producing industries have grown steadily in recent decades, while goods-producing industries have slowly declined. Professions in goods-producing industries have been far more vulnerable to offshoring and automated techniques than service-producing employment.

Pay is closely tied to industry performance, and the highest paying jobs tend to be in economically healthy industries. The computer design and related services industry, which has been growing at a fast rate for several decades, is representative of the technology sector’s growth overall. Employment in the industry grew at an incredible 8% each year from 1994 to 2004. Over the next 10 years through 2014, the industry’s employment grew at a 3.4% annual pace, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By contrast, employment for all jobs is projected to grow at an annual rate of under 1% from 2014 through 2024.

With skyrocketing demand for qualified technology workers, companies are engaged in a talent war over the short supply of prospective employees. Even Walmart — a company that frequently faces accusations of underpaying its employees, and perhaps the most unlikely company on this list — runs its technology arm, Walmart eCommerce, out of Silicon Valley and pays those workers competitive wages. “The hunt for talent is serious and active no matter what the name is on your door,” Dobroski said.

Immunity of a job to being replaced by automation also applies to consulting positions, which comprise the remainder of the list with the exception of Visa, a financial services company. Dobroski explained that while consulting firms do not get the same level of attention as technology companies, consulting relies heavily on skills that are not likely to be automated any time soon. There are also very high barriers to entry for both new consulting firms and job applicants. Clients often demand a high level of experience, and the highest paid employees at consulting firms frequently come with extremely valuable personal relationships and connections, which, again, are impossible to automate.

To identify the 25 highest paying jobs in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Glassdoor’s 25 Highest Paying Companies in America for 2016. The report is based on reported salaries and compensation figures by employees of U.S.-based companies with at least 50 salary reports on Glassdoor over the past 12 months. Only companies for which all forms of compensation were reported were considered. Total compensation includes annual salary as well as cash bonuses, commission, and tips.

These are America’s highest paying companies.

25. Broadcom
> Median total compensation:
$140,000
> Median base salary: $130,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Irvine, California

Semiconductor company Broadcom pays its employees very well. The typical Broadcom employee earns $140,000 annually, including bonus pay. Like the vast majority of America’s top paying companies, Broadcom operates in the technology sector. Broadcom completed a $37 billion merger with Avago Technologies this year. The new company, Broadcom Limited, is expected to increase profitability and growth by reducing costs under the new arrangement. The company already announced plans to cut nearly 700 jobs in Irvine, California.

24. Adobe
> Median total compensation:
$140,000
> Median base salary: $125,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: San Jose, California

Like a number of other employers paying the highest salaries in America, Adobe is a Silicon Valley-based technology company. Jobs in the technology industry tend to require relatively high levels of education, and the associated skill sets are not only in short supply but also extremely valuable. A typical employee at the software and digital marketing company earns $140,000 annually — one of the 25 highest wages of any U.S. company.

23. F5 Networks
> Median total compensation:
$140,200
> Median base salary: $120,500
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

F5 Networks is a software development company. The typical F5 Networks employee earns $140,200 annually. Principal software engineers at the company earn as much as $283,000 a year. Headquartered in Seattle, the company is growing rapidly. Founded just two decades ago, F5 Networks is now worth $7.1 billion. F5 recently leased an additional 20,000 square feet of office space in order to accommodate its growing business and new hires.

22. Microsoft
> Median total compensation:
$141,000
> Median base salary: $125,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Redmond, Washington

Co-founded by Bill Gates more than four decades ago, Microsoft is now a multibillion dollar corporation that employs some 118,000 people. Microsoft is one of the most successful and influential companies in the United States, and its employees are among the country’s most highly compensated workers. The typical Microsoft employee earns a base salary of $125,000 annually, well above the annual average wage for occupations across the U.S. of $48,320.

21. Salesforce
> Median total compensation:
$143,750
> Median base salary: $120,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Salesforce sells software designed to promote sales and expand customer bases. Based on Glassdoor reviews, Salesforce employees are both well-paid and seem relatively satisfied. A typical company employee earns $143,750 annually, one of the highest median salaries of any U.S. company. Workers also have faith in corporate leadership as the company’s CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff received a 97% approval rating from his employees.

20. Cloudera
> Median total compensation:
$145,000
> Median base salary: $129,500
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

Less than 10 years old, Cloudera is a data platform tech company that has become one of the highest paying companies in the United States. The median compensation of a company employee is $145,000 a year, and a senior solutions architect can earn up to $201,000 annually. Cloudera has reported rapid growth in recent years, prompting some to anticipate an IPO in the near future.

