Special Report

America's Highest Paying Companies

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To attract top notch talent companies often offer prospective workers different incentives such as stock options, a desirable company culture, extra vacation days, and more. But the biggest draw is of course money.

The ability of companies to outbid their competitors to attract top talent is crucial — especially for companies in competitive industries like high-tech. Large tech companies must continually innovate and bring new technologies to their customers in order to stay on top of their industry, and to do that, they need capable and talented workers.

To identify the 20 highest paying companies in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed salary data from PayScale, a compensation data company. Only companies included in the Best Company Compensation 2018 article from Comparably, an employer evaluation outlet, were considered.

Sixteen of the 20 highest paying companies are based in California, and each of them are in areas with the most high-tech jobs. Two of the 20 companies are in the Seattle area, one is in New York, and another is in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Each of the California companies on this list — including Apple, Facebook, Visa, Cisco Systems, and more — is in or near Silicon Valley.

These are some of the most profitable companies in the world, and as such, they can pay their employees very high salaries. And being located in some of the country’s most expensive places to live, to attract talent they need to compensate their employees accordingly.

Click here to see America’s highest paying companies

Methodology

To identify the 20 highest paying companies in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed salary data from PayScale, a compensation data company. Only companies included in the Best Company Compensation 2018 article from Comparably, an employer evaluation outlet, were considered.

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20. Amazon
> Average salary: $100,000
> Headquarters: Seattle, WA
> Industry: e-commerce

One of the largest companies in the world, Amazon reported $232.9 billion in revenue in 2018. Though some have criticized the e-commerce giant. Though some have criticized the e-commerce giant over the low wages of its warehouse employees, the average pay for a full-time salaried worker at Amazon is $100,000 a year. For comparison, the average job in the United States pays $38,640.

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19. Pegasystems
> Average salary: $104,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: Cambridge, MA
> Industry: Software

Pegasystems is a Massachusetts-based technology company that produces customer engagement and digital process automation software. As a software company, Pegasystems pays many of its employees relatively high salaries. Software developers and information systems managers rank among the highest paying jobs in America.

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18. Bloomberg
> Average salary: $104,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: New York, NY
> Industry: Financial/media

Though New York City is America’s financial hub, Bloomberg is the only company in the Big Apple to rank among the country’s 20 highest paying companies. In order to maintain the Bloomberg Terminal — a financial software banks and financial firms use — the company employs software engineers and developers as well as data analysts, many of whom make six-figure salaries.

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17. Cisco
> Average salary: $104,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: San Jose, CA
> Industry: Technology

Like many other large tech companies, Cisco, the networking equipment and cyber security giant, is headquartered in Silicon Valley — more specifically, San Jose. As incomes in Silicon Valley have increased, the area has become one of the most expensive places to live in the country. Cisco and other high-tech companies in that region of California must be willing to pay their employees accordingly, driving up the company’s average salary.

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16. Netflix
> Average salary: $104,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: Los Gatos, CA
> Industry: Media

Netflix is America’s most popular streaming service. The company, which used to mail DVDs to subscribers, now creates its own original movies and shows for its estimated 139 million subscribers. Between employing creative workers that shoot, write, direct, and star in its programming to software engineers that maintain and develop the streaming service, Netflix pays its salaried employees an average of $104,000 per year.

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15. Visa
> Average salary: $107,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: Foster City, CA
> Industry: Finance

Credit card company Visa pays its full-time employees $107,000 per year on average. While the company is in the finance sector, many of the highest paid employees in its ranks have a technology background. After a string of high-profile cybersecurity breaches, securing online data has become an important facet of many online businesses. As by far the largest issuers of credit cards in the U.S., Visa has much more data they need to keep secure, and the company employs a number of highly-paid security analysts.

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14. Chevron Corporation
> Average salary: $107,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: San Ramon, CA
> Industry: Energy

One of the few non-tech companies on this list, Chevron Corporation is among the largest energy providers in the country by market value. With oil exploration operations across several continents, Chevron employs petroleum, drilling, and mechanical engineers, as well as geologists and geophysicists. These positions often require advanced degrees, and workers with higher levels of education often command higher salaries.

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13. Zynga
> Average salary: $108,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
> Industry: Game developer

Mobile game developer Zynga has created popular social games like Words With Friends and FarmVille. To develop these games, the company employs software engineers, operations managers, and game producers, as well as marketing directors and more. Like software engineers at many other companies, Zynga typically pays these workers well over $100,000 per year.

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12. Adobe
> Average salary: $108,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: San Jose, CA
> Industry: Software

Adobe produces some of the most popular creative software available online, including Photoshop — which, according to the company, is used by over 90% of the world’s creative professionals — and After Effects. Adobe employs products, communications, and accounts managers, among others. Management positions at the company typically pay in excess of $100,000. In addition, the company also employs well-compensated software engineers and computer scientists who develop its software products.

