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18. Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments
Average total pay: $126,192
For: Electrical Design Engineer*

Best Companies rank: 65
Headquarters: Dallas, TX

At this chip manufacturer, factory hands make $47,000 a year; electrical design engineers earn more than $125,000 annually on average. But employees say the real draw is the opportunity to work at the forefront of technology.

TI semiconductors can be found in such medical products as portable sonogram machines, implantable devices, and "smart" bandages that warn patients if a cut becomes infected. "People here are excited to work on this stuff because it's changing people's lives for the better," says Matt Harrison, director of TI's Medical Business unit. "Who wouldn't want to do that?"

NEXT: Shared Technologies
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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