19. LinkedIn
> Median total compensation:
$145,000
> Median base salary: $120,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Mountain View, California

LinkedIn provides a virtual platform for professionals to connect and network. The company is based in Mountain View, California and is one of the highest paying in the United States. The typical LinkedIn employee earns a base salary of $120,000 annually, far more than the $48,320 the typical American worker earns. LinkedIn employees also tend to be satisfied with their job. The company’s culture and values were among the most frequently cited positive aspects of LinkedIn in Glassdoor reviews.

18. Altera
> Median total compensation:
$147,000
> Median base salary: $134,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: San Jose, California

Like many successful tech companies based in Silicon Valley, Altera pays exceptionally high salaries in order to attract and retain talent. The typical company worker earns $147,000 annually. It is not uncommon for principal engineers at the company to earn over $250,000. Among the company’s numerous perks, Altera also matches its employees’ 401(k) contributions dollar for dollar. Semiconductor maker Intel Corporation acquired Altera at the end of last year.

17. Synopsys
> Median total compensation:
$148,000
> Median base salary: $130,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Synopsys is one of the world’s largest software companies. At $148,000 a year, median compensation of the company’s 3,760 U.S. workers is among the highest in the United States. In addition to high salaries, Synopsys employees enjoy negotiable vacation time and a competitive employer 401(k) contribution.

16. SAP
> Median total compensation:
$148,431
> Median base salary: $120,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Walldorf, Germany

Despite being headquartered in Germany, SAP employs nearly 13,000 Americans. The typical company employee earns $148,431 annually, one of the highest median salaries of any employer in the United States. Though higher pay does not necessarily lead to job satisfaction, employee satisfaction at SAP is also high. Glassdoor surveys reveal that 84% of company employees would recommend the job to a friend, and 93% approve of CEO Bill McDermott.

15. Walmart eCommerce
> Median total compensation:
$149,000
> Median base salary: $126,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: San Bruno, California

Walmart has become infamous in the United States for its low wages. Yet, the retail giant’s online department, Walmart eCommerce, is one of the highest paying companies in the country. Walmart must offer competitive wages to attract the top talent necessary to run its technology arm, Dobroski noted. In its most recent financial report, the company stated it would invest more than $1 billion in its e-commerce websites and mobile applications in fiscal 2017. Walmart eCommerce is based in San Bruno, California, among the collection of cities known as Silicon Valley.

14. Box
> Median total compensation:
$150,000
> Median base salary: $130,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Redwood City, California

Employees at cloud storage company Box are among the most highly compensated in the country, with a typical worker earning $150,000 a year. Salaries in the company are often much higher, with some senior software engineers reporting total earnings of over $300,000 a year. Like many of the highest paying U.S. companies, Box is a tech outfit based in Silicon Valley, California.

13. Twitter
> Median total compensation:
$150,000
> Median base salary: $133,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: San Francisco, California

With more than 316 million active users, Twitter is one of the largest social media platforms in the world. Twitter employees are also among the highest paid workers in country. Including bonus pay, the typical Twitter employee earns $150,000 per year. While high salaries do not necessarily translate to employee satisfaction, most Twitter employees like their job. Employees at the social media giant praise the company’s culture and values, and nearly three out of every four reviewers would recommend their job to a friend.

12. Facebook
> Median total compensation:
$150,000
> Median base salary: $127,406
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Menlo Park, California

Social media websites such as Facebook are now more popular avenues for finding news than search methods such as Google. Like many other technology companies, Facebook is known not just for the high employee pay but also for the perks. The company provides worker-exclusive amenities such as restaurants, barber shops, and even dog sitting services. The company has also been hiring aggressively. As of the first quarter of last year, Facebook employed 48% more employees than it did the year before, far faster than its competitors.

11. Visa
> Median total compensation:
$150,000
> Median base salary: $130,000
> Industry: Finance
> Headquarters: Foster City, California

The financial sector is often associated with large pay checks. While this is certainly true for many jobs in the industry, the list of America’s highest paying companies contains only one finance industry firm. A typical Visa employee earns $150,000 annually, the 11th highest median salary of U.S. companies reviewed. The highest paid workers are not always the most satisfied. Of employee reviews on Glassdoor, only 40% would recommend a job at Visa to a friend.

