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9. Adobe Systems
Adobe Systems
Average total pay: $165,947
For: Sr. Computer Scientist Software Development*

Best Companies rank: 11
Headquarters: San Jose, CA

Known for its widely used Photoshop, Acrobat Reader, and PDF software, Adobe offers employees generous pay and benefits. Senior administrative assistants make more than $70,000 a year. All employees get stock options or restricted stock grants; quarterly profit-sharing checks ranging from 5% to 15% of pay; and the opportunity to buy stock at a 15% discount. They also can take a fully paid three-week sabbatical every five years.

Still the company is not immune to a poor economy. Toward the end of 2008, Adobe said it was experiencing weaker than expected demand for its new Creative Suite 4 line, and announced it's laying off 600 workers.

NEXT: EOG Resources
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.
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