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The most stressed-out tech companies

Silicon Valley culture clash
Can Silicon Valley fix its "bad boy" culture? 06:14

Social media deprives us of sleeperodes our mental health and spreads crass commercialism as far as the eye can see. In short, it's a helluva gig. 

Social media companies are some of the best tech companies to work for, according to a report released Tuesday by PayScale. Twitter (TWTR), LinkedIn (LNKD) and Facebook (FB) not only have highest starting salaries on the list, but also have "some of the highest rates of employees reporting that their jobs are making the world a better place," the firm found. Workers at these companies also report higher satisfaction with their employers and fairly low levels of stress. 

Twitter ranks No. 1 in the generosity of pay for younger employees, with a median of $112,000, edging out Facebook and LinkedIn at $110,000 (PayScale analyzed data for all jobs at a given company, so median pay figures include tech and non-tech roles.)

The highest-paying tech companies

Source: PayScale

PayScale ranked 52 established tech companies on metrics like early- and mid-career pay, worker satisfaction, and how meaningful they found their jobs. The firm also asked respondents how much workplace stress they had, and how likely they were to look for a new job within the next six months. 

The results are revealing. Workers at Airbnb, Tesla (TSLA), SpaceX and Samsung reported the most stress among companies for which stress data was available. By contrast, only half of Twitter respondents said they experienced high job stress, and 82 percent said they found their work meaningful.

"Twitter hasn't been faring as well from a performance standpoint, if you talk to investors, but employees are clearly feeling pretty positive," said Lydia Frank, vice president at PayScale. 

That pattern seems to hold true for a number of high-profile companies that have been in the news for a variety of workplace issues. Uber, which has been widely criticized for encouraging a competitive culture of "toe-stepping" and hiring "brilliant jerks," ranked fifth on the high-stress list, with 70 percent of workers reporting stress. The company has been caught in a downward spiral of bad publicity this year, after high-profile investigations of sexual harassment led to an exodus of top executives including founder and CEO Travis Kalanick

Tech turnover and stress levels

Source: PayScale

Workers at Airbnb also reported high stress (75 percent), though a very high 82 percent said they found their job meaningful. The short-term lodging rental platform, which has expanded rapidly over the past several years, has run into a slew of challenges from state regulators and the hotel industry, as well as local communities that blame Airbnb for exacerbating a housing shortage.

SpaceX and Tesla also stood out for their stressful work environments, with 86 percent of workers at the rocket maker and 71 percent of those at the electric car manufacturer -- both launched by entrepreneur Elon Musk -- reporting high stress. Still, few employees said they're likely to leave -- only 36 percent of SpaceX workers and 41 percent of Tesla employees wanted out within six months, putting them in the "very stable" range of the list. And that's despite SpaceX having a relatively low salary by tech standards, barely breaking $80,000 even by the mid-career point.

Check out the full PayScale report, which also allows side-by-side company comparisons. 

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