Fortune 500 companies are chosen and ranked by “Fortune” magazine for their gross revenues—in other words, the largest companies in the United States. These are the movers and shakers of the nation. These are also some of the best places to find long-term, stable employment with great benefits, stock options, and other perks that you won’t likely find at small companies. Alternately, Fortune 500 companies are often publically held so that you can choose to invest in a company that helps drive your local economy.
Seattle is a fortunate city to have a total of eight Fortune 500 companies, several of which also make CNNMoney’s list for best companies to work for (namely, Starbucks and Microsoft, as of 2012).
Costco is a global chain of membership warehouse stores where customers buy in bulk to receive discounts. The stores offer groceries, appliances, home goods, clothing, and toiletries. Most stores also have snack bars, pharmacies, and optical centers. Beyond in-store services, Costco offers members access to a wide range of home services, insurance, loans and more. As an employer, Costco often ranks as one of the best places to work in Washington State. Benefits for eligible employees include health and dental care, pharmacy and vision center access at deep discounts, dependent care assistance, life insurance, and other work-life benefits. There are locations in many Puget Sound cities, including Seattle, Tacoma, Puyallup, Covington, Issaquah, Everett, and Federal Way.
Fortune 500 Rank: 24
Stock symbol: COST
Jobs at Costco
Microsoft is a software giant, known worldwide for creating some of the best-known software from Office to Skype to one of the most popular operating systems in the world—Windows. There are Microsoft jobs in locations on just about every continent, but the corporate headquarters is just outside of Seattle in Redmond on a large campus. Of course, Microsoft has ample IT jobs—programmers, hardware and software engineers, testers—but you might be surprised by the number of non-technical jobs, too. The corporate campus employs people in its store, in sales and marketing, human resources, and customer service. A special bonus, Microsoft offers opportunities for students and recent graduates, too. Work-life benefits are extensive and include maternity and paternity leave, child care assistance, and great health care coverage.
Fortune 500 Rank: 37
Stock symbol: MSFT
Jobs at Microsoft
Amazon is the company that changed the face of the book world and then moved on to conquer other markets, too. The release of their e-book reader Kindle revolutionized digital books and Amazon Prime is moving in on the digital entertainment scene. Today, Amazon sells just about everything and has a finger in just about every slice of modern life—and its corporate campus is located right in downtown Seattle. Jobs available range from editing to order picking to software development to finance and sales. Benefits include stock options, health care and dental coverage, stock options, and time off.
Fortune 500 Rank: 56
Stock symbol: AMZN
Jobs at Amazon
Paccar doesn’t receive nearly as much press as other large companies in Seattle, but you likely see their products every day. Paccar builds, designs, and provides support for light- to heavy-weight trucks under the names Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF. Paccar has a number of divisions located in the Northwest, including its financial, IT, leasing, parts, and tech center. Jobs vary across fields as diverse as financial, HR, IT, production and sales. Their benefits package includes health and dental insurance, tuition reimbursement, stock options, and even a fully vested pension plan for employees who stay longer than five years.
Fortune 500 Rank: 159
Stock symbol: PCAR
Jobs at Paccar
Starbucks is ubiquitous in Seattle, Tacoma, and other Puget Sound cities—sometimes there is literally a Starbucks on every corner. And while this chain is known for its baristas in green and lineup of caffeinated beverages, there is much more to a career at this coffee giant than serving up a mocha. Careers can be on the retail frontline, or in any number of back office positions from finance to roasting plant jobs. Benefits include full insurance options, adoption assistance, bonuses, stock options, and a free pound of coffee every week!
Fortune 500 Rank: 227
Stock symbol: SBUX
Jobs at Starbucks
Nordstrom is a clothing retail leader known for top-notch customer service and fantastic shoes! Retail careers are available at the stores located in or near malls throughout the Puget Sound region, and support positions are available at the Seattle headquarters. These positions can be located at Nordstrom’s distribution center, in marketing or PR, merchandising, IT, or any other number of fields. Benefits include health and dental plans, retirement and stock options, and more.
Fortune 500 Rank: 242
Stock symbol: JWN
Jobs at Nordstrom
7. Expeditors International of Washington
Expeditors International of Washington is a logistics company that employs more than 13,000 people worldwide. The company works with transportation of all sorts, providing solutions in air and ocean freight consolidation, customs clearance, and more. Expeditors is an excellent company for careers in accounting, insurance, and sales professionals, but also offers a number of unique fields in distribution, customs clearance, ocean freight and security.
Fortune 500 Rank: 395 Stock symbol: EXPD Location: Seattle Jobs at Expeditors International of Washington
Weyerhaeuser is a leader in the world of wood and paper product innovation. In the Seattle area, they’re known for rows and rows of sustainable forests planted in Washington and you might spot their name on anything from your office paper to packing supplies. Career paths at Weyerhaeuser include accounting and finance, HR, IT, manufacturing and operations, sales, as well as in harder sciences. Benefits include full insurance options, a pension plan, as well as programs designed to improve the lives of the company’s employees from help quitting smoking to onsite health screenings.
Fortune 500 Rank: 374
Stock symbol: WY
Location: Federal Way
Jobs at Weyerhaeuser
9. Fortune 500 Companies in Portland
Portland, Oregon, is not far from Seattle and also has a few Fortune 500 companies:
Fortune 500 Rank: 387
Stock symbol: PCP
Location: Portland, Oregon
Fortune 500 Rank: 136
Stock symbol: NKE
Location: Beaverton, Oregon