Forbes: Highest-Paying Companies!

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cash_money_dollar_in_bag_thumb.jpgMoney isn’t everything. Early this year, Fortune Magazine released its list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Here we look at the highest-paying companies from that list, and how they stack up in other areas.

At these companies, there is one position that earns the highest wage, so we also look at the benefits package, how other employees are compensated, the work environment and incentive programs. Sure, these companies pay the highest, but are they well-rounded?

1. Bingham McCutchen

Average total pay for associates at this Boston law firm was $256,312, and newly hired law school graduates get $160,000 plus bonuses. This is the second consecutive year the firm has made top spot. Good luck getting a job there; the law firm had over 13,000 applicants for 12 job openings. Listed at the 30th best company to work for by Fortune, the law firm has over 1,700 employees, including 1,100 lawyers in a dozen locations around the world.

The firm laid off 2.5 percent of its staff after the financial crisis last year, but this year it has announced the hiring of senior staff in San Diego, Tokyo, London and other locations.

2. Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network

Physicians get an average total pay of $244,605 at this hospital headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Actually, this facility includes three hospitals, eight community health centers and a network of 400 physicians and physician practices. In addition to top-notch pay, the benefits are also good. Employees get a 50 percent match to their 403(b) retirement plans. Lehigh has the National Magnet hospital designation of nursing excellence, acquired by just 5 percent of hospitals in the country.

3. Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Associates at this New York law firm take home $240,955. However, it’s not just the lawyers that are treated well, this firm seems to be good to all employees. Legal secretaries earned a total year pay of $77,702 on average. Almost all employees received bonuses (as of 2007), which was $8,893 on average for support staff and $34,325 for associates.

The company also covers more health insurance premiums for employees who make less, and has less coverage for those who make more. The firm boasts that it was named one of the best law firms for women by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers this year; the second time it was named to the list.

4. Alston & Bird

It’s $203,655 average total pay for associates at this Atlanta law firm. Support staff are also treated well, with legal secretaries often getting over $66,000 a year plus bonuses of $3,400. The firm chips in 7 percent of pay to all 401(k) plans, even if employees contribute themselves.

5. Perkins Coie

Associates get $190,126 average total pay and legal secretaries get $63,000. Goodies at this Seattle law firm, in additional to the usual bonuses, include $80 for participating in a wellness program and a $50 Nordstrom gift card.

6. Devon Energy

At this Oklahoma City-based company, the highest paid employees, engineers, get $186,882. Devon is the largest independent oil and natural gas producer in the country, producing a million barrels of oil a day. Lease operators, the bulk of its hourly employees, earn an average of over $88,000 a year. Stock grants and retirement plan contributions are generous.

7. Salesforce.com

At this company, senior sales engineers make $172,303. The San Francisco technology company provides web-based applications for managing customer relationships and recently became involved in financial software. Total yearly pay was $75,000 for enterprise business reps. Employees also get excellent 401(k) matches, reimbursements for fitness programs and tuition, and even get financial aid for adoption and reimbursements for using public transportation.

8. Arnold & Porter

At this Washington, D.C.-based law firm associates get $172,192 per year. This firm also had lawyers working an average of 132 pro bono hours a year. Arnold and Porter has a more diverse employee-base, too, as over 20 percent of staff members are African-American, 10 percent of the 195 partners are minorities and 16 percent are women. For benefits, the firm offers an on-site child care center and referral bonuses as high as $15,000.

9. Adobe Systems

The highest paid position at Adobe is senior computer scientist software development, with $165,947. The San Jose-based technology company, well know for its Photoshop, Acrobat Reader and PDF software, ranked 11 in Fortune’s best companies to work for. As well, senior administrative assistants earn $70,000 a year. Employees can take a paid three-week sabbatical every five years.

10. EOG Resources

Engineers at EOG are the top-paid employees, earning $158,302. The Houston-based oil and natural gas producer also pays 100 percent of health insurance premiums, and 70 percent for dependents. EOG also offers superb retirement benefits and college scholarships to children of employees.

Highest pay also seems to indicate a high standard of employment at these top-paying companies. In addition to high pay for a single position, most of these companies spread the wealth to other less-specialized positions, and all of them offer competitive benefit packages.

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