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25 Top-Paying Companies

This article was written by in Career and Work. 19 comments.


It’s clear that if you can work for a company that provides a valuable service to major corporations, you have the ability to earn millions of dollars of income for that company. That’s the only reason I can determine that a Senior Account Executive at SalesForce.com would earn an average annual total compensation of $318,233, according to a new list published by Forbes of the 25 top-paying companies. SalesForce.com tops this list. I had heard of SalesForce.com, but I was never quite sure what they do, and after looking around their website, I’m still not completely sure.

According to the article, SalesForce.com gave their employees who generated the most revenue a benefit called “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” where the company built a branch of Tiffany’s in Hawaii and flew in millions of dollars of merchandise for a $5,000 shopping spree. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of a company doing. The money must be flowing like water. Who do they think they are, AIG?

If you’re a good person, you might like the second company on the list. Bingham McCutchen is a law firm in Boston where employees are paid for “office citizenship” or “positive thinking and teamwork.” This sounds more like something that might occur on Boston Legal than a real firm. Who wouldn’t want to work at a company with James T. Kirk, Murphy Brown, and the guy from Secretary running the show? At Bingham McCutchen, law associates are paid $219,888 on average.

Goldman Sachs, despite its reputation for lavish pay, is only seventh on the list, where a mix of the most common positions earn only $160,000 on average. The Boston Consulting Group, Forbes’ second-ranked “best company” in the United States, is tenth on the list thanks to consultants at the company who earn an average $154,051.

Does your company rank in this list? Here’s the full breakdown of the rankings.

  1. Salesforce.com
  2. Bingham McCutchen
  3. Alston & Bird
  4. Perkins Coie
  5. Devon Energy
  6. Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company
  7. Goldman Sachs
  8. EOG Resources
  9. Brocade Communications Systems
  10. Boston Consulting Group
  11. NetApp
  12. Scripps Health
  13. Qualcomm
  14. Cisco
  15. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
  16. CH2M Hill
  17. MITRE
  18. Johnson Financial Group
  19. Adobe Systems
  20. Microsoft
  21. Baker Donelson
  22. The Everett Clinic
  23. Atlantic Health
  24. Chesapeake Energy
  25. Novo Nordisk

Forbes

Published or updated February 3, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar cstrunk ♦140 (Cent)

I’m not familiar with all these companies, but it looks like a lot of technology and finance/consulting companies. I think that’s in line with what I would have expected. Even SalesForce.com looks like its a tech company providing business solutions.

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avatar Sandy @ yesiamcheap

I’m not surprised that it’s mostly financial, tech and healthcare companies. The government has been saying for years that those are the sectors in which jobs will be added. The government might not pay well, but the Federal government has lots of decent professional positions open as well. The pensions are worth the loss of pay.

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avatar JT McGee

I still wonder about the longevity of SaleForce.com’s business model and stock price, but man they’ve sure been atop a great number of lists lately!

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avatar krantcents

A long time ago, I worked for a premier company (Xerox) that paid well and had the best benefits, it is highly competitive to get those jobs. They make very hard to leave as well. Each year they would produce a 70+ page color booklet describing your benefits and profit sharing account.

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avatar DonnaFreedman ♦65 (Newbie)

I once worked at a company that had great benefits, too. Employees referred to them as “the golden handcuffs,” because it made it hard to leave no matter how poorly you were treated. :-(

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avatar Ridwan ♦295 (Nickel)

I’m surprised SalesForce.com is #1, and that Goldman isn’t higher up. Also a little surprised Google didn’t make the top 25.

I wonder if anyone has ever compiled a list like this that also took into account fringe benefits of working at a company.

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avatar Financial Samurai

Thank you for helping me highlight that there are fathoming jobs that pay hundreds of thousands a year! I play tennis with a Salesforce guy and I’m sure he clears 500k++ a year. Big salaries are a dime a dozen! You just gave to wAnt to work there.