10. Cadence Design Systems
> Median total compensation:
$150,010
> Median base salary: $140,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: San Jose, California

While high pay does not necessarily lead to job satisfaction, the highly paid employees at Cadence Design Systems also enjoy their jobs. The semiconductor design company recently touted its inclusion on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015. The company is based in San Jose, California — one of the collection of cities known as Silicon Valley — where it has access to a greater number of qualified applicants.

9. Guidewire
> Median total compensation:
$150,020
> Median base salary: $135,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Foster City, California

The typical employee at software company Guidewire is paid $150,020, one of the top 10 compensations of any U.S. company. The technology industry has grown much faster than the available pool of qualified employees, leading to a shortage of talent. Largely as a result, the pay at Guidewire likely remains high so it can compete for the best talent.

Guidewire, which primarily makes software for insurance companies, acquired in March EagleEye Analytics, which specializes in property and casualty insurer decisions.

8. Boston Consulting Group
> Median total compensation:
$150,020
> Median base salary: $147,000
> Industry: Consulting
> Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts

Consulting firms, after technology companies, consist the largest share of the highest paying companies in the country. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is one of the world’s Big Three strategy consulting firms along with Mckinsey & Company and Bain & Company. As such, BCG is not just among the nation’s top paying companies but also highly prestigious, for both prospective employees as well as clients.

7. Amazon Lab126
> Median total compensation:
$150,100
> Median base salary: $138,700
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California

Founded in 2004, Amazon Lab126 is a segment of online retail giant Amazon. Well-known Amazon products and services, including the Kindle and Amazon Fire TV, were developed at the subsidiary. To attract workers with skill sets often necessary in research and development fields, the company is strategically based in Silicon Valley. Lab126 also offers competitive pay to better appeal to talented employees.

6. VMware
> Median total compensation:
$152,133
> Median base salary: $130,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

VMware, a cloud software company, is owned by information technology company EMC. EMC, in one of the largest technology mergers of all time, will merge with Dell in a $67 billion deal expected to be finalized in the middle of this year. As a consequence of the merger, VMware announced around 900 job cuts at the beginning of this year. Still, VMware employees are some of the nation’s highest paid workers, with median annual compensation of $152,133.

5. Google
> Median total compensation:
$153,750
> Median base salary: $123,331
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Google is by far the largest search engine in the world, accounting for more than two-thirds of all Internet searches worldwide. There are an estimated 3.5 billion Google searches every day. The Internet giant is also generally considered by both employees and outside reviewers as a very good place to work. CEO Sundar Pichai has a 98% approval rating on Glassdoor. Reviewers frequently mention exceptional perks and bonus options.

4. McKinsey & Company
> Median total compensation:
$155,000
> Median base salary: $135,000
> Industry: Consulting
> Headquarters: New York, New York

Working for McKinsey & Company pays well, and some also enjoy the prestige of working at one of the largest and oldest consulting firms in the world. Consulting firms comprise the second largest share of America’s highest paying companies after technology companies. This is largely due to the relatively difficult-to-acquire personal relationships and experience coveted in the business. These professional traits serve as high barriers to entry for prospective employees.

3. Juniper Networks
> Median total compensation:
$157,000
> Median base salary: $135,000
> Industry: Technology
> Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California

The ongoing shortage of talent in technology-related fields has driven up salaries of employees working in the industry. Tech companies such as Silicon Valley-based Juniper Networks have no choice but to offer competitive salaries to attract skilled workers. Juniper Networks, which employs nearly 9,000 people, reported revenue of $4.8 billion in 2015.

2. Strategy&
> Median total compensation:
$160,000
> Median base salary: $147,000
> Industry: Consulting
> Headquarters: New York, New York

After acquiring Booz & Company in the spring of 2014, consulting giant PwC changed the newly acquired firm’s name to Strategy&.The new consulting firm, while relatively young, benefits from PwC’s enormous international network. Many of PwC’s clients are likely attracted by the firm’s reputation and experience in the industry. Likewise, many of the highest-paid employees at Strategy& are compensated for their connections, experience, and reputations with clients.

1. A.T. Kearney
> Median total compensation:
$167,534
> Median base salary: $143,620
> Industry: Consulting
> Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois

The median compensation at consulting firm A.T. Kearney is $167,534 a year, higher than at any other company in the United States. Like other consulting firms, a relatively large portion of the pay comes in the form of commissions. The high salaries are also largely due to very high barriers to entry, as top consultants often rely on personal contacts, reputations, and highly specialized knowledge. Not only are these professional skills difficult to acquire and very valuable, but they are also at present impossible to automate.