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17. Chesapeake Energy
Chesapeake Energy
Average total pay: $126,854
For: Toolpusher*
Best companies rank: 34

Chesapeake, one of the nation's leading natural gas producers, has the most generous 401(k) plan of any Best Company. It matches employee contributions, dollar for dollar, up to 15% of pay. Unfortunately, the match is in Chesapeake stock, which has been hammered by falling natural gas prices. Shares, which were over $65 in 2008, trade in the mid-$20s today.

Luckily, the firm's young staff -- nearly half are under 35 -- should have plenty of time to make up for any declines in their accounts before they retire. And in the meantime, they earn relatively high wages for the industry: Average salary across the company is $69,218, and everyone gets a holiday bonus of $500 to $1,000.

NEXT: MITRE

Last updated January 26 2010: 11:14 AM ET
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