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2010 Fortune’s 25 Top Paying Companies

Every year, Forbes puts out it’s full list of the Top 100 companies to work for [3] and every year I look for the two employers I’ve ever had… only really expecting to see one of them (and fairness, there aren’t any major defense contractors on the list). This year, my last company, Booz Allen Hamilton [4], retained the 52nd spot on the list [5] despite going through some huge organizational changes. I have nothing but good things to say about the organization and the people I had the pleasure of working with while I was there.

But, enough about why *I* look at the list, let’s see which companies stack up where it matters most – pay.

2010 Top Ten Paying Companies

Here are the top ten paying companies of 2010 [6]:

  1. Baker Donelson (Law firm) – $319,779
  2. Salesforce.com (CRM software) – $249,607
  3. Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe (Law firm) – $245,206
  4. Bingham McCutchen (Law firm) – $233,800
  5. Devon Energy (Energy company) – $187,819
  6. Alston & Bird (Law firm) – $185,938
  7. Perkins Coie (Law firm) – $183,376
  8. EOG Resources (Energy company) – $171,943
  9. Arnold & Porter (Law firm) – $171,074
  10. Brocade Communications Systems (technology company) – $170,175 (“devices that connect servers with storage centers”)

Of the top ten, six were law firms, two were software companies, and two were energy companies.

Want to see something eerie? Take a look at Fortune’s list from last year [7]. Eight of the names from 2009 were reshuffled and retained their top ten status. Last year’s #9, Adobe Systems, slipped off the top ten and was listed as 11th this year. Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network (#2 in 2009) was nowhere to be found and Brocade Communication Systems moved into the 10th spot in 2010. That makes for some pretty good consistency at the top…

The lesson here is that you should become a lawyer! 🙂 I’m kidding, being a lawyer is tough work and if supply and demand still work in this country, it’s an indication that the supply of lawyers isn’t meeting the demand for them. There’s a reason for that – it’s difficult work (either challenging, grueling, or just cruel) or everyone would be able to do it.

Either way… law, technology, or energy firms were your best bet last year and continue to be strong this year. I’m willing to bet that they will continue to be strong next year, unless supplanted by an even hotter industry.

(Photo: chicanerii [8])