The Top US Companies That Pay the Highest and Lowest Salaries
When searching and applying for jobs, one of the biggest factors to consider is salary. You want to ensure you are properly compensated for your work, skills, and experience. However, this can be a frustrating endeavor, as companies use vague language, such as “competitive salary”.
As such, our experts at Lensa have researched which of the biggest US companies pay the highest and lowest average salaries. Additionally, we have also looked at the industries in the US that pay the highest and lowest salaries.
The Most Profitable Companies in the US
Company Profits 2022: $116.72B
Apple is one of the biggest companies not just in the US, but the world, famed for their phones, tablets, and computers. In 2022, it was the largest technology company by revenue, and as of 2023, it is the largest by market capitalization. The company’s latest figures for 2022 show a revenue of $116.72 billion in the US, ranking it above all others.
Company Profits 2022: $82.58B
Taking the second spot, we have Microsoft, another huge tech company, known for products such as Office, Internet Explorer, and the Xbox consoles. Microsoft is one of three US companies valued at over $1 trillion, alongside Apple and Amazon. Their most recent profit numbers for 2022 show they made more than $82.58 billion.
Company Profits 2022: $77.75B
The US company with the third-highest profits is ExxonMobil, an oil and gas company. It is the largest direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. The company was formed when Mobil and Exxon merged in 1999, becoming the ExxonMobil of today. Their profit numbers for 2022 were $77.75 billion, just below Microsoft’s profits.
The Biggest US Companies with the Highest Worker Salaries
- Alphabet (Google)
Median Worker Salary: $295,884
Alphabet is a huge American conglomerate holding company and it is considered one of the “Big Five” US tech companies, alongside Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Meta. Alphabet is also the holding company of Google. The median worker salary at Alphabet is just under $300,000 annually, which is astronomical.
- Meta Platforms (Facebook)
Median Worker Salary: $292,785
Second, we have Meta Platforms, another US conglomerate company, which most notably owns Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. In 2021, the company gained the vast majority of its revenue from advertising, which is the same year the company changed from Facebook Inc. to Meta Platforms. The median worker salary for Meta is also not far off $300,000 a year, lagging just behind Alphabet.
Median Worker Salary: $247,541
Broadcom provides a broad range of semiconductor and infrastructure software applications, data centers, broadband, software, and industrial markets. The median worker salary for Broadcom employees is around $250,000 per annum.
The Biggest US Companies with the Lowest Worker Salaries
Median Worker Salary: $8,897
McDonald’s ranked 65th for companies with the highest profits in the US, however, it offers the lowest median worker salary. The huge fast-food chain offers a median salary of just under $9,000 per year, which is far below the median US income of $69,717 per year.
Median Worker Salary: $13,894
The Coca-Cola company was founded in 1892 and has been an iconic and integrated aspect of American culture since. However, despite the enormous success of this company, they pay one of the lowest median salaries at just $13,894 per annum.
- Philip Morris
Median Worker Salary: $18,196
The company that pays its workers the third-lowest median salary is Philip Morris, the tobacco company. They produce the Marlboro cigarettes, which is their best-selling product, however, with tobacco being highly addictive, the company is rather controversial. The annual median salary that this company pays their employees is just over $18,000, despite having $12.4 billion in profits for 2022 in the US.
US Industries With the Highest Average Salary
Average Weekly Salary: $2,056
As of February 2023, the highest-paying industry in the US is the utility industry, which provides the public with gas, water, and electricity. Notable companies in this industry include Duke Energy and Valero Energy. The industry pays, on average, $2,056 per week to its workforce.
Average Weekly Salary: $1,749
Next, we have the information industry as the second-highest paying industry in the US. The main components of this industry are traditional and software publishing companies, such as Microsoft and Verizon. The average annual salary in this industry is $1,749 per week, as of February 2023.
- Mining and Logging
Average Weekly Salary: $1,685
The mining and logging industry has the third highest average pay amongst industries in the US, at $1,685 per week. What this sector comprises is fairly obvious, they produce natural goods and resources. Companies such as Freeport-McMoRan had $6.71 billion in profits for 2022.
US Industries With the Lowest Average Salary
- Leisure and Hospitality
Average Weekly Salary: $531
The leisure and hospitality industry pays the lowest average weekly salary, at just $531. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this industry encompasses: the food and accommodation services industry, as well as the arts, entertainment and recreation industry. Companies that might fit into this industry include McDonald’s, for instance.
- Retail Trade
Average Weekly Salary: $717
The industry that pays the second-lowest average weekly salary is the retail trade sector, paying just $717. The retail industry is concerned with selling merchandise and offering services incidental to those sales, it is the final step in the distribution of merchandise. Some companies that fit into this industry include, Walmart and Home Depot.
- Other Services
Average Weekly Salary: $953
Other services sounds vague, but essentially, it provides services that are not specifically offered elsewhere, except for public administration. The average weekly pay for this industry is $953, the third lowest amongst the other industries in the US.
First, we looked at the most profitable companies in the US, using Companies Market Cap, we took the earnings of each company which covers the total profits of 2022.
We then used AFL-CIO to get the median salary paid to workers at each of these companies, ranking them for which companies pay the most and the least.
And lastly, we used the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Table B-3. Average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted, to get the average pay for industries in the US, we took the weekly pay for February 2023 and then calculated it as an annual salary.