I always enjoy looking at these lists because they give a little glimpse into some of our nation’s most storied firms. I think these are more for entertainment purposes, much like the top paying undergraduate degrees , because the average total pay isn’t something you’ll get right out of the gate.
It’s fun to read are the various perks employees get because often times the companies that compensate the best tend to have great benefits as well. A popular company to talk about when you list slick benefits is always Google’s plethora of employee benefits .
Top Ten List
Here were the top 10 paying companies  (from their top 25 list):
- Bingham McCutchen – $256,312
- Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network – $244,605
- Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe – $240,955
- Alston & Bird – $203,655
- Perkins Coie – $190,126
- Devon Energy – $185,882
- Salesforce.com – $172,303
- Arnold & Porter – $172,192
- Adobe Systems – $165,947
- EOG Resources – $158,302
Four Lawyers and a Doctor walk into a bar… Four of the top five were law firms, with the only non-law employer was Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network which, surprise surprise, paid their physicians very well. Of the next five, you started to see a few engineers in software and energy companies. Of course, yet another law firm poked its head up at #8 with Arnold & Porter.
Highest Financial Services Company: #11 marked the first appearance of a financial services company, Goldman Sachs with the average total pay of $144,994.
Highest on the Best Companies List: Cisco was 15th, average total pay of $131,703 for a software engineer IV and they scored the highest on the “Best Companies” list at #6.
Biggest Surprise of the List: Finally, 25th on the list was a surprise for me, Nugget Market, a family owned California grocery chain where store directors pull in $116,444 plus 100% coverage of health insurance premiums and they sport a 9% turnover rate each year (that’s low for a supermarket!).
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (#13) offers a cool perk only they can offer, you can stay at any Kimpton property for $50 a night, a pretty awesome deal, plus subsidized health insurance and a decent 401(k). eBay (#16) lets employees take a four week sabbatical with full pay every five years!
Probably the nicest benefit? Several companies on the list pay 100% of health insurance premiums… that beats all the gyms and hotel stays any day!
(Photo: chicanerii )