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The 31 highest-paying companies

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Almost every day, nearly 112 million Americans wake up and go to work. The vast majority of them do so to put a roof over their head, food on the table, and otherwise support their chosen lifestyle. While full-time U.S. workers by definition clock in for at least 35 hours a week, the amount of money those workers earn for that time depends largely on the company that writes their paychecks.

The federal government has set the minimum wage at $7.25 an hour. Someone working full-time in a minimum wage job would earn just over $15,000 in an year. Many major companies pay their entry-level associates the legally required minimum, as a result, average salaries at these companies are often less than $40,000.

There are also dozens of companies at the other end of the spectrum, where entry-level workers and all other positions — from junior associates to senior management — are paid more. At these companies, the average salary across all positions extends well into the six-figure range.

To identify the 31 highest paying companies, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average pay in over 1,200 organizations with operations in the United States from compensation data company Payscale. The companies with the highest average salaries span a range of industries, including oil and gas, financial services, and computer software.

The companies on this list offer generous compensation packages for good reason. Generally speaking, common positions at these businesses require highly skilled personnel who are in high demand. By paying high salaries, these companies can attract top talent.

Additionally, acquiring the skills needed for many jobs at high-paying companies can be expensive. A software developer at Apple, research scientist at pharmaceutical company Novartis, or drilling engineer at ExxonMobil — all companies on this list — typically have some form of an advanced degree, in addition to a bachelor’s degree. The high salaries at these companies make the initial investment in education worthwhile for potential candidates.

While the companies on this list tend to pay well, there are still jobs within them that pay relatively low salaries. These jobs tend to be lower skilled and do not represent broader salary trends across the company. For example, sales associates at Apple, a company with an average salary of $121,000, earn an average of about $29,000 year. Similarly, gas station managers for Chevron or Shell, companies where the average salaries are just under $110,000, earn less than $35,000 annually on average.Click or swipe through to see the full list.

31. ExxonMobil Corporation
> Avg. salary: $103,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Project control manager ($226,475)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Retail store manager ($35,884)
> Industry: Oil and gas

30. Lincoln Laboratory-MIT
> Avg. salary: $103,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Principal software engineer ($155,582)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Business systems analyst ($63,554)
> Industry: Defense research and development

29. Cisco Systems Inc.
> Avg. salary: $104,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Business development director ($199,796)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Marketing coordinator ($44,300)
> Industry: Networking hardware

28. Novartis
> Avg. salary: $104,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: VP of medical affairs ($283,580)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Quality control associate ($45,393)
> Industry: Pharmaceuticals

27. Sunpower Corporation
> Avg. salary: $104,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Engineering program manager ($157,779)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Sales operations analyst ($67,563)
> Industry: Solar energy

26. Bloomberg LP
> Avg. salary: $105,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Corporate counsel ($155,185)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Customer service representative ($44,711)
> Industry: Media and data

25. PG&E Corporation
> Avg. salary: $105,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Engineering supervisor ($139,470)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Welder ($47,983)
> Industry: Energy & utilities

24. Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
> Avg. salary: $105,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Geophysicist ($186,203)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Accountant ($56,692)
> Industry: Petroleum

23. Oracle Corp.
> Avg. salary: $106,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Senior director, engineering ($196,137)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Facilities coordinator ($42,210)
> Industry: Enterprise software

22. Salesforce.com, Inc.
> Avg. salary: $106,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: User experience director ($189,973)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Business development representative ($45,267)
> Industry: Customer relationship management

21. MEDNAX
> Avg. salary: $107,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Anesthesiologist ($321,578)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Administrative assistant ($38,375)
> Industry: Specialized health services

20. Amgen Corporation
> Avg. salary: $107,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Director of strategy ($171,477)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Manufacturing associate ($48,481)
> Industry: Biotechnology

19. Chevron Corporation
> Avg. salary: $108,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Senior technical consultant ($158,190)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Retail store manager ($34,397)
> Industry: Oil and gas

18. Adobe Systems Incorporated
> Avg. salary: $108,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Director of engineering ($183,976)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Associate account manager ($53,063)
> Industry: Computer software

17. Netflix, Inc.
> Avg. salary: $108,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Senior software engineer ($185,588)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Content manager ($56,316)
> Industry: Entertainment

16. Genentech, Inc.
> Avg. salary: $108,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Pathologist ($215,457)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Manufacturing technician, bioprocessing ($59,653)
> Industry: Biotechnology

15. Shell Oil Company
> Avg. salary: $109,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Project management director ($218,963)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Retail store manager ($32,062)
> Industry: Oil and gas

14. Workday, Inc.
> Avg. salary: $109,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Software engineering manager ($167,152)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Sales development representative ($39,209)
> Industry: Management software

13. Visa, Inc.
> Avg. salary: $109,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Senior product management director ($193,792)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Facilities coordinator ($46,533)
> Industry: Financial services

12. Paypal, Inc.
> Avg. salary: $110,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Principal software engineer ($166,631)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Operations manager ($53,205)
> Industry: Financial services

11. Intuit Inc.
> Avg. salary: $112,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Principal technical program manager ($180,000)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Technical support specialist ($44,518)
> Industry: Enterprise software

10. Qualcomm Inc.
> Avg. salary: $112,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Principal software engineer ($175,739)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Human resources assistant ($54,351)
> Industry: Telecommunications

9. Google, Inc.
> Avg. salary: $113,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Group product manager ($223,843)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Security officer ($35,005)
> Industry: Web services

8. Yahoo! Inc.
> Avg. salary: $115,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Director of engineering ($186,748)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Network operations center engineer ($48,431)
> Industry: Web services

7. eBay Inc.
> Avg. salary: $117,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Senior director of strategy ($218,257)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Training supervisor ($37,767)
> Industry: E-commerce

6. Microsoft Corp.
> Avg. salary: $117,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Chief information officer ($237,449)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Non-profit program coordinator ($38,812)
> Industry: Computer hardware and software

5. Facebook Inc.
> Avg. salary: $117,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Software engineering/development director ($171,207)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Accountant ($44,563)
> Industry: Social networking

4. Linkedin Corporation
> Avg. salary: $120,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Information technology manager ($154,048)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Billing analyst ($45,022)
> Industry: Professional networking

3. Apple Inc.
> Avg. salary: $121,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Senior engineering manager ($196,702)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Retail sales associate ($28,975)
> Industry: Computer hardware and software

2. Twitter
> Avg. salary: $122,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Product marketing director ($174,159)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Web content specialist ($54,037)
> Industry: Social networking

1. Vmware, Inc.
> Avg. salary: $126,000
> Position with highest avg. salary: Senior engineering manager ($172,465)
> Position with lowest avg. salary Inside sales representative ($47,350)
> Industry: Computer software

Methodology

To identify the 31 highest paying companies, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average salary in each of the over 1,200 companies listed on PayScale, a compensation data company. Companies were ranked on average salary across all employees. Because the average salary for each company is rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, there are multiple ties. We used the average reported salary for the lowest paying job within the company to break those ties, favoring companies with higher salary floors. We only considered positions with multiple entries on PayScale for highest and lowest paid job titles.

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