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America's 10 highest-paying companies

24/7 Wall St. Logo By Thomas C. Frohlich of 24/7 Wall St. | Slide 1 of 11: A visitor enters the Firefox pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain

Consulting firms and tech companies dominate the list

The median income for all Americans was $35,540 in 2013, up slightly from the year before. At a number of U.S. companies, salaries are considerably higher. Based on figures provided by Glassdoor, 24/7 Wall St. examined the highest paying companies in America. At these companies, the median annual compensation is at least four times the nationwide median income.

The companies that pay their employees the most fall primarily into two industries: consulting firms and tech companies. These companies attract some of the nation’s most highly-skilled workers, who demand high salaries to match their expected performance.

According to Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, both types of high-paying companies require very high-skilled workers. However, these workers are highly paid for very different reasons.

Six of the highest paying companies on 24/7 Wall St.'s list are consulting firms, law firms, accounting firms, or some combination of the three. Chamberlain explained there are barriers to competition in these kinds of companies. It is very difficult to uproot very old firms with relationships cultivated over long periods of time by very experienced employees.

“When you are a consulting firm you don’t have much in the way of machines and other capital,” Chamberlain said. Instead, “you have a little bit of software, you have an office space, but your main asset is the human capital in the heads of your partners.” The value of these types of companies is disproportionately in their employees, and they are highly paid as a result.

The remaining companies are in the information technology sector, particularly semiconductor manufacturing and its related services. These companies also require very high-skilled workers. However, the shortage of labor in these sectors is the primary reason these companies pay so well. “There is definitely a bidding war in the Bay Area for certain types of positions,” Chamberlain said. While this trend is industry-wide, all of the nine highest paying tech sector companies were located in California.

To identify the highest paying companies in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median annual salaries in companies provided by Glassdoor. Employee ratings, CEO approval ratings, and the percentage of employees who would recommend the company to a friend also came from Glassdoor. Revenue figures and total headcounts for public companies came from financial filings. When available, company information for private companies was provided by the companies themselves.

Click ahead for America’s 10 highest-paying companies, then visit 24/7 Wall St. for the complete report.

© Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

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