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11. PayPal
> Average salary: $109,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: San Jose, CA
> Industry: Finance

PayPal is headquartered in San Jose, California — a hub of the Silicon Valley region. While this means there is a wealth of experienced coders, programmers, and engineers in the area, it also means that PayPal likely has to offer relatively high salaries to attract the best candidates for its job vacancies. Silicon Valley-located companies like PayPal typically have to pay high-level employees over $100,000 to accommodate for the area’s high cost of living.

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10. Salesforce
> Average salary: $109,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
> Industry: Software

Salesforce is a cloud based customer relationship management platform. As such, it is imperative that Salesforce has top-tier software — and top-tier software developers. According to the company’s employees, there are several software jobs at Salesforce that pay well over $100,000 annually.

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9. Intuit
> Average salary: $113,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: Mountain View, CA
> Industry: Software

Intuit is a business and finance software company that is perhaps best known for its tax preparation program, Turbo Tax. It is tied with another Mountain View, California-based company, Google, for the eighth highest average annual salary in the country at $113,000. Like many of the other tech companies with relatively high salaries, Intuit has several software engineering and development jobs that typically pay six-figure salaries.

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8. Google
> Average salary: $113,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: Mountain View, CA
> Industry: Technology

Though Google has many businesses, it is most identified with its search engine. But like its dominant position in search, Google also holds the largest market share worldwide in its other products, such as Chrome browser and Android operating system. To keep its No. 1 spot, Google constantly improves on its products and services. According to Payscale, Google’s data scientists have an average annual salary of more than $124,000. Google also pays its software engineers, technical program managers, and sales engineers six-figure salaries.

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7. Facebook
> Average salary: $117,000
> Headquarters: Menlo Park, CA
> Industry: Social media

Even in Silicon Valley, Facebook’s salaries for software engineers stand out. Software engineers earn nearly $122,000 on average working for the social media giant. Its senior software engineers are even better paid, with an average annual salary of $152,800. As a social media platform that thrives on user experience and collects vast amounts of user data, Facebook also employs user experience researchers and data engineers.

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6. eBay
> Average salary: $118,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: San Jose, CA
> Industry: eCommerce

Selling an item on eBay may only net the seller a few dollars, but working for eBay typically pays very well. The e-commerce company is tied for fifth on our list of the highest paying companies in America. The online auction platform employs an array of software engineering and managerial workers that all earn over $133,000 per year on average.

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5. Microsoft
> Average salary: $118,000 (tied)
> Headquarters: Redmond, WA
> Industry: Technology

Microsoft has about 131,000 full-time employees around the world. Of them, the 78,000 who work in the United States earn an average of $118,000 a year. This relatively high pay is mostly attributable to software engineers and IT managers as well as the various program and account managers needed to keep such a large company running smoothly at all levels.

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4. Apple
> Average salary: $121,000
> Headquarters: Cupertino, CA
> Industry: Technology

Consumer-facing jobs come with a unique set of stressors and challenges. At Apple, these jobs also pay one of the lowest salaries. Apple’s “Geniuses,” or floor staffers at Apple stores, make on average $45,440 a year. The engineers who work behind the scenes to develop Apple’s software and hardware have much higher salaries, often more than $140,000. Full-time workers across the company as a whole earn an average of $121,000 a year.

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3. LinkedIn
> Average salary: $123,000
> Headquarters: Sunnyvale, CA
> Industry: Social media

As an employment-oriented social media platform, LinkedIn has several competitors and must set itself apart however it can. LinkedIn has positions such as site reliability engineers, product marketing managers, and user experience designers — all essential for the platform’s success — that earn average salaries of well over $100,000 a year.

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2. VMware
> Average salary: $126,000
> Headquarters: Palo Alto, CA
> Industry: Software

VMware is a software company that aims to help businesses better launch and maintain their online presence utilizing cloud computing technology. This type of business requires a large team of software developers — one of the most in demand and highly compensated career fields in America. Most of these workers nationwide make at least $100,000 a year, and VMware, which is located in one of the most expensive parts of the country to live, must compensate its developers even more to account for the high cost of living.

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1. NVIDIA
> Average salary: $137,000
> Headquarters: Santa Clara, CA
> Industry: Technology

Among all of the tech companies with well-compensated employees, NVIDIA stands out. The company, which creates interactive graphics cards for video games, cars, artificial intelligence and more, pays its salaried employees and average of $137,000 a year — $11,000 more than the next highest paying company. Like most of the other companies on this list, it employs many software engineers as well as hardware designers and system architects. These high-paying, high-tech career fields all typically pay well above $100,000 per year, and NVIDIA pays well more.

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