Glassdoor Updates, Salaries

America’s 15 Highest Paying Companies

Do you dream of earning a six figure paycheck?

If so, Glassdoor has compiled its newest report identifying America’s 15 Highest Paying Companies, in which the median annual total compensation starts at more than $140,000. This report evaluates salary and compensation information shared by employees over the past year on Glassdoor. The ranking of companies by median total compensation takes into account annual base salary, cash and stock bonuses, commissions and other forms of financial income.

Check out the top 15 companies below, along with insights from Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain explaining why these companies pay so well.

America’s 15 Highest Paying Companies:

  1. Skadden Arps
  • Median Total Compensation: $182,000
  • Median Base Salary: $170,000
  • Industry: Law
  1. Netflix
  • Median Total Compensation: $180,000
  • Median Base Salary: $180,000
  • Industry: Tech
  1. Booz & Company* (now known as Strategy&)
  • Median Total Compensation: $162,000
  • Median Base Salary: $135,000
  • Industry: Consulting
  1. McKinsey & Company
  • Median Total Compensation: $160,000
  • Median Base Salary: $135,000
  • Industry: Consulting
  1. A.T. Kearney
  • Median Total Compensation: $160,000
  • Median Base Salary: $135,000
  • Industry: Consulting
  1. Sidley Austin
  • Median Total Compensation: $160,000
  • Median Base Salary: $160,000
  • Industry: Law
  1. Boston Consulting Group
  • Median Total Compensation: $158,463
  • Median Base Salary: $140,000
  • Industry: Consulting
  1. Mozilla
  • Median Total Compensation: $147,556
  • Median Base Salary: $112,737
  • Industry: Tech
  1. Good Technology
  • Median Total Compensation: $147,500
  • Median Base Salary: $136,250
  • Industry: Tech
  1. Altera
  • Median Total Compensation: $147,200
  • Median Base Salary: $133,250
  • Industry: Tech
  1. VMware
  • Median Total Compensation: $145,000
  • Median Base Salary: $121,500
  • Industry: Tech
  1. Cadence Design Systems
  • Median Total Compensation: $145,000
  • Median Base Salary: $130,000
  • Industry: Tech
  1. Google
  • Median Total Compensation: $143,500
  • Median Base Salary: $116,000
  • Industry: Tech
  1. Synopsys
  • Median Total Compensation: $143,000
  • Median Base Salary: $123,000
  • Industry: Tech
  1. TrueCar
  • Median Total Compensation: $141,500
  • Median Base Salary: $100,000
  • Industry: Tech

Why Do These Companies Pay Big?

Interestingly, all the companies on this report represent only three industries: tech (9 companies), consulting (4 companies) and legal (2 companies). So why do these companies pay employees so much?

Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain weighs in:

Tech Companies

Salaries are high largely because of shortages of the highest skilled employees needed to advance business into new realms. Booming demand for software engineers, database administrators and data scientists has far outpaced the supply of these skilled, hard-to-find employees. With tech companies scrambling to poach these valuable workers from competitors, a bidding war has pushed tech salaries to unprecedented heights in recent years.

Legal & Consulting Firms

In the legal and consulting industries, high salaries are largely the result of what economists call “barriers to entry.” Attorneys and top consultants have personal contacts, reputations, and specialized skills and knowledge. Many clients stay with the same attorney or consultant for decades at a time. As a result, these employees are even more valuable to their employers, pushing their salaries to sky-high levels, and making it tough for other people to compete for their jobs.

Global Reach

Another key factor contributing to high salaries at all of these companies is something economists refer to as the “superstar effect.” A generation ago, most companies were limited in their reach to customers nearby, in the same city or state. Today, expanding broadband access and the spread of mobile devices has made it possible for skilled workers to reach millions rather than thousands of customers, making top employees far more valuable to companies. That expanded reach partly explains today’s very high salaries for “superstar” employees at tech, consulting and law firms.

Methodology: Glassdoor’s America’s 15 Highest Paying Companies report identifies companies with the highest median total compensation package (including base salary and other forms of compensation, such as commissions, tips, bonuses, etc.), as reported by U.S.-based employees on Glassdoor over the past year (3/25/14-3/24/15). Companies considered for this report must have received at least 30 salary reports in U.S. dollars by U.S-based employees during this timeframe. In cases where companies have the same median total compensation, the company with more salary reports during this timeframe receives the higher rank.

*For the purposes of this report, companies were considered if they were active at the start of the 12-month timeframe, being 3/25/14. Booz & Company was fully acquired by PwC on 4/3/14, and subsequently changed its name to Strategy&.