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The top 9 American companies to work for

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Although the US unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2001, finding what most experts would define as a good job remains challenging.

American workers, though, are offering their two cents about their employers at Glassdoor, which lets people both highlight the perks and air their grievances about workplace conditions. Using that feedback, the career services site has compiled its ranking of the country's best employers, which span several industries but share a few traits, such as providing excellent training and career paths.

There's evidence that employee satisfaction makes a difference on the bottom line, with earlier research from Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain finding that companies on its "best places to work" list between 2009 to 2014 outperformed the S&P 500 index by more than seven percentage points.

While it may be somewhat of a chicken-and-egg question about whether happy employees are created by thoughtful workplace policies or vice versa, these top-ranked companies gain an edge in recruitment, as job-seekers are more likely to start their job searches with business known for a top score for worker treatment.

The listed companies "are hiring in every state," said Sarah Stoddard, a Glassdoor spokeswoman. "There is an opportunity for most job seekers around the country."

The top-ranked business for 2018 is a company that many consumers may have a love-hate relationship with: Facebook (FB). The social media giant dethroned consulting firm Bain & Co. from last year's top spot.

Facebook employs as many people as live in many small U.S. towns, with more than 18,000 workers, representing year-over-year growth of 38 percent. But that expansion hasn't come without growing pains, such as criticisms about a lack of diversity and questions about its advertising policies.

Not all of the top-rated companies are in tech. Some are in service industries like retail, where wages tend to be lower and the perks not quite as lavish. Employee satisfaction depends on more than pay, with earlier Glassdoor research finding that job culture and a career path within the company can keep workers engaged and happy.

Read on to learn about the top nine employers in the US as rated by employees on a five-point scale.

9. St.Jude Children's Research Hospital

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The pediatric research institute makes its first entry into Glassdoor's top employer ranking.

Workers praise the Memphis, Tennessee-based hospital for its benefits and its emphasis on helping employees strike a good work-life balance. Most importantly, workers feel they are on a mission to help heal children, Stoddard said.

"You are helping to cure sick children and to make a positive difference in the world," she said.

Staff scientists earn an average of about $73,000 annually, while staff physicians earn between $179,000 to $243,000 per year.

8. World Wide Technology

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Founded in 1990, World Wide Technology works in systems integration, or linking computer systems together.

Employees praised the company's training and executives who are "down to earth." Open jobs at the Maryland Heights, Missouri, company include roles such as senior network engineer and management consultant.

Network engineers earn about $72,000 per year, while consulting systems engineers are paid about $132,000 annually.

7. HubSpot

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The Cambridge, Massachusetts, online marketing company, founded in 2006, is praised by workers for its fast-paced culture and opportunities to learn. The company's benefits include unlimited vacation and $5,000 per year for continuing education.

Software engineers earn about $107,000 per year, while customer service employees earn about $68,000 annually.

6. Lululemon

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The yoga-clothing company's workers say they enjoy its professional development opportunities and team-based approach.

Cons include some of the complaints common to retail work, such as low pay and undesirable work hours. Typical store workers earn $12 to $13 an hour, while store managers earn about $58,000 per year.

5. Google

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The search giant is one of three companies that have appeared on Glassdoor's top employer list for each year since the employment site started the ranking a decade ago.

Employees praise its "extremely intelligent and competent coworkers," as well as great perks like free food and matching 401(k) contributions up to $18,000.

Software engineers earn about $126,000 per year, while product managers earn about $147,000 annually.

4. In-N-Out Burger

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The West Coast burger chain has a cult following among customers, but its employees are also big fans. It's the only restaurant chain to make it into the top nine employers, thanks to its perks like a free meal each day and a clear career path.

The typical fast-food worker at In-N-Out makes $12 to $13 an hour, according to salary reports on Glassdoor.

3. Boston Consulting Group

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This management consulting firm is known for its tough interviews, as well as giving many corporate executives their early jobs, including PepsiCo (PEP) CEO Indra Nooyi.

Employees say the value its "unlimited growth potential" and excellent training. Still, the cons include long hours and a tough work-life balance.

Consultants earn about $145,000 per year, based on Glassdoor salary reports.

2. Bain & Co.

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Bain & Co. slid into second place in this year's survey after holding the top spot a year ago. The management consulting firm was founded in 1973 by former partners from the Boston Consulting Group, and it's likewise known for its long hours and stressful work.

Still, employees praise their intelligent co-workers and a supportive work environment.

Consultants earn about $139,000 per year, while managers earn about $175,000 annually.

1. Facebook

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Consumers may have mixed feelings about the social media giant, but its employees love working there, according to Glassdoor.

Employees say they enjoy working on a service that reaches billions of people across the globe, as well as the perks and "great culture."

"People really feel it on a day to day basis, that mission to bring the world closer together," Stoddard said. "Another common theme is really transparent senior and middle management. They explain what they are doing and how it ties back to the mission."

Software engineers earn about $127,000 per year, while product designers earn about $137,000 annually, according to Glassdoor salary reports.

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