Cheers

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avatar Financial Samurai

Oops darn auto fill.

Anyway, on Goldman, the average compensation is t only 160k, it’s closer to 400k. There is some very major and very SMART underreporting of income. And that’s what it’s all about. There are hundreds and hundreds of companies that pay 200-300k to 30 year olds who’ve worked there for 8 hrs out of college.

Again, all you got to do is want to work in those particular fields, and you can make that money. When you’re 40, you’re pulling in 500k-1 mil easy at these firms.

This is why I’m so bullish on the economy and don’t listen to media drones.

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avatar Sandy @ yesiamcheap

Uhm no Sam. You forget that not everyone at Goldman is a banker. There are plenty of support staff and junior bankers that pull in less.

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avatar Financial Samurai

You’re right. If we were just counting bankers, the average compensation would probably be closer to $1.5 million.

The average compensation for their 30,000+ workers is closer to $430,700. I’m off by $30,700. Oops.

link

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avatar jim

Keep in mind these aren’t average wages for the entire company, just the one ‘most common’ job title.

For Salesforce.com it says:
Average total pay: $318,323
For: Senior Account Executive*

The * means that this is the ‘most common salaried job’. $318k is the average “for” Senior Account Executives. Its not the average for ALL employees at the company. Its like saying the average nurse at a hospital makes $70k. That doesn’t include wages of janitors or doctors.

“only $160,000″

Am I the only person who doesn’t think “only” really belongs in front of “$160,000″ when talking about wages? I could see putting “only” in front of $160,000 if you’re talking about a house in San Francisco or the cost to film a major motion picture.

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avatar Financial Samurai

The average 29 year old top 10 b-school grade makes about $150,000 the first year out. $160,000 is way low for GS. The average comp is closer to $400,000 a year. There’s no way they want these survey firms to list comp at $400,000.

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avatar jim

Yes average wages at GS are about $400k or more. Whether its $160 or $400, I wouldn’t put “only” in front of it. Its a lot of money.

From their 2009 report : “Our ratio of compensation and benefits to net revenues was 35.8% for 2009″ They had $45B revenue & 39k employees. That figures out to over $400k average.

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avatar Financial Samurai

Thanks for reiterating the true income average I stated.

If a lunch usually costs $4.00, you would most certainly say “only” $1.6. Look beyond the numbers as everything is relative. Why are you arguing about the world only anyway?

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avatar gotr31 ♦224 (Cent)

I agree with Jim, I don’t think “only” belongs in front of $160,000 either! We make no where near that. But my husband loves his job, has great benefits, co-workers, boss and makes a decent wage. We have plenty for our needs and are happy. I wonder about the 40 something workaholics making 500k or more. Wouldn’t trade with them for anything. There is more to life than how many zeros you have in your salary.

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avatar rewards ♦31 (Newbie)

Trailing zeros definitely help. Do you think people making 500k are really more miserable than an average Joe making 25k?

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avatar MR ♦295 (Nickel)

I understand only $160,000, Goldman Sachs is the top dog in the financial word where they make billions! I serious would think that number would be much higher too.

Jim and Sam present a good case in the comments above that the number might actually be much higher than they represent Perhaps after they became a target of the government, they don’t want to see like they are paying quite as much these days… even though they still do ;)

I know Salesforce.com is somehow using cloud computing, but I honestly don’t know what they do either. Their current PE is 250 (wow)… While I would like to buy their stock, a P/E ration of 250 is way to high for me, plus, has their revenues really increased that quickly to justify their stock price? Still it sounds like they treat they employees well…

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avatar eric ♦1,549 (Half-Dollar)

Needless to say my company isn’t on this list… :)

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avatar dawgette ♦199 (Cent)

Total compensation is what you have look at. What I mean by total compensation is your pay, your benefits, time off with pay (vacation time and sick time) and flexibility of company/supervisor (ability to take time off if you have a family).

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