24 of 25
24. Chesapeake Energy
Chesapeake Energy
Average total pay: $120,576**
For: Toolpusher*

Best Companies rank: 73
Headquarters: Oklahoma City, OK

Now the nation's largest producer of natural gas, Chesapeake took some tough hits last year. It paid a lot of money for leases when natural gas prices were high, and got stung in 2008 as prices plummeted.

Chesapeake stock swooned 80%. In an e-mail to all employees, founder Aubrey McClendon reminded them that Chesapeake has 36,000 wells producing natural gas every day and urged them to focus on cost control. As for the stock price, he said, "Over time it will take care of itself but in the meantime, just ignore it."

There were no layoffs. And the company awarded new stock grants in October, giving the 4,466 employees on staff in June a total of 373,975 restricted shares valued at $12.8 million.

NEXT: Nugget Market
Last updated February 05 2009: 1:03 PM ET
*Most common salaried job

**An earlier version listed an incorrect pay number for Chesapeake Energy. The correct amount is $120,576, not $178,108, which moves Chesapeake from #7 among top payers to #24. The rankings have been adjusted accordingly.
Top 100 There's a new no. 1 this year, as Google slips to no. 4. Which companies are going out of their way -- even in this economy -- to please employees? More
They're hiring! As many big companies are announcing mass layoffs, these 20 top employers have at least 350 openings each right now. Which Best Companies to Work For are doing the most recruiting and what kind of candidates are they looking for? More
Love your job? Then save it! If you're worried about getting laid off, now's the time to fight for your position. Follow these do's and don'ts to raise the odds that your job stays, well, yours. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.