The top 10 companies to work for in the country

By Tomás H. Lucero

Competitive salaries, generous benefits packages and unique perks are just the beginning.

Work is one of the pillars of American identity. We change at a profound level when we land our first “real” job and move out of our parents’ home. We devote major amounts of time to work. Full-time wage earners spend a minimum of 40 hours per week in the workplace. Salaried workers often work considerably more than 40 hours.

There’s also the commute. In America, the average commute to work lasts 25.4 minutes one way, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Needless to say, where we work is just as important as what we do. The particular organization we work for determines how much we’ll earn, what perks and benefits we’ll earn and, to an extent, what kind of person we’ll be. The workplace has the power to deeply affect our identity because each site is a culture of its own.

Online career community Glassdoor is known for its transparent and thorough review of corporations through corporate culture and values review, salary reports, CEO rankings, benefits reviews, perks, and more. These rankings are based on anonymous employee feedback acquired through Glassdoor-created surveys that ask participants to rate items such as management practices, compensation, benefits packages, workplace satisfaction and growth, corporate culture, interview and on-boarding process, and much more.  

The company released its annual list of the best places to work according to 2015 employees—here are the top 10.

10. The Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic is “the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit medical group practice in the world,” according to its website. It’s headquartered in Rochester, Minn. and employs more than 5,000 people. 70 percent of Mayo employees would recommend the company to a friend, and 90 percent approve of the CEO. Workplace satisfaction is a large driver of this ranking: Employees at the Mayo Clinic feel a strong sense of value and purpose, as their job is to take care of people. The Mayo Clinic also offers great workout facilities and healthy food to encourage wellness among staff as well.

One notable fact: Physicians at The Mayo Clinic can make up to $272,378, which is 58 percent above the national average.

9. McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a consulting firm with a “twofold mission.” Firstly, the organization aims to help clients improve their performance and secondly, it focuses on “making McKinsey a great organization that attracts, develops, excites and retains exceptional people.”

The firm has been recognized for its positive work environment and support for female executives and the LGBT community. Employees are attracted to McKinsey & Company for the opportunity to work on exceptionally challenging problems with rewarding results—one employee specifically expressed job satisfaction resulting from having helped a high school increase its graduation rate. Management consultant associates, a common role within the firm, make approximately $87.98 per hour, which is 12 percent above the national average. 

8. In-N-Out

This restaurant’s philosophy about food preparation extends to their treatment of workers. In-N-Out emphasizes making good hamburgers over franchising. 92 percent of employees would recommend the company to a friend and 91 percent approve of their CEO.

Wage and benefits at this chain are industry-leading: An associate at In-N-Out makes an average of $11.60 per hour while assistant managers can make $54,117, which is 25 percent above the national average. They have a wage raise program based on steps. In addition to excellent training and frequent potential for upward mobility, this fast food joint also offers maternity and paternity leave, a 401(k) plan, free lunch or snacks, paid time off and health insurance.

7. H-E-B

Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, this retail chain operates 340 stores in a number of formats including superstores, supermarkets and gourmet markets and 96 percent of employees approve of the CEO.

In addition to full benefits, H-E-B offers ample opportunity for advancement and in generous with salaries:  cashiers make about $9.97 per hour, which is 3 percent above national average, while department managers can make $57,811, a whopping 24 percent above the national average. Employees are guaranteed raises every year—sometimes even two—while department managers receive cash bonuses and profit sharing on top of it all.

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6. Chevron

The oil giant’s benefits include a retirement, 401(k) and pension plan. As with all of the companies on this list, more than 90 percent of employees approve of the CEO. Chevron was included on Glassdoor’s list of the 50 Best Places to Work (according to employees) in 2010, 2012 and 2013 as well as the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 list of Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.

Interns can make $6,000 per month and a reservoir engineer can make $123,578. According to one employee, “Chevron offers a competitive performance-based promotion system that encourages high performance and rewards hard work.”

5. Boston Consulting Group

This employee-owned firm offers a wide array of services catering mainly to large corporations. According to a company statement, “BCG's practice areas include branding and marketing, corporate finance, globalization, business strategy, leadership development, and information technology.”

In 2014, the company landed at number three on Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For (worldwide) and has been recognized by LGBT organizations for support and promoting equality. Employees at BCG are attracted to the quality of fellow staff members, as relayed by one employee on "The best and the brightest from all fields and backgrounds (think Rhodes scholars) create a really rich intellectual atmosphere."

4. F5 Networks

F5 Networks focuses on providing solutions to the application-using world.

“At F5, we like people who rethink their world. They tinker. They solve problems. They take things apart and make them better,” explained one corporate video. Benefits include comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance, free snacks, and an on-site fitness facility with trainers available. The company’s 401(k) plan includes matching, and the Software Engineer I position pays $107,038 while a principal software engineer can earn $173,748.

Most importantly, the concept of work-life balance seems to be taken seriously.

"Managers show by example that time off is not only acceptable but a good thing," wrote one software engineer,” wrote one reviewer.

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3. Nestlé Purina Pet Care

“The corporate culture is second to none,” one employee wrote about Nestlé Purina Pet Care. “Strong Midwestern roots, stability and friendly environment; coupled with the vast opportunities that come with an international giant parent company. There is a tremendous amount of mutual trust and respect for others within NPPC.”

Other perks include an onsite nurse, gym (with instructor!), onsite child care, flexible time, and the ability to work remotely. Pets are even allowed to frolic in the office, which may be why 100 percent of this company’s employees approve of the CEO.

2. Bain & Company

This global strategy consulting firm was number one on Glassdoor’s employee-based list in 2014 and it’s clear that workplace culture is a major—if not the main—reason for the ranking. According to staff, the colleagues have a high regard and respect for one another.

“Our clients tell us consistently that what makes us different is our people,” one manager wrote. The firm was also the recipient of Best Consulting Internship and Best Overall Internships awards from Vault, reaffirming the brand’s commitment to supporting the advancement of future generations. Financial support is also a key asset: An associate consultant makes an average of $76,481, and a consultant can receive nearly double that ($139,559).

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1. Google

Our obvious first choice, this search engine guru is also at the top of Fortune’s 2015 list of the best places to work. A regular on this list (Google also topped 2012 and 2014’s rankings), the tech giant is in a league of its own.

“Google is not a conventional company and we don’t intend to become one,” the company proudly states on its website. “We provide individually-tailored compensation packages that can be comprised of competitive salary, bonus, and equity components, along with the opportunity to earn further financial bonuses and rewards.”

At Google, workers are treated as individuals and not commodities—and they are (slightly?!) spoiled, not to mention extremely lucky.

“Yes, free breakfast, lunch and dinner every weekday. Amazing holiday parties (at Waldorf Astoria, New York Public Library, MoMA, etc.); overnight ski trips to Vermont; overnight nature trips to the Poconos in the summer; summer picnics at Chelsea piers; and on and on and on,” wrote one employee.

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